Leadership series: Andy Stanley

“Critique  of Andy Stanley at the SEU Leadership forum”

This is a critique of the presentation given by Andy Stanley on March 11, 2010 at the Southeastern University Leadership forum.

Andy Stanley’s main point in this presentation as that you have to find the areas in which you are good at and stick within that area. Andy spent a lot of time explaining that often, great leaders become overwhelmed and less effective because they don’t want to pass opportunities off to other people.

  • I was not aware that delegating things you hate to do is wrong. Andy Stanley explained that there are jobs that he loathes as a person and a leader, and he feels that passing them on to other people is somewhat degrading to that person. The reality is, that often those people who feel gifted in that particular area will not only love the opportunity, but will do exceedingly well within that area. God has called everyone to specific jobs and tasks, sometimes answering the phone at a local business or church may be the one thing we are terrible at, but it may be the one thing that someone else is great at. This is a principle that Andy Stanley talks a lot about in his book, The Next Generation Leader.
  • Another thing that Andy Stanley talked about that I was previously unaware of, was that “the less you do, the more you help others.” This sounds ridiculous but in reality it makes a lot of sense. If you are constantly taking on all the jobs within your organization, not only are you overburdening yourself and thus becoming less effective, but you are taking opportunities away from others who would have done great in those positions. Leaders love to do everything themselves, and as a result they often do not leave much room for others to step in and try their hand at a task. This is a mistake that needs to be avoided at all costs.

I would say the most helpful part of the whole presentation was seeing how successful Andy Stanley is at utilizing those around him in a positive and uplifting manner. Often it is easy to pass responsibilities on to other people simply to avoid work, but to delegate and train those individuals is much harder. For Andy Stanley it is important that not only are those jobs delegated, but that those to whom they are give are trained to become leaders themselves. This is not something you see a lot of in a time when “selfishness” and “success” have run rampant. This philosophy is the complete opposite and emphasizes the importance of others and works to build them up to become “future leaders,” as Andy Stanley likes to call them.

“I am more valuable in my sweet spot and exploiting my strengths.” This quote really sums up what Andy Stanley was saying all throughout his presentation. If you are a leader and have become stressed, apathetic, and plain frustrated, it is vital that you step back and ask yourself if what you are doing is actually something you should be putting time and effort into. Often we can be good at multiple things, but if we do multiple things and neglect the “one thing” that drives us, then we are not being effective. This is all what Andy Stanley was saying through each story and illustration, and it would be best to take these ideas and concepts and put them into action. Leaders need to be effective and strategic, without being strategic your “effectiveness,” may in fact be hindering you in the long run.

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