Tuesday, November 2, 2021
All students were presented copies of Mr. Fairfax's book Crucible Leadership
On Thursday, October 28, 2021, the Buccino Leadership Institute hosted Warwick Fairfax, who shared his life story and discussed his book Crucible Leadership with the leadership students in attendance.
Mr. Fairfax is a businessman and consultant who earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University and his MBA from Harvard Business School. In 1987, he took control of John Fairfax Holdings Limited, an Australian media publishing company, after his father's passing. In his most recently published book, Crucible Leadership, Mr. Fairfax expands upon the life lessons he has learned from leading his family's $2.25 billion company, its bankruptcy, and how this crucible moment dramatically changed his approach to life.
Mr. Fairfax inherited a vision that had been in his family for 150 years. He recounted an elevator ride, which was one of his first instances of overseeing the company and explained how he felt as though he was a deer in the headlights. It was then that he realized he was trying to be someone who he was not.
Mr. Fairfax's talk revolved around the question; how does one form a life of significance? For him, the first step to building a life of significance was to find an anchor for his soul. Mr. Fairfax reiterated that for him, it was examining his beliefs and the core of who he was. He explained how the second part is to surround yourself with those who love, support, and believe in you - to associate with people who lift you up. Lastly, to find a career or calling you want to devote your life to. Despite this step being rigorous, one that Fairfax says takes years, it is a crucial step to building a life of significance. He learned from this process that your worst moments do not define you. Instead, he explained to the students how these devastating challenges are your crucible moments and present an opportunity to improve yourself.
"Why is vulnerability and authenticity in leadership so important, especially in failures?" To Mr. Fairfax, vulnerability is the most important characteristic a leader should have. He shared with the students that vulnerability can be purposeful, and for someone to be a leader they must be willing to admit their failures and accept that failure is a part of the human experience. Mr. Fairfax is a stellar example of this for our institute's students. His vulnerability and the genuine nature in the discussion of his crucible moment, demonstrates authentic leadership. He taught students that to learn from one's trials, one need not crucify themselves for their past mistakes, but dutifully examine them, to carry the lessons of these experiences with them throughout lives' future challenges.