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CNLP 349: Bob Goff on Breaking Out of Safe, Dreaming Bigger Than You Think You Can and How to Make a Difference Across the Street


By: Carey Nieuwhof

NYT bestselling author and recovering lawyer, Bob Goff, talks about rebuilding when your life breaks down, how to dream bigger than you ever have, and what never losing a case at law taught him about life.

This wide-ranging interview is a tour de force of what’s possible when you realize you can dream.

Welcome to Episode 349 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.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about 5 characteristics of great leaders.

Guest Links

Headshot of Bob Goff

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Episode Links

Lead to Win

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Dream Big by Bob Goff

Love Does by Bob Goff

Love Does organization

CNLP 278: Ian Morgan Cron on How Your Enneagram Profile Positions You for Burnout, Pride, Cynicism and Other Hidden Traps in Life and Leadership

CNLP 138: Bob and Maria Goff Behind the Scenes: Being Happily Married to Your Opposite, Overcoming Setbacks and Thriving in Life and Ministry

CNLP 241: Ian Morgan Cron on Using Your Enneagram Number to Boost Self-Awareness, Spiritual Growth and Reduce Conflict at Work and at Home

5 Surprising Characteristics that Separate Great Leaders from Other Leaders by Carey Nieuwhof


1. Choose your battles

In 25 years of law, Bob never lost a case. That’s crazy good. You would think that means he is a really great lawyer (which he is), but Bob gives more credit to his ability as a picker rather than his ability as a lawyer. He won’t take cases he doesn’t think he can win. He applies this principle to the rest of his life, as well.

Bob has noticed that most people are quick to engage in arguments that they probably won’t win. You probably do as well. Those arguments just aren’t worth your time. Wouldn’t it be so much better if you focused on the conversations and efforts in your life that will actually go somewhere? If you want to win, choose your arguments.

2. Minor setbacks can be a sign of deeper issues

While at his cabin, Bob does this thing called “water logging” where he looks out over the water for a valuable log that has been left by a tug-boat, sitting vertically in the water. Usually only a few inches of the log is above the water, so Bob finds these massive logs by looking first for the seagulls that perch on them.

He points out that many major issues and opportunities for growth in our lives are like those logs. They go deep into our subconscious but are barely visible from the surface. Maybe you have a bit of frustration or anxiety that bubbles up, but there might be a deep wound causing it. If you want to get better, you need to unearth those problems.

3. Dreams come in all sizes, so dream big

If you want to chase your dreams, you need to look deeper than just asking, “What do I want?” Ask yourself, “Why do I want it?” And, if the reason you want something is healthy, go after it! Bob recommends that you take action on your courageous dreams now. Write the letter, make the ask, do what you can today to start it.

Your dream won’t always be a career dream. Sometimes a dream is a meeting, an event, or a relationship in your life. One of Bob’s dreams is to be an amazing grandpa, and he will be chasing that dream forever. Another of his dreams was tea with the Queen of England, so he sent her a letter! Your ambitions come in small, medium, and large sizes. Bob would love for you to pursue all of them.

Quotes from Episode 349


God isn’t dazzled when you go across the ocean, he’s wowed when you go across the street. @bobgoffClick To Tweet


God never compares what he creates. @bobgoffClick To Tweet


Instead of giving the world more information, I want to give the world more examples. @bobgoffClick To Tweet


Know what you want, why you want it, and then importantly, decide what you’re going to do about it. @bobgoffClick To Tweet


You want to do awesome advocacy, take a genuine interest in your neighbor across the street. @bobgoffClick To Tweet


Not every argument is one that you need to win. @bobgoffClick To Tweet


You get so much further with kindness and respect. @bobgoffClick To Tweet


If you want to become a great leader, talk less, listen more. @cnieuwhofClick To Tweet


When you listen longer than most people listen, you hear things most people never hear. @cnieuwhofClick To Tweet


Great leaders rush to a question far more often than they rush to an answer. @cnieuwhofClick To Tweet


Great leaders often stay quiet about themselves. @cnieuwhofClick To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 349

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

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

Watch Back Episodes of The Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our new YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen. We’ll add select episodes to YouTube as time goes on.


Do you want to unlock more of your potential in life and leadership without sacrificing time with your family and your health?

Sounds crazy, but it’s not. I know because I’ve lived it. A few years back, I seriously crashed and burned because the demands on my time and life were bigger than the time I had to accomplish them. I promised myself that wouldn’t happen again.

Today, I still have bigger goals than ever before, but I’ve made fundamental changes that have led to a healthier, happier lifestyle without sacrificing my family and vastly increasing my productivity at work. I’ve taken what I’ve learned during this journey and put it into The High Impact Leader course.

You can complete the three-hour course at your own pace. It’s the most comprehensive content I’ve ever created for leaders to help you reclaim HOURS every day so you can become more effective at work and more present at home. When your time, energy, and priorities are all working together for you, it’ll impact everything you do.

You become a better leader, because you’re doing what you do best when you’re at your best
You become a better spouse, because you’re focused at home
You become a better parent, neighbor, and friend, because you actually have time off to relax and engage

These principles will free you to thrive in every area of your life.

You can learn more and gain instant access today.

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Next Episode: Ryan Hawk

Podcaster, author and speaker, Ryan Hawk, has interviewed some of the top names in leadership including Jim Collins, Seth Godin, Liz Wiseman and Gen. Stanley McChrystal. But a few years ago, he knew no one of that caliber in leadership. Ryan shares how his unique approach (learned in sales) opened doors to world-class leaders, and how leaders can go from top performers to true leaders.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 350.

CNLP 349: Bob Goff on Breaking Out of Safe, Dreaming Bigger Than You Think You Can and How to Make a Difference Across the Street

The post CNLP 349: Bob Goff on Breaking Out of Safe, Dreaming Bigger Than You Think You Can and How to Make a Difference Across the Street appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.


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