CNLP 229: Larry Osborne on Why He Never Uses an Alarm Clock, The Keys to Staying Fresh in Leadership Four Decades In, and The Hardest Part of Raising Up New Leaders

Larry Osborne has been in ministry for over 4 decades and at his current church for 38 years…and he loves it.

Larry talks about how to thrive, why he’s never had to take a sabbatical, why he never uses an alarm clock (unless he’s travelling), shepherd leadership, and why raising up gifted, talented young leaders is so wonderful but still personally hard.

Welcome to Episode 229 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.

Guest Links

Larry Osborne | Facebook | Twitter | Lead Like A Shepherd

CNLP 096: Larry Osborne on How to Close the Back Door at Your Church and Truly Align Your Team

Episode Links

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The Problem of God by Mark Clark

Didn’t See It Coming by Carey Nieuwhof

3 Insights from Larry

1. Solutions are found when seeking answers outside of the tribe

Most of us have a tribe of people in our life who are easy to go to with questions in a place that’s close and comfortable when we can’t seem to find answers on our own. But what do you do when that tribe no longer has answers? What do you do when the group gets stuck inside a limited bubble with a problem that can’t seem to be resolved?

The answers to life’s toughest problems are not found in solitude or in the closest of community groups. Getting beyond stumbling blocks can only be done by going outside of one’s self and beyond the cozy, familiar tribe to seek insight from people who may see things differently than you.

2. A shepherd doesn’t build walls

When the time comes for a leader to pass the torch of ground-level care to someone else, it’s still important not to lose the heart required to make sure the job is getting done.

There’s a difference in saying, “I can’t help you anymore, so you can’t reach me” and “I know someone who can help you faster and better than I ever could.” One creates a wall, the other puts the needs of others first by getting someone in place who can help quickly.

Being a shepherd doesn’t require taking care of every individual lamb yourself, but it does mean making sure that every lamb is taken care of by someone.

3. Giving more than you get is the nature of servanthood

After 38 years in ministry, Larry has come to know the importance of keeping his motives on track and staying committing to a servant minded leadership style.

Often leaders look for new opportunities when they become frustrated at work – feeling they aren’t being heard or that their gifts aren’t being utilized. It’s so important in those seasons to remember that a servant gives more than receives. A servant is often taken advantage of and efforts easily go unnoticed.

There are always boundaries to draw – like protecting your marriage, your family, your health, but remember that to truly serve others you will always give more than you’ll ever get. That is the nature of servanthood and not something to run away from.

Quotes from Episode 229

There's a difference between what I have the potential to do and what I have the calling to do. @larryosborne Click To Tweet My job is to prepare the horse for battle, it's His job to decide whether I win or lose. @larryosborne Click To Tweet Being a Shepherd doesn't mean you're taking care of every individual lamb. It means you're making sure that every lamb is taken care of. @larryosborne Click To Tweet I discovered the answers to life's toughest problems are not found with me, my team or my tribe. They're found outside my tribe. @larryosborne Click To Tweet If I'm really a servant leader, when the score is kept I will have given more than I got. @larryosborne Click To Tweet At the end of the day, there are some relationships where you just give more than you're gonna get and that is the nature of servanthood. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 229

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Solve the Problems Most Leaders Miss: Didn’t See It Coming Will Help

If you want practical help overcoming 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.

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

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Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Pete Scazzero

Pete Scazzero will be the first to tell you that while he was successful on the outside as a leader, he was immature on the inside, and his wife had had enough. That moved Pete on a journey to figure out what was wrong and how to make it right. Raw, honest and gut wrenching, in this interview, Pete will help you gauge your level of emotional and spiritual maturity and help you make progress.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 230.

CNLP 229: Larry Osborne on Why He Never Uses an Alarm Clock, The Keys to Staying Fresh in Leadership Four Decades In, and The Hardest Part of Raising Up New Leaders


  1. allawi blog on November 25, 2018 at 9:01 pm

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  2. Gerald Klimczak on November 20, 2018 at 11:11 am

    podcast is only 8 minutes long?????

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