CNLP 277: Sam Collier on How to Find Your Voice, Build a Platform, Stay True to Yourself and Handle Feedback and Criticism

Five years ago, Sam Collier had almost no platform. Today, he’s a well-known podcaster, speaker, host and influencer who speaks on some of today’s largest stages.

Sam talks about how he got started, how as an African-American he processed feedback and coaching from many white and minority leaders to learn to speak to a whole new audience, growing his platform to what it is today.

Welcome to Episode 277 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

Sam Collier | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

A Greater Story-Podcast | A Greater Story-Book

Episode Links

Pro Media Fire has the media solution that’s right for your church at Podcast listeners receive 10% off for life.

Communicate with your team in a way that really connects. Try HuddleUp free for 14 days at

Connect with Carey on Instagram!

CNLP 203: Sam Collier on Growing Up without Privilege, Living a Double Live, Boundaries for Difficult People and How to Build Influence

CNLP 184: Brian Houston on How to Attract the Top Leaders, Battling Back from Burnout and the Personal Habits and Rhythms that Help Him Thrive

North Point Community Church



A Greater Story with Sam Collier – Episode 40 | Brad Lomenick

A Greater Story with Sam Collier – Episode 61 | Ryan Leslie

The Global Leadership Summit

3 Insights from Sam

1. How can you keep your style, while learning from other people, styles, and cultures?

When communicating, there is a difference between grammar and style. Everyone has a natural voice or style that they receive from where they grew up. Sam grew up in a culturally black area and came up in a predominantly black church. When he transitioned into North Point, a predominantly white church, he had to learn what needed to change about his communication style, and what needed to stay for him to still be authentically him.

Many leaders struggle with this. There are little nuances in phrases that can make a huge difference. With those little differences, Sam had to differentiate between grammar and syntax. He wanted to figure out how to say things like a black man, but say it in a way that everyone could understand.

2. Don’t sacrifice authenticity for influence

When speaking from a platform, there is a temptation to sacrifice who you are for who the world wants you to be. Don’t do that. If you tell people exactly what they want to hear, you will probably get great ratings, but you are selling your soul out from under you.

You will add more value to the world when you are being who God created you to be. If a stage asks you to come and be someone that you were not made to be, it is better to say no to that stage, because not every stage is your stage. As someone with influence, you have to walk the line of being aggressive while still being you.

3. When building a platform, it has to be a win-win for everyone

Obviously, you want to be able to create as many opportunities for your platform and podcast to grow as possible, but if you are going to invite someone to be on your podcast it has to be a win-win for both them and you. People are not going to share their platform and time with you just because they like you. You have to be adding value for them too.

When Sam started his podcast, he knew he needed to have something to offer his potential guests. So before he got started, he got a radio deal on 40 stations. That way, when he asked people to come on the show, he had even more to offer them.

Quotes from Episode 277

Don't sacrifice your authenticity for influence. @SamCollier Click To Tweet

Every stage is not your stage. @SamCollier Click To Tweet

As soon as you get tired of rehearsing, do it one more time. @SamCollier Click To Tweet

My biggest challenge was becoming relevant in a new culture while holding on to my own. @SamCollier Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 277

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

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

Watch the Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our new YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen. We’ll add select episodes to YouTube as time goes on.

Get Your Church Growing (Again…or for the First Time)

Getting a stuck church growing, or helping a church that’s reaching new people grow even further can seem daunting.

It doesn’t have to be.

Whether you’re a church that isn’t growing, has plateaued, or whether you wish your church was growing faster than it is, I’d love to help you break through. That’s why I created the Church Growth Masterclass.

The Church Growth Masterclass is everything I wish I knew about church growth when I got into ministry more than 20 years ago.

Naturally, I can’t make a church grow. You can’t make a church grow. Only God can do that.

But I believe you can position your church to grow.

You can knock down the barriers that keep you from growing. You can eliminate the things that keep your church from growing and implement some strategies that will help you reach far more people. That’s what I’d love to help you do in the Church Growth Masterclass.

In the Church Growth Masterclass I’ll show you:

  • The 10 reasons your church isn’t growing
  • Why even committed church-goers aren’t attending as often as before
  • How to tell if your church leaders are getting burned out
  • The 5 keys to your church better impacting millennials.
  • What to do when a church wants to grow … but not change
  • 5 essentials for church growth
  • 5 disruptive church trends to watch—and how to respond
  • How to increase church attendance by increasing engagement.

The Church Growth Masterclass includes a complete set of videos that you can play with your team, board or staff, PDF workbooks that will help you tackle the issues you’re facing, and bonus materials that will help you navigate the most pressing issues facing churches that want to reach their cities today.

You can learn more and gain instant access to the course today.

Subscribed Yet? 

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.

Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via

Apple Podcasts


Google Play



Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review

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: Ian Morgan Cron & Carey Nieuwhof

Ian Morgan Cron interviews Carey for this episode of his top rated Typology podcast, but in the middle of the interview, Carey turned the tables got Ian to apply his Enneagram insights to Carey’s latest book, Didn’t See It Coming. What results is Ian doing a fascinating analysis on which Enneagram types might be more prone to cynicism, burnout, pride, moral compromise and more.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 278.

CNLP 277: Sam Collier on How to Find Your Voice, Build a Platform, Stay True to Yourself and Handle Feedback and Criticism


  1. David Elder on July 16, 2019 at 5:16 am

    Carey always look forward to reading your posts … helpful leadership tips and insights . Blessings from New Zealand

    • Carey Nieuwhof on July 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks David!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.