Home Pastors Articles for Pastors How Following Leaders You Admire Is Messing You Up

How Following Leaders You Admire Is Messing You Up


We’re not only suffering from the problem of imagining everyone else’s life to be better than ours; we’re contributing to it.

Any time you only post images of and updates about yourself on the Internet that make things seem like they’re always awesome…you’re making the problem worse.

So how do you fix that?

Well, just let people see the real story. I’m not talking about becoming a toxic poster who blathers on about deep-seated issues that really belong in a counselor’s office or for in-depth conversation with a friend. Nor am I saying you should post a rant about your spouse because you’re oh so angry right now.

But I am saying don’t just post the highlights.

In this space, I try to write as openly and honestly about life and leadership as I know how. Ditto with my podcast…I try to bring the behind-the-scenes conversations forward so we see we’re really all the same.

I hope you’ll find that my new book, Didn’t See it Coming: Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences, to be a gut-level-honest account of how issues cynicism, disconnection, pride and compromise get rooted in people’s lives (and how to overcome them).

Even on social, I try to post some of the highs, some of the disappointments and some of the awkward because we’re all kind of awkward, aren’t we?

My current favorite social channel is Instagram Stories. My now grown kids tell me, “Dad, people see who you really are on that, and often it’s goofy and kind of awkward.” Mission accomplished.

Here’s what’s true: People admire your strengths, but they resonate with your weaknesses. So show your weaknesses from time to time.


I’m really excited about my new book, Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences, which releases tomorrow…September 4.

It’s all about the subtle and hidden things that both limit and sink so many leaders.

Way too often you see capable leaders fall or at least never reach their potential because they’ve grown cynical, they’ve compromised their character, or they’ve grown proud or disconnected, or even after tremendous success, just feel a profound emptiness that leads them to behavior they wish they hadn’t embraced…or despair.

I tackle all those  issues in my new book, Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.

Wise leaders see it coming and deal with it long before they fall to the issues that take out so many others.


You can pre-order your copy now (hardcover, Kindle or AudioBook narrated by me).

Today is the last day you can get pre-order bonuses.

Everyone who pre-orders a copy gets:

  • Free access to Session One of my High Impact Leader Course (video and workbook…a $30 value).
  • 7 lock screen graphics for your smartphone (a $10 value).
  • Access to an exclusive live webinar with my wife, Toni, and I on staying (happily) married while navigating life’s seven greatest challenges (we’ll give you the honest backstory to our leadership journey…you may find it familiar). (A $110 value.)

Order 10 copies or more and you’ll get all the above plus ONE of my courses for free. (An over $300 value.)

Order 100 copies or more and you’ll get all of the above and ALL my courses for free (an over $1100 value). (Seriously…100 copies? Well, many of the people who read the advance copies said they want to take their entire team/church through the book. So we’ve arranged bulk discounts AND bonuses.)

You can learn more and get your bonuses here.


What are you learning in an age where we’re more closely connected than ever before, and an age where so many feel like they just don’t measure up?

This article originally appeared here.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.