The Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley is one of my favorite communicators. I thoroughly enjoy his podcasts and respect what he has accomplished. When I read several blogs touting must-read leadership books, his was on there. I picked up a copy of Next Generation Leader and was not disappointed.

Andy looks at 5 Essential Traits for those who will shape the future. I will overview the 5 C’s:


Leaders must channel their energies towards those arenas in which they are most likely to succeed.

Andy says his biggest mistake early in leadership was focusing on things which were not his strengths. Playing to your strengths and delegating towards your weakness is wisdom.

He sums this principle up by saying, “Great leaders know when to follow.”

Competence is not required of leaders in areas, only the right ones.



The leader is the one who has the courage to initiate, to set things in motion, and to move ahead.

He urges leaders to not allow the “how to get in the way of the what.”

Michael Hyatt said a similar thing on a recent podcast, calling it the difference between the vision and the strategy. We may not know the exact plan, but we do know where we want to end up.

Do you have the courage to step out?


The leader must learn clear communication, even when he is not certain.

In a similar vein to the last point, Andy reminds us clarity of vision is more important than certainty of the outcome.

One of the worst things a leader can do is pretend to have the answer. Learn to use the words “I don’t know….but here is where we are going.”

Leaders don’t need all the answers just an eye on the big picture.


Without a coach you never will never be as good as you could be.

Coaching is something we must seek to give as well as receive. It begins with an honest assessment saying we are not as good as we could be. This jump starts the process of receiving input into our lives.

Coaches observe, they instruct, and bring inspiration.

Find this for yourself; be this for others.


Character provides a leader with the moral authority to bring people together.

Your character is always on display. You may possess talent and natural ability to make an impact, but it is character which will carve out your legacy.

Leadership is not merely and art, rather a matter of the heart.

While wrapping up this book, it shocked me to see it was nearly 10 years old. The publication date coupled with timeless content qualifies this as a leadership classic.


What are some of your favorite leadership books? Are you a Next Generation Leader?

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. 
CC Photo by familymwr on Flckr.