The MxU Podcast
February 20, 2023

#137 – Brad Lomenick

Jeff sits down with Brad Lomenick to talk about leadership and his book, H3 Leadership: Be Humble, Stay Hungry, Always Hustle. Grab a pen, because we know you’re gonna want to take notes. Brad shares so much great wisdom around leading up, leading others, and leading yourself. Enjoy!


The MxU Podcast Episode 137

Jeff Sandstrom: [00:00:00] You are now entering the M X U podcast, no credentials required. Hey everybody. Welcome to episode 1 37 of the M X U podcast. I’m Jeff Sandstrom, and today I’m hosting by myself. Everybody else had other things to do this week and so. Um, we’re just gonna get straight to our interview pretty quickly. We’re talking today with Brad Lanik, who is a leadership guru.

So I know you’re gonna love hearing from him. He’s gonna tell us about his story, but Brad was formerly with John Maxwell and the folks at Enjoy and then worked with Catalyst for years and was the director of Catalyst. Still now consults with them and serves with them, but now he’s doing his own thing.

He’s an author and a speaker, and a blogger and a podcaster. And so I know you’re gonna love to hear what Brad has to say, but before we get to the interview, I have a couple things to update you on first, uh, if you are a part of the M X U 75 Day Challenge, we are now a third of the way [00:01:00] through, so we crossed over day 25.

We’re coming up to day 30. And so for those of you who are in with us, I can tell that you’re probably starting to feel pretty good. Uh, we’ve had several comments so far from people about how the. Journey has impacted them so far, and it’s just been incredible to hear some of the stories and just to hear some of the specifics of what guys are going through.

Um, we got a great message from our friend Zack, who said one of his successes is, and I’ll quote this, I’ve started praying a lot more for more than just myself, my family, and my church. Since joining MX U recently and watching the M X U live stream back, it’s weighed heavy on my soul that we are a team regardless of church building name or denomination.

So he’s understood as just from being a part of M X U, that this community is way more than just him and his church. So he has been called to just pray [00:02:00] more for all of you, and I think that’s awesome. One of his struggles is that, you know, he drives a truck for a living and has a lot of time sitting, and so to find time to walk and move around has been a bit of a struggle.

But you know, That’s just part of it. You know, we’re, we’re really calling people to, uh, move more and as we stack these habits, we’re gonna be exercising more and more. So, you know, if it means pulling over and taking a break and walking for a few minutes and not not sitting down all day, you know, that’s just part of it.

So Zach, thank you for your encouragement. We’re just, we’re praying for you. We’re with you. We got a lot of folks who are in the same boat, so thanks for sharing. Another is, uh, our friend Benjamin said, I forgot how much walking makes a difference for me. Not walking to log miles, but walking just to move and get outside, mentally, physically, spiritually, it helps so much, you know, that is so true for so many of us.

Um, one note, if you guys have missed Dr. Barrett’s Facebook live sessions, you gotta go check ’em out. So [00:03:00] go to the M X U A V L collective on Facebook, uh, because every Sunday night he’s been doing some really helpful live video sessions, so you can go back and watch the replay. But he’s talked about, uh, stubborn weight that’s hard to lose.

He’s talked about adrenal stress and how much just stress and anxiety, uh, is, is bad for us physically, and some great tips on how to alleviate some of that. Uh, we’ve talked about box breathing coming up, which is one of our habits that’s coming, and so he talks us through best practices for managing that.

There’s just a lot of things in those sessions that you’re gonna find helpful from working out to eating well to, uh, how to sleep better and all that. So, so check those out if you haven’t already, because the information there is super helpful. Also, we’ve got an M X U workshop coming up, so if you are a SSL live console, Or you’re interested [00:04:00] in S S L or you just wanna learn more about other consoles?

We’re hosting an S S L certification workshop. So the team from S S L is gonna be at M H U H Q and we’re going to offer an all day workshop where you can leave being certified in how to operate an s s SSL live console. So go to get and find the workshop there and sign up cuz I know that you would really enjoy the experience.

Also, to give you an update on what I’ve been up to, uh, I was at MSU HQ earlier this week doing some videos, uh, on the SSL bus plus and the SSL fusion. So I had never really used outboard gear before in a live setting. And I gotta tell you, these boxes are super impressive. I can’t wait for you to see the, uh, walkthrough videos and the how-to videos that we did on the bus plus and the fusion because.

This thing sounds amazing. So I’m gonna have the [00:05:00] opportunity to take those with me on the upcoming Songs of Worship Tour with Chris Tomlin. Uh, we actually were rehearsing this weekend getting ready for the shows that are coming up. So if you’re in a city that the tour is coming to, I would encourage you to come see this show.

Chris and the guys have prepared a great evening of worship. We’re gonna be in churches, so it’s a little different. We’re not in an arena, so it’s a very intimate setting, uh, very intimate set. Chris is gonna tell a lot of stories and sing a lot of songs. And if you’re gonna be going, hit me up because I would love to hang out.

I think I’m gonna have some time to meet folks and hang out a little bit. So if you want to come by and say hi. Please let me know because I would love to connect. In fact, we may find a way to do kind of an mx u meetup at some point, uh, in one of the cities. So check out chris and you can see all the cities and all the dates, and I hope to see you there.

I would also be [00:06:00] remiss if I didn’t mention. what’s happening in the M X U platform. So if you’re not an M X U subscriber, you need to be, uh, we have changed our structure a little bit in terms of the memberships and so, you know, you’ve heard us talk on the podcast a bunch about how much this platform is for teams.

So we’ve changed our model so that even the cheapest subscription includes up to 10 volunteers for your team. So even at the $19 a month starter membership, you’ll be able to give 10 of your volunteers and staff access to the platform. It’s amazing. And then our basic subscription, which is one level up from that, allows you to actually upload up to 10 gigs of your own video content.

So we’ve talked about this feature a bunch. It jumps to 20 volunteers and staff and up to 10 gigabytes of your own. Content. So if you have a special message that you need to send for a new volunteer or [00:07:00] some training on a specific process or workflow in your systems, you can upload those to the app and it’ll be a part of the M X U library in your login.

So again, we’re adding more and more features all the time. Over the next few episodes of the podcast, I’ll be sharing even more of what’s to come because we’re adding features all the time. Our team is doing an incredible job, not just in adding features that are cool and that look good on the website, but that are actually helpful.

You know, our biggest thing is to help teams get better. And so I just wanna give a shout out to our team because of the work that they’re doing, they’re working diligently and feverishly to implement more and more of these new features. So I can’t wait to tell you more about ’em. And they’ll be releasing really all throughout the spring.

So I’m super excited about that. Anyway, that’s all I have for today, so let’s get to our interview with Brad Lanik right after this message. Sitting for long hours can be a real pain. Literally, [00:08:00] that’s why we love stealth tears from Erco Lab. They’re designed to provide unparalleled support to music and production professionals, promoting proper posture and minimizing fatigue, reducing chronic back and neck pain, and increasing circulation to the lakes.

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Well, I’m thrilled today to be joined by my friend Brad Lanik. Um, I’ve known Brad for a long time through his work with Catalyst and other events and conferences, as well as just being around North Point and passion for years. So Brad, thanks so much for being here today and for just encouraging us in what we’re talking about today.[00:09:00]

Brad Lomenick: Absolutely, man. Listen, we have known each other for a long time and we both have a, uh, I think your, your golf passion may, may be even stronger than mine. So

Jeff Sandstrom: it’s kind of both of our main hobbies, I think like, yeah. In fact, when I look at your website and your bio like. Like your, your dream vacation is golf in Scotland or Ireland.

Yes. And I was disappointed to see though, that your dream foursome does not include me. Well, you were number five ,

Brad Lomenick: so you dismissed the cut,

Jeff Sandstrom: man. Well, that’s a story of my life. I’ve missed the cut in a lot of ways, but, um, again, thanks for being here and talking to us. For people who don’t know you or don’t know, uh, about you or you know, H three and what you’re doing, just give us a little bit of history.

Like Yeah. What, what, what got you into ministry in the first place? Um, some about just general biography, but then also, you know, your work in ministry that led [00:10:00] specifically to focusing on leadership. Well,

Brad Lomenick: as many of us, this happens where you meet somebody in your twenties especially, and they’re, yeah, they’re truly a catalyst.

So for me it was, it was getting connected to. Enjoy in John Maxwell’s organization 20, 20 plus years ago. And, uh, at that point, you know, I was working for a little small boutique consulting firm and Enjoy was one of our clients. And I was always kind of connected Jeff to, or felt a connection or draw to leadership, but I never really sort of saw it as a career or something I could do sort of vocationally.


Jeff Sandstrom: yeah, because back then leadership wasn’t really like a general category of anything. It was like, yeah, some people were good leaders and a few people had written books and, you know, certain pastors were, were known as great leaders, but leadership [00:11:00] wasn’t like a, a degree program. Right. Or, uh, you know, That was for the business world, right?

Like yeah. Talking about leadership was, you know, Patrick Lencioni and those kind of guys. Yeah. But in ministry it was, it was not quite the same thing at that time. Yeah.

Brad Lomenick: And, and, and people like John Maxwell and, and even Rick Warren and Bill Hebels and many others sort of came along and created conferences and events and, and really like spaces to talk about leadership.

So for me, getting connected to John, uh, you know, we, we, we were doing a bunch of conferences. Catalyst became one of those in the early two thousands. And then, you know, Gabe Lions and several others were involved in that in the beginning. And, um, after a couple years, I stepped in to help lead it and that really gave me my arc.

I mean, truly. Yeah. Like without that connection point, I would have not ended up in sort of the space I’m in. Um, so I didn’t, I didn’t set out to be a [00:12:00] leadership author. Like it wasn’t a career. It wa I didn’t even know it was available. Right. Um, right. Or to even be a podcaster or to, to, you know, sort of, I guess a thought leader in that space.

Jeff Sandstrom: Yeah. That’s interesting. Um, that’s when we first met, I think, was around some of those first Catalyst conferences that I was a part of because I served on the production team Yes. For some of those initial events back when the conference was hosted at North Point. Like That’s right. It was early days before it, before it was in an arena size event.

It was, you know, John and Andy and some other speakers would come in and, you know, it was, it was a lot smaller but super effective. Like I remember. And I think a lot of people who are in production who do conferences at their church or who are a part of bigger conferences, um, For me, it was just always an honor just to sit and listen to the content.

You know, I was there for audio production, but just to hear from all of those kinds of people and the heavyweights, [00:13:00] like these are the guys who are literally writing the books that were all reading and just to hear their, their heart for the church and their heart for leadership, and just the practical application stuff.

Like I know that my, my late twenties and early thirties were really shaped by the content itself, and to be able to walk away from those events with the latest book or the latest idea or just encouragement was just so huge. So I can only imagine for you being in the center of the sort of hurricane of all of that, you know, how that shaped you in terms of your personal leadership and leading yourself had to have been just formational.


Brad Lomenick: Well it’s, you know, I had a lot of times where I didn’t f I didn’t feel up to the. To the task of actually leading something. Cuz I, I wasn’t even myself a healthy leader or even a effective leader, you know? I mean, yeah, it felt like I was trying to build a [00:14:00] plane and fly at the same time and truly like figuring out my own sort of mantra of leadership and how I wanted to be effective.

And, you know, trial and error is so much a part of that. And, and most of us, most of us truly at the end of the day when it comes to leading teams and, and, um, being effective as a, as a, as a boss, a manager, a leader, a ceo, a you know what, whatever position you authority you have, um, reality is, is most of us are, are figuring it out as we go.

Truly. Yeah. And if you ever run across a leader who thinks they have it all figured out, they probably don’t. They’re probably, yeah. Don’t,

Jeff Sandstrom: they’re just faking

Brad Lomenick: it. Oh my gosh. The, the imposter syndrome is very high. Yeah. Typically, if that person, if you, if you’re getting that air about them, that they’ve, you know, they know what they’re doing.

So, and, and this is, this is true and more today than ever, that, that, that level of humility [00:15:00] and that posture of, Hey, I do know I’m in charge. Like, I’m gonna make a decision. I’m not gonna aus shucks it, but, but I, I don’t want to, I, I, I, I need you everybody to understand that, that I’m equally, um, in a place where I’m trying to figure this out like you are.

And it gives you actually so much so good street cred. That’s, yeah. Way more than it ever did before, so,

Jeff Sandstrom: totally. You know, cause I think there was, there was a time, and maybe this still happens. I’m, you know, I’m a little bit away from that world now, but, um, In church conference world, or you know, somebody who goes to everything, right?

They’re, they’re at Catalyst, they’re at Passion, they’re at Orange, they’re at whatever other events that are happening throughout the church calendar. You know, they come home with all the resources and all the stuff, and yeah, it’s easy. It’s easy for them and the people around them to think that they’ve just, you know, proximity to those things means that they’re actually behaving that way.

Yeah. And it’s like, you know, [00:16:00] at some point you have to go, okay, is this really a part of how, what I believe and how I lead and how, because everybody, you know, we talked to a production folks primarily in this, in this audience. And so, you know, they may not be at the top level of leadership, but they are leading something.

Yeah. And I think everybody, even a volunteer at a. is responsible for leading something. Yeah. And it may be just the ways in which they lead themselves and the way they lead their families. And you know, those, those lessons of leadership can be impactful to all of those aspects of what we’re called to do.

So, you know, there’s, there’s this interesting line to me between like going to the thing and taking credit for sort of checking the box and it’s like, okay, I went and heard Andy Stanley and Craig Rochelle and John Maxwell and Rick Warren and I read all their books and all these guys. But the application part is always, you know, that’s it.

It’s like, it’s like, it’s like a kid. It’s like knowing right from wrong is not the thing. [00:17:00] Doing right from wrong is the point. Yeah. So, you know, how do we get beyond just inform. And how that leads to actual implementation and transformation hopefully, cuz that’s, it’s, it’s easy to get sucked into the wrong side of that equation.

Brad Lomenick: Yes. And even what you said about, you know, you were, you were on the team for many years at Catalyst, like you, and you were on the team of a bunch of different conferences and, um, but we tried to live out with our team, so many of whom were not on our team, but they would come together for a conference and we, we actually really wanted to live out that premise of let’s, let’s actually like, you know, create a great culture for people Yeah.

Who actually want to be part of this. And um, and we were working out a lot of those kinks. You know, for me personally, like, I’ll give you a couple of examples. I mean, I was, I was, I was not, uh, I was really like a bit schizophrenic [00:18:00] as a, as the leader of Catalyst and then playing the executive producer role.

For all those years. I mean, I, I would get so sort of like stuck in wanting to be on time and, and you know, I’m, I had a hard time not wanting to control everything. And of course Brian Perkel and many of you who would be at front of house, you know, I would mosy back there and I’m sort of like, I got the, I got the planning, you know, the, the run sheet and Yeah.

And he would, you know, very appropriately look at me and go, Hey, we got it right. Like, we know what we’re doing here, Lanik, like, we’re professionals. And I knew that in my heart. Yeah. But there was still part of me that just wanted to micromanage. I wanted to, you know, on my, like, on my thought process and making sure everybody had it all together and I had to just, yeah, I had to come to the point as a leader that I was content and that I was willing to let people do their job [00:19:00] really well.

That’s good. It was, it was a big part of my own journey, you know? Yeah.

Jeff Sandstrom: Because, because that’s not necessarily like it, it feels like a compromise at the time because you’re having to let go. Yes. But it’s actually em empowering and it’s Right. Emboldens people to actually lead in the way that they’re called to lead.

Yes. And so it’s this, it, it’s this casting vision for shared leadership where it’s like, yeah, you’re the authority. And if we’re, if we’re going 30 minutes over time, then yeah, you have to decide what we’re gonna do. I mean, that’s, that’s the, the, there’s the practical side of it that’s important. Yeah. But from a, from a philosophical standpoint, it’s like, man, if you’ve surrounded yourself with the right team, then you have to somehow let them do what you’ve asked them to do.

Because they are professionals, right? They are experts. Yes. So let them leverage their expertise for the greater good of the whole. And it’s gonna be great. But man, that letting go is sometimes. [00:20:00] Really difficult because you do have a vision for what you see as where we need to go and how we’re gonna execute and all those things.

And it’s, it’s a challenge. And I think

Brad Lomenick: for so many production people, you know, the, the production team, the, the person who is producing the, um, you know, whatever role you’re setting in, um, being able to speak appropriate and healthy truth and, and lead up back to who, whoever that person is, whether it’s somebody like me or it’s a senior pastor, it’s a teaching pastor.

It’s, it’s the creative pastor. The, the ability to have that, um, the, the permission to, to speak with clarity and candor while also honoring them is a really delicate balance. And yes, I would just encourage people like, figure out, you gotta figure out how to do that well. Um, But, but don’t ever shy away from it.

That’s if they’re a high capacity leader who is, who is actually functional, they want [00:21:00] that from you. If they’re insecure as a leader, they still need it from you, but they may not know how to tell you that they want

Jeff Sandstrom: it from you. That’s interesting. So if you’re dealing with somebody who is maybe a little bit on the dysfunctional side, maybe a little, I don’t want to use the word narcissistic, because that never happens , but if there’s, if there’s a leader who’s a, A little prideful Yeah.

Or a little, um, like this is their show and you’re here to just sort of execute Yeah. What they have in mind, but they’re maybe off track in what the right decision is. Do you have any like, advice on how to move the needle on that? Because that is a tension I think that a lot of church tech directors specifically might feel is that, Leadership is going down this path for this, whether it’s a Sunday or a general, you know, sermon series or even just the, the culture of the church.

And I see it getting a little [00:22:00] sideways and I really need to speak into this, but I feel like I’m hitting a brick wall. Like what’s, how much of that is just a matter of style and communication style, and how much of it is okay, here’s some actual concrete things that you can

Brad Lomenick: do. Yeah, it’s a great question and it’s a constant tension for sure.

And it, it, it just is because people who are primarily communicators or creatives or whatever, they, they have an opinion. Um, right. I, I think, I think always, um, again, clarity is, clarity is kindness. Right. You know, clarity’s crucial. Don’t, don’t, like, we want to be nice, especially in the church and in the Christian world, we end up being nice, but that’s not helpful many times.

So, right. I, I need, I, you know, again, I. If I’m, if I’m in that person’s shoes, the tech person who’s trying to lead up, um, I want to ask for permission to be able to speak that truth back. So I’m doing that way before we ever get to the [00:23:00] point where it might be, there might be tension.

Jeff Sandstrom: Right. This needs to happen as a regular Exactly.

Way of operating. Exactly. So that you have enough relational change in your pocket that when Yes, the tension point happens, it’s not a new thing.

Brad Lomenick: Exactly. So that, in that, so that way it’s, it’s not personal at that point. Um, it may feel emotional to that person, but it’s not personal. Cuz now you’ve proven that, um, you actually, you, you do have their best interest.

You are honoring in the way you approach it. So this has to be like a consistent habitual thing. So I, I would, I would be doing that all the time. And I’m trying to understand then what their thought process is. Um, so the other option is, the other thing is I would always, um, depending on who the, who the leader is, um, a lot of leaders like options.

So instead of giving them sort of an ultimatum, they actually prefer an option or options. So yeah, it might be that you approach them and say, listen, based on where we are, here’s the [00:24:00] two ways we can move forward. based on what you’re wanting. Um, and, and that’s always really helpful cuz it’s clear mm-hmm.

and it now gives me the ability to, um, not feel like you’re pushing me into a corner as a leader.

Jeff Sandstrom: Yeah. That is so helpful. I think, you know, we’ve talked a lot around here about, um, about leading up and just strategies for that because I know that we do want, you know, as, as leaders of teams within the larger organization, everybody wants to be a part of the greater vision.

Yeah. Everybody wants to see things move forward. So, you know, in some cases I think it’s just sometimes having to realize clarity around what even that is. Like for some smaller churches, they may not, they may not have a clear strategic step-by-step vision of, of where they’re headed. So, um, talk about the importance of that for a minute.

Like even, even within a team. [00:25:00] the importance of how to communicate that to maybe new volunteers? Yeah. Or people who are, you know, new to the church or, you know, however that looks. Just the importance of vision overall and how we move the needle on that. Yeah.

Brad Lomenick: Well, it’s, it’s, it is cr crucial and I mean, I, again, I think the, the, the challenge is always that we, on a team in general, this is not just production people, it’s just people in, in the world

Yeah. There always is a, is a, is a, a, a tendency, temptation, whatever you wanna call it, that we want to sort of build our own little kingdom. We, we, we like to have common enemies. You know, we, we like to sort of stand alone and say, listen, you know, we’re the production team and we know better. . So, um, we, we love our senior pastor, but you know, we’re gonna kind of create our own little, like holy huddle over here.

Yeah, man, that is, that is a, that is a recipe for a [00:26:00] disaster. It, it’s the reason that so many youth ministries end up like then splitting from a church because they started out with the same vision, then they turned into like something different and the chasm just continued to widen. So their own

Jeff Sandstrom: little si, their own little silo turns into an island.

Yes. Because you got it. It excludes everybody else. Yeah. You got

Brad Lomenick: it. So I think a really good practice on this is I want whoever is the tone setter for vision. Again, with, if that’s nonprofit executive director or the senior pastor, whoever that is, I’m gonna bring them into, to our circles as much as possible and let them actually like, share that vision, um, and make sure that there’s never a, a feeling that we’re on two different wavelengths here.

Um, right. And sometimes here’s what happens a lot of times is they’ll say, Hey, I appreciate that. I trust you. You can, you can, you can share that vision just as well as I can. Um, and at that point then you have permission [00:27:00] then to carry that vision on your own to your team. But really always make them feel welcome.

I think a lot of times we look that’s good. Leaders look at the production team and go, I don’t know what they’re doing over there. Right. I have no idea what they’re doing. Like I don’t understand their world, so I don’t feel welcome to actually like, show up and hang out and actually like, um, create some relational equity and cast vision.

Jeff Sandstrom: So, man, that’s so good because I think for most production teams, they would crave Yes. The leader to be around. Like, I want you to sit at the table with us in a, in a green room meeting. I want you to engage with what we’re doing because we want to hear like, cuz we wanna help you be creative in the way you’re trying to execute.

Whatever the next thing is. Yes. Whether it’s a sermon series or whether it’s a, maybe it’s a special prop or a creative moment or we, we wanna help you be able to brainstorm some of those ideas. We don’t want it to be us and them, we don’t want there to be a, a gap between what’s [00:28:00] happening on stage and what’s happening at the booth.

We want there to be a bridge. Yep. You know, so, but the, the trouble is, and you know, I’ve talked a lot about building bridges in that way. The bridge needs to be able to withstand the weight of truth. Mm-hmm. That’s good. And so I think if, if you have that trust relationship, that relational capital, what, however you want to categorize it in your mind, if you’re starting to build trust over time, then that bridge can be built and it can withstand when it gets into the heat of the moment.

Yep. Because, like you said, it’s not personal. It’s not that I don’t like you or I don’t, I don’t like the vision, it’s. . No, we’re going to, we’re gonna get this done. We’re gonna make a decision, but there might be tension. And that’s okay. Because it’s not about how I feel about you, it’s just about my ideas for the best way to get this thing done.

Brad Lomenick: Yes. And the question always of how do we, how do we make sure that that [00:29:00] other, other teams in a church context don’t just see the tech team as the, you know, the nerds, uh, you know, mo moving the needles and turning the knobs. And again, like that, that’s built by relational equity.

Jeff Sandstrom: Totally. And, and it’s built from honestly, our tribe of sometimes introvert.

Yep. Nerds coming out of their shell a little bit. Yes. To take the first step. Exactly. And that’s a challenge for some people because they, they like sneaking in the back door, dressed in all black. just kind of doing their thing and leaving, and it’s like, no. At some point you need to engage, you need to, you need to dig into maybe something that’s outside your comfort zone and take a step.


Brad Lomenick: That’s good. Yeah. I, I learned, Hey, by the way, I learned early on, again, never throw the, never throw the production team outta the bus . [00:30:00] That is a rule number one

Jeff Sandstrom: of, of, we have the power to make your life miserable. ,

Brad Lomenick: oh my gosh. Communicators, anybody listening that’s a communicator or a teacher or you got a mic on that is, that is rule number one of, of just appropriate teamwork with the tech team.

That’s so good. It’s, it’s never their fault. I mean, it’s your fault. 99.9% of the time,

Jeff Sandstrom: you know? Yeah. That’s so good. So tell everybody a little bit about what your, um, what your role is. Now, I know that you’re. , um, you have become sort of an influencer and a voice in Christian leadership circles. Um, so tell everybody about H three and the book and what the strategy is behind sort of the three H’s in your world.

Brad Lomenick: Yeah, it was, it was a second book for me, um, but it was always sort of a leadership mantra. Um, you know, so the title, H three, be Humble, stay Hungry, always Hustle. [00:31:00] Those Three H’s. Humble, hungry, hustle. Um, you know, they, they made a really good book title cuz they, you know, it’s catchy. They’re all h yeah, it, it’s very memorable.

Um, but it really was a mantra before it was a title. And, uh, you know, I think the, the, the, the key on those from a leadership side is all three of those legs have to have to. I mean, all three of those as a leg of the stool have to be equalized. And okay, we know a lot of, we know a lot of leaders who have tons of humility and they don’t do anything , right?

So they, they understand it’s not about them. Like they’ve got the posture down, right? They, they make other people the hero, but they don’t actually execute. They d they don’t get anything done. And then you got the other side, which is the hustler, who is, who is not balanced out by humility, that it’s all about them.

Just steamrolling everybody. Yeah, exactly. So the equilibrium of these three legs is really, really crucial. Um, and. [00:32:00] So, you know, the, the, the premise of, of the book is that there’s 20 habits that sort of fall into those three buckets. And this was, this was a, this was a, a re I would say a, um, a realignment for me in my own leadership journey back in 2015 or so, 2014, that I had just gotten a bit dysfunctional.

And so I had to sort of recapture, Hey, here’s the habits, here’s the things I need to be clear on, that I’m gonna be an effective leader for the, you know, for the long haul. Um, and, you know, I can jump into some of those things within each of the buckets. But that’s the overall idea is that these three buckets are, to me, again, the, the primary sort of like big areas and categories of leadership that I wanna focus on.

Jeff Sandstrom: That’s great. So, First of all, it’s a good thing that you only have 20 habits because, you know, since John was such an influence on your life, and he’s the one less 21 Yeah. Irrefutable laws of leadership. Yeah. [00:33:00] You got 20, so he’s still kind


Brad Lomenick: Yeah, he still, which is good. You gotta let John win. There’s no question

Jeff Sandstrom: about that.

Yeah, . Well, just his voice. Like you just have to let a


Brad Lomenick: to boom. A friend, the booming voice of John Maxwell just so much. Jeff. You know, I love you. You know I love you, Jeff. You’re the, you’re Oh, you’re the best man. You’re the best. Jeff Sandstrom. I love

Jeff Sandstrom: it. I love it. Um, so let’s talk, let’s talk for a few minutes about those habits, because we don’t need to go through all 20.

Yeah, yeah. But. Give us some highlights because right now actually our, our tribe is in the middle of, um, we call it the M X U 75. It’s sort of a, it’s a health challenge to kick off the year between basically January, end of January and Easter. Got it. So it’s a 75 day challenge where we, we stack habits every five days.

So some of ’em are health, some of them are about prayer and Bible studies. Some of them are about diet and exercise. So it’s just a, this is a great conversation to sort of reframe how we might think of habits. Hmm. Because we all know that [00:34:00] it takes a long time to build a habit, but for those of us who are in this journey of developing some healthy habits, give us the top couple from each of the categories.

Yeah. Each of the legs of the stool on what you would say. Like, this is what an effective leader does every day. Yeah. Or every week or whatever those rhythms are.

Brad Lomenick: Yeah, I’ll start with humility, uh, self-awareness, the habit of self-awareness, which is you’re constantly getting to, to know yourself better. Um, that is, that’s crucial, and this is in vogue today more than ever before, but I really do.

Again, you have to become a student of yourself. So the habit, meaning like, take every single personality test you can find, um, ask people around you, you know what’s true about me, like you’re, you’re becoming a student because obviously if you can’t lead yourself, you can’t lead others, and you, you have to know the way you’re wired.

Yeah. There, there are certain things about you that are true

Jeff Sandstrom: about you. I think in that regard, one of the, one of the most effective things that our friend Jeff Henderson said to his staff a few [00:35:00] years ago was he challenged each of them to ask each. What is it like to be on the other side of me? Yes.

Great question. And that q that question, to me, me huge is just like, oh my gosh, it’s huge. Because for people who aren’t self-aware, just getting that feedback from others is a great first step. Yes.

Brad Lomenick: Yeah. The congruency, right. The congruency between what I think of myself. Right. And what’s, and what others do and

Jeff Sandstrom: or, or what the Enneagram might say about me or Exactly.

You know? Cause a lot of people, when they do the personality things, as informative as they can be, they get stuck in, well, that’s just who I am. And so I can’t do anything about it because I’m a Yep. I’m a nine and so I have to be soft and I’m all about peace. And it’s like, no. As a nine, I’ve had to realize that the best way to piece happens through conflict.

Yep. And it’s, it’s the most tense thing that I can do is be in conflict. But I know that for me to lead myself [00:36:00] well, , I have to get through the conflict to get to the piece. So good. And so anyway, that’s a small example of, of how a personality slash sort of temperament test is. A, is can be a crutch in a bad way, but can be a great thing In a good way.


Brad Lomenick: Yeah. Because what we can’t do is we can’t stay where we can’t stay there. Meaning I’m a three on the innegra. Oh, I’m a ch I’m a, I’m an, I’m a, I’m an ambitious guy, so I’m gonna run over people. Right. No, wrong answer. Right. Like, that’s where I start, but I can’t stay there. I that it’s not an excuse to, to just say, well, that’s the way I’m wired.

So like it or love it, you can hit the road.

Jeff Sandstrom: Well, especially if you’re impression of it is the dysfunctional side of Yes. Whatever that number is. Exactly right. Yeah. Because there’s a really healthy three that is a. Leader. Yes. So it’s, it’s interesting. Okay. So the self-awareness thing is huge. Yeah. The other thing in

Brad Lomenick: humility is, um, just really being clear on, on purpose [00:37:00] and what I would call a habit, a habit of assignment.

And a lot of us in the Christian world, we use vernacular about calling. Hmm. And I, I would say calling is more the, the, the why. You’re the, the why on your life and assignment is the what you do. So you have to be really clear. And that is so good. You gotta be really clear that, um, that you’re, you’re not allowing your what to become your why and really bad if you’re what becomes your who.

Jeff Sandstrom: Oh, preach.

Brad Lomenick: So the, you know, the, the pastor world, we get really, I just, I hear all these pastors saying, I’m called to, you know, first Baptist Des Moines, Iowa? No, no, no, no, no. You’re, you’re using the wrong language. You’re assigned. To First Baptist Des Moines because you’re, what happens in five years when you leave and go to First Baptist Omaha, you right.

You change assignments, you didn’t change your calling. Your calling is still right, [00:38:00] is still something that’s

Jeff Sandstrom: the calling is to lead people to Jesus or whatever Exactly the specifics are for you as a pastor. Yeah. So that’s

Brad Lomenick: a big one in the, in the humble. Cuz once you get that man, like you walk around with a sense of contentment now Hmm.

Based on whatever season you’re in, you can be faithful to that season. You can, you can still like, have riverbanks that you’re, you’re sort of moving forward with direction wise. Uh, but you don’t get like s you know, this sense of angst. There’s a lot of people with angst today, uh, because they, they haven’t narrowed, they haven’t wrestled down that, that, that big old elephant in the room of, of identity calling and assignment.

So that’s humility. I’ll go to hunger

Jeff Sandstrom: if you want me to. That’s so good. Yeah.

Brad Lomenick: Please hunger. I mean, every great leader I’ve known. , Jeff, and you’ve, you, you’ve met a bunch of these people. Um, they’re really curious. They, they walk into any green room, let’s just use that. Mm-hmm. and they’re the big deal. But they walk in with that hungry second [00:39:00] mindset that everybody else is, is, is a big deal in the room.

And now I’m there to actually learn from them. And so they so good they lead with questions. They’re, they’re, they’re insatiably curious. And you know, John Maxwell’s a great example of this. I mean, you can’t have a conversation with John where he’s, where you’re gonna out question him. He will out question everybody and every conversation cuz he just has a natural, like insatiable appetite to learn.

Um, so this. Mindset of I never arrive, I’m always getting better. And, and the way I do that is based on curiosity. And by the way, for any young leader, this might be the greatest shortcut to influence. Totally. Is really good question asking. You know, the, the way you lead up is great

Jeff Sandstrom: questions. Yeah. So do you have any like, specific questions?

Like if I’m the, if I’m the TD at a church and maybe I’m a new hire [00:40:00] and I want to begin to have some of that influence with the senior leader. Yeah. What are some really good starting questions? Not just like icebreaker. Yeah. How are you doing kind of thing. Yeah. It’s like, Hey, how are you? Is one thing, but No, what’s up?


Brad Lomenick: Well, I, I really like the question. This, this one works for me. Um, whether I know somebody I’m just meeting somebody or I’ve known ’em for a while, is what are you most excited about right now? , you know what, what’s, what’s something that you’re really energized by? Um, it opens up a lot of opportunities there for them to share something.

Um, what’s your story is always a great question to ask. Tell me more about your story. I don’t know your story. I’d like to know more about your story. Um, you know, what’s frus here? Here’s one. I mean, especially, again, thinking about how you lead up. What is, is there something I’m doing that you would, that you would like for me to quit doing?

Or is there, is there something about [00:41:00] my leadership or the way that I’m, I’m navigating my re my friendship with you that is not working for you. Like, just the premise that you’re giving people permission to speak back into you. And a lot of times, depending on where you are in the food chain, um, if, if you’re, if, if you’re, um, if you’re asking that of somebody who works for you, they will say to you, oh, you’re amazing.

Mm. You’re unbelievable. I love everything about you. And then like 50 times later, , they’ll finally say, well, there was that one time.

Jeff Sandstrom: There is that one thing. Yeah. That’s great. Yeah. That’s so good. Well, I love that because I think there’s a couple of things in there that are inherent about good questions.

One is they’re not prescriptive. Yes. So you don’t, you’re not asking a question with a desired answer in mind. In other words, having that open-ended nature of the question is great. Like, what are you excited about right now? Because then it gets them talking about something that they’re actually interested in and excited about.

So it’s, it, it already [00:42:00] puts them on a good footing Yes. To respond to your question. And certainly they’re not yes or no questions. And you know, it really is coming from this place of I truly want to learn. Yes. Like it’s, you know, it, it’s not a, okay, if I get this answer, then I’ll have this sort of leverage.

No, it’s not about that at all. Yeah, honor,

Brad Lomenick: it’s so good honor. You always honor someone when you ask them a good question. Yeah. Every time. Because what you’re doing is you’re saying, I care and I want to know, I want to, I, I want you to be an expert in this exchange. And anytime somebody takes the role of an expert in a conversation, um, they feel more connected and you actually gain influence every single time.

Jeff Sandstrom: Man, that’s gonna be so helpful for people. All right, so what’s our next habit for Hungary? Well, the, the, the idea of the curiosity piece, and then where do we

Brad Lomenick: go from there? Yeah. I mean, [00:43:00] ambition, and again, for me, the, the habit of am the habit of, of godly ambition. And I wanna put that, you know, that’s, that’s a key piece of the

Jeff Sandstrom: ambition bucket.

All right. So how do we differentiate, or how do we see godly versus ungodly? or not, not, not ungodly, but maybe God less. Yeah. Or God. Yeah. Um, not at

Brad Lomenick: the forefront. Yeah. And I think it really, it, it, it starts with a, a, a delineation based on, um, am I helping someone else win? Am I adding value to others? Is my ambition, uh, focused on somebody other than me compared to that I am the, I am the, uh, I, I’m, you know, all the ambition is going to flow back to me, and there’s nothing wrong.

I don’t think there’s something that is godless about healthy ambition. You know, and th and this is, this is, again, it’s a tension point. The, the, the [00:44:00] line between those two is really thin. But I, I think it has to, it has to come back to that question of the, you know, like the for what question? Am I, am I, am I, you know, am I working hard on this or am I, am I pursuing the next rung of the career ladder, um, because I want to, I want to gain from this?

Or is it because if I gain that next level, that I’ll be able to help more people, that I’ll be able to actually like, influence more people? So it’s, it’s tricky, but that’s one that I get the most questions

Jeff Sandstrom: on. On. Yeah. Well, there’s so many things where that line is razor thin. Razor thin, because the difference between, you know, confidence and pride, you got it.

The difference between, you know, whatever, whatever the, whatever the dichotomy is, it’s like, man, there, you know, the godly side, the, the healthy side, the, you know, even, even [00:45:00] humility, it’s like, what’s the difference between biblical humility and just soft weakness? Like, it’s, it’s not. , it’s not the same thing, but the line can be really, really thin.

That’s great clarity. It is, and

Brad Lomenick: it’s a, that’s the hard, that might be one of the hardest ones to, to navigate effectively. Um, and we, and again, sometimes in the church, we, we don’t, we act like we’re not ambitious, but then we go and create like these other silos to be ambitious in

Jeff Sandstrom: Right. It’s just passive aggressive behavior at that point.

Exactly. You’re just trying to leverage people to get your own way. And that’s, that’s, I mean, I’d rather godly ambition.

Brad Lomenick: I’d rather work with somebody. I’d rather work with somebody who looks at me and goes, listen, I, I basically want to like, I want to take you out. Like I, I am gonna be very clear from the beginning,

Jeff Sandstrom: compared to them.

My goal, my life is for you not to be here anymore. Yeah. I mean,

Brad Lomenick: compared to them acting like they’re for me, and then behind the scenes, they’re, they’re throwing me under the bus.

Jeff Sandstrom: That’s so good, man. [00:46:00] Yeah. Because that happens all the time. All the time. And we, we, and we, and it’s so funny, justifi it because in the church Yeah, in the church we use the church and God and religion and all those things as a way to sort of mask Yep.

That motivation. It’s like, yeah. It’s so unhealthy. Yeah. Man, that’s so good. All right, so let’s move to our third leg of the stool.

Brad Lomenick: Yeah. Hustle. So couple of, couple of habits there. I mean, obviously the standard of excellence, habit, so you know, the per the pursuit of perfection, even though you probably won’t hit it.

Um, and I think that’s, that’s really important obviously in, in the production and, and tech space because you, you automatically, I don’t care if you’re, if you’re in a church of 50 or 50,000, there is an assumption on your role that you will be the best in the world, even if you just started like 10 minutes ago.

Jeff Sandstrom: Yeah, it’s tough. We talk about that a lot around here because it is easy for [00:47:00] this crew to have perfection as the bar. Yep. And the problem is when you work with volunteers and you work with people who aren’t vocational in this, and you know, they’re just kind of struggling to figure out how the stuff works, much less how to execute it well.

It’s like, the way I’ve said it is, you know, there’s a, there’s a distinction between excellence and perfection. Yeah. Because if, if the standard is excellence, then I really believe that’s worship. Yes. If the standard is perfection, that can turn to idolatry too easily. Really good. And so I want to maintain a healthy balance between that line.

Again, sometimes that line is razor thin. I love when a service happens and nobody misses a cue. But there are times when people are gonna miss a. Either there’s a change in planning center that didn’t get communicated, or the worship leader is gonna flow, and nobody realized that that was gonna happen.

So pro presenter, op puts up the wrong slide. It’s like those things happen. Yep. [00:48:00] But from the heart, we’re striving to be as excellent as we can be. So, I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but that’s just a distinction that I want to make. No, it’s really good for this tribe in particular because it’s too easy for perfection Yes.

To become what we chase. And it’s, it’s too, it’s too difficult to reach.

Brad Lomenick: Yeah. And, and, and I would say part of this habit is, again, even folks who are, who are tapping into your expertise, like get around people who are really good at what they do. Yes. You, you don’t want to be the, the, you know, the expert in every room you’re in.

You you want to, you want to level up, you want to walk into places. You want to feel like, look, you look around and go, oh my gosh. Like how do I get in here? And then, I don’t know if I can like actually play at this level cuz the challenge of that is actually a very healthy

Jeff Sandstrom: thing. Yeah. And part of the reason that we started M X U in the first place was because Lee and Andrew and I as audio mixers [00:49:00] wanted to challenge each other to get better.

Yep. It was like, Hey, tell me what you’re doing to get that sound. What are you doing to do this thing at your church? What is this a approach to your vocal sound look like so that I can use it to help my craft. I mean, that’s the whole reason for MX U in the first place, is to have an open-handed humble approach to be able to learn from people who are better than you, equal to you, worse than you, whatever the case may be.

We can always learn from each other.

Brad Lomenick: And that’s my other habit in the hustle. Okay. This, this is the part of hustle that makes it, um, not, not like cultural hustle. Okay. That you, and, and I would say generosity, abundance, mindset, collaboration, and we’ll get into rest and margin in a second. But, um, the hustler, the, the, the godly hustler is somebody who is, who is truly abundance [00:50:00] minded.

So as soon as you have something that you’ve learned, you automatically start to think, how do I give this away to others?

Jeff Sandstrom: Man, that’ll, that is so good. This is, this is the

Brad Lomenick: difference. Like, I’m gonna hustle as I’m gonna work my guts out, but I’m also gonna be so generous and abundant and, and not see people as competition that I’m, I’m willing to be open source.

With everything that I’ve learned. And that’s the difference. This is the, this is the hustler. That, again, is, is the, the, the new and improved hustler. Um, so you’re collaborate, you’re collaborative, you know, all those other churches in your city, you’re saying to them, Hey, anything we have, you can have it.

Anything we’ve learned you, we’d love for you, we’d love for you to steal all of our se our secrets. Um, that, that’s the mindset of a, of a good, of a good posture of hustle.

Jeff Sandstrom: Golly. What would happen if the local church had that mindset about other churches? [00:51:00] Yeah, exactly. I mean, can you imagine like, because so often people feel like their, their stream is the only one that has it all figured out and nobody else is welcome.

And it’s like, guys, Yeah, we’ve got to get over that mindset because how much more impact could we have? How much more reach could we have if we would collaborate and cooperate and share best practices and creativity? And I mean, that would move the church forward in untold ways and who,

Brad Lomenick: who has to model this is everybody needs to model it.

But I really would challenge that the largest and most influential need to be the ones who model it first.

Jeff Sandstrom: Yeah, lead it. Yeah, lead it. That’s so good. Okay, so those are two great sort of tips on hustle. Yeah. But you mentioned a minute ago, rest and margins. Yeah. So tell me how that fits in, because a lot of people who have a hustle mindset, [00:52:00] don’t rest very well.

Yeah. Yes. And they don’t have a lot of margins. Yes. So talk, talk about that for a minute.

Brad Lomenick: Well, and, and rest is, you know, are you, are you crushing it at, at, uh, working hard and standards of excellence as much as you are resting and creating Sabbath and, uh, uh, uh, not bow balance. , but rhythm. This is, this is crucial.

Uh, balance is okay. What’s the difference? Balance is is not even possible, I don’t think. I mean, there might be a point in your life when you feel balanced, , but, um, rhythm is more important. There’s rhythms of season. There’s rhythms. You know, when you have young kids, you’re, it’s just crazy town. Um, when you launch something, when you start something, when you’re a, when you’re an entrepreneur and you start a new company, the, the rhythm of that season is gonna be, you’re, you’re gonna redline a lot more.

Um, so the idea that you have rest is both. You have regular rest, but you also have a, a mindset of, of rest and Sabbath. And it, so [00:53:00] it, but as soon as we start getting into regulation of that again, that feels like it’s rules, then we tend to like lose sight of it and we don’t hit the mark. So give yourself permission, but you’ve, you’ve gotta, like this, this is the downside of everybody who’s wired to be a hustler and they go, oh, Brad, I got it.

Like, I got that one figured out is my res, my response immediately is, well let’s talk about, let’s talk about how you’re actually recovering. Yeah. How you’re resting, how you’re creating margin Sabbath. And by the way, margin is is very similar to rest, but margin is, is time, basically, that gives you opportunity.

Uh, and it doesn’t have to always be time, but it could be. So just again, think if your schedule has margin, now you can respond to moments. That’s so good. Yeah. Um, if, if, you know, vacation is margin that now you can create memories with your family, um, financial margin gives you [00:54:00] opportunities to be generous.

So that’s where those things, those two connect.

Jeff Sandstrom: That’s so good. When I think about margin, you know, I use a production analogy of head. , you know, in a, in a signal, in a microphone or in a video shot, or, you know, certain aspects of production. We talk about headroom. Mm-hmm. , it gives you the space above the, you know, the activity level below the red line for there to be, you know, Andy, Andy always talked about, you know, people try to live too close to the line.

Yes. And if you step over the line morally, you’re gonna fall off a cliff. No. You take a couple steps back from the line so that if you mess up or if you step over that self-imposed line, it’s not a disaster. So it’s the same kind of thing. It’s like, margin for me is, is headroom. That’s good. That’s so good.

That’s so good.

Brad Lomenick: Yeah. So that, that’s, that’s a pretty good overview of the, of, of the three H’s

Jeff Sandstrom: right there, man. Well, I think, you know, we talked about, [00:55:00] I guess six total of the. So I can only imagine that the other, yeah. 14 are equally as as great. So what’s the best way for people to get ahold of this content and dig in more?

Is it just, is the book on Amazon, is it on your website? Yeah. Like how do they find the book and how do they get connected to, to what you’re doing?

Brad Lomenick: Yeah. The book’s on the books anywhere. Um, you know, my website is, uh, I have H three and then brad Okay. I would go to h three because that’s actually where I do, and I post all my podcast episodes.

Podcast is free. It’s, it’s the thing that I would love everybody to jump in on because it’s free and great. You’re already listening to a podcast. Yes. So you, you, you’re probably a podcast fan anyway, and,

Jeff Sandstrom: and you’ve got conversations there with Andy Stanley, Louis Giglio, Craig, Rochelle, all the, all the thought leaders in our world have been on your podcast and will continue to be.

So yeah, those episodes are great and I think, you know, it’s, it’s just a great [00:56:00] resource. Do you have, um, with the book, are there like accompanying like study guide or discussion materials, like would this be a good thing for a group to go through together?

Brad Lomenick: Yes, it is. It is good. F I don’t really have any great, uh, resources for, for sort of the, the group experience.

Um, we just sort of left it in the hands of leaders to figure that out. Um, yeah. But what, what, what a lot of staffs have done is they’ve actually, um, either read it as a staff or they’ve given it to their young leaders. on their team, and then allowed for the young leaders to sort of, um, think around it and create some discussion, you know, and, and then sort of figure out how to lead back up to some of the, some of the executive team.

Jeff Sandstrom: So one more question about the three legs of the stool. You’ve got humble, hungry, and hustle. Are the, are the degrees to which those are out of balance in most people? Is that, is that more personality based or is it, is there a trend [00:57:00] where in Christian leadership, one of those legs is shorter than the

Brad Lomenick: others?

It’s a great question. I don’t know. I mean, it’s a really good question. Um, you know, the, the, it’s interesting. Pat Lynch, who wrote Five Dysfunctions and has written a bunch of books, he has a book called The Ideal, the Ideal Team Player. Yeah. And he, that’s a great book. He actually uses Humble, hungry, smart, um, he actually took.

If you only have one or two of those and not all three and created some, some, uh, sort of personalities or, you know, in many ways, like figurative characters, uhhuh that, um, are dysfunctional. And I just tell everybody like, go read his book and you can see the downside. Yeah. Because they’re not exactly the same, but they’re similar in terms of how he approaches it.

So I didn’t do that with my book, but yes, I mean, I would say probably the one that that tends to be over [00:58:00] indexed the most is hustle. Yeah. The probably the one we need more of is humility. Yeah. Even though we should have it as a, especially in the Christian community, we should Right. That should be the one where, where we look at actually kinda number one.

Yeah. Sweet. We go, I got it. Like,

Jeff Sandstrom: yeah. That’s, that’s so cool. Well, you know, when you look at. When you look at Jesus, obviously he’s the perfect leader and the ideal model for all of this stuff. But, um, you know, for somebody to be the sort of the picture of humility, um, but to be strong in all those other areas too.

It’s like, man, this, this is a good, such a good lesson. Like, I, I need to, I need to take this and, and really stew on it some more and dig into the book more because, um, I think what you’ve created is a really good, kind of memorable, uh, framework for how to think about effective leadership. So I can’t thank you enough for being here today.

Yeah. It’s so good to connect with you in this [00:59:00] format. You know, we’ve, yeah, we’ve talked around some of these ideas when we run into each other, but to actually get the, the full download has been great. So Brad, thanks so much for this conversation and I know people are gonna love to learn from you. So other than the, other than the website and the podcast, um, give us your Instagram and other ways that people can follow you and stay

Brad Lomenick: in touch.

Yeah, just. Brad Lanik on all the outlets. B R A D L O M E N I C K. And I’m not a great follow cuz I don’t really post that much. I do a lot of listening. I do a lot more listening than I do posting.

Jeff Sandstrom: Yeah. It’s okay to be an Instagram stalker. I mean, we all do it. Exactly. Let’s be honest. Exactly. That’s great.

Well, Brad, thanks so much and uh, yeah, thanks Jeff. I hope to see you again in person soon.

Brad Lomenick: Listen golf course man. Come on. Plan something. Let’s go.

Jeff Sandstrom: I am all in. Let’s do it.[01:00:00]