CNLP 319: Craig Groeschel on What He’s Learning from His Performance Coach, How to Handle High Demand Leadership, and How to Avoid Entitlement in Leadership

In May 2019, Craig Groeschel started to experience anxiety. He hired a performance coach to help drill down on what was going on and shares his insights into what he’s learned so far and how he’s handling the growing demands of leadership.

Plus, Craig talks about how to avoid the pull of entitlement in leadership, how to stay approachable as you become more successful, and why your prayers should be more dangerous.

Welcome to Episode 319 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.

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Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

Atomic Habits by James Clear

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3 Insights from Craig

1. What drives us matters

Our driving forces, when we are healthy and when we are in an unhealthy mindset, are much different. In those impure moments, Craig has realized that he has to dig deep into himself to find what the drivers are, otherwise those motivations will affect the rest of his life and leadership.

One thing that Craig has learned and grown into is the realization that running really hard at work requires deep recovery. If he never submits himself to a time of deep recovery, he could slide into a season of burnout. One trick he uses is the mindset that “resting is productive.” This satisfies the driven part of himself and allows him to rest.

2. Working ahead on producing content actually lowers the cognitive load required

Writing a sermon series is exhausting work. And that is just one of the many pieces of content that Craig produces throughout the year. Recently, he has begun structuring his life into a rhythm where he gets way ahead on content, and it has paid off tenfold.

Craig is now a series ahead of what he is teaching. So if he is teaching message 1 of series A this weekend, he is writing message 2 of series B this week. This has given him a month of time when he can remember pieces of content that needs to be added into the message. This has also removed the rushed feeling of “Sunday’s always coming” from his life.

3. Entitlement leads to rationalizing sin

So how can high level leaders keep the fame, notoriety and influence from going to their heads? Craig outlines the difference between “exceptions being made for you,” and “feeling entitled to certain perks of influence.” The minute you think you are entitled to business class, is the minute that you no longer need it.

When you have an entitled mindset, it is really easy to slip into a rationalizing mindset with sin. If you think you are making a massive difference for the kingdom on Sunday, it’s easy to permit yourself to slip into watching “just a little porn.” We have to be careful about how we view ourselves as leaders.

Quotes from Episode 319

Almost everything we need to discuss in a meeting can be done in 15 minutes. @craiggroeschel Click To Tweet

If you're going to go really hard, you need to have deep recovery. @craiggroeschel Click To Tweet

'When recovering, it's not just time off. It's who you're with. It's where you are. It's what you do. All that stuff matters. @craiggroeschel Click To Tweet

Why do you pray for people to get saved and then doubt it when you see that they might have? @craiggroeschel Click To Tweet

Instead of having long drawn out prayer times, I try to live with an attitude of prayer. @craiggroeschel Click To Tweet

As a leader, having people that can give us honest feedback is paramount. If we don't have that, we're in great danger. @craiggroeschel Click To Tweet

I can't improve by just helping myself. I've got to have objective people that care about me speaking into my life and leadership. @craiggroeschel Click To Tweet

Just because there's an exception doesn't mean we're ever entitled to it. @craiggroeschel Click To Tweet

God, I believe you will. I know you can, and if you don't do it today, I still believe. @craiggroeschel Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 319

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

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Next Episode: Toni Nieuwhof and Rob Meeder

Pediatrician, Rob Meeder, and Toni Nieuwhof—a pharmacist, lawyer and host Carey Nieuwhof’s wife—join Carey to talk about the reasons behind the recent rise in childhood anxiety, how tech addiction is impacting children and parents, and some best practices for keeping your busy family healthy. Toni and Rob are also hosts of a brand new podcast, The Smart Family Podcast, where they interview world-class experts about issues facing parents, children and families.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 320.

CNLP 319: Craig Groeschel on What He’s Learning from His Performance Coach, How to Handle High Demand Leadership, and How to Avoid Entitlement in Leadership


  1. teleserye on July 8, 2021 at 3:54 pm

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  4. Steve Coote on May 11, 2020 at 4:18 am

    I was a bit staggered to hear Craig say that he has reviewed the steps he takes in the morning to maximise available time spent on his work. As a leader, if I had a staff member who was talking in those terms I would encourage them to relax a little, take more time, even “enjoy” the extra steps. I am a huge Groeschel fan and have learnt so much from him, so I would be interested in your take on his comment.

  5. Kevin on February 4, 2020 at 1:08 am

    This podcast is awesome. There is so much to learn about leadership and many more. Thank you.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on February 4, 2020 at 7:23 am

      Thanks Kevin. So appreciate your encouragement!

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