Podcaster, author and speaker, Ryan Hawk, has interviewed some of the top names in leadership including Jim Collins, Seth Godin, Liz Wiseman and Gen. Stanley McChrystal. But a few years ago, he knew no one of that caliber in leadership.

Ryan shares how his unique approach (learned in sales) opened doors to world-class leaders, and how leaders can go from top performers to true leaders.

Welcome to Episode 350 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.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about 4 things church leaders are thinking right now, but they’re afraid to say out loud.

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Episode Links

Lead to Win

Are you a leader who wants proven, practical advice to guide you through the complexities of leadership today? If so, you’ve got to listen to my friends, Michael Hyatt and Megan Hyatt Miller’s podcast, Lead to Win. It’s one of the best podcasts for getting practical leadership wisdom.

On it, Michael and Megan share from their experience of more than 40 years of professional experience leading teams and driving results. They’ve been where you are. And they have the insights and strategies to help you where you are today. One of my favorite things about their podcast is that it’s not just strategies to grow your business, though they have plenty of that. They’re about helping you prioritize The Double Win, where you win at work and succeed at life.

Search for Lead to Win wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe, and you’ll get weekly leadership lessons to help you build the Double Win!

The Unstuck Group

For most of us, crisis demands we adjust our leadership style. We take the reins. We get involved in more decisions. But operate that way for too long, and you’ll find some roles start getting fuzzy. If you’re a lead pastor, you probably need to ask yourself, “What do my church and team really need from me now?”

Let me share a tool to help you answer that question.

My friend Tony Morgan, who founded and leads The Unstuck Group, wrote 4 Roles a Senior Pastor Can’t Delegate to help you bring your essential responsibilities back into focus—the leadership roles your church always needs from you, no matter what’s happening in the world. My listeners get this eBook for free.

Download your FREE copy of 4 Roles a Senior Pastor Can’t Delegate by Tony Morgan at


Welcome to Management by Ryan Hawk

The Learning Leader Show with Ryan Hawk

The Learning Leader Show with Ryan Hawk Featuring Jim Collins

Good to Great by Jim Collins

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Contact Ryan by texting LEARNERS to 44222

What Church Leaders are (Really) Thinking in 2020 by Carey Nieuwhof


1. When cold calling people, think, “No just means not yet”

Ryan’s first real job after professional athletics was selling a new system for lawyers to use in their practices. It was a really difficult job. He was making 70-80 cold calls a day, and he had to find a way to get on the phone or into the inbox of high-performing lawyers.

Ryan was told “no” a lot, and rather than becoming discouraged, Ryan decided to take “no” as “not yet.” If he didn’t make the sale or set the meeting, he believed he just hadn’t approached them with the right offer at the right time. He knew it would work eventually.

This skillset has beautifully transferred into podcasting. Ryan has been able to book some amazing podcast guests (like Jim Collins and Seth Godin) by being persistent and taking their “no” as “not yet.”

2. Every organization grows one person at a time

If you are trying to reach more people, whether you are a church or business leader, one of the best ways to grow is by taking great care of your current audience. When you take extremely good care of your people, word of mouth marketing will begin to work for your organization. Carey and Ryan both do this by calling their people randomly, responding to their emails directly, or finding other ways to personally surprise their followers.

As you grow, it’s easy to forget that your audience truly does grow one person at a time. The owners of Airbnb say that, “If you want your business to scale, you need to do unscalable things.” You need to create a relationship with your audience, and relationships aren’t scalable.

3. If you want to accomplish your goals, you should get a personal Mentor Board of Advisors (MBA)

One of the keys to Ryan’s success is the board of mentors and coaches that he has surrounded himself with throughout his career. Whatever goal Ryan chases, he sets up his own MBA to help him accomplish that goal. So for writing a book, he has an MBA of great authors, for speaking, he has an MBA of speakers, etc…

If you want to succeed in something, putting together your own MBA is critical. Carey set one up for himself as he transitioned from his church and towards building his own platform, and he has found it to be extremely helpful. If you want to grow, take this step.

Quotes from Episode 350

The why is important, the what is important, but who you are will be the single greatest determining factor in your long-term success. @RyanHawk12 Click To Tweet

Success is like one in a lot. You're going to fail almost every single time, and you have to be okay with that. @RyanHawk12 Click To Tweet

No just means not yet. @RyanHawk12 Click To Tweet

Leadership is the art of persuasion. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Leaders need to be proactive, but leaders also need to be responsive. @RyanHawk12 Click To Tweet

One of the ways to lead yourself is to get a true understanding of self. @RyanHawk12 Click To Tweet

The combination of thoughtfulness and intentionality are two critical skills to develop for anyone who wants to be an effective leader. @RyanHawk12 Click To Tweet

Sales is about listening. Sales is about understanding pain points. @RyanHawk12 Click To Tweet

Sales is about figuring out current state, figuring out desired state, seeing how big that gap is, and then showing how your solution could help fill that gap. @RyanHawk12 Click To Tweet

Anger is a pretty ineffective evangelism strategy. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 350

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

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

Watch Back Episodes of 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.


Do you want to unlock more of your potential in life and leadership without sacrificing time with your family and your health?

Sounds crazy, but it’s not. I know because I’ve lived it. A few years back, I seriously crashed and burned because the demands on my time and life were bigger than the time I had to accomplish them. I promised myself that wouldn’t happen again.

Today, I still have bigger goals than ever before, but I’ve made fundamental changes that have led to a healthier, happier lifestyle without sacrificing my family and vastly increasing my productivity at work. I’ve taken what I’ve learned during this journey and put it into The High Impact Leader course.

You can complete the three-hour course at your own pace. It’s the most comprehensive content I’ve ever created for leaders to help you reclaim HOURS every day so you can become more effective at work and more present at home. When your time, energy, and priorities are all working together for you, it’ll impact everything you do.

  • You become a better leader, because you’re doing what you do best when you’re at your best
  • You become a better spouse, because you’re focused at home
  • You become a better parent, neighbor, and friend, because you actually have time off to relax and engage

These principles will free you to thrive in every area of your life.

You can learn more and gain instant access today.

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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: Nona Jones

Facebook’s Nona Jones returns to the podcast to talk about the best and worst practices churches and organizations use on social media, why online ministry is about more than just streaming content, and what the church and social media will be like post-COVID.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 351.

CNLP 350: Ryan Hawk on How to Get in the Door with World Class Leaders, Dealing with Rejection, and How to Go from Top Performer to Great Leader

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