Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

087: A Counterintuitive Approach to Gaining Influence and Growing Your Platform: Interview with Brad Lomenick [Podcast]

If you are trying to influence how a group of people thinks or acts, you are a leader by definition. As entrepreneurs seek to build their tribes and establish online communities, some fail to recognize their role as a leader.

A Counterintuitive Approach to Gaining Influence and Growing Your Platform

With self-proclaimed “gurus” popping up across the internet, it’s difficult to discern true leadership habits from the cliche quips and memes.

Leadership is one of those topics everyone has an opinion about, but few are widely recognized as experts. Brad Lomenick studied under the godfather of leadership, John Maxwell, is the author of The Catalyst Leader, and was the visionary behind the iconic Catalyst movement for over 10 years.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Brad and I talk about the essential elements of leadership, and why you need all three in order to gain influence. Listen in as we discuss the relationship between humility, hunger, and hustle, and why this three-pronged strategy is the critical for digital creatives.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).


Focus on the work first

Brad Lomenick has long featured a monthly “Young Influencers List” on his blog. When I was about 27 and working in marketing for a non-profit, I watched the list obsessively, hoping to see my name.

Month after month, I’d read Brad’s blog to check the list, and be disappointed each time I reached the end and didn’t see my name.

One day, I finally gave up and instead focused the energy I’d spent watching the list on doing work that mattered. You can guess how surprised I was to see my name on Brad’s coveted list the very next month.

Hustle rarely pays off so quickly, but the point is the moment I stopped watching the “Young Influencers List” is when I finally got on it. Making the cut wasn’t the result of one month of hard work, it was the eventual outcome showing up each day for years, and investing in others.

Influence is more about who you help than what you know or who you know. It’s a combination of doing great work and knowing the right people.

“The moment you stop worrying about what other people think about you, is usually the moment they start paying attention.” —Brad Lomenick

Go be great at what you do.

Show highlights

In this episode, Brad and I discuss:

  • The quickest path to sustained success
  • Why you must exercise intentional humility as your platform grows
  • Developing a hunger for learning
  • How to gain influence in new relationships
  • The art of asking good questions
  • Avoiding the temptation to always have an answer
  • Reclaiming hustle as a key component of your leadership formula
  • How humility and hustle counter-balance each other
  • One of the most difficult lessons for leaders to learn
  • What greatness looks like for the next generation
  • Establishing the practice of handing over the baton

Quotes and Takeaways

  • It’s easy to destroy what you’ve built without a strong infrastructure.
  • Big breaks come from weak ties.
  • Successful leaders have an insatiable appetite for learning.” —Brad Lomenick
  • The quickest way to gain credibility is to ask really good questions.” —Brad Lomenick
  • A humble leader with no hustle doesn’t do anything.” —Brad Lomenick
  • You will never get extraordinary results from average work.” —Brad Lomenick


BONUS: Until the end of today (January 1, 2016) you can get my best-selling book, The Art of Work, for only $0.99. Click here for details on how to get your copy before the price goes up.

Do you struggle to be humble? How hungry are you to learn? Is it easy to avoid the hustle? Which H3 leadership quality do you want to work on? Share in the comments

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Practical. Actionable. Encouraging. Thanks so much, Mr. Jeff, and Mr. Brad. Thanks for keeping it real and honest. This message resonates with me. The h3 is a powerful three-way combo. Thanks for sharing the conversation.

  • I just listened to this episode while cleaning tile at home.
    This episode popped onto to me in many different ways.
    I copied the quotes and a few things from this blog and put it in an Evernote file for blog ideas, so I can visit this again.
    Thank you guys very much.
    My take away, after hearing many times before, was to listen and not be trying to get my view point in.

  • Thanks guys. A couple parts really resonated with me.

    First, you guys talked about how good things often start happening when you stop paying so much attention to everyone else (and stop trying to get on people’s radars).

    Second, I’m going to reach out to some people. It won’t feel natural but I’m going to reach out and ask for ten minutes of their times (for the right reasons).

    Thanks all around!

    • Love those takeaways, David. Good for you!

  • Stellar podcast. I’m glad to see a good guy trying to reclaim the term “hustle”.

    Can’t believe Catalyst has been around that long and started by a number of 20 somethings. Loved how they talked about if they were still in Catalyst leadership when they reached their 40’s they should be kicked in the shins.

    Just bought the Kindle version of Brad’s book and will start reading it while on the treadmill this week.

  • Rosey Mcleghan
  • Jamie Pentsa

    Loved the story of John Maxwell taking notes on Erwin McManus.


  • Just listening to this this morning on the way to work and I can feel a pivot rising in my guts (it might be car sickness, I couldn’t tell) but I think I might be onto something … not about leadership but more about my worldview and why I’m still working on my writing everyday.

    Awesome episode as always.