Posted by: Brian Musser | March 12, 2013

Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley (A Book Review)

9781590525395_p0_v1_s260x420BloggingForBooks-120x600Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley

I wrote this review for the WaterBrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books Program.  The copy I reviewed I received free from the program.

Leadership and leadership training is something I think I know about.  I may be a little bit of a snob when it comes to leadership.  On occasion Drexel University, where I am the Baptist Campus Minister, allows me to speak on certain topics within their Student Affairs leadership development program called CEO LEAD.  (If you are part of the Drexel Community I will teaching a seminar Finding Still Waters this Tuesday at 6 PM in Creese Conference Room D.  It is about work/rest balance.)

So the first thing I did when picking up Andy Stanley’s book on leadership was to check out the notes.  Who has he read?  Who does he cite?  Listed in the notes are John Maxwell, Stephen Covey, Kouzes and Posner, Bennis and Nanus, Max De Pree and Jim Collins.  That is a great list to start with.  Even if the book was just a summary of what those other authors say it would be a quality book.

The awesome thing is that Stanley does more than summarize.  He communicates.  His book is simple.  His five essentials are easy to understand and apply.  His chapters move fast and are fun to read.  I love Kouzes and Posner’s The Leadership Challenge but it is a 400 page text book.  Very seldom will a next generation leader sit down and read that with me. However, Stanley’s accessible 165 page book is something I can see students reading.  And if they aren’t able to read the whole thing, each chapter and section are outlined and teachable.  This book is designed to be taught.

As far as the content, his five essentials, Competence, Courage, Clarity, Coachability and Character will create a great bedrock for future leaders.

“You must discover and play to your strength and delegate your weaknesses.  You’ve got to be courageous, and you’ve got to be clear in the midst of uncertainty.  You need to find a leadership coach.  And along the way it is absolutely essential that you maintain your character.” (p. 161)

Tomorrow, I will be in a meeting with the supervisor for Baptist Campus Ministries and the Next Generation Team in the Greater Philadelphia area.  I will be suggesting to him to look at this book and see if we want to use it as a guide for the leadership development programming that we do with our students.  In other words, I’m recommending this book to my boss so I will definitely recommend it to you.

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