Beyond the Crucible meets When Leaders Are Lost.

I recently had the immense privilege and pleasure of being interviewed by Warwick Fairfax and Gary Schneeberger on the Beyond the Crucible Podcast. Hailing from the Fairfax Media Dynasty, Warwick’s name is synonymous with status, wealth, influence, and the very public demise of the family company in 1987.

Since walking through his own devastating crucible, Warwick has dedicated his life to helping others discover a new chapter in their lives, one, as he puts it, “filled with deeper meaning, fulfillment, and joy.” He is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Crucible Leadership: Embrace Your Trials to Lead a Life of Significance and walks the talk.

His Co-host and Communications Director of Beyond the Crucible, Gary Schneeberger, Founder and President of ROAR, helps individuals and organizations ensure they’re heard by engaging audiences with boldness and creative clarity.

Our conversation drilled down into some of the core themes of my book When Leaders Are Lost and our experiences with helping leaders navigate times of significant transition, perceived failure, loss, and crisis.

Warwick and I have discovered a synergy between our life and business missions. LCP-Global and Beyond the Crucible are dedicated to helping leaders move through potentially life-defining moments, go beyond the moment and step into the unknown with a new perspective on life and business.

How do we define failure?

Failure is a funny thing. We believe it’s objective and measurable, but the truth is that it’s far more subjective. What we consider failure, or a difficult moment can become a catalyst for great things. The problem is that when leaders don’t open up about these moments, the failures, tests, and trials, they can flounder. When they turn inward instead of letting others in, they miss the moment to see something good come from their situation.

We need others to help us see the potential for the great when we’re overwhelmed by feelings and
circumstances that scream the opposite. Difficult transitions of all shapes and sizes can leave us questioning our identity, purpose, and worth. We’re left wondering if the heavy investment in our career, position, and purpose has been worth it.

The perception of failure is directly informed by our definition of success. We convince ourselves that we’ve failed because we’ve not achieved success as we believe it to be. Shame enters the frame, and we convince
ourselves that we can’t talk to others because they won’t understand or accept us.

When identity is at stake

Our identity is often so wrapped up in our understanding of success that we can’t bear the thought of others knowing we’re floundering. We’re desperate to maintain the image we’ve presented that keeps up appearances and ends up wandering in the desert.

How do we define success?

For all the good social media brings, the downside is that we’re frequently exposed to images of success as defined by others. We see their curated “good life”, but we don’t get to see the dark side. We start to believe the story and compare our reality with their projection.

And maybe they’ve built an incredible business, and people love working for them. Perhaps they are hitting all their sales targets. We internalize their definition of success because that’s what’s being pushed on every social media platform—that’s apparently what success looks like.

I believe success needs to be defined much more broadly and encompass our whole lives, not just one segment. And I know it’s hard to do that when most of us have grown up with a “success bent” that’s been defined for us.

We need to redefine success to incorporate giving back and investing in others. That includes our family, friends, and other groups and organizations whose values align with ours.

If we approach success as a ‘whole of life’ deal, we can build a legacy of success that doesn’t begin and end with us.

Values and virtues and legacy

We’re used to looking at core values, and how they align in our business context, and while they might look impressive up on a wall, it doesn’t mean they’re informing how we do business daily.

Our core values should be foundational to who we are and how we conduct ourselves in life and business. We can say that we value integrity and honesty and think they’re important; However, if we’re willing to violate them if they become inconvenient or obstruct a decision we want to make, they aren’t core values or virtues we adhere to.

Raising resilient kids is one of my wife’s and my core values and a measure of success for us. We want them to know that we’re on their side, cheering them on and with them every step as they become all they are meant to be. We have two amazing young adults in our home who are passionately pursuing their purpose—that’s success in spades for us.

Invest in people, relationships and missions that will outlive you. I want to leave the world a better place for having me in it, and I’m sure you want the same.

Watch the whole episode as we continue the conversation on creating new success trajectories from loss, failure, and difficult seasons in business and life.

Glenn Williams


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