CNLP 538: Rory Vaden on the Best Branding Advice Ever, the Shortcut to Finding Your Unique Contribution to the World, and How Influence Really Works

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New York Times bestselling author and TED speaker, Rory Vaden, talks about the best branding advice he ever received, being mentored by Zig Ziglar, the shortcut to finding your unique contribution to the world, how influence works, and what he’s learned working with some of the top personal brands in the world.

Welcome to Episode 538 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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The Highly Productive Leader

At the end of 2023, what would it feel like to look back and have accomplished exactly what you set out to?

Whether it’s…

  1. Launching that second campus
  2. Building that healthier routine
  3. Adding that extra service; or
  4. Starting that podcast

… that would feel pretty nice, right?

This is exactly why I’m launching The Highly Productive Leader—a 30-day challenge to free up more time and find more energy in 2023. The challenge is 30 days of:

  1. Uncovering why we go off track
  2. Setting ambitious goals for ourselves
  3. Building systems that set us up for success; and
  4. Accountability and encouragement

It’s structured on the framework I teach in At Your Best, so it’s a perfect chance for those of you who have already read the book to go deeper on the material and to hit your most ambitious goals next year.

This is all happening inside The Art of Leadership Academy, so if you’re a member all you have to do is log in and join the group.

For those of you who aren’t members, you can learn more about the Academy and the challenge at

I know it’s a busy time of year, so we’ve designed it to be just 60-90 minutes each WEEK, which is less time than most people spend on social media and watching TV each DAY.

I believe this can help lead you to your next breakthrough and I’d love to meet you inside. Again, that’s to sign up today.


As I’m talking with leaders, I hear all the time that 1:1 meeting effectiveness is a felt need. Why?

Because your people aren’t participating. They’re not feeling cared for or developed. They’re not engaged in the process.

My friends at Leadr are working to solve that problem. They’re the first-ever People Development Software, focused on helping you have better 1:1 meetings that are employee-focused, drive engagement, and put an end to meeting dread.

And as a one-stop-shop software solution for all things people-focused, they also help you streamline the other healthy leadership habits you’re struggling with such as effective feedback, clear goals, and better performance reviews. They believe this all starts with the 1:1 meeting.

So, check out for how you can better engage and grow your team today through 1:1 meetings—a leader’s most powerful leadership development tool. Be sure to mention promo code CAREY for 20% of your first year.

Conversation Links

Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success by Rory Vaden

Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time by Rory Vaden

7 Reasons Why I Stopped Drinking

Rory’s TED Talk

Brand Builders Group

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Thriving Church Checklist

The Art of Leadership Academy

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Quotes from Episode 538

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 538

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

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

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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: Sean Cannell

Think Media founder, Sean Cannell, returns to the podcast and discusses how to do video and church online well when your church is on a small or tight budget, how to optimize sermons for YouTube, the power of short vertical video in 2023 and beyond, and his recipe for a perfect video that gains traction online.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 539.

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.