Steve Cuss returns to the podcast to discuss how to manage leadership anxiety.

Steve talks about how anxiety spreads in a group, how to diffuse it, managing your personal stress during a prolonged crisis, and how to handle angry and critical voices so they don’t add to your long term anxiety.

Welcome to Episode 406 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 shares three things that really help him manage leadership anxiety.

Guest Links

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Episode Links

Pro Media Fire

Do you need help managing your social media in 2021?

Pro Media Fire can help you save time and reach more people online with a complete team working for you.

It’s a simple process—the social media team meets with you to discover your brand, your story and who you want to reach. They create a custom strategy, social media brand style guide and then they do the work.

Social media management plans include:

  1. Social Media Branded Storytelling
  2. Post Creation from Graphics to Videos
  3. Writing Post Captions
  4. Posting and Managing the Accounts
  5. Digital Marketing to Expand Reach

The results are, you save time and grow online while your social team does all the work.

As a listener of this podcast, you receive 10% off for life by going to

Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope is a Christian humanitarian organization that exists to bring hope to the hungry through feeding initiatives, disaster response, women’s empowerment and agricultural training, empowering others to live with greater independence and freedom from poverty, disease and hunger.

In 2020, Convoy of Hope delivered 150 million meals to those affected by COVID-19, all in partnership with the local church. They’re currently on the ground, responding to disasters across the country. In fact, Convoy responded in Texas recently with the devastating cold temperatures and snowstorm through partnership with local churches, meeting the needs of thousands without water. And, you can give to the continued work in Texas.

Thousands of churches around the US partner with Convoy of Hope to help those in need in their local community. They take your dollars and stretch it into 6 dollars because of their partnerships with companies like Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, Culligan, Nestle Water, Bass Pro Shops and more.

Bring hope to the hurting and hungry by texting COH to 68828, or visit to donate.

Conversation Links

Managing Leadership Anxiety by Steve Cuss

Capable Life

Managing Leadership Anxiety podcast

Life Giving List

CNLP 337: Steve Cuss on Managing Leadership Anxiety, Spotting Unlikely Signs of Stress in Yourself, and How to Tame Your Fears in a Crisis

5 Keys to Reducing Stress, Anxiety and Overwhelm in Leadership (and Life) by Carey Nieuwhof

Carey’s Daily Email

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Insights From Steve

1. If you’re a senior leader, your anxiety can make your team’s anxiety worse

One of the biggest things Steve has taught leaders in this season is that anxiety spreads throughout your team from one person to another. And, you, as the leader, have the most power to spread anxiety.

Because of this power dynamic, it’s even more important for you to have your anxious tendencies identified and managed. If you don’t, you’re causing chaos among your team members.

2. Take whatever steps you can to make it easier for yourself to slip into life-giving activities

As a leader, you will always have things that cause you to be anxious, and you’ll always have things that give you life. To help combat the constant flow of anxiety-causing stressors, Steve recommends you make it as easy as possible for you to slip into life-giving activities.

For Carey, that looks like him renting a slip for his boat at the local marina rather than trailering the boat every time he wants to take the boat out. For a small price, this removes some subtle objections that Carey could normally have about taking the boat out, and it makes him more likely to engage this life-giving activity more.

3. The more playful and fun your organization is, the less anxious it is

If you want an easy way to understand how much anxiety you and your team carry at work, Steve recommends you look at how easy it is for your team to laugh and have a good time with each other. If your team doesn’t laugh or is easily offended, you likely have a lot of anxiety running through your organization, and you need to address it.

Quotes from Episode 406

The more anxious the leader is, the more anxious the group is. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet The general rule of anxiety is the most anxious person in any room has the most power in that room. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet 2020 did not create the situation you're in, it exposed it. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet It's not that you eliminate anxiety, it's that you deepen your ability to manage yours and their anxiety. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet Ambiguity will always make you anxious. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet If you look in the scripture, Jesus didn't tell us to be like him, he just tells us to die to ourselves. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet As a leader, so many people either lionize me to be bigger than I am, or they demonize me to be a monster that I'm not. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet People pay attention to content, what's being said. But they react emotionally to process, the way we relate. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet Anxiety management really gets powerful when you stop seeing the problem inside someone, and you start seeing it as between you and that person. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet For a leader to be able to know what makes them anxious, now you have a power tool to start to overcome it. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet People who attend a church for a while think that means they know how to lead a church. @stevecusswords Click To Tweet I focus on what I know is true not on what I feel is true. My feelings lie to me. Click To Tweet God is less done with you than you are. Click To Tweet A rested you is a better you. Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 406

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.


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: John Maxwell

Leadership expert, John Maxwell, talks about how to develop next generation leaders before they’re ready, how and when to hand things off, and what playing golf and eating at buffets can teach you about who people really are.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 407.

CNLP 406: Steve Cuss on How Anxiety Spreads in a Group, How to Diffuse Your Personal Anxiety, and What to Do with Angry and Anxious Critics

1 Comment

  1. Anthony Slutz on March 25, 2021 at 10:05 am

    The Trump anxiety has not subsided; it has morphed into despair.

Leave a Comment

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