You know how there are just some people that the minute you start talking to them, you learn something amazing?
That's how I felt when I got the chance to finally meet Brad Lomenick, author and the founder of Catalyst - all in all a legendary expert on leadership.
I had heard of him well before we talked about doing an episode on my podcast, and for good reason. But it wasn't until we started talking about his insight on what creates powerful leaders that I realized just how wise he is.
Brad has not only founded a hugely successful company and podcast, but he found the guts and vision to pass the baton after 12 years and continue his work in new and challenging ways.
He's seen the ins and outs of countless startups, entrepreneurs, and massively successful leaders. He has decided to target his content to the influencers, which means he gets to learn from the best how they work.
Knowing he'd have killer insight on the qualities of the best leaders, I asked Brad if it's possible to lead with both confidence and humility as an entrepreneur. He said yes. I asked how.
There is a kind of subtle dance that Brad explained is possible between confidence and humility in entrepreneurs. While confidence is essential for any entrepreneur (no one is going to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself), it can take over your brand or persona if you let it.
Humility, on the other hand, is no good to anyone if it keeps you from promoting your business and worth. The relationship between the two is what the top leaders have mastered.
So what's the secret?
We talked about the idea that true leaders never "arrive." They just keep learning, growing, and sharing their success. The evolution of any strong business is essential to its survival, but too often this is stifled by an over-confident leader.
To avoid this scenario, and to leave space for the organic evolution of the best ideas and talent to grow in your company, Brad had a few suggestions.
"Brag about the people around you. Make them the heroes of the story," he said. Instead of focusing all the success and attention back on yourself as the leader of your business, he said that the best leaders turn the focus back on their team, coaches, support system, friends, etc. This way they are not only bringing their people along with them in the wave of success, but they are able to keep in perspective that they didn't create their business on their own. Naturally, this breeds loyalty and amazing work ethic in your network.
But that's not all. On a deeper level, we talked about how your relationship with confidence and humility is deeply tied to your practice of gratitude. If you keep yourself grounded in daily gratitude, you are able to see that you are creating great success while realizing that greater forces are at work than just your brain and hustle
At the end of the day, the attitude that surrounds the best leaders is one of, "It's not about me." But their results still speak for themselves.