Coincidentally, the catalyst that launched Jay and me into anti-trafficking work was the Catalyst Conference in Georgia six years ago. This annual leadership conference is where we first heard about modern day slavery, sparking a passion in us to fight sexual exploitation. We have learned that good leadership is a vital part of any movement, and are always looking for resources to help us become better leaders and influencers.
Brad Lomenick, the executive director of Catalyst, has recently released a book entitled The Catalyst Leader. For those of you who are wanting to lead with excellence, this book is a treasure chest of counsel. Here is what Brad has to say about The Catalyst Leader.
What can leaders expect from the The Catalyst Leader?
The Catalyst Leader provides practical help for all leaders at any stage of their leadership journey, ultimately defining what it means to be a Catalyst in this generation, and inspiring us all to be true change makers wherever we lead. I believe the book is defining, practical, inspiring, and timely. The book provides perspective and practical application that leaders can put into practice immediately in their leadership today. I hope the book is both a kick in the pants, a punch in the gut, and a pat on the back. Both challenging and encouraging.
Why write this book now?
Because I believe we are at a crossroads of leadership in the US, and ultimately around the world. In fact, I believe we have a leadership crisis in our country. And based on the research we did in partnership with The Barna Group for the book, the survey and data would validate that assumption. We currently have a dearth of leadership in our country. In general, we trust our leaders less today than we have in the past. There is a lot at stake. And it’s time for a new generation of leaders to rise up and take charge.
Catalyst has gathered leaders for 13 years now. We wanted to create a leadership guide, the “ultimate” handbook on influence. It’s our turn to lead now, but we have to make sure we are leading well. I want to see leaders all over the world take their leadership and influence to a whole new level.
Lots of great leaders have created great leadership resources, but most of them aren’t peers to me or my generation. We wanted to create a community driven resource that would be a practical guide for leading over the next 20-30 years. I’m passionate about raising up great leaders, and I’ve devoted much of my life to convening and equipping leaders of all ages and stages in life who want to grow in their leadership abilities. And I’ve written the Catalyst Leader to empower you to lead better, and lead longer.
Perhaps never before have so many young leaders been poised and positioned for influence. Scores of twenty and thirty somethings are running companies, nonprofits, churches, and social innovation projects. They don’t have 10-15 years to figure things out anymore; they need to be equipped and prepared for the journey now. Many leaders today have platforms that exceed their wisdom, experience and maturity. These leaders need the tools and know how for getting it right. I hope The Catalyst Leader is a resource for them to do just that. A roadmap for our generation to lead well.
Our tribe and community of Catalyst leaders are in need of practical and relevant help in regards to their leadership and influence. We currently are dealing with a demise of leadership mentoring in our culture, especially in organizational life, and I want to truly help leaders lead well.
To start with, here’s a working definition of calling: God’s personal invitation for me to work on His agenda, using the talents I’ve been given in ways that are eternally significant. In essence, calling is where your greatest talents and deepest passions intersect. Our vocation should flow from that crossroads. It’s imperative that you discover God’s unique calling on you life.
I’ve come to realize that living and leading from one’s calling is a necessary first step to leading well and becoming a change maker wherever God has planted you. Without understanding your calling, you’ll end up bogged down in the mud of life. But when living out your calling, your work will be better, and you’ll naturally want to work harder. Calling should give us life, and provide us direction. Our vocation should flow out of who we’ve been uniquely designed by God to be.
Think back to your childhood. Identify the things you were good at and energized you. Do they still? What did you naturally look forward to? What barriers are preventing you from pursuing the stuff you love to work on? God desires for a sense of mission to burn within us, driving us forward in the perilous journey of life. I believe God has a unique purpose that He desires to carry out in every single person he creates. He’s carved a specific and significant path for us all. A Catalyst leader is called. Find your uniqueness.
How does someone create legacy where they are right now?
Your legacy, regardless of where you are in your leadership journey, starts now. The way you start determines how you finish. Start with the end in mind. So many of us don’t think about our legacy until we reach the finish line. But creating legacy has to begin when we begin. Starting well means finishing well.
Collaboration has to flow from a place of generosity, truly believing that a higher tide lifts all boats. Be more concerned with others. Listen instead of talk. Be interested over interesting.
To be collaborative we must understand that it’s not about me. It’s not about your organization, your non profit, or your project. It’s about connecting people, not competing.
Collaborators are okay sharing their wisdom, their knowledge, their connections, and their networks, because collaboration means working together alongside others. Co-laboring. Building bridges instead of constructing walls. We at Catalyst have partnered with those who might be seen as competitors, because we believe in an abundance mentality. When you have an abundance mindset you are more likely to collaborate instead of compete. Avoid the scarcity mentality – the idea that there is only so much to go around.
You can purchase The Catalyst Leader via the book website as well as through amazon.com (amazon.ca for us Canadians!). And, just in case you were wondering if Brad can bust a dance move, the answer is yes.
Let’s take the influence we have seriously and make an impact in this world!