CNLP 459: Michelle Williams on Destiny’s Child, Staying Friends with Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland, and Why Success Can’t Fulfill Unmet Needs

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At age 20, Michelle Williams was approached by Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland to become the next member of Destiny’s Child, a moment that changed her life.

Michelle talks about the pressure of fame, public life, her battles with depression, why she’s still great friends with Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé long after Destiny’s Child disbanded, and why success can’t fulfill unmet needs.

Welcome to Episode 459 of the podcast. Listen 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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Red Letter Challenge

If you’re a pastor, I want to take a minute and paint a picture that you may be feeling right now.

It’s nearing the end of November, and let’s be honest, this has been another long year. A year in which your staff is still working hard to pull off an epic Christmas Eve celebration to honor the birth of Jesus, but after Christmas Eve is over, you know what’s next? Sunday after Sunday after Sunday after Sunday.

With all the leadership capacity that has gone into 2021, and the creative mental space of Christmas Eve, it can be exhausting to think about what 2022 holds.

If that’s you, wouldn’t it be awesome to keep the momentum rolling right into the New Year with a powerful turnkey series where everything is already done for you?

With Red Letter Challenge, you’ll not only have access to pre-made sermon manuscripts, small group guides and videos, kids curriculum for your church and school, but you’ll also have a pre-made graphics package and get best practices to make this a truly plug-and-play experience for your key leaders.

The team at Red Letter Challenge is ready to come alongside your church, like they have with hundreds of other churches from around the world, to make sure you have everything you need to start the year off right with a life-changing, Jesus-centered experience with proven results.

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Checking In by Michelle Williams

Checking In

Destiny’s Child


Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazerro

Didn’t See It Coming by Carey Nieuwhof

Safe People by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

At Your Best by Carey Nieuwhof

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Insights From Michelle

1. Nothing matters more than how you treat people

Even more than raw talent, our attitudes, work ethic and respect for people are what make us memorable. Michelle elaborates, “Even if you aren’t the best, people will remember how you treat them. Do you come to work knowing your melodies? Do you come to work knowing your part? Are you on time[?]” If we think we’re above small things like punctuality, kindness, and respect for others, we’re not making ourselves famous, we’re making ourselves infamous.

Michelle continues, “I’d pick somebody less talented. . . over somebody that’s so gifted but arrogant and thinks they know everything.”

2. Your influence goes far beyond the people you’re immediately leading

You may not have 40,000 people in a stadium listening to you or a team of dozens that directly report to you, but as Michelle points out, “[Y]ou might have 40,000 people under your leadership in your church fellowship or in your financial institution worldwide” that your words affect. We all have people we are influencing and who we touch directly or indirectly with what we do and say. As Carey said in the interview, we all have a public profile to some degree.

3. To stay mentally healthy, check in with your 3 pillars

During seasons of busyness and stress, it’s so important for us to take time to ground ourselves in truth. As easy as it is to be caught up in what’s next or what’s coming up, we often perform better when we remind ourselves what’s important.

Michelle states that in order to stay mentally healthy, she takes time every day to check in with three pillars: herself, others and God. Having a routine helps make this a habit. In the morning, Michelle makes her bed, has her coffee and devotion, checks in with her 3 pillars and plays gospel music to set the tone for her day.

Quotes from Episode 459

People think when you're successful you don't need the affirmation. No, I need the affirmation to keep going. @RealMichelleW Click To Tweet That's what made me even so comfortable with thoughts of suicide because I'm thinking, ‘I've lived a great life, what more am I going to do?’ @RealMichelleW Click To Tweet When you just keep your head down and you do your job, someone will call your name. @RealMichelleW Click To Tweet I still sometimes am in awe of what has taken place in my life. @RealMichelleW Click To Tweet There is a disconnect often between our public life and how we feel privately. Click To Tweet I'd pick somebody less talented, but somebody that's pliable, over somebody that's so gifted but arrogant and thinks they know everything. @RealMichelleW Click To Tweet Respect is an emotional need. @RealMichelleW Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 459

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

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Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Ken Coleman

Things have changed dramatically in the world of work, and Ken Coleman talks about why The Great Resignation is happening, how the balance of power has shifted from employer to employee, and how to build a dream career.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 460.

Lead With Confidence and Clarity. Grow Your Church.

As leaders, we tend to see the challenges and roadblocks before other people do.

We've all been there before...

  • You need to refresh your vision for the future but know that change will be an issue for that person.
  • You're overstaffed (or missing a key role) and can't find the right person to fill the role.
  • You aren't reaching enough new people even though you've tried everything that's working for other churches.
  • You can see the issue but aren't confident in what to do about it.

And with another Sunday morning coming up, it'll just have to wait until next week when you have a few minutes to figure it out.

Now ask yourself this:

What would it feel like to have those answers at your fingertips 24/7?

Whether it's reaching new people, improving your preaching, increasing volunteers, refreshing your vision, engaging your staff, or any of the countless challenges we face as church leaders, The Art of Leadership Academy will equip you to lead your church with confidence and clarity.

Between comprehensive church leadership courses, live coaching calls, staff and volunteer training resources, and direct access to a private online community of senior-level church leaders, you'll get the exact insights and answers that fuel your church for growth.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.