CNLP 178: Scott Sauls on Unhealthy Ambition, Envy and Isolation in Leadership

Scott Sauls offers some keen observations about the heart and soul of leaders. In this wide-ranging conversation, Scott talks about why our culture is so angry, and gives penetrating insights into why leaders end up with unhealthy ambitions, find themselves envious of others and wind up isolated.

Welcome to Episode 178 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links


Scott on Facebook | Instagram | Twitterchristpres.org | scottsauls.com

From Weakness to Strength

CNLP 130: Scott Sauls on Cultivating True Friendships in a Lonely Culture and On Working With Tim Keller

CNLP049: Stop The Hate – How Christians Can Get Along When They Disagree. An Interview With Scott Sauls

Links Mentioned

Register now for Carey’s FREE Webinar: The 3 Little-Known Secrets High Capacity Leaders Use to Take Back Their Calendars, Crush Their To-Do Lists, and Spend More Time With Their Families. February 20th, 11amPST/2pmEST. Spots are limited. Learn more at TheHighImpactLeader.com

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3 Insights from This Episode

1. Leaders need compassionate people on their teams 

The gifts of leadership and mercy don’t always go together. A leader who doesn’t naturally offer compassion to those who are weak or struggling could end up losing his ministry.

If you aren’t strong in this area, make sure to have people on your team who can compensate for your weakness. And be open to learning from both groups – the people who carry compassion and the ones who need to receive it.

2. Ambition is healthy when the heart is humble

Unhealthy ambition flows from a desire to be like God and it dates all the way back to Eden. But ambition can be healthy as long as the heart is anchored in God and not self-seeking. Be your own internal judge when it comes to recognizing the warning signs. Here are some red flags for keeping your heart in check:

1. Enjoying the sound of your name more than the sound of the name of Jesus

2. Valuing and investing more into the appearance of your platform or brand and placing less energy toward growing your moral character

3. Possessing a public persona that is completely different than who you are at home

4. Envying the success of others

3. Find truth and repentance from the words of your critics

Criticism comes with the territory in leadership and there are some people who are absolutely committed to finding faults in others. If you’re not being criticized, odds are you’re not doing anything significant.

Here’s some challenging advice – Whether the criticism is fair, partially fair or petty, take time to hear each word and carefully consider the truths behind them.

Repent from the truths.          Grow from the truths.

Rather than brushing off an insignificant source’s opinion, find the blessing behind the hurt and turn criticism into something beautiful.

Quotes from This Episode

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Next Episode: Rich Birch 

Rich Birch has interviewed over 200 leaders from the fastest growing churches in the US and he’s taken good notes. He’s boiled down their best practices to 5 common strategies almost every growing church uses and shows you how you can implement them in your church, too.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 179.

1 Comment

  1. Bob on February 6, 2018 at 11:18 am

    “only 86 followers” …. dismiss – so true – thanks for honest 🙂

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