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Watch 2022 online sermons » Craig Groeschel » Craig Groeschel - Leading with Crazy Faith

Craig Groeschel - Leading with Crazy Faith

Craig Groeschel - Leading with Crazy Faith
Craig Groeschel - Leading with Crazy Faith
TOPICS: Leadership Podcast, Leadership, Faith

Well today, we have a guest coming back on the show. He's "New York Times" bestselling author of the book "Relationship Goals". He's the pastor of Transformation Church. He's a great husband to his wife, Natalie, and the father of four kids. He's authored a new book called "Crazy Faith". Today, we're talking all things leadership with Pastor Mike Todd. Mike Todd.

What's goin' on, PC?

Hey, welcome back.

Man, thank you for having me. I hope that this becomes a monthly podcast between me and you, just doing some leadership stuff.

You know, we could record the FaceTime call sometime.

That actually would be beneficial and efficient, 'cause we talk leadership, we talk life, we talk love, we talk...

And it would be transparent, right?

It would be, y'all don't know Pastor Craig Groeschel until you get him on a FaceTime conversation.

Well, congratulations on baby number four.

Thank you so much.

In the Todd household, and Natalie...

Yeah, the finale. That's what we're calling this one.

The finale.

Gia is our finale.

We had a finale, and then we had a Joy. And so we had a bonus round.

Okay, well, I'm, don't pray that on me.

We'll see how it goes. But super glad to have you back. The last time we had you on, talking about creativity and marketing. It was one of the listeners' favorite episodes.


And I want to take a little bit of a different direction with you. We're recording this before the release of your newest book...

Yes sir.

"Crazy Faith".

Yes sir.

And so by the time this comes out, your book will be out. So congratulations at that time.

Thank you so much.

But I want to talk a little bit about, really crazy leadership and some ideas that you can help inspire us to have faith, to try some new things. But before we go down that road, I'd like to go kinda back in your journey, because based on what I know about you as a friend, it seems like you didn't have a game plan to become a leader.


But you found yourself in some leadership roles that were unexpected. Can you tell me a little bit about that story, about when you first started to recognize that you were a leader, and started to develop your leadership gifts?

Yeah, so I think in high school is the first time I recognized it, but I didn't consider it important. So in high school, at the lunch room or at pep assemblies, I could always gather people and get them to do something or to laugh or to all those different things. But I just thought it was me getting attention. Like that was really what the motivation of it was. But underneath that need for attention was actually a gift. And I tell people all the time, leadership, the raw materials of leadership are usually disguised when they're in infancy. It's disguised as something else. And so me just being a class clown, or just trying to make people laugh or impress a girl, under the layer under that, was leadership that was unrefined and undeveloped, but I didn't pay it any attention. Then as I finished high school, going into college, I started leading a gospel singing group, and I was just the drummer of the group. And I played drums and I thought that was it. But I started giving ideas. I was like, "Nah, don't sing it like that. Why don't you sing it like this"? Or, "Maybe everybody should change clothes. We should all look like this". And I was giving more ideas that didn't have to do with the beat or the tempo. And for some reason they started trusting my opinion. They started trusting my leadership on things that I didn't actually have experience on, but there was like an intuition there. And under that little, what I thought was just a suggestion or what just made sense to me, became a group of people following me. And there were 19 young adults that I became the leader of, and I had no music theory. I had no, like formal training. I just was gifted in that area. And that's the first time that I started to say like, "Hold on, there's something here. There are people here older than me, that have more experience, but they're listening to what I'm saying". And that's when I started taking my leadership a little more seriously, and started reading and trying to figure out. I remember I got Maxwell's book on the "Laws of Leadership".


And I only made it through like two of 'em, but I didn't, at that time, 'cause I didn't know if it was like, is this me? But what ended up happening was that just continued to progress over my journey, to where I found myself in this youth pastor role. To skip a whole bunch of random details of how I never thought I would be there, I started being this youth pastor, and we started with seven kids, in a church that my parents started, at age over 55. So think about starting an organization or a church plant or something over 55. And only 20 adults went to the church. And they told me to start a youth ministry. And I was like, "This doesn't make any sense. Half your congregation are youth, and you had five sons. So you populated us and made us the youth. If I do a youth service, this is not gonna make sense". And my mom came up to me and she was like, "You're supposed to do something with the youth". And it was a really cool moment, looking hindsight, of my mother affirming that there was something in me that was more than what I had experienced. And she was gonna give me an incubation place to do it. Even though I thought it was insignificant, we started with seven youth, and we were called So Fly, Sold Out Free Life Youth. And the mascot was a fly and everything. It was a horrible idea.

That is pretty bad.

Yeah, it was bad, but...


But the leadership worked. We started off with seven young people, and within six months, 150 young people were coming. We had no lights, no LED screens, no microphone, no games. It was just me in a circle, walking around a room, talking. And this was for the first time that I realized that I didn't need anything other than what I had to get people to follow something that was worth following.

That's good.

That's when I was like, "Uh-oh, this seems like it's gonna be something that lasts on my life". And I started actually valuing it. And that's when I got "It" book.

Yup, very good.

And that was, somebody handed me the "It" book and said, "Hey, you have 'It.'" And I was like, "Have it"? And it was like the book. I was like, "Oh, I have 'It.' You gave me the book". And I read that book, and listening to the principles that you shared in that book was a very eye-opening moment for me, to know that maybe there was something that had been innately given to me, that I needed to develop, 'cause I could lose it. And I just started on this leadership journey. So the fact that I'm sitting here with you on the "Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast" for the second time, is just a testimony to if you develop your leadership and love the space you're in at the moment and give fully to that, great things can actually happen.

You know, the first time you told me the story about reading "It," it meant a lot to me. And so we're re-releasing that book next year, an expanded version. I think we're gonna call it "Lead Like it Matters".

Okay, let's go.

And so that, that's super meaningful to me. I picked up three things as I was listening to kind of you tell your story. First of all, what I like is that you recognized leadership that was in maybe a non-traditional form.


And I want to just encourage our leadership community, because there's all ages, there's all types of backgrounds. And what we know about leadership is leadership is influence, that's it. It's influence, and you saw that you had the ability to influence. It wasn't like you were a systematic.

No, I'm still not.

You are, yeah. And you were charismatic, but that wasn't what drew people. It's your personality. You're likable, and you're even funny. People can be all different types of leaders. And so the first thing I noticed is, you recognized a non-traditional form of leadership. And then I picked up on two things that you said that were helping you grow. And I want to dive a little bit deeper into this, because we all want to grow. We all want to grow, and I want to find out, what were some of the contributing factors to your growth? But what I heard you say, one was you picked up a John Maxwell book.


And even though you only made it through two of the principles...

I've read 'em all now, but back then...

Yeah, but all it takes...

I only made it to two.

Is one, right?


One right principle can give you a lot to grow. And the second thing you said is you had affirmation from your mom, and which is really good. If your mom didn't believe in you, you're probably in trouble, right? But people around you helped you grow in your leadership.

So good.

Can you unpack a little bit of the story, because you've had way more success and influence early in your life than most people at your age are gonna have. And so you've had to fast-growth your leadership track, more than most people will have to. What are some of the elements that contributed to your growth as a leader?

So I think the one thing that you've probably heard, if you're watching this podcast, a million times, leaders are readers. I have been able to be tutored, mentored, and coached by some of the greatest leaders and thought leaders in the world, right on my toilet, right in my backyard.

Let's just go there, on your toilet.

Let's just go there.

That is the place where I've learned more leadership...

So just don't sit there, don't read too long.

Till your legs fall asleep.


But I've done it.

That's the point where you need to go...

You need to get up.

Yes, you're getting up.

But I'm literally, I'm saying that to be very practical, though. I've been, my mind has been shifted, in places where there was nobody else there except me and the words. And I think that's the greatest place that you can start. Your life can change today, if you read something that connects with where you're going and brings you along. And for me that happened over and over, and it's continuing to happen, over and over again.

So I was just working with my team today, and we always go through books, and I was giving them a list of a few more books they could go through together. What would be a book or two or three that come to the top of your mind that are kinda standout ones that influenced you?

Some ones that have helped me a lot is "It". "It" made me recognize and value what I had been given. 'Cause I would usually downplay it, because I saw the It Factor in other people, but everybody has some version of it, and you have to develop that. The other one that really helped me was "Leadership Pain" by Sam Chand. It prepared me to take hits in leadership that every leader is gonna take. And if you don't see the hit coming, you can't roll with the punches. And that term "roll with the punches," it literally means like rolling your head with the punch. You're gonna get hit, but you're actually taking some of the impact off of it, 'cause you saw it coming. And many things in my leadership journey would have knocked me out, had I have not been ready to run the race that was ahead of me. And then I think another one that that comes to my mind is "The Speed of Trust". That has been a next, I mean, I've had to hire. I went from having 12 people on my team a year-and-a-half ago to like now 110, in like literally the span of this long. And if you don't trust people, and you can't trust people, 'cause that was the issue for me, like, "They're not gonna do it right, and they don't know the culture, and they don't da da". That's why we had to change our hiring process. And that's why we had to pay people high-level, and we had to do different things. But we had to start moving at another level of trust. And those three books, I would say for any leader that plans to do anything successful in your leadership, those are must-reads, and it really transformed and changed my leadership.

You know, oddly enough, Mike, I was at a conference that Dr. Chand spoke at before he wrote the book "Leadership Pain".

Oh wow.

And he talked about pain and the pain of leadership. And I don't know if he said it or where I came up with the quote that I'll say sometimes, but you know, if you're not hurting, you're probably not leading. And that's just, it really is...

It's the truth.

Is a part of it. And so I'd love to have you unpack a little bit about that, because a lot of people could look on and see your success and go, "Oh man, I want to be that guy". And they don't know about the price you pay on the journey, the private price. How much are you willing to open up?

Oh, you know me. You already know. I'm humble, open, and transparent. It's how much can your listeners handle? You understand, I'm ready.

So how hard is it? How hard is it to be an effective leader?

So it's a lot harder than I thought it would be. The demand is constant. The sacrifice is a lot, as well as the reward. There's nothing that compares to it.


And I think it is, the greatest leader that I know and I've studied from is Jesus Christ, and as I look at His life, there was this moment where He wanted to quit. And He said, "For the joy set before Me, I'm gonna endure this pain that I'm going through". And it's kind of like that for me and leadership. It's like, yo, another meeting, another corrective situation, another lawyer thing we have to settle, another person leaving that you thought, you just gave 'em a raise and you thought they were gonna be, and now they're, like, but for the joy set before me, for the impact, not the influence. See a lot of people, we talked about this one time before, but a lot of people think that they want to be a leader for the influence part of it. Influence is what comes and makes you a leader. But what you really want as a result is impact. What I want to do is impact people. I want to help them have a better quality of life, be able to change their current situation and know it's possible. And I look at the impact that we've caused in people's lives and people that come up and say that they would be not here if we weren't doing what we were doing, and their family has changed. And I gotta set that joy before me. And I just feel, to encourage some leader right now, you stop looking at the joy of what you do. And if you stop looking at the joy, you'll stop. It'll make you settle for metrics that aren't fulfilling. At some point, it's just another number. At some point, it's just another dollar. At some point, it's just another award. But you need to set something in front of you that reminds you of the joy, that it is to take the sacrifice and the pain that you have to take. There's no place I go with my children or my wife that I don't have to be ready to communicate with somebody or welcome them in or talk to them about something. And that's a part of what the influence has done. And I'm not mad about it or frustrated about it, but it is part of the sacrifice. But I do it because there's joy on the other side of this. And so, it's hard. But I think at the end of the day, more than hard, I want my life to have mattered. And because I do the hard thing, it actually is helping people. And I think that's for every leader. If you're not doing something that's helping people, you won't outlast the hard. But if you're doing something that actually is not just about your four and no more, and just about how big your net worth can be, then you start seeing it beyond yourself. And you're like, "Oh, I'll go through hard to help. I'll go through hard to help them". And I am now counting it as a privilege. It's not a, I have to. It's I get to. And I wake up every day knowing that I'm gonna endure something today that I probably wouldn't have to, if I didn't wake up and rise up to this leadership task, but I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna show up today. I'm gonna love today. I'm gonna give today. I'm gonna bring my best today. And as I do that, I see it over and over and over again, it helps somebody. And that really keeps me going.

Well that's really the difference between what I call a me-centered leader or a you-centered leader that, you know, a lot of people, it is, it's all about me. And it's my leadership, my influence, my platform, my paycheck, show me honor, on and on and on. But what you're talking about is you-centered leadership, where what I, I'm here to serve you.

Yes, sir.

I want to help you be more successful. I want to help you be closer to God. I want to help you increase your platform. And then there's gonna be pain with either type of leadership. But if it's a you-centered leadership, then you can endure the pain, because it is something that matters.

I tell people all the time. I say, "Choose your sacrifice".

That's exactly right.

Choose it. Like either you're gonna sacrifice and complain about everything 'cause you can't actually make a difference or you're gonna choose to do the hard things and be in a place where you can be a blessing to somebody else and change somebody else's trajectory.

That's a word right there.

I even take it up another notch. I don't call it a sacrifice, I call it a whack-rifice. It's gonna be whack. Like there's certain days that you have to do things that are just whack. Like I don't want to do this. but this whack-rifice is going to produce something for somebody else that's gonna bring them joy. And so you heard it here first. We've coined the word whack-rifice.

I might say that, but I'm afraid I would really say it wrong.

No, you got it, you got it, whack-rifice.


There you go, Craig.

Choose your whack-rifice.

There it is, Craig Groeschel.

Well, it is a really good word. And one of the things I love about your leadership, you're influencing all ages, but you've got a ton of young leaders all over the country and the world that look to you as a model. I'm curious because we've got lots of 20 something year olds, we've got a lot of teenagers that are part of this podcast, when you're looking at the emerging leaders today, what would you say is most exciting to you? And then what a piece of advice would you have to say, hey, let's keep this in mind?

Yeah, I think the most exciting thing is that we have a lot of limitless thinkers now. I mean like this next generation's like, yeah, let's figure out a way to make all water clean. Like that is a big thing and they really believe that it can happen. Let's figure out a way to get everybody on the same day to do this one thing. Like I love the limitless thinking because the moment that you take the box off of what has happened, that's when you can actually see innovation, there's big things that can happen there. I think the one thing that I would encourage this generation is big things happen in small bites. And I think that they get discouraged many times when the big thing doesn't happen like a big thing. And the thing that I would encourage somebody is no oak tree started off as an oak tree, that it started out as a seed and then it grew into a small tree that probably was insignificant. But over time it became something that now that people would travel from all over the world to be able to see and take part in. And I really hate the discouraged young leader right now because they tried once, they tried twice and it didn't happen and they feel like their life is over.

And then they see someone else and it looks like an overnight success and it's so discouraging.

Anything that's overnight will be gone overnight and that's the thing that people don't recognize. That's why we have so many one hit wonders and so many sensations. The only reason they're is sensation is because they're not going to last. Like the thing that we want is legacy. We want something that lasts for a long time. And that's why a lot of people, they think I came out of nowhere. It's just you didn't know me 'cause I was so unseen. I was in the dark room. I was still developing. But this process has been going for decades. And that's where I just want every young leader to commit to being fully committed to the season they're in and not negate this season trying to get to the next season because it's coming, whether you want it to or not. The question is will you be prepared when that next season comes? And many people give up in the season they should be preparing and developing because it didn't happen like a YouTube sensation or an instant such and such and great things happen over time.

Yeah, that's so powerful. And your new book is "Crazy Faith" which is I got to be a part of kind of watching on the front row just that come alive in a series that went on for a long time...

You were a part of it. You spoke on message, gazy faith.

I was gazy faith, yes 'cause we ran out of the azey's and that was the only one I could come up with. I went through the alphabet three times, thank you. And so when people look on, a lot of times, they will say, like, "Yeah that Mike guy came out of nowhere overnight". And the truth of matter is someone can go viral immediately, but to have ongoing success, you don't go viral, you don't get lucky, you have to be faithful. And most of the time to have any kind of sustained success in the future, you've had to have been developing something of worth in the past. And so you were not an overnight success, although you did have kind of, you had explosive growth. There were a lot of seeds in the ground before there was any type of harvest. Talk to us about that. What was happening in your life developing you as a leader when nobody else was looking on?

Yeah, so one of the things that I tell people all the time is that I am an all-in type of person and you know this, like if I'm doing something, it doesn't matter if my name will be on it, if my hands are to it, I'm gonna do it with all my might. And I started as a sound man at the church I now pastor. So I want everybody to just get, like think of the dude in the back pushing the faders up and down is one day.

You only know that they're there when they hit the wrong button.

When they hit the wrong button or don't turn the mic on. That was me. And when I was in that position, I did it with all my might. And I went from the sound man to the lead pastor of the church in four years. Now, it's a way longer story than that, but it was because every place I was put, whether I was the sound man, I was over the music, I was the executive pastor of the church or the lead pastor, I gave everything, I went all into that season not thinking about my promotion. See the one thing that I really do believe is that you're not over promotion. I think promotion is in somebody else's hand. You're over faithfulness and producing where you're at. And a lot of people get so caught up on the promotion part that they don't produce. And I made a decision that wherever I am, if it's the janitor or if it's on the top floor of the company, I'm gonna produce. And that philosophy and that principle, it carried me. And so when I would go into these meetings and come out and somebody'd say, "Yeah, we should do something", I would go away from that meeting and I'd actually produce it, come back the next day, and I was single at the time, and hear me, if you're single right now, you have more time than you will ever have in your entire life to develop the skills, the character and the traits that will pay you and create a blessed life for your family. Like I just, I don't know who that's for, somebody just pulled that out of me, it's your time to develop. So I would go and people would be talking about what they could do and I would create presentations. I would make a jingle. I would just fully give and produce in that season. And I told somebody this the other day, I said, "Every title I had in my church, they had to make up for me". Nobody was doing what I was doing. They had to literally make it up because I was over-producing any of the titles they had for me right there. And when you have production and character that match, promotion comes automatically. Character to match the level of production always create promotion.

That is so good because a lot of people think it's production equals promotion alone.

No, it can't because if I put you in a place where you can now have more authority, they don't just take on your skills, they take on your attitude. They don't just take on your abilities, they take on all of the things that come with how you talk about the organization, how you get things done, how you treat people. And we all know this, you don't produce what you teach, you produce who you are. And so I really worked hard on character and producing and it was almost like my leaders could not keep me in the same place 'cause it's like he's producing and he's gonna be on time, he's producing and he's gonna own it when he messes up, he's producing and he's actually going to show us that he's humble enough to still go back and do the other thing that we just took them from doing. Those two things began to take me on this journey. And every step of the way as I was on this journey, I was faced with new what I call Goliath problems. Like a lot of people think promotion just comes and then it's like easy. Promotion means problems. And the reason you're in that area is 'cause you're supposed to solve the problems. You're the leader in that area to take out Goliath. And that was the hardest transition for me thinking that promotion meant maybe I could rest a little bit and take a step back. And what I found out and what I would encourage every leader is anytime you're promoted, that means that you have a new problem that you have to take down. And every time I got faced with those new problems, reading, I went to every conference I could find, I just started absorbing, I went to prayer, I did everything 'cause sometimes as a leader, you just gotta be scrappy. There's a part of it it's like, this is not gonna look good, but I'm gonna have what I need to get to where I need to go. And as I kept my integrity in check and I kept building the people around me, and like you said trying to be a you-centered leader, like we all can make it, we can go to this next level, we can do this, it was just this thing that kept happening and more people were attracted. And I remember, this is a funny, the year I became the pastor of the church, I lost my whole staff. It was me and the business manager, Tammy, Tammy, I love you. She's still with me today. And when you talk about crazy faith, those were the hardest days to walk into the office. The guy who did my graphics started his own company, the family member that was over all of the creative stuff, I had to let him go. I mean I lost everybody and I would go into that office with crazy faith and I would start talking to employees who weren't there. "Hey Bill, how was it this weekend? I love the kids. Hey Jan". And Tammy would be cracking up, I mean dying laughing, but I had to look at where I was at and I had to start hoping for something different. And I don't know who's out there listening to me tell this story 'cause you're saying, "Oh yeah, Pastor Mike, you had this and that and the third and the fourth". No, no, no, no, no, no, there were very, very low moments of my leadership where all I had was hope. And this is one of the things that I talk about in the book, Pastor Craig, is imagination is one of the greatest tools that you have been given that you can use right now and it's free. That you can literally close your eyes at this moment and see yourself in a different place. When I walked into that office with no staff except Tammy, I closed my eyes and I began to talk in faith and in hope to people who weren't even there anymore. And it was that glimmer of hope that kept me, that joy set before me, the possibility that one day I could have a staff, one day, it could be multi-ethnic and multi-generational and one day, we could be making a difference. It kept me going. And today, when I go into the staff of 110 people, every ethnicity, every backgrounds, one of our staff members is 75 and one of our interns is 18, to walk in there and they're all going around the same mission and excited about what we get to do, I go back to that room when I was calling it when it wasn't there. And I just encourage some leader that's listening right now that that has been bogged down by frustration and comparison to what you don't have, use your imagination. Hope again. See it differently. And keep working on yourself to produce and to have character wherever you are.

So good, it's so helpful. And I can only imagine people like even pulling over a car right now and saying, I need to write this down and absorb this and listen again. This is one of the podcasts you don't listen to it at 1.5 speed because it's too rich. You got to slow this baby down and absorb it. A compliment I would give to you, I would say to every leader, you want to learn from three different groups of people. You want to learn from those who've gone before you because there's no substitute for wisdom, for the time in the game, the experience. There's some things that only reps will teach you. And so you want to have two or three or four or five distant or up close mentors you're learning from that have gone before you. Then, you want to stand on their shoulders, give them honor and hopefully do even more because what you learn from them. Then you want to learn from your peers. The people that they are your friends, they're doing kind of the same thing you are and you're super transparent. You tell me about a lot of your friends, you hang out and you're sharing ideas nonstop, your peers. And then you want to learn from those who are coming behind you, those that are younger. In the 30 year old bracket from 30 to 40 years old, you'd be at the top of the list of the younger generation that I'm learning from. So much so like we brought you in to talk to our top leaders and say, "Critique us. What do you see that we don't see? Help us to think differently".

That was nuts, by the way. I want everybody to know Bobby Gruenewald, Craig Groeschel, the whole team, like, "What would you do"? I'm like, "I don't know, you guys built Life.Church, like".

It's a fresh perspective. And so what I want you to do is help the 40 something year old, someone who's been in the game longer that might've hit what I call the wall of reality, meaning we tried that, it didn't work. How do you continue to think big and yet have the courage to start small? What would you say to someone that may have been beaten up a couple of times and swung for the fence and didn't get wood on the bat, wood on the ball.

Yeah, if you don't swing, you're never gonna hit anything. I'm gonna say it again. If you don't swing, you're never gonna hit anything. And to the leader who has had a bunch of strikeouts, you're still in the game. Like the thing I would encourage you is that if you have an at-bat, try to hit the ball. It may mean that you're going to have to practice some more or get a different swing. I mean one of the things I respect about you, PC, is that you've built something that nobody else can say they've built in America. Yet, you still come to people like me and be like, "Teach me how you do that little thing with the bat". Like you'll still learn from people. And that's why I think leaders are learners. And I think one of the biggest problems with people in that age group is they let the success make them prideful. They stop coming to it with humility. And when you stop coming to the thing that you built with humility, it's going to make you respect it at some point. And it's either humble yourself or be humbled. And I think the thing for me, even though we've had a lot of success and growth in different things, I come to what I get to do and what I get to lead everyday humbling. I cast my crown. I mean you know this, but before I started pastoring or authoring books or anything, I was into music. And so for me, everything was, all my accolades and everything I ever wanted was in music and I felt like I had to lay all of that down. Well, when I started going in this journey and coming to it humble, like stuff that I never thought would happen happened. The book, "Relationship Goals" went number one New York Time bestseller. I never, I failed the English class. How did I write a book that went on the New York times bestseller list? And then out of that, I just happened to do a song like just for the people that were close to me and just like, Hey, I want to release some music 'cause this is what I do in my passion. It went number 10 on the Billboard R&B charts. I'm a Christian pastor that has a R&B Billboard number 10 record after the weekend.

But let's break that down. So someone's listening, going, "Oh, well, I could never do that". So you didn't set out to write number one New York Times. You didn't set out to, tell me about the start.

So I literally 10 years before it ever became a song, I started writing a song in my room. I didn't know that it would be for a book that I would write and then would go, but I started with what I had. And this is what I tell every leader, it's not a vision until it's on paper. Some of us have so many ideas and thoughts in our mind that aren't even real yet until they get on paper. Write the vision, make it plain. The only way that I could go back and pull something is because I thought like, oh, I've done something with a song on relationships, maybe it can work. And I went back and it started in seed form. It took 10 years, PC, for it to materialize and even be in a place. I didn't have the platform. I tried to release the song. I'mma send you a text message of the album cover that I tried to release this song on 10 years prior. It is hilarious. But 10 years later, now I have the platform, now I have the position, now I have the moment. And now when I release it, because it started in seed form and I didn't discard it, this is the thing I need every leader to hear me say, don't discard what is not ready to be seen. Many times, we're so tunnel visioned that we only think it's important if it's next. But many of the greatest things in my life were things that weren't next, they were things in waiting. And there are ideas that you need to write down and they'll be in waiting. There are our plans that you have that you don't have the team to facilitate it yet and you don't have the opportunity, but the right time will come. And if you don't disregard it, it may become something that will create a phenomenal destiny for you.

Yeah, that's so good. And if the song never gets published, it doesn't mean the writing process was a failure. That can be a big part of it. And so I really want leaders to know that to have one breakthrough anything...

It's huge.

And you're gonna have hundreds of torn up pieces of paper on the floor or failures along the way. And failing along the way is a part of the process.

It is the process. Like if you do not, I keep telling our team at home as I have so many new people and they come with this idea of like, oh, this is what it's gonna be and I just kind of like shock them at the beginning. I said, "If you don't fall in love with the process, if you don't fail forward, if you don't get used to it not working, you're gonna hate this journey of leadership because every part of leadership is learning what doesn't work and then figuring out what does and pushing it to the next".

And great leadership, I read this in some book, I can't remember which one, I'd give give credit to the author, but he talked about I think it was "Chop Wood", what's that book called? But I think he said, he said, "Obsess about the process and trust the outcome". And I really love that because you can't control the outcome ever. You can't control how many people watch a message, how many people buy your book, if you own a business, how many people buy your product or how crazy your video might go, you can't control that. What we can control is the effort you put into it, the integrity, the process, and that's success, you're successful if you bring your best where you are. And Mike, I was at a conference yesterday and one of the previous presidents of the United States spoke and they interviewed him. And I won't even say who it was because I don't want someone to say, "I didn't vote for him, I didn't like him". I don't care which side this guy would fall on, what he said was successful and they asked him, "How do you gauge looking back at your administration and your life, how successful were you"? Because like all presidents, this one went out with some criticism toward the end. And he said, "Well," you know, he said, "I told the truth and my wife and children love me". So he said, "I was pretty successful". And I liked that meaning there's, if you turn up, you tell the truth, you live with integrity, you're a you-centered leader, whether whatever you do goes big or whether you're just faithful where you are day in, day out, that is successful leadership. That is successful leadership. I'll ask you one more closing question, then I'm gonna fire a bunch of small ones at you just for fun. "Crazy Faith", what would you say to a leader right now that has an idea that does seem kind of crazy and that most people would say, "That's stupid, that's too big, that's not real" and it may be. What advice would you have for that leader?

Don't believe them. It's only crazy until it happens. You're looking at somebody who does not have a business degree or any type of accolades to precede what has happened in my life. This book chronicles the steps that I took as I decided that our church was going to buy a $54 million building and we were gonna pay for it and we were gonna be debt free. And everybody said I was crazy. We went and I took a picture 37 days after I became the lead pastor of our church. Our church was in a converted grocery store in the hood of Tulsa. And I wrote down this vision that was crazy. "We will one day own the Spirit Bank Event Center". And, "People will come from all over the world" and all this other stuff, I just wrote it down with 300 people coming to our church and most of them voting if they were gonna stay because they didn't know if they liked me or not. And I held onto that vision. And in 2019 I believe the building came available. Some entertainment company tied it up and I thought it was over, we're not entertaining any offers. Their whole situation fell through, they came and offered us to buy the building. I went over, they offered us this $54 million building, 192,000 square feet, 975 car parking garage in the middle of the second highest rent district in Tulsa for $10.5 million. We bought it and paid cash for it in five months. It's only crazy...

Great story.

Until it happens.


And now we own the whole block. So I'm telling people that it may seem crazy right now. Your marriage being restored may sound crazy. Your business going from bankrupt to successful, it may sound crazy. You being actually able to be happy again doing the thing you lost love in may sound crazy, but it's only crazy until it happens.

So good. Lightning round just for fun.

Let's go.

What's your biggest leadership pet peeve, something that drives you crazy?

Laziness. I can't stand people who won't try.

Driving a car, scale of one to 10, how good a driver are you?

A six.

And what does Natalie say?

A two.

And how good is she? She's a 10.

She's always a 10.

She's an 11.

That's your only answer.

Except she been in more wrecks than me, all right.

Yeah, Amy only gets in wrecks in reverse and now so camera and beepers have changed our life. What's the thing that you do that annoys Natalie the most?

Oh my goodness. I got a lot of things that annoy her. That is a good question. She doesn't like that I don't put the toilet seat down sometimes.

Yeah, that's nasty, that's nasty. What's a childhood nickname?

Oh goodness, donkey booty. I had a big butt, guys. I don't know how else to describe it. I played basketball and they hehaw, yeah.

I'll just leave that one there.

Just leave it there, PC. Don't even ask. Natalie likes it now. Don't even worry about it.

As long as that works for you guys, that's all that matters. And then favorite band of the 1980s?

1980S band. I don't know if it was a band, but I love Michael Jackson, like his music, the iconic, all of the Jackson Five. In the '80s, he wrote "Off the Wall". That was a crazy iconic, I'm a music buff so I would say Michael Jackson.

Yeah, well, it's been a pleasure just to have you on and more so when we're not in front of a mic just having a friendship. I celebrate your faith, your impact. I believe this new book, I hope it reaches even more people than "Relationship Goals", which would be...

It'd be huge.

It'd be crazy?

Yeah, until it happens. It's my life message, I'm excited about it.

Yeah, thanks for being a great friend. Thanks for being a leader.

Thank you, PC, you the man, I appreciate you.

Hey, I'm so grateful to Mike Todd for his content. And if this content is helpful to you, I would love to encourage you to invite others to be a part of our leadership community. If you happen to post on social media, be sure to tag Mike Todd, tag me. And if we see it, we might repost your content to help others grow in their leadership. Also, if you'd like additional information with each podcast, you can go to, type in your email and then we'll send you a leader guide that has key points, has additional content and has questions that you can go over with your leadership team to help you grow in your leadership. If you're new with us, be sure to tune in. We drop a new podcast on the first Thursday of every month and we're gonna grow, we're gonna grow in our leadership because we know that everyone wins when the leader gets better.
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