Brad Lomenick’s knocks the subject of next generation leadership, out of the park with his new book, “The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker”.
Brad himself is a humble change maker. As the president of Catalyst, a growing movement of conferences and resource related materials for Christian leaders, Brad has impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands. Not only is this week the launch for Brad’s new book, but it also kicks off the learning season with the sold-out Catalyst West conference, which includes notable speakers like Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Jim Collins and Jud Wilhite, among many others. The Catalyst conference is by far, one of the most powerful training experiences for young leaders in this new generation of church workers and world changers.
The “eight essentials for becoming a change maker” include: called, authentic, passionate, capable, courageous, principled, hopeful, and collaborative. While several of these traits like being called and living courageously, aren’t necessarily new to the discussion of leadership, I feel that when combined with other more outwardly expressed desires of Gen. X and Millennials like authenticity, collaboration, and passion, the former two can be maximized for greater impact. As the reader can see, the eight essentials are a bit of a conglomerate of character and competency qualities that are not limited to age.
Brad writes that “part of being a disciplined leader is being ready” (p. 141). Reading “The Catalyst Leader”, can be the first steps in getting ready. It will help anyone prepare for the challenges of leadership. Though I have over a decade of both position and permission based leadership experience, I am only in my late twenties. The far majority of my success has come through great reads like this, mentoring relationships, and the shared wisdom from leaders who have traveled the path before me. Brad Lomenick does just that with “The Catalyst Leader”. Not only does he share personal stories but also highlights lessons from the lives of several other young leaders and research that was conducted in partnership with the Barna Group. In addition, the back-matter of the book includes a “Young Influencers List: Fifty Change Makers on the Rise”. Getting acquainted with these leaders and their organizations would be another benefit to the reader.
One of my favorite reminders of leadership came from the conclusion: “Moving Forward, Looking Back. Brad states that “Your legacy, regardless of where you are in your leadership starts now. The way you start determines how you finish…Seek out older leaders who can help you grow, encourage you, and guide you. And then pour your life into others (p. 213.) What a great expression for the need of continuous and exponential growth! I always say that one of the ultimate tests of true leadership is the reproduction of other leaders, who in turn will multiply themselves.
All in all, this book isn’t just limited to next generation leaders. The practical and theoretical lessons, if applied, can help every leader at any level. However, if you are or know a young leader, “The Catalyst Leader” should be an essential study.