Most leaders don’t talk about their failures. But Crucible Leadership founder and Beyond the Crucible host Warwick Fairfax has discovered learning, and sharing, the lessons of how he lost the family media dynasty can help others move past life’s most shattering setbacks. The toughest part of his crucible moment, he explains, was not the number of zeroes in the price tag of the loss. It was the emotional devastation of feeling he had let down his parents, his ancestors, and even God. Discover how he has moved past the pain to lead a life of significance … and how you can, too.
You may have been through a crucible experience, a gut-wrenching, even humiliating experience. It may be a business or professional failure, or it may be a health or family challenge. Whatever it is, the course of your life has forever been changed. You have faced the fork in the road: whether to wallow in the pain of your crucible experience or to try to move beyond it. You have chosen to move ahead.
A crucible is a cauldron where metals are thrown together and heated to very high temperatures. The metals combine to form an alloy, something that is different than it was before. A crucible experience is one that is life-altering. Who you are after your crucible experience is different than you were before. You are never the same.
‘Beyond the Crucible’ host Warwick Fairfax shares the lessons he learned from losing a $2.25 billion bid to take over the 150-year-old family media dynasty he had be groomed to run since birth. From that “crucible moment,” he discovered a new vision for his life, one rooted in helping others overcome painful setbacks in their lives. Sharing the stories of men and women who have bounced back from devastating hardship and failure to live a life of significance is a key focus of ‘Beyond the Crucible.” Other episodes will explore key facets of the Crucible Leadership model, including understanding how you’re wired, crafting a vision out of your gifts and passions and how to bring that vision to reality.
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One of the most cautionary tales in recent corporate history is how Netflix embraced change and Blockbuster didn’t. As of 2018, Netflix, barely 20 years old, had a stock market value of nearly $165B, with 130 million subscribers in 200 countries. Blockbuster was out of business by then, having filed for bankruptcy in 2010 after incurring more than $1B in losses the previous year.
Change is not easy, which is a major challenge for us because we live in a world that is forever changing. Technology is changing. The market is changing. The culture is changing. Not only is everything around us changing, but it seems that change is happening at an ever-increasing rate.
Growing up in a 150-year-old family media business, my self-worth was inextricably tied to the family business and the family dynasty. I saw my role in life as carrying on the family business to the next generation, and to honor the legacy of my great-great-grandfather, John Fairfax, and my father, Sir Warwick Fairfax.
For many of us, our self-worth is tied to our job and career. If we are doing well at our job, we feel good about ourselves. But if we are not performing well at work, life might not look so good. This may seem normal, so what’s the problem? Isn’t this just life?
Leadership is hard. We may have a vision that we are trying to pursue, but for some reason it’s not happening. We feel stuck. We feel despondent. We don’t want to give up, but what else are we going to do? We might even think it’s time to quit.
One of the great stories of perseverance is the American Revolutionary War and George Washington’s dogged determination to not give in. It was in large part Washington’s commitment to the American cause of independence and his refusal to give up amidst overwhelming odds that was the key to the birth of the United States.