Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley

Next Generation Leader - Andy Stanley
                 There was a period of time 10-15 years ago, when the 'leadership' movement was dominating the Christian world. Books, CDs and seminars abounded in teaching leadership principles to individuals in every area possible. Sometimes, the things that were lacking amidst all of the hype were proven leaders who had lived some of the principles they were espousing, and not merely parroting others who had gone before them. But, then, we  come to one of Andy Stanley's latest books, Next Generation Leader.
                 Andy Stanley, himself, is a proven leader. The Pastor of Northpoint Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia not only leads thousands of people weekly, but through his ministry other churches are springing up all over the country and multitudes of Pastors across the United States look to him as a teacher, mentor and spiritual father. The book, Next Gneration Leader, declares the truths that have helped him to lead and that he believes will help both those who are leading now and those who will be the leaders of the future.
                The book is divided into five sections, each beginning with the letter "C", standing for Competenece, Courage, Clarity, Coaching, and Character. The chapters then develop each of those topics and expand the ideas presented for the subject being exmined. No chapter is so lengthy that you couldn't read it in just a few minutes time. But, each chapter is packed with "food for thought" that will keep you chewing on the rich truths presented.
                 One of the things I appreciated most about the book was the personal illustrations the author uses to drive home his points. Rather than the stories coming off as the boastings of a
"leadership guru" declaring how to be perfect, Andy Stanley is very transparent and vulnerable as he relates not the only the times when he knew what to do, but the times when he had to learn by not knowing what to do and having to rely on others on his team, who were talented and gifted leaders also. I particularly found the story of the developement of their "syamese sanctuaries" a fascinating lessson in courage, because leadership requires the courage to take risks and do things that can potentially fail. In that case, he took a risk that proved to be a great decision. But you'll have to read that section to find out more about it.
                 It was great to read a book on leadership that wasn't full of the lists of all of the things you feel like you'll never be able to accomplish, nor the motivational speeches of an athletic instructor who doesn't know if you have what it takes to stay in the game. Next Generation Leader was inspiring, encouraging and educational.  I received this book for free from "Water Brook/Multnomah Publishing Group" for this review. I am very glad that I had the privilege of reading it. You may read an excerpt at http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/pdf/SneakPeekNextGenerationLeader.pdf

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