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…