FUN FACT: On today’s show I sneezed twice
On today’s show, we’re interviewing the John Maxwell disciple and the best selling leadership author, expert, and Speaker by the name of Brad Lomenick had to become the most effective leader that you could possibly read throughout Brad Lomenick’s career. He’s had the pleasure of being personally mentored by John Maxwell, and he’s actually interviewed Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Goden, Francis Chan, Tony Dungy, Andy Stanley, Rick Warren, Marcus Buckingham, Dave Ramsey, and countless other proven leaders. And on today’s show, he’s going to break down what h three leadership looks like, the importance of staying humble, staying hungry, and always being willing to hustle.
Welcome back to another exciting yeah edition of the thrive time show on your radio and podcast download, and if you have ever desired to become a more effective leader. If you’ve ever felt like you are the lid on your organization’s growth, if you’ve ever felt like you need to improve your leadership skills to take your career to the next level, you are in luck because on today’s show we are interviewing the leadership expert, speaker and consultant who is known as sort of the guru of leadership. Mr Brad. Mr Brad Lomenick, how are you sir? Welcome onto the show.
Hey, thanks clay. I don’t know if I’m the guru. There are other people who are way older and wiser than I am, but I’ll take it.
No. Well, you know, I heard, I heard that you were extremely old but you drink a lot of fish oil, so it’s like you have the body of someone their early thirties, but the mind of someone who’s like 807.
There you go. Yes. That would be the goal anyway, even if I’m not there yet.
Okay. Well, now for people out there that aren’t as familiar with your background, I’d love to start at the bottom before you made your way to the top, so to speak. Can you explain to the listeners out there your, your career before you became known as a leadership expert and author?
Well, I am an Oklahoma boy, so I grew up just south of Tulsa. It’s a little town called Bristow. And what school you we tont? School University of Oklahoma. So boomer sooner. There we go. Anybody who sooner and, you know, we’re, we’re moving into the college playoffs. So uh, the sooner nation is rising up and I, I, I graduated from Odu with a history degree. I don’t want to go to law school. Felt like, felt like politics and the, you know, getting into the legal world. But ultimately getting into politics was going to be the best way for me to make a difference and into the clay on a, on a ranch in Colorado, postgraduation for six months and thought I would go there and ride horses and discover myself and sort of, you know, be in nature and have a great little little season of a reprieve before going into the real world.
And an ended up staying for six years. Six years. Yeah, I was, you know, I was the city slicker. I mean imagine, you know, the, the guy who’s wearing the wrangler, jeans and cowboy hat and hundred 40 horses and a whole whole situation that required me to step into a new world. But while I was there I was, I always felt like leadership was on me and I ended up connecting with, with a voice and an author that many of the listeners will recognize. John Maxwell and John John. We got connected through some mutual people. And here I was in my early twenties, a knucklehead working on a ranch in Colorado and being a head wrangler and I connected with the guru of leadership and, and we stayed in touch and through a number of different connections. A couple of years after that I ended up joining his team and starting to work with him.
And you know, from that point, really the rest was history. And I was uh, you know, in my, in my late twenties, in the early two thousands. And we were launching conferences and events and doing a lot of stuff with John. And one of the things that we ended up starting was thing called catalyst, which there was a bunch of people involved and we really felt like catalyst was going to be something for our generation, you know, I was in my late twenties and a bunch of other people in the team were in their twenties and we started that relate to gather in, try to galvanize a movement of our generation, you know, those who were younger. And that started what for me has been my runway. No, no greater outlet or expression. Gave me more opportunities to be a person that feels like leadership is. It can be my boys. Then John Maxwell, his organization, the Callus Movement, you know. So when, when I, when I, uh, when I talk about my past and my success story, if you could call it in quotations, you know, much of it is owed to the opportunities I was given when I didn’t deserve any opportunity. And I didn’t know anything. And I’m not sure I still do, but at least at this point, you know, I, I understand the context for sure.
A little fun factoid for you. I’d just a what, five days ago, I think Andrew, maybe four days ago. We interviewed a John Maxwell on this very, very microphone on this show here. So that show’s going to air here in, in February. And uh, I’m a big, big fan of John Maxwell’s writing. I want to ask you, how did you guys connect, I mean, because it sounded like you went to almost like a Yoda ask leadership ranch. When did he, did he kind of arrive on a horse and he’s, he shows up and then obviously he’s there or did you appear in a poof of smoke? How to John Maxwell meet you?
I wish I had a better story that wasn’t as boring, but you know, after, after there was some people who were consultants for us, this guest ranch and one of the clients was, was the, the Maxwell Organization. And so through some mutual connections there, that was how we connected. So it’s very boring. I wish a way better story. Like, you know, John fell off a horse and I saved him and he, you know, he endowed to me all of his life savings and his legacy of leadership and because of the fact that he would have fallen off the cliff. I wish I could tell that story.
No. Now you have, um, uh, putting together a, you’ve put together a new book called h three leadership and um, most people know you from the catalyst movement, but I’d like to dive into eighths three. Leadership, be humble, stay hungry, always hustle. Talk to us about the eight, three leadership. And what inspired you to first write this book?
Well, it’s been my mantra for 20 plus years now and I didn’t always express it this way. I didn’t always know that this was the, you know, the pithy way to be able to say it, but I’m, especially over the last 10 or 12 years, we would have interns show up on our team, you know, these young 20 somethings like I once was and you weren’t, were. And they would show up with that, you know, the, the, the, uh, the twinkle in their eye to change the world, and they would always sort of get to the point, you know, the first day of their internship, okay, what would I have to do to succeed here, Brad? Like, I want your job. How do I get ahead? How do I move the needle? How do I stand out? In? My answer was always be humble, stay hungry, always hustle, be be humble, stay hungry, always hustle. Like that idea that if that’s three legged stool that you can stand on as it relates to your leadership and you’re gonna, you’re gonna go, you’re going to go the distance and you’re also going to be successful. So it’s been my mantra for a long time. It just happened to make a good leadership book titled as well. But it’s, if you cut me, that would be hopefully the, uh, you know, the still the foundation of my leadership is that idea.
Um, I, I know the word humble means a lot of different things to a lot of people. Uh, the word humble to some means, hey, no matter what, I’ll never put your hand up first. Never assert leadership. A really just have sort of a, a meek existence and hopefully the, the Ah, the leftovers from the leaders will be left for you so that people made it to take it to that extreme. Some people mean humble to be sort of the, a false humility where they say, with all due respect, I want to thank all the people who helped me along the way, if you know what I mean. I mean, so talk to me about humble means to you. What does it mean to be sincerely humble?
Well, humble comes back to the, to the premise that you’re not the center of the story. It doesn’t mean that you’re weak. It doesn’t mean that you’re second in line. It doesn’t mean that you stand back and say, aw shucks it, you know, what it does mean though is that you understand that there’s something bigger going on and you’re a part of it. You’re a significant part of it, but you’re not the only thing happening. And you know, I, I would say this clay, the, the opposite of humility. Many people think is arrogance, but I think it’s insecurity and arrogance flows from insecurity. So when you meet people who, who don’t feel humble or don’t resemble humility, many times it’s because of insecurity. And, and to go along with that, the reason most people are insecure, especially leaders in the business world marketplace, the career industry, it meaning that the grownups, adults, people who are, you know, 20 plus in age many times is because they’ve never wrestled down the, this idea of what am I here for?
Like, what’s my purpose, what, what’s my calling it? If, if somebody’s really got to the true center of me, do they see that I’m concurrent and all of my life and that I’m content and the purpose behind. So when you think about humility, I think the people who are the most humble are actually the most confident because they’re confident in the fact that they, they do understand their role to play and they also understand what they’ve, what a true purpose is. And when you get that and that’s when you come alive and you don’t have to walk in and sort of, you know, get your sandwich board out or blow your trumpet and say, I’m here. People automatically will follow you because there’s a contentment, contentment, and a confidence to you that is so much bigger. And it tells a story before you to have to say anything.
And I would pile on a lot of our listeners know, I talk a lot about the law of credibility. Uh, there’s an author by the name of Jerry vast, we’ve had on the show before wrote soft selling in a hard world. And he said, you know, you should never say anything. You can’t prove, you know, not that you’re lying, but if you can’t prove, and if I’m a salesperson and we’re talking and I should just never met, you know, say something I can’t prove right now. And he said, you know, you’re going to find clay with the more confident salespeople. Everything. They say it’s provable. And so they don’t need to sit there and a laser show of charisma, you know, and there’s, there’s a sort of a humbleness that comes when you, when you are knowing that what you’re saying is true and backed by facts, there’s a confidence, there’s quite calm that, that, that just people pick up on, you know, people pick up on that and um, but didn’t, didn’t.
One thing that, you know, I’ve heard from some of our interviewees and I’ve seen them with my coaching clients and I’ve, as I’ve interviewed very successful people and say, you know, clay, you got to stay hungry. You got to stay hungry. I hear this all the time, but I think you in your book succinctly have written about this. Can you talk about this next principle about staying hungry? What does it mean? I mean, once you’ve gotten to a certain level, you’re making money, things are working out, you’ve got that traction going on, you have that momentum, you’re starting to scale things. Things are going good. Talk to me about the importance of staying hungry and what that means to you.
Yeah. It just, it’s this premise that you, you always are learning and that every environment you walk into a classroom and the great leaders are the ones that their, their premise is that curiosity is there leading quotient of their ability to, to continue to lean in and you know, the, the lean and leader is the one who always sort of walks around with the mole skin figuratively or literally out right in every, in every person they meet is an opportunity for them to get better. And you know, Maxwell says it. You’ve, you’ve had John on, he may have, he may have even talked about this, but you know, the greatest responsibility of a leader is to lead yourself and the thing that you do and leading yourself is that you, you grow every day and the way you grow every day as you learn every day. So the hungry leader is the one who, who is always looking around going, I may have arrived. I may be the most important in the room. I mean to be at the top of the food chain. I may have all the awards. I may be the CEO. I’m, I’m the person calling all the shots, but I still walk in with the mindset that I have more to learn. Not More to prove, but, but more to learn
bread. I have a question I’d like to ask you, um, when you’re doing speaking events back before I stopped doing speaking events about four years ago so I could focus on producing these thousands of podcast. We’ve done an event. I’ll probably do some more events, but have you noticed this when you’re on stage? Um, I’ve done like Hewlett Packard and ups and different groups. Have you noticed that the leaders are always the ones in the front row taking notes? You can notice that and the people in the back who are yawning on their cell phone, not taking notes are always the lowest paid person. Have you ever noticed that? Am I the only one who notices that?
Well, and it’s, it’s the idea that I may be on the, on the speaking lineup and I may be the reason people are showing up, but I still have the mentality and the, and the intentionality. Just like you’re saying, sit in the front row, get my phone out, get my my yellow pad out, get my, get my ipad out and take notes and that’s, that’s the leader that that will be the one who has the most credibility in the room is and it’s because you’re still navigating like you’re the hungry second, you’re still walking around, man, I don’t belong here even though you do, and that’s so attractive to people, but it’s also just a great way to grow yourself. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s it, it, it helps you equally as much to get ahead as it does to help those around you. So you know this is a win win in terms of the way you approach that, but you’re right, the person in the back who is, you know, who’s who’s setting, they’re not paying attention, but also their mindset is, well, nobody gives me a chance. I’ve never had the opportunity. There’s always excuses with those people who tend to be the back row folks and part of it is that they’ve never leaned in. They’ve never said, I’ll do the hard work of building, I’ll do the hard work of, of showing up every day and having that mindset and that’s what great leaders stand out.
It’s just it. I don’t understand it. I’m trying to help somebody. This is not a passive aggressive conversation for our listeners out there, but I mean this sincerely. It seems like every business that I’ve ever coached I’ve ever worked with, I’ve ever been asked to speak at. I go there and the person in charge is usually the first car in the parking lot and I remember years ago reading a Napoleon Hill book, you know, think and grow rich and basically talking about over delivering and I’m going, I don’t really know what to do because I’m just like eight. No. Nineteen years old working at tax and accounting software and was 450 people at this company that was later sold to intuit. And all I know is I got to be the first guy at work, you know, so I’m pulling my car up, my Ford escort at like five in the morning in the freaking boss is already there. You know, it’s just amazing how, uh, the leaders always sit in the front, always get to work first. It’s just, it. It’s amazing. And I think that ties into the next principle of you. You always hustle the leaders always hustle. Could you define what you mean by hustle?
Hustle is, is one of those words that a lot of people love and all the people are like, wait, isn’t that in? Isn’t that an opposition to humility? No, it’s not because we’re not talking about hustling, you know, or the idea that I’m going to out hustle you. Meaning that I’m going to. There’s a scarcity mentality with the people who think of hustle in this negative context. And the idea of hustle is that I’m willing to work hard when needed, but I’m also gonna do whatever it takes to deliver and be the best at what I do. And then also be generous, flipped what I have. So the, the mindset of Hustler is one that says, I understand humility. It’s not about me. There’s a bigger story, but I’m going to show up and I’m going to do my part to make this whatever we’re doing, whatever we’re working on, whatever I’m leading are in charge of or participating in.
I’m going to. I’m going to do my part to make it the best in the world and the. The, the ideal on hustle always has to be balanced with the premise that hustle is not just about working hard. It’s also about generosity. It’s also about margin, right? It’s also about collaboration. Sorry, are you the best? Are you the best hustler in the world as it relates to your work style and your work ethic? Sure. A lot of people raise their hand and go, I got that one bread. Like I will show up early. I’ll stay up late, I’ll do whatever it takes to get it done. I will execute. I’ll make it happen. I’ll, but then my next question is what are you also the best hustler as it relates to being generous? Like do you have a premise that says there is an abundance mentality.
I’m going to help other people rise up. I’m going to be willing to be generous with my resources and my time. Are you all still a hustler at rest? Are you the best hustler as it relates to margin in your life and Sabbath and having a rhythm and not over, you know, not redlining your life and that that’s the, that’s the bigger picture of hustle is this mindset that says everything I do in my life as a parent, as a, as a coach, as a, as a business owner, as a community leader, as a deacon at your church, you know, whatever you’re doing, you’re, you’re, you are doing it with a great sense of this is the most important assignment I’ve ever been given. And that’s what I mean by this broader context of Hustle.
Okay? So we’re talking about a hustle, but we’re also talking about hustling with conviction. And in your book you talk about the habit of conviction. So if it’s okay, can I ask you a series of potentially a rude and divisive questions knowing that you can hang up at any time? Is that okay? Oh, come on man. How many, how many kids do you have? Tell us about your family. What’s your family dynamic look like? Well, husband, wife, kids. What does it look like? I’ve got zero kids. How about this? Zero kids. Are you married? I’m not married. You’re not married? Okay. So I am a guy. I’ll quiz myself. How many kids do I have? I have five. Five kids, five kids, five kids, one wife. So are you. What’s, what’s your religious background?
I’m a follower of Jesus. How about that? Christian? Same here. So you and I are both Christians. I have five kids. You have zero kids. I’m married. You’re not. Each one of them has different temptations, different areas where we could, you know, not stand up for our convictions, right? I mean, as a single guy married, God, there’s all different areas. And um, I have found from my life when I stand up for my convictions because I do employ hundreds of employees at actual brick and mortar businesses that whenever I stand for my convictions, it always requires irritating somebody. So when I read the irrefutable 21 laws of leadership by your mentor, John Maxwell, he quoted a lot of Winston Churchill. So I started reading a lot of Winston Churchill and there was a quote I want to read to you and says you have enemies. Good. That means you’ve stood for something sometime in your life. So I am of the belief, and maybe you disagree that if you do stand up for your convenience, for your convictions, eventually it’s going to irritate somebody. Do you, do you agree with that idea or am I a deeply flawed human? That’s 100 percent wrong and you have the floor?
No, I, I agree with you. I mean, you know, convictions are tied to these deep-rooted way down, deep hooked into the, you know, the granite of the earth in terms of your own life. Um, and they’re going to be things that every time that you stand up for something as you’re saying, somebody else’s is not going to like that. Here’s what I always had to have believed. Clay, and I think this is true for, for a lot of us, you know, the, the convictions we hold and the principles we adhere to, they may offend or irritate people, but we won’t lose respect because of it. There’s a big difference between somebody being offended by you or irritated because of your conviction, but are, do you, do you still have credibility with them? Do you still have respect with them? And I think those can stand many times next to each other and intention in a good way. So if I have a conviction and irritating somebody and then I’ve lost all sense of credibility, respect, they don’t want to follow me anymore, there’s probably something deeper going on that I may, I might need to work on.
]What do you think like 60 percent of people are against the Judeo Christian morals? Maybe half what? Forty percent. I mean, it’s a, what do you think, Brad? What book percentage of the world is against the Judeo Christian? More morals and values you think?
I have no idea. Percentage wise. I mean there’s, there’s definitely though the idea that, that um, you know, somebody who holds true to, to things that feel old school or old fashioned or biblical or in opposition to go with the flow is, is now holding me back. And that’s again why I think so much of this conversation. I mean, this is true for your neighbor. It’s true for your team member is true for your, your cousin. It’s true for your, your sibling, you know, people who, people who are trying to navigate a world that is sort of free flow and it’s, it’s, you know, and I’m the center of the story and I’ll do whatever I want without conviction or principles or standards or morals or riverbanks to run in that this is the, I don’t know whether you follow Jesus or not, whether you call yourself a believer, a Christian, um, that you had here.
Just the idea of adhering to certain standards in your life all of a sudden will allow your life to be so much more peaceful. You know what I mean? So the, the opposite of what we’re talking about here is when a life is out of control with no standards, we think, oh, that’s, that’s what we want. But in reality, what she’s saying, which is, Hey, I’m looking at your life and you know, your peaceful life with your wife and kids and seems like you’re in harmony. It seems like things go your way. It seems like you’re successful. Woke up. There’s a reason it’s working because it, it’s holding true to, to something that feels like it’s foundational and you know, every person that I run across clay, I mean, I, I’m sure all of us can agree with this. Like again, culture says that, that everybody’s against us. Um, but there’s something so attractive about a pr person who walks in again for me and for you, for probably many of your listeners walking in with, with a faith. It’s built on a belief in God to have a foundation that is around that premise. But just this idea that when you walk in and you’re, you’re, you’re culturally counter to them.
There’s something attractive about that.
I think that the vast majority of the time it’s really helped me throughout my career. But I brought up that example because sometimes it hurts me, but either way I’m not changing my story.
No. And I, I think that’s where, you know, the, the, some leaders, they cave the cave really quick because they feel like they got to be everybody’s friend or they’ve got a, they’ve got a, you know, well, you know, Brad Lomenick, I’m trying to be a friend and I’m trying to customize my leadership to everybody on the team. And there’s ways you can customize without, without losing your sense of standards or your convictions are your principles. The reason their convictions is because they’re tough to hold to,
right? You know, you, you, you talk in your book about the habit of excellence. I’m sorry if I cut you off. You cut out just for a second there. Where you, where you go. Okay, let’s keep going. Yeah. Oh, you talking to your book about the habit of excellence in setting standards that scare you. I’m steve jobs who maybe he, he passed away as a Christian. I don’t know, but he’s a guy who had really uncompromising, high uncompromisingly high standards for US product. You know, he, he said, be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. And in your book you say, you know, a habit of excellence and setting high standards that scare you. Can you talk about setting standards that scare you? What does that mean?
Well, it’s, it’s the next level of, of something that you feel like you can’t hit. And when you, when you start measuring against your potential, I think that’s when it starts to get scary. Um, because sometimes again, a lot of us, we would say, oh, I’m hitting a standard because I’m, I’m a measuring against competition are measured against the number two in our industry who is pretty easy to beat any way. But I would always say, well, okay, one percent improvement
lines up to now hold you to a new standard that, that, that’s going to move the needle for you on a, on a regular basis. One percent daily feels like, oh, I can do that. But one percent compounded over the course of a year, you know, you, you just set a standard that’s going to scare you if you think about it. But it’s the idea of what’s my potential, you know? So the great coaches, the great motivators out there, um, they’re, they’re taking a team and they’re saying everybody on this team, if we measure you against the competition, we just beat the competition. 60th five to zero. So we all feel good about it, but, but now what’s the next standard? The next standard is, okay. What’s the personally for you, Mr cornerback on the Alabama Crimson tide. Who is the best in the country at that position? What’s the potential that you can measure against that you still haven’t even gotten close to hitting yet?
And that’s what I’m talking about is that idea that you’re, you’re, you’re scaring yourself because of the potential you have. And that’s, that’s the kind of, again, that the leader, I think that’s gonna. It’s gonna lead. Well as the person that’s always raising that and it, here’s the deal, if you’re waiting on your company to set your standard or your handbook or the organizational manual that nobody’s looked at and the last 15 years that it’s not good enough, that’s not good enough. I want people to walk in and burn that thing and I love. I love this organization, but I don’t need this. I don’t need somebody to tell me what my standard is because it’s always going to be higher. My personal standard is always going to be higher than the one set for me from an organization.
Well, Brett, I have a quick funny story to tell you. Um, did, did you, did you know that my first multimillion dollar company was a DJ company? A disc jockey company? No, but I love that because I, I used to be in a rap group, so. Okay, well here’s the deal. This is how I look at it. Okay. If you want to be a carny, like you want to be a carnival worker and you apply and they say, uh, you don’t have what it takes. The fall back position is the DJ now one step above the, the carney could be a roadie and then you start getting into the, you know what I mean? It’s the whole carnival culture, you know, the Dj, the vagabond group. So I was like the top by company Dj Connection Dot Com. If you look it up before I sold it, a DJ connection.com still today is one of the largest wedding entertainment companies in the country.
We’re doing like 4,000 wedding events a year. I mean, just crazy, you know, huge. And I remember I received the award as the entrepreneur of the year from the small business administration and and Brad Lomenick. I was feeling. I was excited. I’m going yes, and one of my mentors in my life, he called me and he says, Hey, you just won the Small Business Administration entrepreneur of the year award there. Big Boy southern the Tulsa world. That’s pretty cool. It’s pretty awesome. And I said, yeah. He goes, you are now the king of the pile of poop. And I go, he’s like, it takes dedication to stay small when you are the entrepreneur of the year for the large business of the year. Give me a call back, have a good one. And it was that sort of like thing of where he’s holding me to a standard. That’s what now again, context, I’ve known that guy forever.
Context. He is a company with hundreds of employees. Context, he’s achieved big success and he didn’t want me getting comfortable with being the best disc jockey. I mean, because disc jockeys, I mean frankly, I mean if you showed up on time and you did what you said you’re going to do, you almost want to, like, you almost want a lifetime achievement award every show. I mean, so it’s like it was like a dollar. That’s a good painting with geniuses here, you know. So can you talk about the importance of not comparing yourself to people that aren’t achieving excellence?
Yeah. Well then again, we, you know, we all sort of have a mindset of hierarchy and we started looking around everybody we meet or every room we’re in or every award we’re trying to weigh him. We’re looking around going, all right, how do I compare, how do I live next to these people? And that’s okay. I mean, that’s a good place to start as it relates to your standard. Um, but it’s, you know, as soon as you start feeling like that’s the only way you’re, you’re measuring and you’re in an industry that doesn’t have the strong standard, you know, it’s like southwest. I love southwest. I’m love those guys. You know, when I, when I hear them say, Hey, we’re the best in the world, we’re the best in the airline industry and customer service. My response is, well, Duh, because your, your standard in your industry is awful. Like you could, you could just show up. It’d be better than every other area.
Uh, you know, here’s the deal. If a, I was thinking about, uh, my, my friend and I, my partner a Marshall who’s worked with me for years, uh, we were joking about this, but we were flying on American Airlines flight and this was like, I’m not, I’m not exaggerating here. We’d gone I think on four flights within like a month together, maybe four flights in two months there. And we went on the fourth flight and this flight got delayed a, like the other flight got delayed in Brad Lomenick. You know what that means? They lost their, they lost your luggage. I’m going to have to fly into St Louis and then drive to Tulsa. I have a speaking event like in Nebraska and then one in Ohio and one way, and I’ve somehow I’m flying into St Louis and I have to rent a car and the car, by the way, if you rent a car late night, it’s like 300 bucks.
I got to drive back home, you know. And Marshall Marshall not sure who thought of this idea first. Well, he said American Airlines, they have the, a on the wing, they should just embrace it. It’s a American Airlines. Then their tagline should be grab a drink because it’s like every time you fly with those guys, whether you, whether your advice is alcohol or not, you, they lose all your stuff. They come to you and say, I lost all your books. I can’t find your luggage by the way. Uh, we can’t get anything till tomorrow morning. Uh, and if they would just say, well, here’s a free drink ticket, maybe that would help the brand because those guys are awful. I mean, it’s unbelievable. And so Marshall said, maybe it’s changed their name to aaa and their tagline could be, have yourself a drink. It is just terrible. It’s terrible.
Again, I love southwest. You know,
they, they would say, they would say we’re not, we’re not comparing ourselves to the rest of the airline industry because that standard is pretty easy to hit a. we’re comparing ourselves to every other customer service driven organization, the world, which there’s a lot of those, you know, so all of a sudden their standard of comparison and competition goes up dramatically. But, um, you know, this is, this is true. So whoever is listening, you know, in your industry, that’s a place to start, but also start looking outside your industry. And you know, when we were doing leadership conferences with Maxwell, you know, we were kind of in the Christian leadership conference space. Well, again, when we started comparing ourselves to other Christian leadership conferences, it was really pretty easy to, to surpass our competition, at least based on what we felt like was putting on a great experience for leader. So we wanted to raise our level two, you know, the best in the world, who is the best in the world, doing leadership conferences as well. We started looking around and we, we raise our standards and said, not because we want to beat them, but we want to make sure that, you know, we’re, we’re, we have a bigger picture in mind as relates to how we’re measuring what excellence really looks like.
Brad, are you, do you have a quick trip where you live? Quiktrip? Um, funny story I met years ago with the, with the, uh, it’s the founder’s son Chet Cadieux who’s now the president of quick trip, the chairman of the board and the president and I met with uh, um, uh, Mr Kegel harassed him forever and is this his assistant Valerie? Valerie painter probably made a poor life choice by letting me meet with the guy. But I met with the guy and I had all my questions typed out. I’m ready to go meet the guy. And I remember one of my questions was I said, who’s your biggest competitor and why? He said southwest airlines. And I said, really? And he goes, yeah, they’re currently one of the top places to work in America and the highest rate of for customer service. And so we benchmark against them. And when I met a years ago with the guy who ran a major, major amusement park, I asked him, who’s your biggest competitor? And he said, quick trip. And it’s so interesting how the, uh, the, the titans of capitalism tend to compare themselves with great companies that aren’t even in their industry. That is such a powerful teaching moment. A part 15 of your book when reading through your book. I love this part of your book. You’re talking about the habit of execution and committing to completion, my friend completing to committing to completion. Why is that such a profound nugget of knowledge?
Well, think of all the projects and all the organizations have everyone listening. Everybody’s thinking right now of all the projects that got to the 50 yard line and never went any further. Oh, there was great energy, great momentum concept meetings, brainstorming. Oh my gosh, we got the best idea ever. And you ask them six months later, hey, whatever happened to that, you know that that plan, they got them together and and millions of dollars got invested and they go, oh, well, you know, budget cuts. Well No. What really happened is nobody was willing to, to actually take it to the finish line. If you stay, if you execute, you went like if you are in an organization, it doesn’t matter what level. If you get things done, you will stand out, period. So you don’t have to get the smartest. You don’t have to be the wisest.
You don’t have to be the coolest. You don’t have to be extremely tedious to. You don’t have to be the, you know, the, the, the most creative. Just get things done. If you get things done, you will stand out in an organization and you know that, that this is such a massive issue regardless of the industry, is that we tend to move to places where it’s comfortable. We tend to to, to, to try to push things off our plate. We tend to not want to take responsibility. We tend to want to blame others, all that stuff. That’s just the dysfunction of, of working on a team. When people get involved, it gets dysfunctional, but man, take it the other way. You the person who not necessarily is always saying, hey, I’ll just add more stuff on my plate, but if you say you’ll do it, it’s going to happen, and everything in your power, we will be put towards pushing it to completion across the finish line. You know, into the ends of whatever analogy you want to use.
Brad Lomenick, I want to respect your time, but I know we have, you know, half million listeners that did really don’t care at all. They just want to say, keep asking them questions, keep asking them questions. I’ve been haunted by that, that passion of the thrive nation. So I’ve got three quick questions for you and then thrive nation. We’re gonna. Have like Brad, get back to being awesome. Just three quick rapid fire questions here. Okay. Books. You’ve read a lot of books. You believe in books, you’ve written books. What are one or two books that you’d recommend for all of our listeners and why?
Well, I’ll definitely throw the maxwell book in there. The 21 laws you have to. I think that’s a foundational book on leadership and it really changed the game. I think, you know, when it was written in 1998, gosh, it’s 20 years now since it’s been out a. It really changed the game to a, the idea that you as a leader can actually make a difference. So that’s one I think good to great is it’s an old Jim Collins. Yes, that’s one of my favorite of all time, especially for those of us who, who, who are a little bit nerdy and our approach to the way we look at leadership and influence and there’s so much great research in that book. I’m a huge fan of, of Seth Goden at anything set rights. So, you know, I would say read all obsess books, but really his blog is such a great resource to tap into, not just because he puts so much free stuff out.
Um, he’s, he’s probably one of my favorite authors. And then, you know, I’ll throw another one in their Palate Gemini, which anything Pat Wright’s the advantages is most recent, which I think is one of the best books on culture and on creating a healthy organizational culture out there. But his book, Ideal Team Player, which is also one of his most sense. It’s funny because he, you know, he sold 100 times more books than I have and he’s way bigger deal than I am, but when we were both riding, he was riding the ideal team player and I was writing age three and we were talking several years ago and he said, what are you working on? And I said this, I got this idea, pat, what do you think? H three. And he goes, what? What are your ages? I said, humble, hungry, hustling. He goes, Dang it. Say what? He said, well, I’ve got, I’ve got the humble and hungry, but I was trying to think of a third age. But, uh, now I can’t use it because you’re going to use it and I don’t want it, you know, I said, Pat, first of all, you’re going to sell more copies than I ever will, so feel free to use as much as you want. He said, no, no, no, I’m going to change mine. So what turned into ideal team player is now his three are humble, hungry, and smart.
Well, I will tell you that it’s a little fun. Factoid for you about Jim Collins. He continues to reject me, but I believe if I put enough perseverance eventually he’ll be on the show now. John Maxwell, we’ve got John Maxwell now. Seth Godin. He’s been on the show. So we’ve got, you know, two out of four. And then pat, I don’t even know if we’re ever going to get pat on. I, I’ve tried different approaches. I’ve pred aliases. I’ve tried just showing up. We’re going to get them eventually. That’s one of my goals. So we will go, we got to get pat on the show.
Well listen, you’re a, you’re halfway there. I know, I know. I just don’t rush for leadership. But I feel like a lot. I see a lot of listeners
go, hey man, I listened to your show. You guys seem like you haven’t made. You probably never get rejected. Let me tell you something. I get rejected a lot. Which leads me to my next question. For you, the path to becoming an author, what kind of rejection in adversity did you deal with on a daily basis to become an author?
Well, I had an advantage because I was connected to an organization that that gave me the opportunity. So you know, I have an asterisk next to my name, which is I don’t, I didn’t have to go through the normal routes of most authors where they get it. They really got to prove themselves as a writer.
I have a sound effect for you. I have a sound effect for you. I queued up for you, by the way, just to show my appreciation for your trickery to getting to the top quickly.
Okay. Sorry. Sorry about that. Back to you. There we go. Yeah. So you know, I, I didn’t, I didn’t really have to deal. Some of the barriers are many of the barriers that a lot of authors have to have to wrestle with, but I will say this, the self confidence and the or the or the lack of self confidence. What did you put something out and you start thinking, oh my gosh, now I’ve got to actually validate what I’m writing about. So what? What for me was the hardest was when I was writing a book or once I had written a book, then the team I was leading would actually say, Hey, listen, Jack, I read your book and you’re not leading anything like that right now. So can we have a little bit of the h three leader besides the one we’re getting right now? And it backfired on me based on the people that were closest to me saying, I’m not sure you’re lining up right now with what you’re telling everybody else in the world.
MMM. Where did they get off holding you accountable to your own standards? Now, next question for you. Final question for you. Every successful person we’ve interviewed, whether it be Seth Godin or John Maxwell or, or Lee Cockerell who used to manage Walt Disney world resorts and 40,000 employees, uh, Michael Levine has been the pr guy for Michael Jackson, Prince Mike, either just so many big people and they all have a routine, kind of a daily routine they’ve been doing for years. And I want to ask you, what are the first four hours of your typical day look like?
So, uh, the first hour or so is prayer. I would say discipleship, personal growth, scripture reading.
Um, so all of those areas of being better spiritually been growing spiritually. Uh, the second hour would be more based around what I would say is the premise that I want to. I want to start to think about how I can, how I can lead and accomplish things today. And that can look different. It does look different every day, but it’s, it’s, and it’s many times on an hour. It might be 15 minutes, but it could be, it could be long, but it’s the, it’s the idea that how do I know if I’m gonna be successful today? And that’s really important because a lot of people don’t. They start with, with no strategy or plan in mind and then they don’t know if they actually succeeded. Um, during the day that the rest of the morning. Um, I’m, I’m a, I’m a huge fan of Daniel pink book called win.
And one of the things that he talks about in his newest book is that, um, those of us who are wired a certain way, we have to do, we have to do analytical work during the peak times of our day. So those two hours or many times, three hours leading up to lunch or sometime mid day, 11:00, 12:00 at, um, those two or three hours for me are the time that I’m going to do the hardest work that I have to work on first and I’m going to get it done. And, and that, that. So it’s not email. It’s not, it’s not. Um, it’s not things that are task oriented, it’s not administrative things, it’s, it’s a, it might be a hard phone call, it might be a really hard email to write, it might be writing itself, um, it might be working on a business plan, it might be, you know, a, a, a marketing strategy document that needs to get done for an organization that I’m helping launching them launching a new conference, but it’s, it’s the hard work that requires a lot of brain power.
So I want to do that as quickly as I can in that time that I’m at my peak. And this is something I’ve learned just getting older is that if I don’t, if I’ve tried to put that off or if I try to plan things are scheduled things in that time in the morning that I’m going to be the worst expression of me. So it’s, it’s a really important thing for everybody to figure out when is your ideal peak time that you can do your part. It’s work and, but you’re at your best. Um, and that’s been huge for me to figure that out and then make sure that I protected at all costs.
You know, we recently got a confirmation that the pink panther with all of the business answers Mr Daniel pink will be on the show very soon. So I’m excited to have him on the show here. So maybe we have, maybe we have three of the, three of the five, three of the three of the five, you know, you know what the guy, we interviewed a guy recently who’s the big, a pundant on the conservative news network who is just a genius. What is his name? Why am I such a bad person? The guy who’s. Do you watch of Fox News? You’re watching Fox News? Uh, yeah,
occasionally. Are you talking about like one of their commentators?
Yeah, he was on the show and he just, I’ve never had somebody. Oh, it’s Ben Shapiro. Ben Shapiro. Ben. Ben was so well researched and he talked so quickly and succinctly. My head exploded. I had to duct tape it back together and listen to the show twice just to understand all the knowledge bombs he dropped and I feel like that with you, but it was less fast. Do you know what I mean? You, you were going into a medium pace which is what a mind like mine needs. So I appreciate that because we’d been, I had to go back and listen to it multiple times. Going, what does he mean? This is so. That’s fine.
I’m speaking at a pace, at a level that, that the, the average person can, can, can actually consume.
If you could talk to Ben and just say you broke my friends. Had I listened to the shit. It’s so deep and so rich and so good and I’m going, but I didn’t get it. But he’s just, he’s, I appreciate you dropping as many knowledge bombs per capita has been. Shapiro my friend. Thank you so much for being on today’s show. And for the listeners out there that want to buy your book, can you refresh the listeners out there? To what the title of your new book is and where they should go out there to, to, to purchase the book.
Yeah. It’s anywhere you find books, but it’s a h, three leadership. Be Humble, be humble, stay hungry, always hustle. And a h, three leadership. A com is a website, but yeah, go to go to Amazon like everybody else. I mean at the end of the day, that’s where nobody’s going, so I just go there and buy it. That’s the best place.
Brad Lomenick, I appreciate you so much for being on the show and I hope you have a great start to your New Year and a thank you for educating all of our listeners with countless words of wisdom.
Well thanks Greg.
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