The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker

The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker

by Brad Lomenick

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"Your legacy, regardless of where you are in your leadership journey, starts now.  Leading well now means finishing well later." - Brad Lomenick

We need great leaders.  More than ever we need authentic, collaborative, inspiring men and women of integrity at the helm of society- and too often our leaders fall short.  Some focus on personal success, alienating those they lead.  Others shift their principles when it is convenient.

There is a better way.  You can energize and inspire the people around you.  You can equip a team of principled collaborators to answer God's calling.  You can be a catalyst leader.

In The Catalyst Leader, Brad Lomenick describes the skills and principles that define a true change maker.  This book offers eight key essentials by which a leader can influence others and make a difference, laying out the path to the keys for becoming an effective leader.

Lomenick shares wisdom, practical knowledge, and stories of success and failure from his own journey of running Catalyst, one of America's most influential leadership movements.  And the lives of dozens of leaders around the world- from the creators of famous reality show to pastors, from ranch workers to a Silicon Valley designer.  These men and women are living proof that good leadership inspires and innovates, while poor leadership leaves us with hopelessness and regret.

Leading can be a difficult road, and many choose to follow.  But you can take a better path.  Begin your journey to becoming a catalyst leader.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595554987
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 04/15/2013
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 695,443
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Brad Lomenick is a strategic advisor and leadership consultant specializing in influence, innovation, generational issues and business strategy. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences, churches and colleges as well as author of The Catalyst Leader (Thomas Nelson, 2013). For over a decade, he served as lead visionary and president of Catalyst, one of America’s largest movements of Christian leaders. Under his watch, Catalyst convened hundreds of thousands of influencers through high-energy and experiential leadership conferences across the United States. Before running Catalyst, he spent five years involved in the growth of the nationally acclaimed Life@Work magazine and was a management consultant with Cornerstone Group. Before that, he served as foreman for Lost Valley Ranch, a four-diamond working guest ranch in the mountains of Colorado. Brad serves on the advisory board for Suffered Enough, the A21 Campaign, Red Eye Inc. and Praxis. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @bradlomenick, or check out his blog:

Read an Excerpt



Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2013Brad Lomenick
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-59555-498-7





When you live your life knowing the mission and calling and voice of God in your soul and you know where that compass is driving you forward, you will become a rare commodity in a world searching for direction.


LOOKING BACK IN OUR LIVES, WE CAN OFTEN IDENTIFY THE moments when our gifts were beginning to bubble up and point us toward God's callings for us. I remember the day my mother dropped me off at my first-grade class. Bristow, Oklahoma, is a small town of five thousand, not far from Tulsa. Since my dad was principal of the middle school and knew all the teachers in the school system, he informed me weeks earlier that Mrs. Weaver would be my first-grade teacher. With a new pair of jeans, a Brady Bunch lunchbox, and a bowl haircut, I was ready to conquer the world. Or Bristow Elementary School at least.

Mom was proud—reminding me at least a dozen times to behave and play nicely with the other kids—but she was also emotional. I was filled with excitement. Even at this young age, the thought of connecting with others energized me. Walking into the classroom, I hung my backpack on the coat hook, located my desk, and began memorizing my classmates' names. In hindsight, this was probably the first sign of my calling as a leader.

These passions continued to surface with each passing year. I became one of the captains of the football team in third grade and landed the lead role of Pecos Bill in the school play in sixth grade, the same year I was elected class president.

One memory of elementary school was a showdown regarding the lunch menu in the cafeteria. Our lunchroom only served chocolate milkshakes, and I was convinced that lunch would not be complete without both vanilla and strawberry. I led the student council to victory in the milkshake showdown, and though some might say our win was due to my dad being the principal of the middle school, I claim it was my fearless and staunch stance in the face of opposition!

Even in those elementary moments, I sensed a compelling urge to lead, like a rumble in my gut. Maybe you know the feeling. Something inside is pushing you to the edge, to the front of the line, to make a difference, to leave a mark. From first grade in Mrs. Weaver's class trying to make sure everyone knew each other, to eighth grade when I led the charge for a new school dance. I again felt the rumble in middle school when I was elected student council president. I experienced it in high school when I became senior class president.

During my formative years, I attempted to lead in whatever I did, from school plays, to the classroom, to becoming one of the captains of the football and basketball teams. I desired to be out in front.

My sophomore year of high school, two friends and I started a rap group. I dropped beats under the name Crème-L—a name I was actually proud of at the time—and our trio committed to make a difference through our "music." When the "Don't lay your trash on Oklahoma" anti-litter campaign launched, we wrote a song for it called, "Clean Up the Streets." We performed it in front of the governor and House of Representatives. I'm sure the tape of our performance is tucked away somewhere, and I'm more certain that I'll never let anyone find it.

Approaching my senior year of high school, I began to ponder career paths. My friends and I dreamed about the great accomplishments waiting for us. Some wanted to become teachers and football coaches. Others desired to become doctors or business managers or cattle ranchers. When it came time to share the dream for my life, a clear answer evaded me. I knew I loved connecting with others and convening people and investing in leaders, but that wasn't a job description. Could I do that in politics or education or business? Perhaps. All I knew was that I felt called to lead.

Graduation day finally arrived, and since I served as senior class president, I had to announce 130 graduates' names—first, middle, and last—as they walked across the stage. The music played and procession began. I stepped up to the microphone without any notes and called out each name from memory. To many who were there, reciting all the names by memory seemed like quite an accomplishment. But for me, it was normal, since I felt a connection to all of my classmates. When the final name was called, my mind flashed back to first grade and I recognized a pattern that had been emerging all along. Looking back, the most important treasure I received that day wasn't a diploma, but rather a glimpse of my calling.

Though I didn't realize it at the time, God had been plotting my path. He opened up doors in college to develop networks of future leaders. I convened members of rival fraternities and sororities for a regular Bible study. I was gifted as a connector, someone who brings people together and equips them to work toward a common purpose. I'd go on to exercise these gifts and my calling through my work in magazines, media, web content, hospitality, and conferences.


Every Christian has two callings in life: a spiritual one to salvation and also a vocational calling. Life is too short to miss either one. Your two callings are separate but inseparable. The first informs the way you'll live out your second calling. The realization of what Christ has done for us produces a compulsion to live for Him. When we talk about one's "calling," we're speaking about the vocational kind that answers this question: "I've decided to follow God, but how does He want me to use my gifts and passions?"

In the years since my high school graduation, I've come to realize that living one's calling is a necessary first step to leading well and becoming a change maker wherever God has planted you. Without understanding your purpose, you'll end up bogged down in the mud of life. But when you are living out your calling, your work will be better, and you will naturally want to work harder. That's why Catalyst has incorporated calling into our events and organizational fabric.

Our team works hard to create spaces where leaders can hear from God about His direction for their lives. We handpick speakers with great visions who will challenge attendees to discover the visions in their own hearts. If participants come to a Catalyst event not knowing what God might have planned for their lives and leave without inching any closer to that purpose, then we've failed as a team.

We've found that participants often have the opposite experience. We hear from scores of people each year who say they were encouraged to fully pursue their callings because of a Catalyst event. Each year, handfuls of people sit on one of our couches and thank our team for the emphasis we've placed on this important topic. Oftentimes, attendees were already making a huge impact through their work or ministry, but our event created a space where they could dream about even greater goals.

Similarly, when someone joins our team, we want to make sure he or she is on this journey too. My desire in the first year of a team member's employment is either to affirm the employee's calling or to release the person to pursue it elsewhere. I've set this goal because I desire for Catalyst's heartbeat—both internally and externally—to be equipping the next generation of Christian influencers to discover God's plan for them. Without knowledge of one's calling, leading well is impossible.

God's interaction with His followers throughout the Bible seems to indicate that He places a high value on calling. He visited Moses through a burning bush, spoke to Samuel throug

Excerpted from THE 8 ESSENTIALS FOR CATALYST BECOMING A CHANGE MAKER LEADER by BRAD LOMENICK. Copyright © 2013 by Brad Lomenick. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


A Note from Brad....................     xv     

Introduction | Learning to Lead....................     xix     

1 | Called Find Your Uniqueness....................     1     

2 | Authentic Unleash the Real You....................     27     

3 | Passionate Live in Pursuit of God....................     49     

4 | Capable Make Excellence Nonnegotiable....................     69     

5 | Courageous Prepare to Jump....................     97     

6 | Principled Anchor in Your Convictions....................     121     

7 | Hopeful Build toward a Better Tomorrow....................     157     

8 | Collaborative Draw Power from Partners....................     183     

Conclusion | Moving Forward, Looking Back....................     207     

Young Influencers List: Fifty Change Makers on the Rise....................     215     

Appendix: "Today's Christian Leaders" Study, in Partnership with Barna Research Group.........     219     

Notes....................     235     

Acknowledgments....................     239     

About the Author....................     243     

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The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
TKLee More than 1 year ago
While not a household name, Brad Lomenick is an influencer of influencers. In 'The Catalyst Leader,' Brad takes you behind the curtain of Catalyst, the leadership movement he leads, and into his own life, revealing personal failures and insecurities. He is also a great connector. In each chapter Brad introduces you to change makers he personally admires and knows, many of whom, if you follow them, will continue to inspire you long after you've finished the book. As a gifted question asker, Brad holds up a mirror for you to reflect on your own leadership journey and I was personally floored by what I saw. Having listened to all 200+ Catalyst podcasts to date and having met Brad in person at Catalyst events, I was already a Lomenick fan. 'The Catalyst Leader' only deepened my respect for him. The "Brad" on the pages is the same man you'll meet in person. 'The Catalyst Leader' is one of the top leadership books I've read and I only wish that it had existed when I was 18 years old. If you feel passionate to lead and don't feel like you've arrived yet, don't hesitate to buy this book and get a few copies for those you want to pour into.
mojo_turbo More than 1 year ago
Brad Lomenick writes about leadership, the next generation, creativity, innovation, social media, teamwork, personal growth, generational issues, execution, and a few other topics. He is also runs the show at Catalyst Conferences and his first car was a 1980 Monte Carlo. His new book, The Catalyst Leader shares eight essentials for becoming a “change maker.” This book is chock full of Brad’s years of wisdom that he has gleaned from his own adventures and from his friendships with other leaders like Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin, Francis Chan, Tony Dungy, Andy Stanley, Rick Warren, Marcus Buckingham, Dave Ramsey, Bill Hybels and many others. Ok, so maybe you’ve never heard of Brad Lomenick, but you’ve heard of all of those other guys, right? Well, let me tell you – Catalyst is one of the most influential leadership movements in the country. Catalyst began in 1999 and since then it has helped train hundreds of thousands of leaders young and old. Today, Catalyst has nine yearly conferences that bring in over thirty thousand leaders. Are you in leadership? Lomenick has a passion to inspire you, equip you and give you practical leadership help. This new book “The Catalyst Leader” will help you leverage your influence to better the world, bring out the best in others and ultimately bring glory to God. So yes, it’s a “Christian book” but it’s not some heavy theological tome. This is still a die-hard, work-horse, right in the trenches leadership book and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the gems inside. Especially if you’re young, or just starting out in leadership, I would highly recommend picking this up. Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing a review copy for a fair and unbiased review.
DanielRyanDay More than 1 year ago
Nothing summarizes Brad's credibility to write a book on leadership more accurately than his opening sentence: "I'm passionate about raising up great leaders around the globe, and I've devoted much of my life to convening, equipping, and developing people of all ages and stages in life who want to grow in their leadership abilities." Brad's been in the workshop, molding and massaging the concept of leadership for years. And his book, The Catalyst Leader, reflects his understanding of what it means to step up and direct people toward a common goal. The Catalyst Leader is a handbook for aspiring conductors, directors, and CEOs. It will not teach you how to run your business, but it will outline the type of person it takes to succeed in any arena - the type of person you need to be. "Authentic, Passionate, Capable, Courageous, Principled, Hopeful, and Collaborative." As Michael Hyatt said recently, "to get the most out of The Catalyst Leader...approach it as a mirror." I agree with Mike, it's "a great self-evaluation tool." A word of caution. I don't want to mislead anyone. I don't agree with everything in this book. I disagree with one chapter 1. Chapter 1 is all about "calling" both in the spiritual and vocational senses of the term. Here's where I think the problem is: I think we have mixed understanding our strengths and abilities with discovering purpose. As Christians we all have the same purpose, "to do what pleases God." (Phil 2:13) Period. End of story. Calling and purpose are not about a specific job, they are about a way of life. When we mix our pursuit of the things we're good at - our strengths and abilities - with our desire to live a meaningful life, we end up robbing our purpose of its glory and power. The idea that a calling is a job is so limiting. A job can be part of your calling, but your calling should determine the way you interact with your kids just as much as the way you interact with your customers. I'm all about using our gifts and abilities, and working within our strengths - but I sharply disagree that there's a specific vocational calling that if we miss, we miss out on life. Brad says, "life is too short to miss either one [two callings in life]." I think that is the exact sentiment that haunts graduating seniors in college, and the guy with a midlife crisis in his 40's or 50's. But I don't want to focus only on "calling" in this review, because so much of what Brad teaches is helpful. Specifically, Chapter 2 - Authentic which may be the most important chapter in this book. Brad says, "I'm best when I'm being me." This is such an important character quality for leaders. Unfortunately, a lot of Christian leaders sound the same and regurgitate the same information. You can watch Twitter and see the same idea represented by 100 different people, and they aren't re-tweeting. Christianity has created a culture of recycling because many leaders are scared to be unique. Genuine. Authentic. Brad confesses, "I've often been tempted to pretend I'm someone else." And his honesty leads him to the conclusion that, "If we don't learn to be content with who God has made be, then we will never reach our full potential as influencers." Amen. Authenticity is the key to leadership. So if you're an aspiring leader, pick up this book and read it. Use it as a mirror. Use it as a handbook to become the best leader you can be. The Catalyst Leader is an excellent book on leadership.
WilliamAttaway More than 1 year ago
Brad has written a tremendous book that will be a resource for leaders all over the world. His story is powerful, and I cannot recommend this book enough. What a resource this is - you're going to want to buy this book for your entire team!