Next Generation Leader (Five Essentials for Those Who Will Shape Our Future); author Andy Stanley.
Andy is by far one of my favorite pastors and speakers. He is the founder of North Point Ministries and each Sunday more than 33,000 people attend worship services at North Points five locations in Atlanta, GA.
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Andy wrote this book to provide a playbook for the up and coming next generation of leaders. The layout of this book is in an easy to read format and laid out extremely well in five areas. I will once again provide you with a quasi book summary and review. My book summaries include my highlighted notes as well as a semi outline of the content in the book.
Andy began this book with these questions:
- What are the leadership principles I wish someone had shared with me when I was a young leader?
- What do I know now that I wish I had known then?
- Of all that could be said about leadership, what must be conveyed to next generation leaders?
Here are the five areas that Andy outlined based on these questions.
Leaders must channel their energy toward those arenas of leadership in which they are most likely to excel.
Two best kept secrets of leadership are:
- The less you do the more you can accomplish.
- The less you do, the more you enable others to accomplish.
- The secret of concentration is elimination.
- The moment a leader steps away from his core competencies, his effectiveness as a leader diminishes.
- Leaders attract other leaders whose skills come close to matching but rarely surpass their own.
- When we exert our authority in an area where we lack competence, we can derail projects and demotivate those who have the skills we lack.
- The inability for a leader to own up to personal shortcomings is often rooted in some sort of insecurity.
- And the truth is admitting a weakness is a sign of strength.
- Leadership is about getting things done through other people.
- If a there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is the leaders fault.
- John Maxwell says this: You are most valuable as leader where you add the most value.
- Leaders must narrow down their job to the one or two things that only they can do.
- Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing.
- Being busy isn’t being productive.
- Andy paired his must do’s to three things: Corporate vision casting, Corporate communication, and Leadership development.
- It is better to launch people than it is to lose people. Embrace people strengths on your team and help them develop those skills and maybe you will launch them in a new career.
The leader of an enterprise isn’t always the smarts or most creative person on the team. He isn’t necessarily the first to identify a oppurtinty. The leader is the one who has the courage to initiate, to set things in motion, to move ahead.
- Wherever there is fear there is opportunity, where there is great fear there is great opportunity.
- The leader fears missing an opportunity.
- Eventually a leaders lust for progress overwhelms his reluctance to take risks.
- Fear, not a lock of good ideas, is usually what keeps a man or woman standing on the sidelines.
- A leaders regrets generally revolve around missed opportunities.
- An unwillingness to accept risk has swamped more leaders.
- Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage assumes fear.
- If you don’t conquer your fear, you are going to miss out on some great things in life.
- Leaders are not always the first to see an opportunity. They are simply the first to seize an opportunity.
- A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody is whispering privately.
- Accepting the status quo is the equivalent to accepting a death sentence.
- It is easier to accept things as they are than it is to change them. Some people accept the status quo and live with it.
- Progress requires change.
- As a leader if we can’t move things forward then its time to move on.
- Careful is cerebral; fearful is emotional
- Careful is fueled by information, fearful is fueled by imagination
- Careful calculates risk; fearful avoids risk
- Careful wants to achieve success; fearful wants to avoid failure
- Careful is concerned about progress; fearful is concerned about protection.
- The courage to dream always precedes the capital needed to finance the dream.
- The only way to figure out how something can get done is to refuse to take your eye off what needs to be done.
Seven Commandments of Reality:
- Thou shalt not pretend
- Thou shalt not turn a blind eye.
- Thou shalt not exaggerate.
- Thou shalt not shoot the bearer of bad news.
- Thou shalt not hide behind the numbers
- Thou shalt not ignore constructive criticism.
- Thou shalt not isolate thyself.
Uncertain times require clear directives from this in leadership. Yet the temptation for young leaders is to allow uncertainty to leave you paralyzed. A next generation leader must learn to be clear even when he is not certain.
- Uncertainty is not an indication of poor leadership; it underscores the need for leadership.
- Uncertainty creates the necessary condition for leadership.
- You can’t hold people accountable for things that aren’t clear. If you’re unwilling to make decisions with limited information, you can’t achieve clarity.
- As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear.
- You can survive being wrong, but you can’t survive being unclear.
- I will not follow a leader who pretends to know and does nothing to quell their ignorance.
- The goal is to win, not run special plays.
4. Coaching: You may be good. You may even be better than everyone else. But without a coach you will never be as good as you could be.
- I can go farther and faster with someone coaching me than I can on my own.
- An effective coach does not need to possess more skills than the person he is coaching.
- A coach helps us assess the present so that we operate more effectively in the future.
- Coaching does not center on problem solving, instead it focuses on performance enhancement.
- A coach is going to be proactive in their instruction and evaluation. A coach is often on the scene watching rather than in an office waiting for a report.
- If you are not teachable your are not coachable.
Solomon’s thoughts on seeking counsel:
- Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. (Proverbs 1:5, NIV)
- The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listen to advice. (proverbs 12:15, NIV)
- Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (proverbs 15:22, NIV)
- Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. (proverbs 19:20, NIV)
- An effective leadership coach does these three things:
- 1. Observes. 2. Instructs. 3. Inspires.
- Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance.
- Learn everything you can from everybody you can.
- As a leader you are not responsible for knowing everything there is to know about leadership. But you are responsible for sharing what you do know with the leaders around you.
5. Character: You can lead without character, but you wont be a leader worth following. Character provides next germination leaders with the moral authority necessary to bring together the people and resources to further an enterprise.
- Character is to do what is right even when its hard.
- Character is will because it requires a willingness to make tough decisions, decisions that sometimes run contrary to emotion, intuition, economics, current trends, and in the eyes of some, common sense.
- Taking the time to develop maturity requires initiative and discipline.
- The become a leader worth following you must be intentional about developing the inner man.
Andy’s personal definition of success narrowed down to nine words. What are yours?
These nine words form a perimeter around him.
- Talent and determination determine your potential, character determines your legacy.
My advice to you whether you are a leader now, want to be a leader, a parent, or anyone else, you should read the book. Yes. Everyone should read this book. Sure it is titled as a leadership book, but we are all leaders in our own life, so why not learn some new things so we can be more effective in leading ourself, which at times, is the hardest part of leadership.
To your success and your future.