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Hackers are Heroes: Gary Hamel Melts Faces


Gary Hamel is my new hero. I had a chance to hear him speak at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit on the future of the church from a management perspective. Gary, unbeknownst to me, is the bee’s knees when it comes to business management strategy and innovative thinking. Check out his blog here.

Gary was dropping all sorts of bombs at his talk, and no one was safe. (For a great summary read, check out Tim Schraeder’s site for the notes.) One of my favorite fire-starters from Gary’s talk at the Summit was “Listen to the positive deviants. Learn from them. Learn to be one.” He didn’t know it, but he was giving me one of the biggest shout-outs I’ve ever received (Hey, this site is called BeDeviant!)

One of the areas Gary touched on was managing the next generation of leaders, i.e. the “Facebook Generation.” I caught one of his earlier posts on the subject on his blog and wanted to share the 12 keys to managing Generation Y as they begin to migrate into the work force.

1. All ideas compete on an equal footing.

2. Contribution counts for more than credentials.

3. Hierarchies are natural, not prescribed.

4. Leaders serve rather than preside.

5. Tasks are chosen, not assigned.

6. Groups are self-defining and -organizing.

7. Resources get attracted, not allocated.

8. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.

9. Opinions compound and decisions are peer-reviewed.

10. Users can veto most policy decisions.

11. Intrinsic rewards matter most.

12. Hackers are heroes.

For a more in-depth explanation, check out Gary’s original post here. But make no mistake about it, the emerging generations need to be led differently than the previous ones. Are you ready?

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

I read this the other day:

1 Chronicles 22: 5: David said, “My son Solomon is still young and inexperienced. And since the Temple to be built for the Lord must be a magnificent structure, famous and glorious throughout the world, I will begin making preparations for it now.” So David collected vast amounts of building materials before his death.

Backstory: King David wanted to build a giant, pimped-out Temple for the LORD, but was told the task would fall to his son, Solomon.

Imagine this: Something you’ve wanted to do for as long as you can remember: Build a tribute to the God who has done so much for you. Yet you get word that this task is one you’ll never get to complete. The job will go to your son because of some of the decisions you’ve made in your life.

Talk about a punch in the gut. That would be tough to hear.

But David–not being perfect but being a man who desires to breathe the reality of heaven–responds in a different kind of way. Instead of moping and carrying-on, whining about how he would not get to walk out his “big dream,” David prepares.

David uses his resources, his time, his influence, and his positional authority to prepare the way for his son to succeed. In other words, Solomon would be building the LORD’s Temple largely due to David’s hard work. David toils while Solomon gets the credit.

Hardly seems fair, doesn’t it?

But David is a different kind of man–a different kind of leader. In the coming years, the younger generations will need King Davids to rise up. In the next 10-15 years, the Millenial Generation (1980-2000) will be thrust into leadership positions that the retiring Baby Boomers (1946-1964) will be leaving. If we do not have King Davids to help us succeed, to prepare the way for us, we will fail:

  • We will fail in business.
  • We will fail in ministry.
  • We will fail in our families.
  • We will in our marriages.

Boomers (King David): Are you willing to use your influence, positional authority, resources and time in a way that may not have any tangible returns for you personally? In ways that will only benefit the generation that is coming up behind you?

Millenials (Solomon): Are you humbly willing to accept the resources, time, and wisdom of an older generation in order to succeed in what God has called you to do? To “stand on the shoulders of giants?”

Well, are you?

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How to Nail an Interview

With all the talk about graduating college students having trouble finding jobs, we here at want to help our readers any way we can.

Below is a great example of what not to do at an interview. Ever. Like … Not ever. (The sad part is, I know people like this. I’m sure you do to.)

Do you know people like this? No wonder people think Milennials have entitlement issues!

[Video courtesy of]


The Younger Evangelicals

I posted a passage from this book earlier, but further reading has determined it deserves its own post.

If you are from the ages of 18-34 or know someone who falls into that bracket, you need to read this book. You owe it to yourself or to the young adult that you know. It is that good.

Why? Robert Webber nails what it means to be a “younger evangelical,” the generation (read: Gen X & Millenials) that will seize the reigns of leadership from the “pragmatic evangelicals” (read: Boomers) in the next 5-25 years. Webber, being 68 at the time he wrote the book and clearly not a “younger evangelical” chronologically, takes some serious swipes at the past 15-20 years of church leadership in the American church. He offers firm (and correct) criticism, but he also provides a solution to let the next generation “breathe” and lead the church “back to the future.”

Here’s a few gems to whet your whistle:

  • Webber quotes Sociologist Francis Fukuyama on the period between 1960 and 1990 as an “aberration in American history.” Webber further states of this period of intense “turmoil and change” that is was marked by: “The rise of crime, the inhabitability of the inner cities, the disruption of social institutions, the decline of marriages, the rise of divorce, out-of-wedlock births, the breakdown of values, the suspicion of institutions, the intensification of individualism, the demise of authority, and in general the collapse of modern society as we knew it.” ((pg. 33))
  • “The West is undergoing a massive cultural change in which ‘discoveries in quantum physics and astronomy lead scientists to back away from Newtonian notions of a deterministic universe and to speak of awe, holism and even of an observer created universe.’” ((pgs. 44-45))
  • “Millenials are considerably more conservative than their predecessors. The twenty-somethings desire a stable society, a return to tradition.” ((pg. 46))
  • All of Chapter 10.
  • “The Contemporary Church, having been built and enmeshed in the generational values of the baby boomer, is alienating a generation of adolescents.” ((pg. 156))
  • “Boomers are into large church buildings that look like corporate headquarters–slick, plain, powerful. Twenty-somethings look on these buildings as symbols of corporate America. They want smaller, more intimate places of worship with lots of symbolism–the more the better. Success for the boomer is tangible and usually described in terms of numbers, big buildings, big budgets, and strong individual “hero” leaders. Younger evangelicals detest these symbols of power and prefer smaller to bigger and authentic to slick.” ((pg. 157))

I’ll stop there.

I could literally give you hundreds more just like that. But I won’t. Instead I’ll just give you a link to go and get this book ASAP. It will be well worth it as it gives us what I believe is a prophetic picture into what the American church will look like soon, and very soon.

Young or old, how do these passages register with you?.

A Vision That Challenges the Group You’re Not In… Yet.

I listened to an Andy Stanley podcast this morning during my workout that really gripped me. I mean, it felt like he reached into my chest, grabbed a hold of my heart, gave it a good jostle, and then set it back in its proper place.

I’m paraphrasing here, but Andy basically said, “How are you, older generation, making sure that you are reaching behind you and giving the younger generation a chance to lead? How are funding a younger generation’s vision? Are you going to fund it, or let it fail?”

Then he dropped another bomb that I pray is seared into my soul for the days ahead: “Once you hit 45, you don’t have any more good ideas. Once you hit 45, it’s your turn to foster and develop and green light the ideas of a younger generation.”

Wow. Coming from a guy who is in his 40’s himself, this was a very powerful teaching moment to listen to.

Everything in me was screaming, “YES!” But how do you live this teaching out when you’re not in the age group he’s addressing? As a matter of fact, you’re the one waiting to “grab the baton,” so to speak. It was like water to my soul to hear him say the things he was addressing. Healing, in a way.

How have you experienced this in your leadership setting? Older leaders, how are you “preparing the way” for a younger generation to not only grab the baton, but run father, faster, and harder than you ever could? Younger leaders, where have you been handed responsibility and authority in a way that has harnessed your gifts and talents?

My prayer is that when the time comes, I’ll be able to “fund” instead of let the ideas of a new generation “fail.” I love how Andy closed the talk, “If you’re in your twenties, soak it up. Really. But be prepared to give someone the same shot that someone gave you!”

Amen, my brother..

Loyalty v. Responsibility

For those of you not in the Des Moines area, Principal Financial Group (one of the city’s biggest employers) laid of 550 people yesterday. Andy Drish, a Gen-Y blogger and Principal employee, put it best when describing the lay-offs: “Companies tend to think that Gen Y isn’t ‘loyal.’ Now maybe they’ll understand why we keep our job options open. We’d be foolish not to.” Wow. Well said. The days of corporate America “taking care” of their employees are long gone. Take note.


Boomers v. Gen Yers

Ellie Behling makes a great point over at the on “6 Hurdles to An All-Digital Workforce“: “The clash is that Boomers and Gen Xers have spent their entire careers in extremely hierarchal structures where each step is defined and worked toward. Contrastingly, Gen Y has an attitude focused on group think, which is more suited for the online medium.” Boomers or Gen Yers, do you agree? Disagree? What’s keeping the U.S. from becoming an all-digital workplace?


Have You Quit the Church? has an extremely interesting look at why people, specifically younger people, are quitting the church: “‘The Christian world puts everyone in a little box and has no time for people who step outside it,’ she quotes one friend as saying to her over lunch. In general, people report that their spiritual needs are not being met at church. One problem is the marginalization of an increasingly educated laity by pastors who feel threatened by intelligent feedback.” There is a solution, according to the author of the article. What is it? “Get congregants more involved in church leadership.” De-centralization of church leadership anyone?


The Generation That Elected Obama

Goosebumps. From

HT: Shane Vander Hart

Is Obama the First Postmodern President?

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While watching the election coverage last night with my wife, I heard Tom Brokaw say something that stopped me in my liveblogging tracks: “Obama could be the first postmodern President.”

At the time, Obama and McCain were still slugging it out for electoral votes. Now they’re not. Now it’s over. Brokaw’s “could be” can be replaced with an “is”:

Barack Obama is the first post-modern President.

Obama is also the first African-American President, which is a breath of fresh air for a country that, historically speaking, has only recently given people of color the right to vote. This is nothing less than stunning in the best sense of the word, but it is a separate post altogether.

I do believe that Obama being the first post-modern President could have as great of an effect on this country as him being the first African-American one. Maybe an even greater and sustained one.

“What exactly is a post-modern President anyway?” you might find yourself asking. Valid question. Defining postmodernism has been likened to trying to nail Jell-o to a wall, so I’ll spare us the agony of trying to accomplish that task. But for the sake of discussion, and in Brokaw’s context, it means a President who is not a Boomer. “Post-boomer” was the word Brokaw used. (Or perhaps Chuck Todd? After four hours of coverage, the voices kind of blend together!) Obama, at 47, while officially belonging to the “Boomer” demographic, functions as a “post-boomer”, the analysts said.

What does this mean?

Answer: A lot. This has implications for every area of life, from the workplace to the pew and back again. The fact remains that Obama, regardless of where you stand on his political stances, has mobilized younger voters to actually show up at the polls, something that campaigns in the past have been powerless to do. (Remember all the hype for MTV’s “Choose or Lose” and “Vote or Die” campaigns aimed at 20-something voters in 2000 and 2004? They largely failed. They generated much excitement, but little voter turnout for Gore or Kerry in their respective elections.)

Younger voters (and thereby younger Americans) turned out to not only vote, but to vote for Obama and propel him forward into the White House. He did this by speaking their language. He utilized communication tools like Twitter and Facebook. He bought ads in video games like “Madden 2009”, effectively reaching a demographic (18-25 year old males) that is notoriously hard to reach. He spoke to the heart of young adults by saying, “Your voice matters. It matters to me and it matters to the future of this country. I’m listening.

What does this mean?

Answer: Everything.

It means that if you are an older American and you are in a place of authority and leadership, you will need to pay attention to the younger voices around you. You will need to listen or your company/church/organization will not have anyone to pick up the baton after you’re gone. It will die.

Shane Vander Hart notes: “Generation Y/Millennials will be in positions of leadership and influence soon.”

It means that young people will desire to move into places of leadership not because they feel entitled, but because they feel empowered. There’s a huge difference between the two.

It means that churches, for instance, need to study the way in which Obama reached a younger generation. A generation that is typically non-existent in the church. Obama reached them and he reached them well and it paid off. Big time.

It means that the stagnant security of the “same ol’ way” of doing things is less appealing than the riskiness of change.

This is not so much a political take on Obama’s election but a sociological one. Paul Stewart rightly notes:

“By 2050 the “minorities will be the majority” in this country and those young “millennial” voters will be running it. For better or for worse our nation will never be the same, and the church had better pay attention.”

What does this all mean? It means you don’t have to be a democrat, or even an Obama supporter to realize that his election into the White House is causing a lot more people to stand up and say, “Yes. We. Can.”


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