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Book Review: The Catalyst Leader

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I just finished reading The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker, by Brad Lomenick. Lomenick is founder of Catalyst, “a movement purposed to equip and inspire young Christian leaders”, and he has served in various leadership capacities over the years.

Each chapter describes a leadership trait that is conducive to effective leadership. Lomenick says that great leaders are called, authentic, passionate, capable, courageous, principled, hopeful, and collaborative. He uses both personal examples and stories of great leaders to illustrate these principles—people like John Featherston from Chick-fil-A, Dallas Willard, Bill Hybels, and Eugene Peterson.

Lomenick’s words are challenging and inspiring. For example, when writing about courage, he says we need to set “scary standards.” Lomenick explains: “Safe goals are set by safe leaders with safe visions. Give your people a goal that scares them, and you’ll produce leaders who know what it means to overcome fear.”

Lomenick asks thought-provoking questions throughout the book. When writing about land mines, or things that can blow up in leaders’ faces, he asks, “What are the areas in which you are most vulnerable? What are your hidden weaknesses that could blow up in your face?” When writing about vision, Lomenick asks, “what’s on your heart or stirring in you that you keep pushing back because it doesn’t seem possible?”

Crammed between the pages are also tidbits of good advice. The reader will find gems such as, “Twenty points on leading twentysomethings” and “Seven signs you’re too big for your britches”.

Lomenick also discusses the importance of mentoring in leadership. He says that every leader should not only have a mentor but should also be a mentor to someone else.

An appendix outlines the results of a research study on effective leadership conducted by Catalyst and the Barna Research Group.

Lomenick concludes by offering some sage words of advice:

“Your legacy, regardless of where you are in your leadership journey, starts now. The way you start determines how you finish.”

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