CNLP 127: Jud Wilhite and Brad Lomenick: Roundtable on Their Worst Mistakes and Best Decisions in Leadership

Jud Wilhite and Brad Lomenick talk to Carey about their best and worst decisions on five key issues: strategy, team, momentum, culture and personal leadership. Raw, honest and authentic, this conversation is packed with insight.

The conversation continues at Rethink Leadership 2017 in Atlanta Georgia April 26-28.

Welcome to Episode 127 of the podcast.

Jud Wilhite on Carey Nieuwof's Leadership Podcast

Brad Lomenick on Carey Nieuwhof's Leadership Podcast


Guest Links: Jud Wilhite and Brad Lomenick

Jud Wilhite’s website
Jud on Twitter
Jud on Facebook
Jud on CNLP Episode 054

Brad Lomenick’s website
Brad on Twitter
Brad on Facebook
Brad on CNLP Episode 027
Brad on CNLP Episode 055
Brad on CNLP Episode 074

Links Mentioned

ReThink Leadership Atlanta, Georgia; April 26 – 28, 2017

TrainedUp Leadership

Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God by Gary L. Thomas

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Your team is your secret weapon.

As a leader, the best thing you can do is trust your team. And if you don’t trust your team, then you need to hire people you do trust.

Jud noted that when you have the right team surrounding you, you’ll find that leadership decisions aren’t made as much as they become apparent. Your team will meet to discuss an issue, and through their dialogue the right solution will arise. (Even if you sit there silently.) It’s your job to make sure that the group of people in that room are the right ones.

2. You don’t need to be winning to have momentum.

It’s easy to feel the natural momentum of being in a winning season, and that’s good. But what about when your church or organization is in a challenging season?

Brad said that momentum isn’t always about reality, it’s about the perception of reality. When the odds are looking stacked against you and your people are starting to turn back—momentum is about looking forward, charging towards whatever lies ahead of you, and being able to inspire people to follow you.

3. The healthiest leaders exist outside of their work.

Brad nailed it on the head when he said that it’s not enough to lead a community, you need to be apart of one. For him, he’s committed to serving in his church, attending regularly and consuming the content.

Jud noted that one of the best things leaders can do is to pick up a hobby. It can be running or golfing or boating or anything you want—but you need a reason to put down your work and let your mind focus on something else.

Quotes from This Episode

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Next Episode: Mark Batterson

So you’ve got dreams that seem impossible. So what? Few voices in the church are as encouraging as Mark Batterson’s voice. Mark talks to Carey about how to chase down your dreams and kill the fear that’s holding you back.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 128.

CNLP 127: Jud Wilhite and Brad Lomenick: Roundtable on Their Worst Mistakes and Best Decisions in Leadership


  1. […] 2. Episode 127: Jud Wilhite and Brad Lomenick: Roundtable on Their Worst Mistakes and Best Decisions… […]

  2. Dave Stewart on March 1, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I believe it was Jud who spoke about creating Staff Values. Would there be a way to share what those values are and how they go about implementing them or holding a staff to those values? Thanks. Great Podcast!

  3. Mike on February 14, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Carey. I can appreciate some of the observations in this podcast, especially the comments on momentum. Unfortunately for me, I had a really difficult time empathizing with the speakers. I don’t know if it was Jud or Brad, but when they said loyalty was the number one value and almost the unforgivable sin if broken my heart completely shut off.

    This is one of the biggest issues I have with western Christianity. It seems to me the institutional church centers around a gregarious leader that can cast vision and motivate people to follow that vision. If you disagree with the leader you are disagreeing with God and need to repent or find a new church.

    When I hear pastors brag about filling a stadium with 18,000 people and thanking God for His blessing the subtext I hear is “Look at how many people that would’ve gone to hell if it weren’t for me and my vision.” To me it feels like a neanderthal thumping his chest and surveying his kingdom.

    Where is the Christ who wants to know me individually? Where is the church that sees every person as uniquely created and infinitely loved by the God of the universe? It’s viewpoints like this that drove me out of the church. I dunno… maybe I just have a rebellious heart.

    What would you say to people like me that have a huge problem with church hierarchy in that appears to celebrate pride and shun humility?

    • Carey Nieuwhof on February 14, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      If you hung out with these guys for even a few minutes, you’d have a very different perspective Mike. Sorry, you’re reading stuff into this that just isn’t there. I have to disagree with you on this one. I think these are your issues, not theirs.

      • Mike on February 14, 2017 at 11:35 pm

        Thanks for the reply, Carey. Totally agree. I’m positive I have issues and baggage that are coloring my perspective. I’m trying to work through them as best I can.

        I grew up in a denomination that elevated vocational ministry above everything else. The priesthood of all believers was something that spoken but not lived. At the last church I attended, a conversation with the senior pastor (who was the church planter and main pulpiteer for 20 years) left me feeling so rotten inside for questioning his leadership that I attempted to take my life with a bungee cord.

        That kind of experience has left me a little sensitive in the area of church leadership.

        I work for a hi-tech corporation of over 100,000 employees. I’m keenly aware of the need for organization and structure to accomplish something amazing. I’m also aware of the huge egos that are involved in the leadership chain.

        Maybe it’s just my perspective but when a pastor holds the positions of “senior leadership” as rewards for loyalty, it sure feels like the orphan mentality of the business kingdom, not the kingdom of God.

        I don’t know Jud or Brad and it’s probably unfair to paint my experiences on all pastors.

        I just am really struggling with the idea of a pastor standing over and above people in the spotlight of fame rather than serving from the shadows of anonymity.

        • Carey Nieuwhof on February 15, 2017 at 6:38 am

          MIke…do you know how rare this is online? A real discussion and the humility to say sorry. Thank you. Maybe I jumped too hard, but I do know Brad and Jud and they are super solid guys. You would really like them.

          I appreciate your story and know that you’ve been burned. I would just encourage you to keep drilling down on that with a good Christian counsellor and in prayer and really seek healing, Otherwise, you keep projecting past hurt onto future situations, and nobody wants that for you. Not you, not people who care about and certainly not God.

          Senior leadership is a paradox, because it often involves a spotlight. Yet as even Jim Collins acknowledges in the business sphere, to be a truly great leader (not just a good one), the main difference is humility. Both Jud and Brad exhibit that in my view. In fact, later in the interview Brad talked about writing a book about platform that wasn’t about building your own platform, but about building a platform for others to stand on. His current book (H3 leadership) is one third about how to practice humility in leadership.

          Mike…you’re a good dude. You are. Thanks for hanging in there.

          • Mike on February 15, 2017 at 11:02 am

            Thanks for the kind words, Carey. You’re a good dude, too. Standing up for your guests and friends against lame Internet trolls is absolutely the right thing to do. 🙂

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