CNLP 211: Ann Voskamp Deconstructs Carey Nieuwhof’s Approach to Strategic Thinking, How He Creates His Content and Covers the 7 Things Every Leader Needs to Overcome to Thrive

This week we flip the mic, as multiple New York Times best-selling author Ann Voskamp does an in depth and personal interview with Carey Nieuwhof.

Ann talks to Carey about how law prepared him for ministry and life, how he does his strategic thinking, how he captures his ideas for content and books, and together they talk about the seven things Carey believes every leader needs to overcome to thrive.

Welcome to Episode 211 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Didn’t See It Coming Releases TODAY!

If you want practical help overcoming a some of the biggest challenges leaders face, my new book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That Nobody Expects and Everyone Experiences  tackles the seven core issues that take people out: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and the emptiness of success and provides strategies on how to combat each.

I wrote the book because no 18 year old sets out to be cynical, jaded and disconnected by age 35. Yet it happens all the time.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s what top leaders are saying about Didn’t See It Coming:

“Seriously, this may be the most important book you read this year.” Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor, Central Church

“Powerful, personal, and highly readable. ” Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor, Hillsong

“Whatever challenge you’re facing, whatever obstacle you’re hoping to overcome, whatever future you dream or imagine, there is something powerful for you here.” Andy Stanley, Founder, North Point Ministries

“Uncommonly perceptive and generous…You have to read this book.” Ann Voskamp, NYT bestselling author

“Masterful.” Reggie Joiner, CEO Orange

“Deep biblical insight, straightforward truth, and practical wisdom to help you grow.” Craig Groeschel, Pastor and NYT bestselling author

“This book is sure to help you.” Daniel H. Pink, NYT bestselling author

Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author

“Nieuwhof’s book provides expert guidance…with an accuracy that pierces the heart.” Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc.

“A refreshingly transparent guide for all leaders in a wide variety of industries.” Bryan Miles, Co-Founder and CEO, BELAY

You can learn more and get your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here.

Links from this Episode

Are your church volunteers ready for the fall? Visit TrainedUp and use promo code CAREY for 10% off your services for life! Book your free demo today.

It’s Didn’t See It Coming launch day! You can read the first chapter for free here. My sincere THANKS to everyone for the incredible feedback and support so far!

3 Insights from this Episode

1. Work twice as hard on your character as your competency

Competency may get you in the room, but it’s your character that keeps you in the room.

Moral compromise can happen to anyone in any walk of life. We see it crush incredible leaders far too often. Once you give in to a thousand little compromises, suddenly you’ve become someone you never thought you’d be.

You have to work twice as hard on your character as you do your competency. Yes, it’s always a good idea to keep learning, but don’t neglect continuously cultivating your heart.

2. Pride is fueled by insecurity

Pride is fueled by insecurity and insecure people will always struggle with humility. Here are some ways to keep your pride and insecurity in check:

On a regular basis, find a quiet space where you can clear your head to gain a sober sense of who you are.

Listen more than you talk.

Push other people into the spotlight and create a platform for them to stand on.

3. Irrelevance costs you permission to speak into the culture

Many of our patterns get set early in life. Most experience feeling culturally current for a time, but as years go by, people get entrenched in the ways of the past and don’t innovate because, well, people really don’t like change.

Is it possible to stay relevant with age as the landscape of culture changes? Yes!

The antidote to irrelevance is actually what most people reject – change. It requires humility. It takes removing pride in what may have been a successful past and being willing to open your mind to new ideas. If not, irrelevance will cost you the permission to speak into the culture.

Quotes from This Episode

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Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Erwin McManus      

In a wide-ranging conversation, Carey talks to author, futurist, film-maker, designer and pastor Erwin McManus about his childhood, how he got over his need for approval, why narcissism is so prevalent in leadership (including how to spot a narcissist), and what he experienced at this year’s Global Leadership Summit.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 212.

CNLP 211: Ann Voskamp Deconstructs Carey Nieuwhof’s Approach to Strategic Thinking, How He Creates His Content and Covers the 7 Things Every Leader Needs to Overcome to Thrive


  1. Eileen Owers on September 14, 2018 at 2:07 am

    I struggle to listen to podcasts as the introductions are so long and I get bored! The 3 insights from this episode were helpful, a thought provoking summary. I am from the UK and l prefer a more succinct talk, without the advertising, compliments, and chit chat. I love Ann Voskamp’s writing, but didn’t get far listening to this interview.

  2. Caitlyn Cooper on September 5, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Hey! My name is Caitlyn Cooper. I just wanted to say thank you!! I love your podcast and I learn so much from it every day!! I just turned 18. I joined staff at a church in Idaho called The Celebration Church as soon as I graduated from high school this summer. Your podcast was recommended to me last winter and I truly don’t know if I would be where I am now if it wasn’t for people like you, willing to invest in the next generation the way you do. This podcast played a massive role in my story starting in ministry. It helped catch the passion and vision for the Big C church in my heart and what leadership is actually supposed to look like. I hounestly didn’t have much to relate it to back then, just barely being a team member in my church, but I didn’t care. I was obsessed with your amazing interviews and the thought challenging content. This podcast helped fan that flame from the ember that was planted in my heart years ago when I was in middle school. I’m not qualified at all, but by the grace of God, I now lead the first impressions team at my church as well as help in administration and I’m my pastors assistant. I know God equips me with what I need to lead. It can be so overwhelming at times but I love being able to listen to your podcasts to learn and implement so much into my every day life. Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you! I know you have a heart for young people in ministry and that means so much to me because we wouldn’t be able to do it if we didn’t have people like you and my pastor willing to invest and cheer us on. I hope you find this encouraging!! Love you Carey!! Also I’ve always wanted to go to Canada. Maybe I will some day.

  3. Rod Young on September 4, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Your questions go deep fast, what are some effective questions to ask to get deep conversations started around the fire or in small group settings? Thanks for what you do for so many- Rod Young

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