CNLP 423: Greg McKeown on How to 10X Your Influence by Listening, What He Learned from Stephen Covey, and How to Live Effortlessly

Greg McKeown returns to the podcast to talk about his latest New York Times bestselling book, Effortless…sort of.

Greg and Carey also talk about podcasting, Greg’s next book idea on why listening can 10x your influence, what he learned from Stephen Covey and, yes, also Essentialism and Effortless.

Welcome to Episode 423 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 a couple of hacks to improve your sleep and productivity.

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World Vision

The deepest truths about living like Jesus often come from leaders who are suffering, persecuted, and living in a hostile environment.

And through the beatitudes in Matthew 5, we know that people in difficult circumstances like these are often the closest to living like Jesus did.

World Vision invites you to listen to voices of leaders from around the world! Leaders who have used their suffering and persecution to build and strengthen their faith.

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In this FREE web series, Danielle and leaders in the global Church will share how they have learned to practice their faith and feed their soul through difficult circumstances.

The Church is a force for good in the world and World Vision’s heart is for the Bride of Christ to be healthy and mobilized to be the church outside the four walls!

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The Unstuck Group

For most pastors, the return to pre-pandemic attendance and engagement is going slower than anticipated. Churches that were seeing a decline or plateau in growth are noticing that trend accelerating.

If that’s you, the first step is to clarify your current reality. You can do that with The Unstuck Group’s Unstuck Church Assessment.

It’s an online tool that helps you assess where your church sits today in the typical church lifecycle, and it’s free.

If you don’t know The Unstuck Group, this is the consulting group my church has worked with when we need an outside perspective to help us align vision, strategy, team and action.

The Unstuck Group is helping hundreds of churches like yours and mine clarify their starting point and chart a path forward.

Take the FREE assessment today at, and start a conversation with your team about where your church is today, where you believe God’s called you to go, and how you’re going to get there.

Conversation Links

What’s Essential podcast

Effortless by Greg McKeown

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Sleep by Nick Littlehales

Soundtracks by Jon Acuff

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey 

The Chosen

CNLP 418: Tony Morgan on Church Attendance Trends, Creating an Effective Digital Strategy, and Online Metrics that Matter

CNLP 122: Essentialism’s Greg McKeown on How to Simplify Your Life and Focus on What Produces Exponential Results

6 Current Productivity Experiments that are Paying Off (+ 1 Fail) by Carey Nieuwhof

The High Impact Leader

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Insights From Greg

1. How to tell if you’re in the gap or in the gain

As a leader, you’re either in the gap or in the gain. If you’re in the gap, you’re focusing on where you want to be and the gap between you and your goals. If you’re in the gain, you’re looking back at what you’ve accomplished and celebrating it while still moving forward.

Too many leaders spend too much time in the gap. Greg recommends that we spend more time in the gain.

2. Listening is 10X more effective at growing your influence

Most people think that the key to building a huge audience is having all the right things to say and saying them to as many people as possible. Greg disagrees. He has learned that listening to the right people is 10 times more effective than trying to be listened to.

Some of the most influential leaders in history spent a large portion of their time just listening to people rather than talking.

3. Not all effort is created equal

We all naturally fall into the trap of doing things that are massive efforts but produce small results. Greg teaches that the “effortless” state would have you focus on doing the things that are small efforts but produce massive results. Doing this should make your life easier and make you far more effective.

Quotes from Episode 423

If you put effort in the wrong place, you won't get any results. You'll just burn yourself out and still not achieve what you want. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet Not all effort is created equal. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet Everybody has a need to be understood. It's our deepest need. And, yet, it is a rare thing for people to have the skill to help people feel understood. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet If you listen longer than most people listen, you will hear things most people never hear. Click To Tweet Everyone's being taught how to talk, how to write, how to read, but not how to listen. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet Everyone wants to be listened to. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet High impact listening is about getting to clarity. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet Powerful listening is cutting through the clutter. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet In the effortless state, you can discern better which things to even do, so you can take effortless action. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet We've been conned into believing that one hour less sleep equals one hour more productivity. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet If you're getting beaten up by your process, you've got bad process. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet Rest is part of building a system that enables you to actually swing shot your performance forward. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet The right nap at the right time can have as much impact to your ability to learn, to grow, to develop as a full night sleep. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet Rest is part of the rhythm of achievement. And you want systems in your life that help you achieve those rhythms. @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet 'My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.' - (Matthew 11:30) How can I lead in a way that is light and easy? @GregoryMcKeown Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 423

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Next Episode: Rich Stearns

After a quick climb in the corporate world, Rich Stearns served as World Vision’s president for almost 20 years.

He talks about how growing up in a traumatic environment didn’t stop him from going to Cornell and the Wharton School of Business, about twice being fired from the C-Suite and how he bounced back after a deep struggle, and what for-profit and non-profit leaders can learn from each other.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 424.

CNLP 423: Greg McKeown on How to 10X Your Influence by Listening, What He Learned from Stephen Covey, and How to Live Effortlessly

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