- If I were to ask you, “Who is the greatest leader who ever lived?”—what would you say? The answer, of course, is Jesus Christ. He sets the perfect example of every imaginable leadership quality. But what if I were to ask you, “Who is the greatest follower who ever lived?”—wouldn’t the answer again be Jesus Christ? He is the greatest leader because He is the greatest follower—He follows His Father perfectly, in all things. The world teaches that leaders must be mighty; the Lord teaches that they must be meek. Worldly leaders gain power and influence through their talent, skill, and wealth. Christlike leaders gain power and influence “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.”
Brother Owen tells us how God sees us and how we become great leaders for God.
- In God’s eyes, the greatest leaders have always been the greatest followers.
Being a great leader or great follower comes down to being a great disciple of the Savior. True disciples follow the Savior and lead people to Him.
- There will be times in your life when you are called upon to lead. At other times, you will be expected to follow. But my message to you today is that regardless of your calling, you are always a leader, and you are always a follower. Leadership is an expression of discipleship—it is simply a matter of helping others come unto Christ, which is what true disciples do. If you are striving to be a follower of Christ, then you can help others follow Him and you can be a leader.
The only qualification to be a great leader is our personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ.
- Your ability to lead does not come from an outgoing personality, motivational skills, or even a talent for public speaking. It comes from your commitment to follow Jesus Christ.
It is our responsibility to follow the Savior and lead others to Him by our examples.
- Brethren, whether we realize it or not, people are looking up to us—family members, friends, even strangers. It is not enough for us as priesthood holders just to come unto Christ; our duty now is to “invite all to come unto Christ.” We cannot be satisfied receiving spiritual blessings for ourselves; we must lead the people we love to those same blessings—and as disciples of Jesus Christ, we must love everyone. The Savior’s charge to Peter is also a charge to us: “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
The Lord knows the way for us to be happy. We have to trust Him and believe that our lives will be better following Him than us deciding to take our own path. As we follow Him and lead others to Him, we will be blessed. Our lives will become more meaningful. Our desires to do good continually will be maintained.
- There will be times when the path ahead seems dark, but keep following the Savior. He knows the way; in fact, He is the way. The more earnestly you come unto Christ, the more deeply you will desire to help others experience what you have experienced. Another word for this feeling is charity, “which [the Father] hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ.” Then you will find that in the very act of following Christ, you are also leading others to Him, for in the words of President Thomas S. Monson, “As we follow that Man of Galilee—even the Lord Jesus Christ—our personal influence will be felt for good wherever we are, whatever our callings.”
Brother Owen talks about leadership in a way that I haven't heard before. Of course the Savior is the ultimate leader. But to also look at Him as the ultimate follower is great. We can learn from the Savior how to follow our Heavenly Fathers plan of happiness to its fullest. We will be blessed with the gift of charity for all of God's children as we follow the Savior and lead others to Christ by our example. This is what discipleship is all about. I hope that we can become better disciples of Christ and as a result, others will see our example and want to join us in our quest to being the best followers of Christ we can be.