Warwick Fairfax was once heir of one of Australia’s most influential media empires. On taking the helm of Fairfax Media back in 1987, Warwick launched a $2.5 billion takeover to privatise the publicly listed company.
Today, Warwick leads ‘Crucible Leadership’ from his headquarters in the United States. He’s since become a best-selling author who helps people turn business and personal failures into fuel for igniting a life of significance.
Since leaving the newspaper business, Warwick says he has noticed a trend to polarize journalism. “When I took over there was no doing deals for mates. But now we live in an era where we have left wing and right wing papers. Whether you agree or disagree with the prime minister or president, just report the facts and let the readers decide.”
The Fairfax family business was founded by a strong believer and Warwick says it felt like God’s plan to have another believer at the helm. But he felt like the journalism was becoming sensationalism. “It wasn’t like we needed to have Jesus in every news article, it was more about how people were treated.”
When the company went under in 1990, it was a very difficult time for Warwick. He had major TV networks chasing him, and editorial cartoons satirised him. There were questions about why the takeover didn’t work, and the company was in a lot of debt. Following a recession in Australia, Warwick had to file for bankruptcy.
“It was just soul crushing,” says Warwick. “I felt like I let my parents down, and a thousand plus employees. But even worse was feeling like I’d let God down. That was the ultimate crisis of faith. When I came to Christ, it felt like God’s plan was to have another believer at the helm. My self-esteem was shattered.”
Warwick believes that challenging times can either draw you away from Christ or pull you towards Him. Philippians 3:7 tells us that we should consider everything a loss compared to surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus. “For his sake, I have lost all things. To me, there’s nothing more valuable than faith in Christ.”
Warwick’s self-esteem was affected by his desire to be a man who does the will of God. Those desires passed away, but he had to grow deeper into his faith to recover. “Finding work I can do that’s meaningful has helped me,” says Warwick. “But the crux of how I came back in terms of my self-worth is knowing that God loves me unconditionally.”
“He doesn’t need my stuff and my works. Going deeper with Him was really the key for me to recover my self-esteem.”
Listen to the full interview here: