Jeff Burningham is an entrepreneur, founder & chairman of Peak Ventures and Peak Capital Partners, an apartment investment and venture capital firm. He holds an MBA from Brigham Young University, where he started his first tech company, is an active philanthropist, and ran for governor of Utah as an “innovative outsider” in 2020. He also has a podcast called Extraordinary Us. Jeff was called as a young bishop at age 27. He and his wife Sally live in Provo, Utah.
3:05 – Introduction: recently ran for Governor of Utah; background is entrepreneurship, started several Utah companies, funded many startup companies. Run for Governor was an “interesting ride”. Came to the race as a newcomer with no background in politics. He remembers Elder Ballard’s talk about “good men should stand up” and felt compelled that they should do it. Discusses first debate in St. George.
7:30 – Advice for anyone who might be interested in public service. If no one will step up who isn’t a seasoned politician, what is the point? Friends supported, but also some friends were “not there” and not supportive at all. Be willing to step out and step up. Be proactive, not reactive.
11:50 – Utah is in a massive growth, economy is so strong. He tried to bring fresh perspective to political arena, as a businessman.
With growth in the area, we need good people to step up to serve and help lead the state.
17:10 – First business cleaning carpets and then first tech company while undergraduate at BYU. Entrepreneurship is an accelerated path to learning. He wanted to keep learning and found that it was the path for him. Fall down and fail, and then get up and learn. We all fail but learn from mistakes.
19:30 – Money is not the “root” of all evil if it is done right and providing jobs for families.
20:10 – Shares story of being called as bishop at 27 in a very unique way.
12:15 – Advice for a new bishop: Remember the burdens are not yours; direct members to the Savior. You can be a “repentance coach”, turning them to the Savior to pray and helping to change their hearts and allowing the atonement to work. It is all about the youth, focus on the youth. Have the counselors work with other members so you can focus on the youth.
- Don’t pretend to be an expert on something you are not. Everything good and bad that you can imagine is happening in your ward. Don’t pretend to be an expert. Step up and point them to the Savior.
- Be prayerful for and with members
- Find your “go to” readings that you can read together, you can share.
31:43 – During time as bishop, he rarely experienced feeling the “wrath” of God even when dealing with abuse, but he felt love and mercy of God and the Savior. It is not about punishment.
37:05 – Leadership is extra-special stewardship, so your thoughts, your prejudices, etc. don’t become the recipe for a successful ward. The handbook doesn’t cover ministering, love, stewardship, but it covers organization. You are not given a “checklist” for ministering. All leaders and callings are in the same boat; we should not be divided.
41:35 – Atonement is fascinating. Served a mission in Charlotte, North Carolina, and challenged on Bible every day. Had a desire to go to Jerusalem after mission and studied four months there. Had opportunity to study the Atonement in those sacred locations. The Atonement is about healing our hearts, allowing the Savior to make our hearts more like His.
We are saved by the grace of God, and we should embrace the word grace more in our culture.
47:05 – “Bootstrap” mentality: just pull yourself up and go for it. Because of this mentality, we can certainly use it in the workplace, but we cannot “bootstrap” ourselves to Heaven. We cannot do it without God. We are not meant to do it alone.
49:45 – Relationships vs. results. We often have expectations from people, ourselves, our God that WE place and when they are not met, we stop praying, treat others poorly, etc., because they have not met OUR expectations. What is the ultimate result? We want a relationship, so we need to work for those relationships, not the results we think we set. Any expectation you set up, if it doesn’t tighten or strengthen the relationship, it is probably wrong.
56:50 – He is passionate about unity. Diversity is happening all around us. How do we have unity as saints, as community members? Charity looks similar in every country he has visited.
1:02 – Covenants are what unites us as a people. How do we unify others through covenants? It needs to be “preached” constantly and then lived. Not church activities but neighborhood activities. People care more about what we do, not what we say. We can create unity; it takes work. Don’t use “I love you, but….” Love is unconditional.
1:04 – Fear vs. faith. We sometimes let mistakes of the past cloud our judgement, so we make decisions based out of fear and project into the future. The future is unknown, but we often make decisions about an unknown. Faith is the antithesis of fear and should make decisions based on faith. Forget the fear.
1:07 – Narrowness of the way. What are three to four things the Church is most known for around the world? Polygamy, temples, families, Word of Wisdom. Unfortunately it is not known for Jesus Christ. We need to change the narrative, broaden the net, and reach the mandate of the Church spreading through the world. How do we broaden the net with the scripturally defined “narrowness of the way”? How do we use sanctification vs justification? Sit shoulder-to-shoulder with those that are different than us.
Jeff has a podcast called Extraordinary Us: conversations with influential business leaders, sports leaders etc., talking about life and learning.
1:19 – How has being a leader helped you become a better follower of Christ? Failure, dusting himself off and getting up. This leads us to look to the Savior and make our heart more like His. When we lead, we fail. We are going to make mistakes and have an opportunity to rely on Jesus. Anytime we can rely on Jesus, that is the best. That has helped most.
Extraordinary Us podcast
Read the TRANSCRIPT of this podcast. Note: This transcript was machine-produced. We would be grateful for help correcting errors. You can help! Simply copy/paste the transcript text into a document, make the corrections, and then copy/paste the corrected text into the comments (you will need to split it up) on the page and we will get it published!