Since moving to Cumbria I’ve got into listening to podcasts a lot more. Life is generally more spread out here, and so work commitments often involve popping in the car to burrow up into the Lakes or getting on the train to trek along the Morecambe Bay coast. Consequently podcasts are a brilliant way to make the most of the time. (And anyway, I need to listen to something, ‘cos if I don’t then I start monologuing like some lonely version of Peter Kay’s Car Share.)

One of the podcasts I’ve been particularly enjoying is Barnabas Piper and Todd Adkins’ 5 Leadership Questions. They’ll interview various guests in positions of leadership and ask them five questions, but it’s always got a fairly light-hearted conversational tone. Episode 21 looked at ‘Leadership Differences by Generation’, and Brad Limerick joined Piper & Adkins to consider how leadership models and expectations differ from generation to generation. It was a fascinating conversation.

My ears particularly pricked up when they talked about what millennials (i.e. Generation Y, or those born early in 1980’s to early 2000’s) could learn from previous generations, be it Generation X (born early 1960’s to early 1980’s) or Babyboomers (born post-WWII to early 1960’s).

As someone who falls into the millennial bucket (as would Piper), I figured it was worth jotting these cultural ‘correctives’ and giving them a mull over for myself. Where am I slipping into the ‘millennial default’?

So here they are:

  1. Learn to stick with it. Don’t just flit to the next thing. Be persistent and patient and hard-working.
  2. Don’t overlook things you really ought to be doing. Discharge your responsibilities rather than ignoring them for the sake of your ‘passions’. How you handle your now will determine your next.
  3. Respect the leaders that have been put in place over you. Actually have some integrity, even if you disagree. Don’t let frustration bubble into disrespect.
  4. Maybe just shut up and listen. Stop talking and instead take notes. Learn.

What do you make of those? Guilty as charged, or have they missed the point? It was interesting to see that Miriam Swaffield has recently challenged a perceived emphasis on the 18-30’s generation, and instead reminded us all that 18-30’s need the wider church.

I realise there’s only 4 things listed above, but, hey, 5 sounds like a better blogpost.

So, what would you add to the list for a fifth?

Perhaps you’re a Gen-X’er and you think my generation need to learn some lessons? Or maybe you’re a millennial but you can’t stand the culture we’re forming for ourselves? Pop your thoughts down below. Or just recommend me a new podcast.