Brad Lomenick on Being Humble, Staying Hungry and Always Hustling


Brad_Lomenick_podcastThanks so much for joining us today for this episode of the unSeminary podcast. We’re absolutely honored to have Brad Lomenick with us today.

Brad is one of those guys who knows everyone, so you’ve probably heard of him or seen him a time or two. He spent 12 years leading the Catalyst Movement. Currently he’s an author as well as a consultant and speaker for Blinc Consulting. Brad grew up in Oklahoma and majored in history in college. He thought he’d go to law school, but then spent 5 years on a ranch in Colorado. Those years taught him about teamwork and being a part of something bigger than himself. He joined with a consulting firm after his time on the ranch and one of their clients was INJOY, John Maxwell’s organization. Brad learned a lot working first as a consultant for INJOY and then working with them directly. God turned his life around from what he had originally expected, but he’s grown over the years into consulting and teaching leadership.

Today, Brad talks with us about taking advantage of leadership development opportunities at conferences as well as raising up new leaders to take your place.

  • Experience a conference with your team. // “I don’t say that as someone trying to get more registrations,” Brad says. “The shared experience is what you bring back that has the most value and is the most memorable.” Although most people won’t remember who spoke or what happened while actually at the conference, the conversations and experiences with their team are the most powerful.
  • Focus on conversations, community, & connections. // The second step to making your conference or gathering worth your time is to have a list of who you want to meet before you get there. It’s so easy to just say we want to meet everyone who is there or everyone we possibly can, and then end up meeting no one because we’re too overwhelmed getting from one place to another. Check the list of speakers and vendors and write down the ones you’d like to meet most. Find out what sessions other leaders and churches will be attending, and arrange a time to meet someone you’ve been communicating with online. The people who are coming to these conferences are looking for ways to grow so connecting with others is the best takeaway of all. “Content is a commodity now,” Brad notes, “Conversations, community, connections—those are the things you have to lean into.”
  • Ask yourself, “Do I need to step out of the way?” // In speaking about his choice to step down from his position at Catalyst, Brad explains: “Every leader at every level in every organization – part of your role is to be looking at your current assignment saying, ‘Do I need to move on and step out of the way?’ Because it is part of your legacy and stewardship as a leader to replace yourself.” What are opportunities that only you can do? Examine your current role and see what you can hand off to empower the people who will take the baton after you.

You can learn more about Brad and his book H3 LEADERSHIP: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle. at his website www.bradlomenick.com.

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Episode Highlights

00:40 // Rich introduces Brad Lomenick and welcomes him to the show.

01:44 // Brad tells us his story.

06:15 // Rich shares his experience of Catalyst.

08:00 // Brad tells us how to extract the most out of conferences and events.

12:20 // Brad talks about creating our own customized experiences.

13:58 // Brad tells us why they focus on creating fun at Catalyst.

16:27 // Rich shares how they create fun at his church.

19:34 // Brad talks about his decision to transition from Catalyst.

25:00 // Brad talks about the importance of planning for a successor in leadership.

26:20 // Brad and Rich discuss Brad’s Book, H3 Leadership.

30:50 // Brad offers his contact details.

31:22 // Brad finishes by encouraging the listeners to stay faithful.

Episode Transcript

Rich – Well hey everybody, welcome to the unSeminary podcast, my name’s Rich Birch, the host around these parts. I am so glad that you have decided to spend some time with us today, we know that you’ve got a lot going on and we say this all the time, we know that you’ve got a lot going on at your church, but it’s true and we’re just honored that you would take some time out today, pop us in your earbuds and listen in to today’s conversation.

I’m really honored to have today’s guest, Brad Lomenick with us. Brad’s a fantastic leader, he’s one of those guys that knows everybody, you can’t ever seem to get away from him. He spent 12 years leading The Catalyst Movement, which you may be familiar with the Catalyst Conference or the Catalyst One Day, really a movement of emerging leaders.

Currently he’s the founder of an organization called Blinc, he’s a leadership consultant speaker, he’s the author of a great book that I want to make sure you learn a little bit more about but Brad, welcome to the show.

Brad – Thank you rich, awesome to be on Man.

Rich – I’m so glad you’re here.

Brad – I’m a first time caller but long time listener.

Rich – Nice, that’s great. Well here we are, spinning the Stax of Wax, taking requests from Brad.

Brad – That’s right, if you have a second life, if you want an ultimate career you could be a radio host. I’m telling you.

Rich – That’s funny.

Brad – You’ve got the voice for it.

Rich – Oh nice, I’ve got the face for it too, so that’s a good thing.

Brad – Listen, you and I both. We’ve got the hair for it.

Rich – Yeah, absolutely. Well Brad, why don’t you kind of give people the Brad story? I know that’s really hard but kind of compress down, give us a bit of your background, tell us a little bit about who you are.

Brad – Yeah. Oklahoma born. I grew up outside of Tulsa, a little town called Bristow. I went to school at the University of Oklahoma. So we are the only team this year, in the college athletic world, that got two teams into the final four.

Rich – Nice.

Brad – Now we didn’t do much once we got there, but football and basketball, we both had teams in the final four.

Rich – Amazing.

Brad – So you know, like hey, we’re little out-coast in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma that’s doing great things.

Rich – Nice.

Brad – I was a history major in college, which is pretty much worthless.

Rich – I was going to say, you use that every day in your…

Brad – Yes, I think I was just anti everything else, so I just decided that I liked history. I graduated, thought I was going to go to law school and then went and spent five years on a ranch in Colorado and that was like these formative years of work ethic and work theology and understanding the idea of, what does it mean to actually be in the middle of an organization and learn how to lead and deal with people? But it was a total like 90 degree turn of what I thought God had sort of planned for my life, which was to be in politics and to sort of be in the middle of that world of culture.

So after working on this ranch and riding horses and wearing Wranglers and playing cowboy, truly like I was a cowboy.

Rich – Yes.

Brad – I ended up connecting with a couple of guys who had a small consulting firm and went and joined up with them. I knew nothing about consulting, I knew nothing about management stuff, I was a history major and then worked on a ranch riding horses.

Rich – Right, there’s a logical connection there, between that and consulting.

Brad – Yeah exactly. One of our clients at the time, this was like the late ‘90s, one of our clients was an organization called INJOY, which if anybody follows John Maxwell, they know that that was his original organization. So I got involved with John and just the more I got connected into that world, first as a consultant, then second as a sort of much more involved free agent and then third as a fulltime employee, I got connected with Catalyst and will all of the events and Simulcast and leadership stuff John was doing.

So really my teeth have been cut for the last 16 years, 17 years on being around the organization that John created and there’s been several manifestations of that and there’s been lots of different expressions of it. But I feel like my leadership heritage and the things I’ve learned about leadership have been really swimming in the pool and being in the slipstream of John Maxwell.

So obviously Catalyst for me was a huge part of that story and the last year and a half, we can talk more about this, but I stepped out of leading Catalyst and now I’m basically unemployed, that’s what I tell people. I don’t really have a job, although I have my own little thing and I do a lot of advising and consulting. It’s great, you know, Atlanta’s home, Passion City Church is home church, so I spend a lot of time and energy and bandwidth and a lot of my sort of emotional and spiritual capital is invested… well a lot of my spiritual capital is invested in the house and Passion City Church.

So that’s obviously a really small movement. The Passion Conference, they’re not doing everything, so I get to play in lots of different sandboxes. I’m not married, I’m the most eligible bachelor in all of Christianity.

Rich – Nice, great. Check out bradlomenick.com if you’re interested.

Brad – Right, yeah. I feel like I should be like the spokesperson for eHarmony, like I’m that guy.

Rich – You’re that guy, nice.

Brad – But as Craig Groeschel would always say at the Catalyst One Day, it’s like, “He actually is employable, he doesn’t live at home with his parents, he’s a normal person.”

Rich – Right.

Brad – You know, it just never happened for me. It’s given me a lot of opportunities to do other things in life, but yeah, that’s my Reader’s Digest version.

Rich – I appreciate that Brad, as someone who’s benefited, before I knew you, has benefited from your ministry through Catalyst, I just say thank you for your years of leadership, just incredibly influential, I’m just so thankful for this.

You’ll get a kick out of this, a couple of years ago, this was probably five years ago now, I was at Catalyst and this guy stops me, I’m just there, I’m just an attendee, I’ve got my bag, I’m walking around or whatever, checking out the vendors and this guy stops me and says, “Hey, wait a second, wait a second, wait a second. Can I take your picture?” and I said, “What?” He went, “Oh no, you just stand there, I’ll tell you in a minute why. Can I take your picture?” and I’m like, “Okay, sure.” He takes my picture and then I said, “Why did you take my picture?” He said, “Well my wife was asking, ‘Who’s attending Catalyst? What’s the kind of person that attends Catalyst?’ So I saw you and you’re the guy, you’re the person that attends it,” and I was like, “Oh, I think that’s a compliment.”

Brad – You’re the poster boy.

Rich – I know, I was like, “Oh wow, okay.” I don’t know if that’s where…

Brad – Yeah, well you probably had your cool bag.

Rich – Saddlebag or whatever.

Brad – Yeah and had a triple bottom line cause tied to it and you had your hipster glasses on.

Rich – Exactly.

Brad – I like to call my style Rich, you’ll appreciate this because you and I are probably the same level of style, which is the classic hipster.

Rich – Yes.

Brad – That’s what I want to be. I want to be the classic hipster.

Rich – Nice.

Brad – I’m not trying too hard, but I can still run with the big boys as relates to fashion.

Rich – Yeah, I just can’t have the beard, that’s the problem.

Brad – Yeah that’s true, me too, yeah.

Rich – Nice. Well you know what, I thought it was kind of interesting, you’ve been on the development side of organizing a lot of events and still really do a bunch of that work, which is great, and a lot of people that listen in, we’re consumers of those kinds of experiences. As someone that leads those types of events, what would you say are some best practices of kind of getting the most out of them? We invest a lot of time, effort, energy, money to go to these kinds of things, how do we extract the most out of them for our ministry and for us personally?

Brad – Great question. First would this, go with your team and I don’t say that now as a card carrying Catalyst person that’s trying to get more registrations. I truly say that as somebody who produced and now consumes conferences. The best way to experience it is with other people and your team, the shared experience, many times is what you bring back that has the most value and is the most memorable. Most people don’t remember like who spoke or what happened but they do remember the conversations that are occurring in the van or in the rental car or on the plane ride back or at dinner that night. So that one’s huge.

The second one would be, have a list, going into the event or conference or gathering, of who do you want to meet and that could be everybody from, “I want to meet that speaker or I want to meet this person from this…

Rich – Publisher, church or whatever, yeah.

Brad – Or the other church. I want to meet that other executive pastor, I want to meet that worship leader.” Sometimes we go into it going, “I just want to meet everybody,” and then we meet nobody, because we didn’t really have like a set sense of what would success look like.

So figure out who you want to meet and then look for opportunities to build community and what I mean by that is, find those ways that you’re both adding value to other people as well as building your own infrastructure. That could be simply walking… as you said, you were walking around looking at the booths and the organizations there. Well like, don’t just walk around and look at those.

Rich – Talk with them.

Brad – Yeah talk with them. They are so hungry to actually connect with people. I’ve talked to people who’ve said, “Yeah I talked to that publisher that was at Catalyst at their booth and they connected me with an editor and now all of a sudden I’ve got a book deal.”

Rich – Right, right.

Brad – “Because I was just walking around, paying attention to people who were there.”

Rich – Just talking, yeah.

Brad – Things like Catalyst, things like Leadership Summit, things like any other event you put in there.

Rich – Orange Conference, whatever.

Brad – Orange Conference, the people who show up are actually leading and trying to get better, so you’ve got this collected energy of a lot of like really high level people. That’s the best thing you can take away.

Rich – Absolutely.

Brad – It’s that sense of, how am I adding to you and how are you adding to me? Obviously the sessions are great, the speakers, the bands, the experience, the program, all that, but that’s not the most authentic/available to you in the sense of only what you can take away. Like, you can go and buy the DVD sets.

Rich – Right.

Brad – Or watch online all the content.

Rich – Right.

Brad – The content is a commodity now. So the conversations, community, connections, those are the things that you have to lean in to and actually make sure you get out of something like that.

Rich – It’s so true. I remember years ago, a mutual friend, Carey Nieuwhof, I worked for him for a little bit, we went to a conference together and we had a team of people that we took and I still remember, it was literally that experience. I can’t remember, you know, insert, brand name, pastor said that morning, but that night I still remember, we went out for frozen yoghurt and it was just our team around the circle and it was a really tender conversation and I still, like yeah, that sticks with you right? Those experiences stick with you.

Then the same, I’ve said to other folks, you sit down, even in Catalyst, you have thousands of people, you’re going to end up in a row besides some people you don’t know, and you’re probably going to be there early because you’ve got nothing else to do, so say hi to them, like, “Hey, tell me about who you are,” and you’d be amazed, the people you run into and you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s incredible, like you’re just sitting here beside me,” for sure.

Brad – I think the lesson is, if you’re going to spend the dollars and the energy to get there, then put in the energy to actually create your own experience.

Rich – Yeah definitely.

Brad – I mean, you have to like truly look at this as, “I’m going to go and make my experience better than if I was just to sit back and go, okay I’m here, now Catalyst or Orange or Leadership Summit, you entertain me.”

Rich – Yeah, “Do something to me,” yeah.

Brad – “You connect me,” and conference people, anybody that puts on events, the greatest pain point that most conference organizers feel is that I’m not actually connecting people, like I’m not actually creating community, even though you’ll talk about it and it looks good on a marketing brochure. Most conferences are awful at creating community because the easiest thing to do as a conference organizer is to produce content.

Rich – Right.

Brad – That is the thing that is the lowest barrier to entry. So it’s up to you many times, as the attendee, to actually like put more energy into creating your own sense of, my shared customized experience, that I walk away and go, “Wow, I met five people who are going to be friends now for the next ten years and I’m going to be able to learn from them.” So that’s crucial.

Rich – When you were producing Catalyst in the early days, it seems like you led the way, at least in the Christian market. There was obviously, you’d got music, you’d got speakers, there was kind of the stuff you would say is typical programming, but then at least Catalyst was the first place I’d been where there was like games in the lobby and like goofy stuff going on out in front of the arena. Was that a part of what was driving some of that thinking like, “We’ve got to get people kind of doing stuff active together,” was that what was going on there?

Brad – Yes for sure. Louie Giglio would always say, he would say, “I know if I’m at Catalyst if there’s a clown walking around on stilts in the front parking lot and there is some kind of animal in the back parking lot.”

Rich – It’s true.

Brad – He said, “I knew I was at Catalyst if that was happening.”

Rich – Yes that’s very true.

Brad – The reason for that was a couple of things. One, we wanted to create margin.

Rich – Okay.

Brad – Because we know, as leaders and as conference people, we would watch other events, when you had margin in the program you are able to actually retain more knowledge and content because you’re giving your brain the opportunity to be amused. Like a lot of events you go to it just like serious, serious, serious, serious, serious, serious, serious.

Rich – The most important topic you’ve every taught…

Brad – At some point you just go, “Stop. I’m done. I can’t take anymore.”

Rich – Yes.

Brad – So we wanted to create those margin moments because it actually helps you retain better.

Secondly, it’s just more fun. Why are we getting rid of humor of fun of experiences and shared experiences, breaking world records, having games in the lobby, like creating an environment where people are actually doing something as row or as a room, the idea that there’s funny? Like we were always prodding ourselves on let’s make sure we have elements of humor.

Rich – Yes, right.

Brad – Because humor is actually creating margin but here’s what it also does Rich, which this was so important to us, it was that we were taking away any sense, at an event like Catalyst, that there was somebody in the room who was more important than somebody else.

Rich – Oh yes.

Brad – The speakers, the bands, the people on stage, like we were intentional, not about making fun of them, it was not about making fun of them, it was showing every other leader in the room, “You know what, Andy Stanley is willing to be made fun of.”

Rich – Right.

Brad – We can make a video of Andy and share like these highlights, it’s not the best of Andy, because everybody goes, “Wow, Andy is pretty cool. I don’t know Andy but he’s down to earth, like he let those guys create a video that makes fun of him.”

Rich – Yes.

Brad – That says something to leaders that says, “Well maybe I shouldn’t take myself so seriously.”

Rich – Right exactly, “Maybe I’m not the bigger deal.” It was interesting even at our church, we’ve found a fair amount of power in that, we call it, foyer fun moments, where we’re trying to find…

Brad – Foyer fun, I like that.

Rich – Yeah to kind of move our experiences out into the foyer and the way I’ve described it for our own team is, we want to speedbump as people come and go that we want to deliberately slow people down, we want to be inefficient. So we’ve done all kinds of crazy stuff, this last Christmas we did a whole Star Wars theme thing, which I thought every church in the country was going to do, but people didn’t. So we had like Darth Vader one week in the foyers, we had Chewbacca, we spent all this money on costumes and it was just fun moments.

Years ago we did a series on Jonah called Big Fish and we bought the largest catfish we could find, like these big 20 pound, 30 pound catfish and had a photo booth where we were saying, “Hey, come and get your picture taken with these massive catfish.”

Brad – Oh that’s awesome.

Rich – It was fun, really just trying to learn off of events like Catalysts and other experiences like that. Trying to slow people down like, “Hey, it’s okay, let’s have some fun,” hopefully reinforce where we’re going today. You don’t have to wait until they’re sitting down and the countdown clock is done. You know, jump into the experience for sure.

Brad – I think for leaders listening and watching… are they watching this or are they just listening?

Rich – Yeah some people watch.

Brad – Okay, but I think what you want to always think is, the more serious we have to go, in a sense of the more deep we’re going to dive, the more willing you have to be to let people have time to breathe and have moments of margin.

Rich – That’s true.

Brad – Sometimes we think just the opposite, like the more serious it is, the less we have to create humor and I would say just the opposite, because people want to see that, again you’re real, you’re personal, you’re human, you’re authentic, you’re approachable, you’re vulnerable, like all of those things, that’s the pain point that people are looking for or at least what they’re experiencing is, “Man if you’re going to tell me something that’s really deep and heavy, I just want to know that you care about me and that you know me enough to allow me to have some fun.” Because that’s the essence of life, nobody lives a boring, mundane, serious life.

Rich – So true. Yes definitely. Now you know, when I first heard you’d stepped away from Catalyst I was like, “Oh what’s going on?”

Brad – Right, what’s the real story?

Rich – What’s the real story and you ended up writing a book that kind of talked about the hinge of that called H3 Leadership. Can you give us a bit of your thinking behind that? I think, for a lot of people and so I’m importing now what people may think, but they look at a guy like Brad and say, “Hey, top of his game, super influential,” thousands of people are coming to your events a year and in the midst of that you say, “You know what, I think I’m going to tap out, I’m going to go and do something else.”

Brad – Yes.

Rich – Going to London for six months or something.

Brad – Right.

Rich – What happened in that transition?

Brad – Well I tell people that I Barry Sanders and I like to use Barry Sanders as a verb instead of a noun. “I just Barry Sanders it.” The simple way to say it is, I wanted to step out of the way and get out of the way before people had to tell me to get out of the way.

I think transition and succession and legacy and leadership is so important and when I was around in the early days of Catalyst, this was 2000, 2001, Gabe Lyons was there, Gabe was leading Catalyst at that time and now he leads Q and other things. Jeff Shinabarger and Maxwell, there was a circle of people and I was a consultant in the early days and then I got involved.

Rich – Right.

Brad – But a lot of us kind of looked at each other, who are in our late 20s and we didn’t make a pact, we didn’t like sign a contract, but we kind of looked at each other and said, “You know what, we’re all in our late 20s, if we get to 40 and we’re still here and we’re still like doing this, somebody kick us in the shins, like somebody punch us in the throat and tell us to move on.”

Rich – Right.

Brad – I got to 40 and I looked around and I was like, “Okay…

Rich – “I’m still here.”

Brad – “I’m still here,” and all the other guys, all the other team that was on the like execution team and on the original team had all moved on to other things, leading great stuff and I just felt like, “You know what, I need to do what we said we were going to do and I need to be that guy that hands this off,” and Catalyst has never and will never be about one personality. If it is about anybody it’s about Andy Stanley and John Maxwell in the early days, but Andy Stanley.

Rich – Right.

Brad – Most people don’t even know who I am and they don’t really care, like they’re not going to not come back to Catalyst because Lomenick…

Rich – Which is the strength of your leadership, what you built for sure.

Brad – Sure and that’s what we wanted to try to do, is to create this thing that was non-personality and nobody cared really who was behind the curtain, pulling the strings.

The thing for me too was that there were certain things Rich that I was starting to have opportunities to do that only I could do, in the sense of, as the leader of Catalyst. I was being given seats at other tables and all of a sudden, it wasn’t attention, but it was like, “Man, if I can only do this thing over here, then shouldn’t it be good leadership for me and good legacy for me to start handing off the things that someone else can do?” And over time it was like, you know what, 80%, 75%-80% of my Catalyst world, of leading Catalyst, was hand offable.

Rich – Right.

Brad – So why not hand that off and most of us, when we get there, as you said like, “You’re at the top of your game man, you’re at the pinnacle of your leadership, sort of moment in life. You’re leading something like Catalyst that has got…” I mean, everything was up and to the right.

Rich – Yeah right. Absolutely.

Brad – A few years ago everything was up and to the right like all the measurable were the best they’d ever been.

Rich – Right.

Brad – But for me it was like, “There’s some things that only I can do that I need to go and pursue and then fill this other gap with another person or people that can take my place.” So I just think that’s healthy, I think it says someone to… The one thing I get to talk on the most now, that everybody goes, “Come on Brad, real story. What happened? You really did make Andy Stanley mad didn’t you? That was the reason, like you hacked him off.”

Rich – “The video really did go too far.”

Brad – Yeah, “The viral video got out there and then that was it, you were gone.” No, it was just like, “I need to move on, I need to make room, I need to let somebody else step up and lead and there’s other things that I can do in this season that only I can do.”

Rich – I think that’s great. I hope leaders are leaning in on that. I know for me, that’s a personally challenging thing you’re talking about there. I’ve been involved in multisite churches for a long time. The first campus I launched, I was 27 years old when I launched that, and I look now, a completely embarrassed guy, early in the 40s and think, “I would never let a campus pastor at 27…”

Brad – Right.

Rich – And there’s a part of you that’s like, “Gosh, that’s terrible,” right? And obviously I’m using a bit of hyberpole there, but actively actually, just even yesterday, I was engaged in a conversation in our environment, our church, literally started as a young adult bible study, and what has happened is, over the years we grew from a dozen people at that young adult bible study, we’re like 35 hundred people today, but what’s happened is, we’ve just continued to get older and we have to now, I think a part of our challenge is to say, “How do we release to that next generation?” How do we hand off and not become, ten years from now, a bunch of guys in their 50s that look around and say, “Where are all the 20 somethings?”

Brad – Exactly.

Rich – Which so many churches find themselves in.

Brad – So true.

Rich – So I think the fact that you’ve done that, to me is super humbling. So that is kind of the, at least the emotional kind of tenor that H3 was written in. Why don’t you give us kind of a sense of what that book’s about and why should people should be reading it?

Brad – Yeah thank you. Well just to put a bow on what we were just talking about.

Rich – Yeah.

Brad – What I’m not saying Rich and for everybody out there who’s hearing this going, “Well wait, does this apply to me?” I’m not saying that that applies to everybody.

Rich – Yeah right.

Brad – I’ve seen lots of leaders who, they’re 30 or 40 years in to the same season and the same role and the same title and the same position and they’re crushing it. But it does mean this, that every level of your organization, every leader at every level and every organization, church non-profit business, part of your role is to be looking at your current assignment saying, “Man do I need to move on and step out of the way?” Because it is part of your legacy and part of your stewardship as a leader to replace yourself.

Rich – Yes.

Brad – At every level, not just when you’re at the top. We think it’s only at the top, at every level you’re replacing yourself, including the top and too many times leaders at the top, they get on the top of the mountain and they start getting fat, because there’s nothing else to climb and it’s like, “I’m here. I’m at the top of Everest man, I’m going to take a smoke break,” and all of a sudden you’re there for 10 or 15 years and everybody is trying to climb up and they’re going, “You’re in the way.”

Rich – Right.

Brad – So anyway, to your question. For me, the premise of H3 is that, I did get to a place in my leadership where I had to recalibrate a little bit, for the next 20 years, 30 years of my journey and say, “What is it? Let me just redefine and make sure I’m clear on what I would say is my leadership mantra.” H3 is Humble, Hungry, Hustle, that’s the 3 Hs, that’s been my leadership mantra, really since I was in my 20s, I didn’t know what to call it. Other people have those 3 Hs, those aren’t mine, but that seem to be the phrase, “Be humble, stay hungry, always hustle,” that permeates out of me on a consistent basis.

When the young, whippersnapper interns would show up at Catalyst over the years and they’re 22 and they want to change the world and they say, “Hey Brad, how do you define your leadership?” That’s the way I would define it.

Rich – Right.

Brad – It’s humble, hungry, hustle. So within those three, what I’ve tried to do with this book is both tell my story of transition and as you mentioned, I went to London, I took a sabbatical for six months before making the decision. Part of that whole process, which I don’t want to get into, but there was a pretty significant process for me of, “How do I step out of leading Catalyst?” Because I knew it was time, I could sense that, but then it was like, well how do you actually do that well?

Rich – Right.

Brad – Man, like the process of doing that well is pretty difficult, especially when your identity is tied to it. We had to kill Catalyst Brad, like Catalyst Brad had to be truly like shot in the head for that to be a healthy transition and for me to still be the greatest fan of Catalyst and I can show up and hang out and eat peanuts in the green room and feel like, no sense of bitterness. Like I’m for the team, I want them to succeed and a lot of times you transition and then you’re telling everyone, “I love them,” and behind the scenes you’re like, “I hope that thing fails.”

Rich – Yeah, exactly.

Brad – I hope it takes because it will prove that I was the man.

Rich – I was the man, exactly.

Brad – There’s 20 habits in the book and those 20 habits are, for me, those are like my playbook for the next 30 years of my leadership journey and just trying to make sure that those are instilled into my world, into my leadership.

I think the thing that’s helping people with this book, that I hear the most response and feedback on is, “Brad, thank you for talking about the things that you didn’t do well and thank you for being vulnerable with your story,” because I read a lot of books and first of all, I want them to be practical. If given to my own sort of default of writing, this book would have had like 600 bullet points. The publisher was like, “Oh Brad, that’s probably not going to be a great book.” But I’m just a practical guy, so I want like, “Tell me how to do…”

Rich – The checklist, yeah.

Brad – “Tell me how to do something.” So there’s checklists in this book and there’s also that sense of, “Man, thank you for sharing some of the stuff that you don’t do well, because I don’t learn from people based on successes as much as I do on them talking about the things they haven’t done well.”

Rich – Yeah, it’s a great read. I read it when it first came out and it literally was a page turner. Obviously I think, like a lot of leaders, being challenged by other books and it’s a lot of times that you read stuff and it’s like, “I’m willing myself through this,” but the thing I appreciate about your book Brad, and I said this to you earlier, I appreciate your humility in it and your vulnerability. I think it’s really open, which is similar to the beginning of Andy Stanley’s Deep and Wide. I’ve said to people, “Just pick up Andy Stanley’s Deep and Wide, read the first third and if the first third doesn’t suck you in for the rest of it, then you’ve got a cold heart.”

Brad – Yes.

Rich – And it’s similar with your book. I was just drawn in by your story and then there’s just so much in there that is challenging for me personally. So I really would encourage people to make sure they pick it up. We’ll have a link to it in the show notes and we’ll email it out to people and all that.

If people want to get in touch with you, or learn more about kind of what you’re up to, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Brad – Just my name and .com. So bradlomenick.com.

Rich – Nice.

Brad – Then all of the social media outlets I’m @bradlomenick. I don’t think anybody else has that name.

Rich – It’s very easy.

Brad – Yeah, I got to have my selection and my choice on first and last name on all the internet outlets of social media-ness.

Rich – Yeah that’s great. Brad I’ve really appreciated you being on the show today, we should let you go, I know you’ve got other stuff to get to today. Anything else you want to say before we wrap up?

Brad – No. Thanks for what you’re doing, thanks for making these conversations available and I think my encouragement to leaders is, first of all, the place you are right now, listening to this, watching this, a lot of you are frustrated, a lot of you may feel like the dream that you had you haven’t gotten to yet and just be encouraged that God measures you on faithfulness and me carrying the mantel of Catalyst, with thousands of people, was a great season. But man, now I’m carrying the mantel of 10s instead. My influence meter and my impact is more being measured on, how am I impacting the 10, the 20, the 30 people, the 40 people that I’m getting to spend time with and that’s just as important. Like I didn’t go from strength to weakness, I went from strength to strength.

So if you’ve got a church of 200, man crush it. Do what you’ve been called to do with that crew. So that would just be my encouragement, be faithful, God’s put you somewhere on purpose, you do matter, you’re making a difference and keep it up.

Rich – I really appreciate that Brad. Thanks so much for being on the show today.

Brad – Awesome, thanks Rich.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.