Business Week wrote an article called “God’s MBAs: Why Mormon Missions Produce Leaders,” (see link below) and we thought that we would just highlight a few of these amazing (and wealthy) influencer-leaders who have served full-time LDS missions.
President Brigham Young once said:
The worst fear that I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and his people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty and all manner of persecution, and be true. It my greater fear for them is that they cannot stand wealth; and yet they have to be tried with riches, for they will become the richest people on this earth. 1
Here are 9 LDS returned missionaries who have fulfilled Brother Brigham’s prophecy:
1. Josh James (Served in Tokyo, Japan)
Josh James is a BYU grad who founded Omniture, a tech company that was bought by Adobe for $1.8 Billion. He has since started another innovative business intelligence company called DOMO. He loves showing other CEOs how to be better CEOs and as for CEOs is probably one of the most active on social media. Some of these guys are hard to follow, but not Josh. Links to his social media accounts are on his website here.
2. Mitt Romney (served in France)
Amassed an estimated $190 million to $250 million as head of Bain Capital, rescued the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics from a corruption scandal, was governor of Massachusetts, and ran for president twice. Click here to read more about Mitt Romney’s life. Click here to read his book.
3. Clayton Christensen (served in Korea)
Clayton Christensen is a Harvard Business Professor and one of the world’s top management thinkers, but first and foremost he is a missionary. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling business book How Will You Measure Your Life?
He has been featured internationally multiple times for his fascinating ideas on what he calls “disruptive innovation.”
But above all of this, Elder Clayton Christensen is a missionary. An everyday missionary. He has been doing everyday missionary work for decades and has had hundreds of experiences with missionary work. These experiences and the principles behind them are taught in his book, The Power of Everyday Missionaries. To read more about his life and work, click here.
4. Jon Huntsman Jr. (served in Taiwan) and Sr.
Jon Huntsman Jr. served as former Utah governor. He negotiated dozens of free-trade agreements as a U.S. trade representative and served as ambassador to China from 2009-2011. He served his mission in Taiwan and ran for president in 2012. Click here to read more about his life.
His father, Jon Huntsman Sr., also served as a mission president in Washington D.C. He is a billionaire philanthropist and wrote a book called Barefoot to Billionaire.
5. David Neeleman (Served in Brazil)
Founder of JetBlue Air and Brazil’s airlines Azul. Served in Brazil. He has been able to keep JetBlue Airlines afloat (no pun intended) even through the hardest economic times for this industry. This book was written about how he did this. He just made a third try for an IPO for Azul air. Click here to read more about his life.
6. Eric Varvel
Chief Executive Officer of the global Investment Bank of Credit Suisse. To read more about his success, click here.
7. Kim Clark (served in Germany)
Former dean of Harvard Business School. Current president of BYU Idaho. To read more about his life, click here.
8. Gary Crittenden (served in Germany)
Served as CFO for Citigroup (C), American Express (AXP), and Sears Roebuck. Read more about his success here.
9. Stephen R. Covey (served in England)
Self help mogul and author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the late Stephen Covey served a mission in England and was also a mission president. Click here to read more about Stephen Covey’s amazing life.
We don’t all have to be multi-millionaire mega influencers, but as returned missionaries, we must rise up as leaders in our own spheres of influence. For more good reading, check out the book The Mormon Way of Doing Business, and make sure to check out this Business Week article called “God’s MBAs, Why Mormon Missions Produce Leaders,” about why the world thinks that the Mormon mission experience produces great leaders.
Have another you think should be added to the list? Please add them to the comments.