Are You a Catalytic Leader?

I’ve known Brad Lomenick for over a decade and have participated in his Catalyst leadership events for almost as long. Helping leaders grow is their stated desire, and it’s one that I fully support. Our growth as leaders is central to our success. It’s also increasingly urgent.

The Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick

The tools of influence are more accessible today that ever before. When barriers come down, participation goes up. That means a growing number of people are flooding into leadership roles, many of them unprepared.

Instead of waiting decades trudging through the traditional leadership track in business, nonprofits, and churches, young people are seeing the needs and opportunities around them and stepping up to make a difference today.

This is a good thing—except when it isn’t. I can’t tell you the number of leaders I’ve personally seen blow up and burn out. Some good can come out these moments, particularly if we’re teachable. But we can shortcut a lot of those difficult learning experiences if we apply the learning of others.

That’s why I’m excited to tell you about Brad’s new book The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker.

From his ten years of training leaders at Catalyst Brad distills eight essentials to help leaders not only lead now, but also lead well:

  1. Calling
  2. Authenticity
  3. Passion
  4. Capability
  5. Courage
  6. Principle
  7. Hope
  8. Collaboration

Brad breaks down these traits and shows how they work on the ground through a ton of personal examples, insights from Catalyst speakers, and original statistical research of contemporary leaders by the Barna Group.

One thing I appreciate is Brad’s willingness to talk about when and how he falls short. Life’s too brief for bluffing, and Brad’s not even interested. Instead he shows where he went wrong and how others can avoid the same setbacks.

I also appreciate the way he stresses the importance of the leader’s heart, something I try to underscore whenever I can.

“Too many [modern leaders] build up their heads without minding their hearts,” he says, adding, “spiritual ardor is integral, rather than accessory, to leading well.”

For readers to get the most out of The Catalyst Leader, I think there are three ways to best approach it:

  1. As a mirror. The Catalyst Leader is a great self-evaluation tool. It shows us our defects and identifies areas of improvement with proven ways of doing so.
  2. As a map. The Catalyst Leader also gives us a guide to danger zones and pitfalls of contemporary leadership. Following the path laid out here greatly improves our chance of finishing the journey well.
  3. As a mentor. The Catalyst Leader offers insight from many of the most influential leaders on the scene today. It gives us the chance to learn from their stories and how to apply the best learning to our own organizations.

I’m honored to work with Brad, and this book is an example of why. Well-written, relevant, and directed at the needs of contemporary influencers, The Catalyst Leader shortcuts a lot of hard lessons and can help leaders at any level become more effective today.

I gave away 50 copies of The Catalyst Leader. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.

Question: Is your leadership “catalytic”? Where have you seen success in initiating change? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Cassandra

    As a future leader, I hope to be catalytic. I’ve been watching our church leader turn our congregation from inwardly focused to externally focused.

  • Terry Ledford

    I agree that it’s easier to become a leader with current technology. Seth Godin’s book tribes presents this well. I also agree that it is very easy to burn one’s self out trying to make this happen quickly and not leaving enough margin to stay in balance.

  • Tomi Grover

    I have been called a provacatuer – someone who provokes people to good works. I am curious if that is similar to what he describes as a catalyst…

  • Steve Prosser

    I am a missionary at a mission college in South Africa but will be
    getting involved in leadership training and church planting in Europe
    over the coming months. Transitioning into this new work will be a
    challenge for me and I am therefore currently doing everything I can to
    improve the quality of my leadership skills.

  • Bert Wong

    Sounds like a very thought-provoking book!

  • JenFlan

    I think this is is very relevant to me, and I appreciate the post! It’s one thing to see needs and even possible solutions to problems. But, knowing the BEST solution, the best timing and the best way to approach it has been more challenging for me. I’m not interested in jumping in just for the sake of “doing” but in creating sustainable solutions so that I don’t, as you mention, burn out and so that the solution truly solves the problem and is able to last. Good food for thought today, thanks!

  • Aurelia Evers Weems

    Just ordered the kindle version so could start reading right away.

  • Zack Williamson

    I am a church planting pastor who desperately needs to read this. Probably will regardless of a win or not, but thank you for the opportunity to win the book.