Next Generation Leader

I just finished reading Andy Stanley’s Next Generation Leader, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In the book, the author highlights five areas that should and will characterize the leaders of the future: competence, courage, clarity, coaching, and character.

Just looking back at the passages and places that I highlighted, I’m reminded as to how impacting this book has the potential to be.

Competence

  • But leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people.

Courage

  • Leaders worth following are always careful. They are careful because they genuinely care for those who have chosen to follow.
  • Somebody has to go first. By going first, the leader furnishes confidence to those who follow. In this way, leaders give permission.
  • God had called and equipped David to lead. But it took an act of courage for that call to be recognized by the public. Killing Goliath did not make David a leader, but it marked him as one.
  • Capital follows courage, and what always precedes how.
  • In addition to knowing when to say no, next generation leaders must be willing to face current reality.
  • If we are not careful, we will ignore the brutal facts and act instead on what we have convinced ourselves to be true.

Clarity

  • Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. It never goes away. Uncertainty is not an indication of poor leadership; it underscores the need for leadership.
  • The more responsibility you assume as a leader, the more uncertainty you will be expected to manage.
  • The individual in your organization who communicates the clearest vision will often be perceived as the leader. Clarity is perceived as leadership.
  • Uncertainty exposes a lack of knowledge. Pretending exposes a lack of character.
  • Omniscience is not a requirement for leadership. A willingness to listen is.
  • Every good coach is willing to scrap his plan to win.
  • Clarity of vision will compensate for uncertainty in planning.
  • Pencil in your plans. Write your vision in ink.

Coaching

  • 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.
  • Great leaders are great learners. But learning assumes an attitude of submission. And submission isn’t something all leaders are comfortable with.
  • If you are not teachable, you are not coachable. Unfortunately, the younger we are, the more we think we know and the less likely we are to genuinely place ourselves under the influence of a leadership coach.
  • The wise man knows his limitations. It is the fool who believes he has none.
  • Learn everything you can from everbody you can.

Character

  • Character is what makes a leader worth following. Integrity is not necesary if your aspirations as a leader end with simply persuading people to follow you. But if at the end of the day your intent is for those who follow you to respect you, integrity is a must.
  • Character involves doing what’s right because it’s the right thing to do – regardless of the cost.
  • Predeciding to do what’s right will cost you.
  • Leading with character is not about doing right to avoid consequences. Leaders worth following do the right thing because it is the right thing. Virtue is not a means to an end. It is the end.
  • There is a significant difference between having a following and being worth following.
  • Character is personal, but it is not private.

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