Nik Wallenda has set numerous tightrope walking world records, including being the first man to cross Niagara Falls, and wirewalking across Times Square, the Grand Canyon and more.

Nik talks about how to train for adverse conditions, responding to failure and constantly changing conditions, how to reposition your mission when your model breaks, and how to push past fear and anxiety.

Welcome to Episode 364 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 how to lead your church when people just can’t agree on anything right now.

Guest Links

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Episode Links

Remodel Health

Are you tired of your expensive, outdated group plan? The health insurance industry is hard enough to navigate as a leader, but annual rate increases can make it feel painful. What if your church could provide the same or even better coverage at a lower price for both you and your employees? I know this sounds too good to be true, but I promise you it isn’t.

Remodel Health is the health benefits software and consulting service that helps employers save money and care better for their teams. By switching organizations from traditional group insurance to individual plans for each employee, Remodel Health helps you and your team tap into significant savings on health insurance.

To date, Remodel Health has helped Carey Nieuwhof listeners save $1.5 million in the last year and a half! Imagine what your ministry could do with that extra money. Plus, as a Remodel Health customer, you gain access to industry experts and advisors to walk alongside you and your employees as you find a solution that saves money and meets your unique needs.

I know right now is a very challenging time for churches, so why not take healthcare off your list of stressors. If you’re interested in learning more, Remodel Health’s benefits consultants can run a free analysis for your unique team to help you evaluate all of your options.

Visit today to learn more and get access to their free Savings Calculator, Church Buyer’s Guide and brand new e-book!

Pro Media Fire

If engagement is the new church attendance, how do you increase engagement? And how do you do it online?

A study in 2018 found that 72% of consumers buy a product because of design. Good designs matters for your church, because it stops the scroll and starts the conversation.

If you need help with good design from social media content to a website that sparks engagement, then Pro MediaFire can help through the Church Growth program. A custom-tailored program for your church whether large or small with the services you need to reach people online.

Your church can have an entire team of professionals providing digital strategy and a creative framework to help your church grow online.

Book your free strategy session today at


Facing Fear by Nik Wallenda

Balance by Nik Wallenda

The Last of the Wallendas by Delilah Wallenda

Harvard Negotiation Project

How to Lead a Church That Can’t Agree on Anything Right Now by Carey Nieuwhof

Text CAREY 33777 to join more than 70,000 subscribers to our leadership content


1. You can never be too prepared

Nik was the first person to walk a tightrope wire directly over the precipice of Niagara Falls. To do this, he endured 65 mile per hour winds, torrential rain, and he was walking on an unsecured cable that was swaying 18 inches from side to side. The odds were stacked against him. So how do you prepare for something like that?

Nik is a firm believer in overpreparing. On top of his lifetime of training, Nik was intentional to overprepare for this event. To prepare for the winds and rain, he practiced in 90 mile per hour winds and had fire trucks spraying water on him. That way, when he is doing the walk, he knows that whatever winds and rain he might face, he’s prepared for it.

2. Complacency can kill

According to Nik, one of the most dangerous things that can happen while he’s on the wire is getting complacent. If he gets complacent, he can begin to let his mind wander, lose focus on the task at hand and end up falling off the wire. The same thing happens to you in leadership.

If you are beginning to get comfortable with the “good enough” results that you’re getting at work, at home, or even where you volunteer, you’re in danger of becoming complacent. Complacency probably won’t kill you in your job but could very easily kill your progress towards your mission.

3. To combat irrelevance, change your methods

When Nik was young, his mother wrote a book called The Last of the Wallendas. In it, she tells how their generation would likely be the last generation of Wallendas to make a living tightrope walking, because the circus was dying out. This caused Nik to look for other ways to do what he loves. If he wanted to keep doing what he loved, he had to reinvent the methods.

Nik did this by changing where and how he walks. Now, rather than being under a circus tent, he walks across natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. This pivot increased his exposure and has allowed him to continue his mission of inspiring others.

What do you need to reinvent in your organization?

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 364

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 YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen.

Help Your Team Crush Their Goals As You Move Into The Future

It’s never been more important for your organization to hit your goals. It’s also never been more difficult.

Lead a Better Team is the step-by-step approach to:

  • Get far better results with the same team
  • Create a system of accountability so you can actually achieve the goals you set; and
  • Boost the performance of your staff so you can stop micromanaging

All while freeing up time for you to do what you do best.

The best part? You’ll learn how you can do this even if you’re leading a virtual team.

Get instant access to Lead a Better Team here, and take your team to the next level.

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: Cathy Heller

Cathy Heller’s Don’t Keep Your Day Job podcast has 15 million downloads, and she runs a multiple seven figure business from her home, but it didn’t start out that way. Cathy shares her remarkable sideways journey to success, the key ingredients of a successful launch, how to gain traction online and how purpose cured her depression.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 365.

CNLP 364: Nik Wallenda on What World Record Tightrope Walking Taught Him About How to Train in Adverse Conditions, Preparing for the Unexpected in Leadership, Overcoming Fear, and How to Revive a Dying Industry

1 Comment

  1. bill (cycleguy) on September 2, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Absolutely loved this podcast with Nik. Listened to it while driving. Now I’m going to print out some of the main thoughts and replay them. Fantastic podcast. Thanks Carey.

Leave a Comment

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