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  • Writer's pictureTim Robinson

Global Leadership Summit 2012 – The Generations

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Craig Groshel is the founder and senior pastor of, a thriving multimedia multi-site church. One of their products is youversion, the Bible app for mobile phones, tablets and computers. It is an exciting product for me, because there are plans afoot to get all the translations of the Bible in Nigeria (and the rest of the world) on there. Cool, hey? Great chance to hear from the guy who started it up.

I was looking forward to a talk about how to use technology to engage your team and enthuse people, but no – Paul a middle-aged man was going to talk about working across the generations. He turned out to be a great presenter, and I’d love to read some of his other materials.

To the older generation: (He defined older – “If you need to ask the question, you are probably older.”)

If you are not dead, you are not done. A motto many people in our org have lived by! His point was that maybe retiring from full-time ministry is appropriate, but you are never done leading people, never done influencing people, never done training people, never done mentoring people. If you aren’t dead, you aren’t done.

Don’t delegate tasks, delegate authority. Delegating tasks will get jobs done and will create followers. Delegating authority will get jobs done, probably not the way you would do them, but it will create leaders. Invest in those behind you, they can do more than you did.

Authenticity trumps cool. The younger generation isn’t bothered about cool – what they want is real. Don’t pretend to be something you are not, thinking that is going to solidify the relationship. You have to be authentic.

To the young ones:

You NEED those who have gone before you. You can learn from them, avoid their mistakes, you can do more than they did. Get over your sense of entitlement. It isn’t your fault, it is what has been programmed into you by those who went before, but get over it! Because it will limit others’ ability to invest in you.

Honour those who have gone before you, and those who are over you. Honour builds trust, it adds value and it builds up. Public honour allows private influence. Respect is earned by honour given.  Be intentional with giving honour, it needs to be above and beyond the normal expectation.

To both:

Create ongoing feedback loops. Learn to listen to each other and learn to explore together.

Create specific mentoring moments. If you aren’t deliberate about it, they will get pushed back and eventually never happen. If you are intentional about it, it will happen, it will create momentum and you will both benefit more from the session together.

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