Brad Lomenick on The Habits of Highly Effective Leaders
When you’re looking at the qualities it takes to be a great leader, it’s easy to get lost thinking it’s about what other people are doing for you. But it’s actually about how you can provide value to other people.
To better understand the most important habits of highly effective leaders, I’m speaking to Brad Lomenick. Brad is a leadership consultant, founder of BLINC, host of the H3 Leadership podcast, and has worked alongside thought-leaders such as Jim Collins and Malcom Gladwell, Fortune 500 CEOs and start-up entrepreneurs.
In our discussion, you’ll hear us talk about his new book, H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle—a practical road map for implementing and living out 20 transformational habits of a leader. Not only are humility, hunger, and hustle important, but Brad explains why they have to work in parallel in order to be effective.
You’ll also learn what it takes to build strong relationships, how to leave a positive impression in the minds of the people you meet, what it was like working with John Maxwell, and why travel and connecting with people from different walks of life can make you a better leader. That, and much more!
Featured on This Episode: Brad Lomenick
✅ What he does: Brad Lomenick is a leadership consultant, speaker, and the founder of BLINC, a strategic leadership advisory firm. He served as president of Catalyst, one of America’s largest movements of young emerging leaders, for more than 10 years. He’s also the author of “H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle” and host of the H3 Leadership podcast.
💬 Words of wisdom: Brad’s own leadership mantra centers around the frameworks of being humble, staying hungry, and always hustling, but it’s equally important to have balance among and within those three ideas.
- When people prefer you, they refer you. Many people speak about Brad with rave reviews and a lot of praise, and it’s because he’s always trying to create value for them. When you inject value into people and make that your focus, they naturally want to help you succeed. He likens it to the Zig Ziglar quote: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
- Being a leader is about listening to and connecting with people. When you meet someone, the best way to connect is to start with them as the center of the story. Brad does this by asking them questions, being curious about their world, and making them the hero of the story. This helps counter the impulse to believe that you have all the answers and that your way is best. The more people we can surround ourselves with, the more we’ll grow into better versions of ourselves.
- Work hard, but take your rest. Brad knows how important hustling and working harder than everyone else is to success. But of equal importance is a balanced perspective on hustle. If your success is only achieved by running on empty, it’s time to rethink things. Collaboration is key, and having the time and space to rest where there are boundaries to keep yourself from overworking is vital to success.
3 Characteristics of True Leader with Brad Lomenick
Episode Highlights with Brad Lomenick
Intentionality leads to impact
“Remembering names is just intentionality. It really is. You will always remember somebody’s name if they’re important to you. And so, if you just shift your mindset a little bit and think, well, now everybody needs to be important or that person I just met is important and has value, and that’s why I’ve always approached it as, if I remember somebody’s name and I use it immediately or they don’t expect me to remember it but then I call them by name and they’re like, ‘Whoa,’ that automatically gives me credibility and it raises my level to actually have impact on them.” – Brad Lomenick
Try to make things easier for people by exercising emotional intelligence
“I’m always trying to figure out, how do I make this easier for the person that I’m trying to connect to, to be able to connect with me. That’s empathy. It’s emotional intelligence. It’s putting yourself in their shoes and saying, how should they feel? How do you want them to feel? Do they walk away from an interaction with you and do they say, ‘That was awesome,’ or do they say, ‘Never again?’” – Brad Lomenick
Make people want to help you succeed
“At the end of the day, I think that’s why people prefer you and they refer you. They prefer to hang out with you, they prefer to be your friend, but they also then refer you. And the beauty of a reference, I mean, just in terms of how you get ahead in life, you make people the center of the story, and all of a sudden there is value that you’re injecting in them and then they naturally want to help you succeed.”
The ‘Humble, Hungry, Hustle’ framework
“It’s those three words. Those three ideas for me really are the framework, I would say, for my own leadership mantra. And so, if I’m thinking about how am I going to be a great leader and how am I going to influence people — it’s those three words. If I put all the habits that I feel like are important in your leadership, they fall under those three buckets. And so, you have to make sure that all three of those are also of equal importance because we know what those mean at the end of the day.” – Brad Lomenick
How to make your hustle sustainable
“We have to have a good balance of these and when you think about, especially hustle, I think that’s the one that I would say like I’m trying to bring a bit of a different angle because I know it’s true that it does require hard work. It does require excellence. It does require being willing to do more than others. But it’s also about margin. It’s also about rest. It’s also about generosity. It’s also about being a collaborator, being somebody who is a unifier. So, my question is, are you crushing it when it comes to margin and rest? Equally as much, are you crushing it by working your guts out and sort of redlining your engine? And that’s a big part of the hustle that I would prescribe to, is a balanced perspective on hustle.” – Brad Lomenick
Connection is about the other person
“I’m always trying to learn more but also hopefully be an example of is the way you again go back to connecting with people, the way you actually connect with people is that you start with them as the center of the story and you ask them questions and you’re curious about their world. And you make them the hero and it seems pretty obvious. I mean, so many of us are walking in and our posture is that I have all the answers. My way is the best way. My thinking is the best thinking compared to I’m curious about you. And this is true at the global level but it’s also true at the local level.” – Brad Lomenick
Brad Lomenick Tweetables''Everybody loves to hear their name. Everybody wants to feel like you know them. You're actually honoring people when you do that and do it well.'' – Brad Lomenick Click To Tweet ''Get out of your bubble and it will not only give you grace for other people, but it gives you perspective that in many ways will actually make you come more alive in the things that you believe.'' – Brad Lomenick Click To Tweet
- Connect with Brad Lomenick on LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter
- H3 Leadership podcast
- Catalyst podcast
- H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle.
- Zig Ziglar
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Read the Full Transcript with Brad Lomenick
Justin Donald: All right. Brad, I’m excited to have you on the show. It’s been a long time coming and we definitely have some mutual friends and so I’m glad that you could join. Thank you.
Brad Lomenick: Listen, it’s an honor, man. Thanks for having me. And hopefully, we’ll add some value to people. That’s the goal, right? Let’s help some folks get better.
Justin Donald: Well, I have no doubt you’re going to add plenty of value. It’s apparent even in just a short conversation with you, you bring just boatloads of wisdom. And I’m excited to explore some of that. I’m excited to explore kind of how you got to where you are today and really what that looks like and why you’re doing what you do. So, I’d love to just talk about what you are like as a younger guy. I mean, have you always been this successful author, speaker, coach? I mean, where did this come from?
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. The answer is yes. I was always this amazing. Man, you know, that’s such a great question. I think back to childhood and I think from a leadership side, I was always sort of a kid that was willing to step up and step out, even first grade that the first day of first grade at Mrs. Weaver’s class, Justin, I knew like everybody’s name by the end of the day, which nobody told me to do this. Nobody said, “Brad, you need to go learn everybody’s name.” But by day two, because I knew everybody’s name, now I’m like figuring out how to do trade deals in the cafeteria and it’s like, “Hey, listen, you got Twinkies and there’s a chocolate shake over here so how do we make these things come together?” And then I could get the Ding Dongs out of the deal.
Justin Donald: That’s awesome.
Brad Lomenick: So, just that connection that I think the influencer, the person who’s kind of willing to step up and help people connect dots and I always was running for student council or class president or all those things that you’re sort of like supposed to do. I think it’s sports, for me, that was a place that I think leadership really started to show up because I think the one that was willing to like set the example. And when you get voted captain on your sports teams and, again, nobody forced anybody to, that’s like sort of that sense of, “Okay. Now you’ve been validated that you really are like leading and you really do have influence.” So, it’s just always been natural for me. And I’ve always wondered like is that God-designed? Is that something that my parents or my family or upbringing put in? But I just know that it’s been true. For 40 years, it’s been true. And so, there’s always remnants. There’s little breadcrumbs, I think, in everybody’s journey when they look back on their childhood and they see the things they did without anybody telling them to.
Justin Donald: I love that. And I love this whole idea of breadcrumbs that if you really pay attention, I mean, you can walk through life and just let life happen to you. But if you really become aware and if you slow down enough to listen and if you slow down enough to be intentional and to actually analyze your life and to proactively plan, when you find that time and that space, you do discover breadcrumbs and clues and you see that there are people that have helped you along the way. And one little nudge can create these ripples and these chain reactions and it is incredible. But you’ve been blessed with some really exciting, just God-given talents in the world of human capital and connecting with people and connecting with your audience, whether it be via podcast or via book or through a message, through words spoken, whatever it is, and you really have that but there are also tricks to the trade, too. So, I mean, maybe it was natural that you memorized everyone’s name but maybe that wasn’t and maybe that was subconsciously or unconsciously learned. And I’m curious if you have any access to that because I hear people all the time that have a hard time remembering names, even just one. They just met someone and they already forgot it.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. It’s such a great question, too, and a couple of things come to mind. One is remembering names is just intentionality. It really is. And you will always remember somebody’s name if they’re important to you. And so, like if you just shift your mindset a little bit and think, “Well, now everybody needs to be important or that person I just met is important to have value,” and that’s why I’ve always approached it is if I remember somebody’s name and I use it immediately or they don’t expect me to remember it but then I call them by name and they’re like, “Whoa,” that automatically gives me credibility and it raises my level to actually have impact on them. So, it’s self-serving. You know, I’m not being selfish by doing that but it is self-serving, and that now I’ve shortcut the process of being able to actually influence or impact that person. So, it really comes back to intentionality. I mean, you hear people say, “Well, you say it three times or say it five times really in your mind while…” and I think that’s helpful but it’s also, here’s something that I do in meetings, I do with if I’m in the room with a team or if I’m like on a Zoom call or whatever, I’m writing their name down. I mean, it seems like so obvious but a lot of people don’t even do that. I’m actually like, and they think I’m taking notes on what they’re saying. I’m actually writing their names down. And so, I can then say to somebody, “Hey, Bill, thanks for that. That was a great connection point you made there. Thanks for that comment,” and they’re like, “Oh, my gosh, this guy remembers all of our names.” Well, I’ve got them right here in front of me. And nobody’s offended by that. I mean, even if you’re sitting next to somebody on the airplane and here’s the other thing, Justin, is if I don’t remember, I will say, “Hey, remind me again of your name,” because even when you say that, it says you’re valuable, right? So, that’s a few things I think about is just intentionality around it. Everybody loves to hear their name. Everybody wants to feel like you know them. You’re actually honoring people when you do that and do it well.
Justin Donald: Yeah. That’s so true because your favorite word is your name, right? Everyone’s is. There’s this sweet buzz and sound to your own name. And I notice when people use my name, it keeps me engaged with them. I appreciate that. I recognize that they are doing that. Even a moment ago inside of us talking, you referenced me by name and that is no accident. This is something that you’ve become just an expert at and a master at and I think that it’s cool. And it’s great to say like I love your tip about just ask. You know, at one point in my life, I was like, “Oh, man, if they know that I don’t know their name,” I just learned, just ask.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah.
Justin Donald: It’s better to just figure it out. And you know what? One of the things I do with people, I don’t know if you ever do this but I want to let people kind of off the hook, Brad, and I’ll say, “Hey, my name is Justin but if you forget, ask me again. Don’t worry. There are a ton of people I know you’re trying to keep track of so don’t even sweat it.”
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. And I always will say my name. I mean like if, again, dinner parties or you’re at an event and you know, oh, you’ve met this person before and they should remember your name but go ahead and be the person who breaks the ice, right? Say, “Hey, you know what, I think we’ve met before. I’m Brad,” and you automatically let them off the hook. So, you’re making it really easy for people to actually walk across that bridge compared to now it’s awkward and it’s weird and I think we both know that we’ve met before but we can’t remember each other’s names, right? So, that’s what I’m always trying to do just in interpersonal relationships is I’m always trying to figure out how do I make this easier for the person that I’m trying to connect to, to be able to connect with me. That’s empathy, man. It’s emotional intelligence is what it is. It’s putting yourself in their shoes and saying, “How should they feel? How do you want them to feel? Do they walk away from like an interaction with you? And do they say, “That was awesome,” or do they say, “Never again.”?
Justin Donald: That’s right. Yeah. Leaving people with a positive wake where they feel great and that is the mission is to greet people warmly and to send them off warmly. And that really leaves a good taste in people’s mouths. And they remember that because people remember the first and the last interaction. They just do. That’s just the way that we’re wired. And it’s so apparent to me, even in just this small little example of how intentional you are about learning people’s names, why people speak about you with so much praise. I mean, I can’t tell you how many people have just, they’ve told us that we need to connect, we need to meet, and the number of accolades and compliments that always follow your name, Brad. It’s incredible. And I know you know this but you’ve got some raving fans in the world and some raving friends.
Brad Lomenick: Well, I appreciate that. And you know what? Like, I hope that’s because I’m adding value to people, right? At the end of the day, like I think that’s why people, they prefer you and they refer you. They prefer to like hang out with you. They prefer to be your friend but they also then refer you. And the beauty of a reference, I mean, just in terms of how do you get ahead in life. Man, you make people the center of the story, and all of a sudden there is value that you’re injecting in them and then they naturally want to help you succeed. I mean, it’s the Zig Ziglar quote. You know, if you help somebody else get what they want, you’ll eventually get what you want.
Justin Donald: Yeah, for sure. And that rings so true. When I think about what you’re doing, the brand that you’re building, what you stand for, I mean, that’s it. You embody that and I think that’s so cool. I’d love to talk about your newest book. You’ve written a couple of books now but your newest book, Humble, Hungry, Hustle. Let’s get into this because, I mean, these are three great words that this is how people can kind of create a life that they want to that they desire. We have a very similar message in the fact that we want to help people. We want to lock arms with people. We want to really walk in stride helping people to overcome and achieve and really have a compelling vision for the future. So, tell us about your book.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. Well, it’s those three words. Those three ideas for me really are the framework, I would say, for my own leadership mantra. And so, if I’m thinking about how am I going to be a great leader and how am I going to influence people, it’s those three words. If I put all the habits that I feel like are important in your leadership, they fall under those three buckets. And so, you got to make sure that all three of those are also of equal importance because we know what those mean at the end of the day. Like humble, we get that for the most part. It’s not about me. There’s a bigger story at play. I’m not the center of it. You know, hungry is being a learner. And then hustle is that sense of work hard when needed. But they all have to be parallel. And so, the reason that this is an important sort of triangle is we know lots of leaders, Justin, who have tons of hustle but there’s no humility to them. So, they’re willing to work their guts out but it’s all about them like they’re trying to get there. There’s no sense of generosity or a bigger story at play. I’m going to do what I can to get ahead and that means I win and you lose but there’s also lots of leaders who are humble. They do have a proper posture of making it about others but they don’t do anything. They don’t get anything done. They’re not willing to work hard. They sit around and they’re just bitter because they’ve never accomplished anything. So, we have to have a good balance of these and when you think about especially hustle, I think that’s the one that I would say like I’m trying to bring a bit of a different angle because I know it’s true that it does require hard work. It does require excellence. It does require being willing to do more than others. But it’s also about margin. It’s also about rest. It’s also about generosity. It’s also about being a collaborator, being somebody who is a unifier. So, my question is, are you crushing it when it comes to margin and rest? Equally as much, are you crushing it by working your guts out and sort of redlining your engine? And that’s a big part of the hustle that I would prescribe to is a balanced perspective on hustle. So, I’ll stop there and let you unpack that one.
Justin Donald: That’s beautiful. And I love that you have this idea of rest that it can’t just be go, go, go, go, go. Because we live in a society where that is the case, where people are rewarded for that and they don’t often recognize what the toll that it takes on them until there’s an actual breakdown, physical breakdown. And so, having time of rest, having a space where you really create the boundaries and the guardrails to protect yourself from overworking or being a workaholic, I mean, I think that that is so important. So, you’re speaking total truth here but also at the same time, I know you’re a big lifestyle guy. And part of the reason I wanted you to join us on my show is because you’ve got a killer life. And so, you work hard when you need to and you’ve set yourself up to really be in a great place for yourself, for your family but you are no stranger to having fun. I know you love to travel, I know you love sports, I know you love hunting, and you’re quite hysterical as well. I’d love to know just some of your favorite places that you’ve traveled to and just some of the things that you do that you feel like you’re on a cloud.
Brad Lomenick: Well, I’ll say this about your message too, The Lifestyle Investor, and just the mindset. I didn’t figure this one out until like a little later in life. And I wish that I had your book and I wish I had known your message like when I was in college because I think we have similar stories. I grew up and nobody really told me there was a different way and I sort of just thought, “Okay. You work, you exchange time for work, and you get a paycheck, and you sort of get on this treadmill and there’s no other option.” But, man, the last like I would say decade has really been fun because I do have an environment and a season now where I get to create my own economy and I get to like choose what I work on and I get to like live out some of the principles that you talk about and that you teach people. So, that’s just context. Travel-wise, man, I’m a sports guy that loves the global travel opportunities while also like being an incredibly curious person in general so a lot of my travels have been around sports. So, like one of the great trips of all time for me was a trip to the southern coast of Spain, the Costa del Sol, and there was about 20 of us and we played golf at some of the greatest courses in that part of Europe. Our last day was at Valderrama, which if people if they know Valderrama, it is one of the most exclusive courses in the world. It’s up there with Augusta in terms of just the exclusivity but we had one of the great days of all time. I played really good golf that day. We had this incredible dinner in their clubhouse. Nobody else is there. Nobody else is on the course. You know, it was just great friends. That’s an all-timer. I mean, early on in my life, I got to go on a trip to Australia, New Zealand. This was in high school so, again, an Oklahoma kid getting to go and see Australia and New Zealand at 18 when I had really never been on a plane before was a game-changer.
And listen to this. So, we’re playing American football where we were basically an all-star team from the State of Oklahoma with high school seniors that we’re trying to show those in Australia and New Zealand that there really is a real football and it’s American football. So, we go to Auckland and we play our exhibition game and after our game, again, these are 18-year-old knuckleheads from Oklahoma. We are introduced to the New Zealand All Blacks, which arguably is one of the great sports teams in the world, franchise-wise in the history of sports. This is one of the great sports teams of all time. And we were so clueless that we were like, we don’t know who these guys are, like New Zealand All Blacks, and we’re trading jerseys with them and we had no clue that they were arguably one of, again, the most legendary dynasty franchises of all time because they play rugby. I look back now and I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, if I’ve only known that I was like in the presence of greatness, I would have been like getting all their autographs. But that was a pretty fun trip, the Australia-New Zealand playing American football trip.
Justin Donald: That’s cool. You know, it’s funny you said something that I think is pretty interesting. You said, “Only if I would have known,” but isn’t that life in general? It’s like if only I would have learned that a decade ago. And by the way, it’s really easy to live in this world of like, “Oh, man, I wish I knew that when,” and you can beat yourself down with it or you can be grateful that you’ve learned it now and you’ve learned it today. But I feel like life is a collection of if only I had known that, if only I had been aware, if only I had taken the blinders off. And so, it’s funny hearing you say that because I can relate on many levels. And, man, what cool travels you have. I mean, for anyone watching and listening, you can see how Brad lights up when he talks about your travels and everything.
Brad Lomenick: By the way, what is your favorite city in the world? Mine’s London. So, what’s your favorite city?
Justin Donald: Oh, gosh, that is such a tough question. I will probably say Rome.
Brad Lomenick: Okay. Yeah.
Justin Donald: But I have so many others that are up there, like everything to me, it’s hard for me to say what’s my favorite because I can say my favorite sightseeing city, my favorite food city, my favorite city based on climate and culture. And so, to me, there are just so many different ways to measure it. But Rome really has a little bit of everything, big city but small neighborhoods, incredible food, amazing people but I feel like I could say that about probably 20 different cities.
Brad Lomenick: The reason I love London so much, I feel like it’s the combination of Washington, D.C. with history and sort of the government and old buildings. And then you’ve got the New York sort of culture element in London and then you’ve got the entertainment of L.A., sort of all in one city in London. And I like that the sidewalks, I’m a runner, the sidewalks are so wide that you can run anywhere in London and never feel like you’re crowded. If you run in New York, in Manhattan you feel like you’re going to, you can’t get around people because there are just so many people everywhere.
Justin Donald: Yeah. Well, and maybe not as much now is there used to be but, I mean, I totally get that and can relate to that. In fact, on my wall over here that you can’t see and actually this used to be the background that I used for my podcast when I first began is I have this huge world map that’s the size of my wall and I’ve got these little magnet pieces. And each time we go to a different country, we’ll market. And so, I’ve got a color for when my family goes and I’ve got a color for when I went solo and for a lot of my trips prior to meeting my wife and having my daughter. It’s such a really fun and cool collection of colors up there.
Brad Lomenick: That’s awesome. What’s the next one, by the way?
Justin Donald: Well, the year of COVID, we were supposed to spend our summer in Portugal and Spain. We were going to split time. We’re going to do a month in Portugal and then a month in Spain. And so, COVID kind of crushed that, and Spain just opened up. In fact, one of the people in our mastermind, Coryn, just literally left the day Spain opened up their borders and he’s in Valencia right now, which is really cool. But that will be probably our next extended stay. And we’ve done some cool stuff. I mean, we went to Cabo this year and Puerto Rico and a handful of other places. But we love our summers where we can do some extended stay in places. You know, it’s hot here in Austin. And so, we like doing the reverse commute. A lot of people they leave their cold climate in the winter and go somewhere warm. Well, in here, the climate’s amazing in the winter. So, in hot summer, we like going to different places around the world.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. Well, I’m with you, man. Just the curiosity bug of visiting other cities and other countries but also like the people. In America, in the US, we’re so full of ourselves. We think everything revolves around us and then you get out in the world and you realize there are just so many great people around the world and so many great traditions and customs. It doesn’t make me less of an American but it sure makes me appreciate the fact that there’s such a bigger story at play and that it’s like, again, if I would have only known. I mean, when you grow up, especially like when you’re not exposed to global people and global outlets and traveling like all of a sudden, and it’s just like a light bulb goes on and you can’t get enough of it now, at least that’s the way I feel.
Justin Donald: I’m the same way. You know, once you kind of get the bug, you get the bug but, for me, it’s like when I go outside the borders of the US or what I know so well, I just am reminded how big the world is, how interconnected the world is, how people live life just in a different way. It gives me understanding and appreciation for different cultures, different mindsets. But it also gives me grace because I recognize that the way that I see the world is not the way other people see the world. And if I grew up with a different situation, then I may look at things differently. I may have a different perspective. And so, I like being exposed to that, to people that just have a totally different walk of life because it makes me more well-rounded and it makes me more relatable like I want to understand people where they’re at, not where I want them to be,
Brad Lomenick: That’s so well said. I mean, even for me, like even from a faith perspective, when I meet people from different faiths like that doesn’t make me less passionate about my own faith. It actually makes me understand my own personal faith even more but it allows me to actually have empathy and connection to somebody else from a different perspective. And it’s so short-sighted, I think, for us, again, like the way we live life to think, “Well, I got to stay in my bubble.” No. Actually, get out of your bubble and it will not only give you, like you said, grace for other people but it gives you perspective that in many ways will actually make you come more alive in the things that you believe.
Justin Donald: Yeah. And we live in such a polarizing world. And there are so many cool things that exist in the world and there are so many things that to me are a shame. And when I think about just this massive place that we have and all the different types of people, I’m just reminded that we’re here to be in relationship with people and the top priority should be the relationship. And so, we’re in a place where you might have different political views and so if that’s the case, then maybe you’re viewing someone out of a lens of I’m this, there, that. Same thing with religion and faith, same thing with different types of jobs and careers and maybe even status. And to me, I feel like I really want to see a world where we get back to relationship is at the top of the totem pole, not who did you vote for and what is your religion and who are your people and what’s the color of your skin. If you can just have everything be around like, “Hey, let me show up in a way where I can contribute to someone else and I can engage with and connect with someone else, especially someone who’s different than me,” that’s where the learning is. That’s where the growth is.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. I think that’s the lesson, too, and that I’m always trying to learn more but also be hopefully an example of is that the way you again go back to connecting with people like the way you actually connect with people is that you start with them as the center of the story and you ask them questions and you’re curious about their world. And you make them the hero and it seems pretty obvious. I mean, so many of us are walking in and sort of our posture is that I have all the answers. My way is the best way. My thinking is the best thinking compared to I’m curious about you. And this is true at the local level like this is true at the global level but it’s also true at the local level, right? I mean, this is the way we actually just get along with people.
Justin Donald: That’s right. And it’s actually kind of comical because most people have their way of doing things but it’s the only thing that they’ve ever known. So, how do you know if it’s the best way? How do you know if it’s the fastest way or the most efficient way? And so, that one’s interesting. And just because you’ve had a lot of success with something, doesn’t mean that you couldn’t have had more success if you had done it differently. Now, take the opposite side of the coin on that one also, though, is when you know someone’s had success in doing something a certain way that is also a blueprint for how to do something successful that same way through copying and through mirroring and modeling. So, it is interesting but more than anything, I just think the more people that we’re around that are not like us are going to help us grow into a better version of ourselves. And the more people that we can surround ourselves with that just play the game of life at a higher level, that play the game of business or health or relationships at a higher level I think the more fulfilled we’re going to be in the process of living life.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. Have you traveled much in developing countries, whether it’s Africa or even in parts of South America?
Justin Donald: Yeah. I’ve been to most of Central and South America at this point. I’ve been to a handful of countries in Africa. You know, I think I mentioned this on your podcast that I’ve been to I believe it’s 76 countries now. I love to experience the world but for me, it doesn’t have to be fine dining and nice hotels. I think that there’s a time and a place for that and I think that that’s fun but I want real world. And so, we do a lot of traveling all over. And by the way, in my youth, I did all kinds of third-world traveling, and sometimes it was for mission trips and sometimes it was because that was an inexpensive trip but that that to me is like one of the keys to raising kids to not be entitled is to educate them and give them this perspective of what is out there and what things could look like. Because if you are in a first-world country, you are wealthy beyond all measures, and most people just don’t realize that.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. I mean, yes, you’re so right and it just gives you perspective when you see a family living in a remote part of Africa that has 1/1,000,000th of whatever you have but yet their hope and their joy is 1,000,000th more than what yours is. It’s like, wait, we’re getting this all wrong like here’s somebody who has nothing but yet they’re so filled with joy and hope and expectation and faith. And yet here I am and I’ve got everything. And so, that’s the other thing about traveling in certain places where people’s lives and their level of living is it gives you such perspective that then you are grateful and you start to have a sense of being thankful about what you’ve been given.
Justin Donald: Yeah. And when you’re grateful, then it is really hard to be selfish.
Brad Lomenick: Exactly.
Justin Donald: I mean, these emotions, it’s hard to have anger when you are experiencing gratitude. It’s hard to have depression or anxiety when you are experiencing those things and it’s not to take away from people that really experience that at a pretty hardcore level. I know that that is kind of like this pandemic in itself here going on in the world. And I don’t mean to take away from people that are truly experiencing something that is debilitating but at the same time, I think the more we can spend time being thankful for what we do have and experiencing contentment, there is so much joy inside of that. I feel like that when you focus on what you do have more than what you don’t have, you’re going to live a happier life. And that’s what you see in a lot of these third-world countries. They’re not focused on what they don’t have. They’re thankful for all the things, the people, the relationships. It’s what they have. And you see this all over the globe. Fiji is one of my favorite places for this because these are some of the happiest, jolliest, actually, that’s the word, jolly, like just full of joy, these unbelievable Fijians. And it is just a whole another level of just comfort and strength in themselves and who they are and what they appreciate in the world.
Brad Lomenick: I haven’t been there. I want to go.
Justin Donald: I’d put that one at the top of your list because it’s also beautiful as well. I mean, we’re talking about a whole nother part of the world but just some of the most beautiful sights you’ve ever seen. A lot of water activities. I mean, it’s cool but it’s a culture that is special and they do these really cool kava ceremonies and it’s very community-based and community-oriented.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. Well, it’s on the list now.
Justin Donald: I like it. I like it. Well, changing subjects, you have an awesome podcast and you’ve had some incredible guests on your show that you’ve written about or that you’ve interviewed. I mean, you have a lineup of what many would call big names. So, I’d love to learn more about your show and even just the genesis of the Catalyst Podcast.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. So, I really have a couple of different shows and the Catalyst Podcast, gosh, we started back in 2005. I mean, it’s been around, I think we were number one on iTunes because nobody else was on. We were the only ones in there and it was connected to the Catalyst movement, which was a conference movement. We were doing leadership events all over the country and we got our start with John Maxwell, who’s probably lots of people have read John’s books. So, that was sort of the thing was we were doing all these events and gatherings but the podcast in some ways, again, over the last 15 years, hundreds of thousands, millions of people have connected to that podcast and I got to be on it for a bunch of years and I still co-host it. I’ll meet people and they hear me talk and they’re like, “Wait. Are you that guy from the Catalyst podcast?” I’m like, “Well, I guess so. Yeah.” So, it’s been a fun journey. And then I started my own, well, I started H3 Leadership Podcast, which is really more around not necessarily around my book but it’s more like my own interviewing guests. I’m really trying to like curate the links and recommendations and resources that leaders need to be aware of because I think, for me, when I was thinking about where do I fit in the podcast world that’s unique, I didn’t know of a lot of podcasts that were giving me recommendations.
Maybe it’s books I should read or the websites I need to go to or the newsletters I need to subscribe to or what are some other podcasts I should listen to. And so, that’s what I’ve been trying to do with my own podcast the last nine months is to try to provide some of those recommendations and links. And that’s been fun, man, and I’m still having a guest on it. You’re a guest on that podcast. So, I still have some focus on that I want to have conversations with but I’m also on every episode trying to bring them a list or something that they can actually like check out that’s going to help them in their own journey.
Justin Donald: Yeah. That’s cool. It’s got to be kind of surreal training under, being an understudy under the great John Maxwell. And I’d love to know some of your thoughts and what that was like and I’ve got to imagine you were starstruck in the beginning or possibly that that was the case. I’ve got to imagine you learned a lot of things to do. I think you must have also learned some things not to do as well. I mean, even the great John Maxwell has messed up in many ways. And so, there’s probably a lot that you could glean from him on both sides of that equation.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. I get the chance to work on John’s team for a few years and, by the way, he’s still crushing it. I mean, I think he’s 74. He’s still writing books. He’s still speaking. He’s arguably having more influence today than at any other time in his life. I mean, he’s in the fourth quarter and he is not like playing shuffleboard on the Carnival Cruise Ship like he’s leveraging. He talks about the compounding interest of wisdom and he’s leveraging all this wisdom in this season. I think so many people, they sort of think, “Well, I guess I’m just supposed to retire, right? Like at some point I’m supposed to.” No. Actually, like your fourth quarter is your greatest quarter. So, that’s one of the things I’m learning from a distance from John still. I don’t work for him anymore. I see him occasionally but watching him like finish the race well and keep running the race, that’s been such a lesson to your question. I’ll tell you a couple of things that stood out always. One is that John isn’t in power. So, even for me, I was a knucklehead in my 20s. I still am a knucklehead. I’m just taller. But in my 20s as a knucklehead, myself and others who were on the team, he gave us so many opportunities in so many ways that we could have like took the company down or done dumb stuff. But he believed in us and he was so empowering that he was willing to say, “You guys go try it. Like, go figure it out,” and that’s such a great way to like not only attract the kind of leader you want on your team that the eagle who’s willing to fly who doesn’t even know what the process is but they’ll go figure it out.
And so, that was always a lesson for me. The other thing was he was a celebrator and that the journey was fun. And so, like on a book tour with John or on a trip, we would always like figure out ways to find the restaurant in that city that was going to be a memory moment. And that was the thing that I still like think about with John is he was always intentionally trying to give us these mile markers of memories on the journey. We had work to do. We had things that we were accomplishing but he would always just remind us like, “Hey, enjoy the process. Let’s get it done. Let’s deliver. But also, let’s not lose sight that it’s supposed to be enjoyable along the way.” And I think a lot of us is Type-As. If we’re ambitious and we want to climb Mt. Everest, we forget that like why don’t we stop at Camp 3 on the way up to the top of Everest and actually like take a selfie and look around and go, “Ain’t this beautiful?” compared to like, “Oh, we got to get to the top,” and I’m that way anyway. I have to be reminded, “Brad, just enjoy it like there’s so much joy in this journey.”
Justin Donald: I love it. I mean, that is so poetic and very profound. Thank you for sharing that, Brad. I’m just so thrilled to have had you on the show and for you to share all this wisdom and these things that you’ve learned, these life hacks. This is incredible. I’d love to know where my audience can find you online.
Brad Lomenick: Yeah. Well, either H3Leadership.com or just my name, Brad Lomenick. BradLomenick.com. Those are the two websites. You know, you can listen to the podcast. I’m @BradLomenick on all the social media outlets. I’m not a great follow. I do a lot of listening these days on social media. I don’t do a lot of like posting. So, if you’re following me, don’t expect a lot of posts but I’m not anti-social media. I just don’t put up a lot of things.
Justin Donald: Yeah. Well, you know what, people say there’s a reason we have two ears, right? So, maybe it’s better just to listen or better to read and not be so quick to always be offering our thoughts and our opinions so I like that. Hey, this has really been a gift. So, thanks for your time, Brad. And I just want to remind my audience that I share this at the end of every episode, and that is to take some form of action today, move in the direction of a life by design, a life that is intentional and purposeful, and just take one step towards financial freedom so that you can do things on your terms and so that you can just live an exciting and compelling life. So, thanks for joining us here this week and we’ll catch you next week.