Gen Y can learn from Saint Peter too!

Leadership lessons from the Bible

I wanted to share a leadership lesson with you that comes from 1 Peter chapter 1 in the bible. Saint Peter is considered by Catholics as the 1st Pope so I think it’s relevant to consider him in the leadership conversation.


Peter is writing to early Christians about 30 yrs after the crucifixion. They were a very discouraged group who were apparently on the verge of giving up. They were faced with the challenge of not only keeping the faith, but also doing so under the very real threat of persecution up to the point of being killed. Talk about a tough life! I thought it was tough not getting promoted the 1st year…

Anyway, Saint Peter decides to write to them to clarify a few things but ultimately wants to change some of their behavior. He wants them to do certain things and act a certain way and feels this is his best chance to get the message across.

In the 1st 12 verses, he reminds them of why they’re special – how they’re chosen by God – how they’re going to be rewarded. He spends a good part of the chapter explaining how much they have going for them before launching into the changes in behavior he’s suggesting. Instead of cracking on their inadequacies, he begins with appreciation for what they are.

The leadership lesson:

You cannot have my mind until you have my heart.

Gen Y, what’s the lesson for us? I think it’s just as true today as it was 2000 years ago.

We have great ideas. We see behaviors that should be changed, processes that should be reworked/eliminated, and attitudes that need adjusting. There is little doubt that we bring a sense of optimism to the world. We hope to change the world for the better and often don’t understand why older generations want us to just ‘wait our turn’.


Why? Because we come in and start barking about how things need to change but we fail to win them over before trying to make it happen.

We have to appeal to their hearts before we appeal to their heads.

Turns out Saint Pete was a pretty smart dude, right?

How can we appeal to their hearts? Remember, the heart isn’t logical; it’s emotional…

How to turn creativity into productivity

Act like you know what’s going on and people assume you do.

It’s really not much more complicated than that.

I see this almost everyday of my life. For those of you who don’t really know me, I’m going to reveal a secret that I learned long ago (from a Boomer) that can really help you as you assimilate into the workplace.

This video of Brett Cohen has over 3 million hits on YouTube. Go watch it. I’ll wait…

I love the premise. This is the kind of creativity that Gen Y is capable of, yet the frustration for many of our older generations is that we use this creativity on such “useless” things. Why would you spend all that time working on something that wasn’t going to advance your career?

I think it’s a brilliant example of something I learned from a Boomer (my dad) on April 8, 1994. I remember the date well. I was SOOOOO embarrassed!!!

Michael Jordan was really a superstar when I was little. Some say the world has never seen a better basketball player. On that night, he was making his minor league baseball debut here in Birmingham, AL. Somehow, we got tickets.

There we were – my mom, dad, little sister, and I, walking up to a stadium that was buzzing with CRAZY media coverage. As we walked into the stadium, my dad did the usual – embarrassed me to no end – when he said, “hey, let’s go over here and see if we can get in the press gate.”

“Dad,” I sighed, “you can’t do that. Let’s just go get our seats.” (insert multiple eye rolls here)

As if he had some spidey-sense of how to embarrass me, he took off with my little sister in tow. My mom and I went and sat down.

The entire time I sat there fuming about my dad’s attempt to make me the laughing stock of the world and imagining how we’d have to leave after he got thrown in jail, or at the very least thrown out of the stadium.

A few minutes later, to my horror, I see my dad and little sister emerging onto the field from the dugout.

OMG! Can I shrink down into this chair anymore!!!  Continue reading