I just finished reading "The Catlalyst Leader" by Brad Lomenick, President of Catalyst. Great challenge for leaders in all areas of life. Enjoy a summary taken straight from the book.
As I have surveyed some of today’s rising Christian leaders, I’ve discovered something profound they share: leaders who make the biggest impact also have the strongest sense of calling. They seem to know the direction God has marked out for them, and they are chasing after it.
Many leaders today feel great pressure to succeed, and as a result, create and accept a pseudo-self. This is a version of them that hides their warts and magnifies their best traits. Unfortunately, those who know us best and even those who simply work with us every day see right through this. They recognize our true self and know we are not embracing that person. We will not reach our full potential by investing energy into creating false versions of ourselves.
Constantly turn over the rocks in your life and leadership. Uncover areas that need
to be cleaned up. Big things are at stake. It is exhausting to keep up a fake persona. Learn to be honest. It is easier to impress people from a distance; so many leaders keep others at arm’s length. For example, we often prefer digital interaction to real-life exchanges. This insulates us and prevents others from uncovering our weaknesses and flaws. It also reduces our ability to influence others.
Being a change maker means realizing that one’s commitment to God and passion
for following Jesus cannot be compartmentalized. It cannot be restricted to sacred spaces on Sundays. For the catalyst leader, Mondays through Fridays are also holy days. Boardrooms are sacred spaces, and so are Hollywood studio lots, high-rise offices, and neighborhood coffee-shops. Accounting can be a spiritual act. Practicing medicine can be a spiritual act. Working on an assembly line can be a spiritual act, as can teaching.
Passion for God makes us generous, active, and bold. If you are struggling to become a better leader, perhaps you should put down that sales book or take a break from those time management videos. Nurture your spiritual development instead. Petition God to light a fire for His glory inside of you. Spend time in prayer and reflection and with the Scriptures. Develop your heart for God, and trust that He will help you lead well.
Once we discover our calling, we have a responsibility to pursue that calling with authenticity, passion, vigor, and distinction. If we fail to set the right standard, surround ourselves with the right standard, and channel momentum properly, we will underachieve. But even worse, we will not be honoring God by giving Him our best. Being the best requires focus, determination, intentionality, hard work, perseverance, risk-taking, and sacrifice. The stakes are high. And we all know when our performance is not our best. Our families know it. Our friends know it. Our staffs know it. Our bosses know it. And God knows it. Make sure your standard is not just being better than average or merely being better than your competitor. You must always strive to be the best you can be. Without having a standard of excellence in your work, you have no hope of becoming a true change maker.
Making a difference many times starts with just making a move. We can’t live and lead in a state of fear and inactivity. Do not sit on the sidelines. As believers, as followers of Jesus, if we are not chasing after something that is much bigger than we are—and there is no way we could ever accomplish it without God—then we are playing it too safe.
A principled life is composed of at least three essential elements: humility, discipline, and integrity. Though these are not the only elements, they rank among the most important. Without committing to these three elements, leading is nearly impossible. The first is humility. Discipline is the second essential element of a principled life. When I consider young leaders who are truly making a difference—the ones whose organizations and projects are innovative and effective—the one characteristic they all share is a commitment to hard work.
A final essential element to principled leadership is the one our team learned the hard way years ago: integrity. In a world full of skeptics and pessimists, people are more attracted than ever to leaders with integrity. If you are known as a person of character, you will attract better employees and keep them longer. You will draw more loyal clients and have more raving fans. Society longs for leaders with integrity.
Leaders are dealers of hope, and we must give it away constantly and without bias. If a leader wants to make a mark on this world, he or she must have a compelling vision for his or her work. It must be hopeful and inspiring. Just as every leader should have a personal philosophy, he or she also needs a personal legacy statement. John Maxwell says people will describe your life in one sentence—so what is the sentence you want people to use to describe you when you leave this world? If you are young, make sure to write it with a pencil that has a fresh eraser because you will refine this numerous times throughout your life.
We realize that people will not willingly follow you until they can see the role they play in the future you envision. When you are optimistic, enthusiastic, and energetic, your team and those you serve will be as well. That is why I believe hopefulness is an essential component of the catalyst leader. When you give people a reason to believe that tomorrow can be better than yesterday, they will be inspired to make the most of today.
Collaboration is integral for leaders moving forward. It is part of the framework for trading equity and value in today’s economy. Collaboration is now the norm, not the exception. A catalyst leader wants to work with all kinds of leaders and organizations, without worrying who receives the credit. One word of caution: collaboration requires clarity. Make sure expectations are explained and agreed upon up front. Outline boundaries, responsibilities, and what success looks like. You may love the idea of a handshake agreement, but the hand that shakes can also slap. It is easier to outline the expectations of a collaboration at the outset than in the midst of a disagreement. So collaborate freely, but collaborate cautiously!
My heart continues to fill with hope for this generation of leaders. Leaders like you. Sure, you have faults and weaknesses like everyone else, but you also have great, untapped potential. Your legacy, regardless of where you are in your leadership journey, starts now. The way you start determines how you finish. The journey we began together is now yours to complete. Lead now. Lead well. Become the change maker God has called you to be.
Interested in purchasing a copy of the book yourself? Get it here: http://amzn.to/2dqGwSu