Describing President Brigham Young as a "chief executive officer extraordinary," President Gordon B. Hinckley commended his example of leadership to members of the BYU Management Society, Salt Lake and Utah County chapters, on April 17.

At a dinner at the Salt Lake Hilton, President Hinckley accepted the organization's Distinguished Utahn Award in the form of a plaque and a $1,000 donation in his name to the Church's missionary fund.In his remarks, he recommended Peter F. Drucker's formula, calling it "the best rules of management that I have ever read."

Drucker wrote in 1967 that the good executive does four things: He practices conservation of time, he has his eye fixed on new developments, he builds on the strengths of his colleagues and he starves the problems and feeds the opportunities.

Noting that the Church's greatest problem is growth, President Hinckley said, "What a wonderful problem it is." It entails two major responsibilities, he added, training of leadership and building houses of worship.

Applying Drucker's principles to Church leadership, the prophet said a leader must know the scriptures and handbooks and must keep his eye fixed on new developments. "If he does not he will soon find himself lagging behind, and the work will suffer."

Regarding starving the problems and feeding the opportunities, he described a previous day in which he and his associates "dealt with one vexatious problem after another."

"I said to myself, `How can you keep this up? Constantly dealing with problems of this kind will eat you up.' I thought of Peter Drucker's statement. I said to myself, `Deal with the problems as wisely as you can. Make your decisions. You may be right, you may be wrong. Hopefully, you will be right because you have prayed earnestly over the matter and you have discussed it with your associates. But once made, put those decisions behind you and do not worry about them. Turn around, stand tall, put your head up, and look forward to the marvelous opportunities that you have."

He said he has a portrait of Brigham Young in his office. "And once in a while I turn around in my chair and look directly back at him and say, `President Young, you did a tremendous job. We are trying to do the best we can. Wherever you are, if you can give us a little help, we will appreciate it because we have some very difficult problems.' "

President Hinckley said he stands in awe of President Young as a prophet but also as a chief executive officer.

"To me, he stands as a leader whose equal I do not know," President Hinckley summarized. "He was a man who had great vision, who pondered grand designs, who built nobly and solidly, and who at the same time mingled among the people as their prophet, seer and revelator. Great was his wisdom, tremendous his accomplishments."