Warwick Fairfax, author of Crucible Leadership: Embrace Your Trials to Lead a Life of Significance
Bill Ringle and Warwick Fairfax discuss finding your bearings after a hugely public muck-up for small business leaders.
>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth. My Quest for the Best is a top-rated small business podcast with over 300 episodes of thought-provoking and insightful interviews with today’s top thought leaders and business experts. Host Bill Ringle’s mission with this show is to provide the strategies, insights, and resources that will unlock the growth potential of your business through these powerful conversations.
Top 3 Takeaways
- Find yourself and what you want to do. You won’t have a fulfilling career if your primary focus is not disappointing others despite not sharing their vision.
- Listen to people who can help you instead of allying to yes-men and yes-women. It is better to hear honest advice that contradicts what you want to do rather than just being what you want to hear.
- Take accountability for failures and build yourself up from what you’ve learned.
Read the Show Notes from this Episode
- Defining the crucible and how this moment can shape a leader. [01:31]
- Warwick shares the pressure of growing up in a 150-year-old family business and how that pressure further increased after his father’s passing. [03:47]
- After taking over the family business, Warwick realized that he and his family don’t share the same vision on running the company, so he sought advice from people who council corporate raiders. [07:02]
- The advice that Warwick would tell his younger self. Somehow, he doubts that he can even convince his past self to do otherwise. [10:25]
- Warwicks weighs in the pressure of being the one to correct mistakes by the past generations and aligning the vision of the company with that of the founder. [13:50]
- After the company declared Bankruptcy, Warwick shares how he dealt with the fallout; how he felt about the media, public perception, and most importantly, himself. [16:07]
- Some newspapers rub elbows with politicians, but Warwick proudly shares the no-bias way his father ran The Sydney Morning Herald. [20:13]
- Warwick talks about balancing a story by looking at both sides creating a company where people want to work. [23:33]
- A discussion about how people get trapped in their echo chambers in modern times.[26:04]
- My Quest for the Best lightning round begins. [30:57]
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Warwick Fairfax is the founder of Crucible Leadership, a philosophical and practical breakthrough in turning business and personal failures into the fuel for igniting a life of significance. He has been hailed by Forbes as offering “compelling insights for anyone who would like to wake up feeling inspired by their work but doesn’t” … insights rooted not in a checklist of glib to-do’s but in his own experience at the epicenter of one of the most spectacular business failures in the history of his home nation of Australia.
Fairfax was only 26 when, as the fifth-generation heir to a media empire bearing his family name, he led — and lost — a multibillion-dollar public takeover bid. The result? The company founded by his great-great-grandfather slipped from family control after 150 years, leaving him to examine not only his own shortcomings and losses but also his life’s principles and the lessons he learned from family members who came before him and some of history’s greatest leaders. It has been by shaping these insights as a leadership adviser that Fairfax has enabled others to learn from what he describes as their own “crucible experiences” and emerge to lead a life rooted in who they are. His journey has opened a door for men and women from all walks of life to not only bounce back from failure but to become the leaders they were born to be.
Fairfax is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Crucible Leadership: Embrace Your Trials to Lead a Life of Significance (Mount Tabor Media, 2021), the broad appeal of which led it to top Amazon’s charts in business leadership, memoir, and self-help. In the book, he discusses for the first time his thoughts and actions in launching the John Fairfax Ltd. takeover and explains what he learned about himself from that devastating failure — who he was and was not his unique design, purpose, passions, and vision really were.
He shares insights from his experience and interviews other leaders who have leveraged their crucible moments to live and lead with significance on the podcast BEYOND THE CRUCIBLE, available through all major podcasting channels.
Fairfax holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.
He lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife, Gale. They have three children who are in the process of developing their own unique paths to lives of significance.
Contact Info and Social Media for Warwick Fairfax
- Primary website
- Travels from: Annapolis, MD
Resources Mentioned During the Interview
Below are key people, places, books, quotes, websites, and other resources that we discussed, so you can explore further.