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 (can I call you 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. Chapter 1 is all about “calling” both in the spiritual and vocational senses of the term. For any of you who have read my recent musings or watched my recent video on “calling,” you know that I’m frustrated by the way it is presented throughout Christianity. It doesn’t line up with the Bible, and it’s a distraction from what God has actually called Christians to do on Earth – not to a specific J-O-B, but to a plethora of common callings that the Bible teaches. (i.e. love God and love others; seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God; look after orphans and widows in their distress; etc…)
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. 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 us…to 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, click on this link right now and buy this book. 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.