March 27, 2007

Next Generation Leader

Posted in Books at 10:15 pm by Dan Barnett

My Pastor, Steve, gave me a book several months ago. It’s called “The Next Generation Leader,” by Andy Stanley. It’s probably the best book on leadership I’ve read. It’s made up of five essential qualities a leader must possess. It’s geared towards younger leaders, but it’s useful for anyone. As I read it, I kept recognizing these qualities in men I know. The one quality that stood out to me was that a next generation leader must be coachable. Many of the great leaders and successful athletes have coaches. Their coaches don’t teach them how to do what they do so much as observe from the outside.
They can see things in the leader that others may not. The big thing is that a leader must accept the criticism as well as the encouragement from the coach if he wants to be successful. We should find someone who we respect and can trust to take this role. It’s pretty easy to recruit them. All you have to do is ask them to watch you and tell you what you’re doing wrong. Most people will jump at that. I can remember back in high school when I was running cross-country. MY coach filled many more roles for me personally than just being a running coach. But the way he coached was the best way to do it. Most running coaches think they’re a better coach if they can run with you when you’re training. I disagree. My coach, Marty Sobczak, would run but away from us. He would watch us from a distance and up close. I can remember times when he would tell me one little adjustment I needed to make in my form that helped my endurance tremendously. That’s what a leadership coach must be able to do is step outside and observe. I got this book for my two brothers-in-law this Christmas. While reading the book, I saw these qualities in their lives and knew they would benefit from this book. One of them apparently thought I was getting him a joke book or something odd, but when he opened it he seemed very interested in reading it. If you know someone who has a natural leadership quality about them, I would encourage you to buy this book for them. They will thank you later, I pretty much guarantee.

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