Today’s inspiration is drawn from “Unchanging Principles of Leadership” by Elder Wendell J. Ashton, from the Church Leadership Committee, during the April 1971 general conference.
In a world characterized by constant change, one thing remains steadfast—timeless principles of leadership. Elder Wendell J. Ashton’s address, “Unchanging Principles of Leadership,” offers us a profound perspective on leadership that transcends the ages and continues to hold great relevance for youth and adults alike.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
Elder Ashton’s discourse begins with an insightful anecdote about his former missionary companion, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, who experienced apprehension each time he addressed a general conference. Despite his extensive experience, Elder Hinckley’s humility and reverence for the task at hand were unwavering. This vulnerability serves as a reminder that even the most seasoned leaders face moments of trepidation.
As young individuals, it’s crucial to acknowledge that leadership roles often bring about challenges we might not anticipate. Elder Ashton’s message reminds us to confront these challenges with faith, trusting that with the Lord’s guidance, we can overcome adversity. The story of Joseph in Egypt, who maintained his faith through trials and remained close to the Lord, serves as a poignant example.
In a world where quick fixes and escapes are readily available, it is essential to instill the value of resilience and reliance on our Heavenly Father, rather than seeking easy solutions to life’s difficulties.
The landscape of education and employment is evolving rapidly, as Elder Ashton aptly notes. The statistics he cites from 1971 have only intensified in the years since. Technological advancements have made certain knowledge obsolete within years, and career trajectories have shifted dramatically. Still, amidst this flux, the unchanging principles of leadership remain as vital as ever.
The principle of leadership, whether in a religious, professional, or personal context, transcends the specifics of the tasks we undertake. Elder Ashton’s address underscores that leadership is fundamentally about guiding, inspiring, and helping others. These principles have the power to transform individuals into leaders not just within the Church but also in government, business, education, and the broader global community.
One of the most memorable moments in Elder Ashton’s address is the story of David and Goliath. This timeless tale of courage and faith speaks directly to young individuals like Owen and Kay, who will inevitably face daunting challenges as they navigate the path to adulthood.
In the face of a seemingly insurmountable foe, David did not flinch. He approached Goliath with unwavering confidence, knowing that the Lord would deliver him. This story serves as a powerful metaphor for the challenges young people encounter today. Whether it’s academic pressures, personal trials, or the uncertainty of the future, we must confront our “Goliaths” with faith and determination, trusting that the Lord is by our side.
Elder Ashton emphasizes that some of the most potent leadership lessons come from the scriptures, including figures like Nephi, Naaman, Joshua, the brother of Jared, Samuel of Israel, and Samuel the Lamanite. These scriptural accounts offer invaluable insights into effective leadership and the importance of maintaining a close relationship with God.
However, the ultimate source of leadership wisdom is Jesus Christ himself. His example of servant leadership, compassion, and unwavering dedication to righteousness provides an enduring model for all leaders to follow. By studying the life and teachings of the Savior, we can gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a true leader.
In a world that constantly changes, the principles of leadership, faith, and resilience remain constant. Elder Wendell J. Ashton’s message serves as a timeless guide for young individuals and leaders of all ages. As we face our own “Goliaths” and navigate the complexities of modern life, let us remember the wisdom of scripture and the example of Christ.
Incorporating these principles into our lives, we can make the world a better place. By leading with integrity, compassion, and unwavering faith, we can inspire positive change in our communities and beyond. Let us commit to developing these unchanging leadership qualities and, in doing so, become beacons of light and hope in an ever-changing world. Link to the original: Unchanging Principles of Leadership
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