The Three Pillars of Practical Leadership: Podcast #30

Today, I’m excited to share with you a conversation I recently had with Brad Lomenick, a leadership consultant and speaker. He has spent a great deal of his time focusing on developing the next generation of leaders. You might know him from his role in Catalyst events or his book The Catalyst Leader. Recently, we discussed his follow-up book H3 Leadership.

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Your new book is called H3 Leadership, which is about being humble, staying hungry, and always hustling. Can you give us a quick overview of this book?

Brad Lomenick: The title of the book is my leadership mantra. I always want to define my leadership by staying humble, hungry, and always hustling.

Tim Elmore: That’s great. The book covers so much more than just that, so how else would you describe it?

Brad: The three H’s are what I consider to be the pillars of practical leadership. Then underneath those pillars, I try to define 20 habits that will sustain your leadership over time. These habits focus more on the practical side of how to live out the 3 H’s.



Tim: Some of the interest in this book involves the sabbatical that you took during the peak of your career. Would you talk about that?

Brad: I started to realize that the people closest to me were getting hurt the most from me. The more popularity and success you gain, the less likely you are to give the people closest to you the best of you. So I needed to stop and reevaluate some things. It was important for me to redefine who I was as a leader because who we are is not defined by what we do.

This was a point in my own journey that was a preventative measure. So many times, we have to protect ourselves from ourselves. Because we are so focused on the end goal, we lose sight of where we are on the journey. 

Tim: Brad, from your own observations, which of these habits discussed in your book do you think Millennials struggle with the most?

Brad: It is now more important than ever that a young leader be intentional about who they are and their sense of identity. Another one is the habit of execution. The way you gain credibility the quickest as a young leader is to get things done. At the same time, make sure you are doing it with a habit of excellence.

Tim: I think the execution habit is the one that trumps everything else. Would you agree? 

Brad: Absolutely. Regardless of whether I am the intern or the CEO, I have to be focused on building a culture of making things happen. The majority of organizations that are excelling today have a leader that is willing to get into the trenches with their team.


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Tim: One of your most powerful ideas in the book is about creativity and innovation. You argue that it is not something people are just born with, but it is a habit that can be developed and cultivated. When did you realize this?

Brad: I realized this primarily with my work with Catalyst. I was pushed into a role where I was leading something that was really creative. It was way beyond my sense of being a creative leader. I felt like a fake that was going to be found out. That’s not true, first of all, because I am creative, but my creativity is based more out of a process. I was sort of a hunter and gatherer of ideas. We’ve found at Catalyst that many times, the best ideas started out as bad or average and we build on those. Let the system or process allow for things to be more creative over time.

Tim: That reminds me of Carol Dweck’s idea that we need to get away from a fixed mindset and into a growth mindset. That is what leaders have to be built on. 

As we think about the big picture, what do you think the world needs most from leaders today?

Brad: I think the world needs leaders that are incredibly, 100% authentic. People are starving for something that is real. People will follow real over relevant and authentic over perfect every time. I think this is the place to start as a leader. Lead from who you truly are.

Check out Brad’s book at

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The Three Pillars of Practical Leadership: Podcast #30