Canadian broadcaster and commentator Andrew Lawton took part in the "How to Reach Your Potential" initiative, an interview series featuring leaders who inspire Alex Rascanu and whose insights can help you reach your potential.
Andrew Lawton is a Canadian broadcaster and commentator, whose most recent role was hosting a daily talk radio show for Global News, where he also wrote a weekly national column. He lives in London, Ontario with his wife.
Alex: What is your life’s purpose?
Andrew: Do I have to know that already? I was forced to evaluate this very question after losing my job in March due to restructuring. I had been hosting a talk radio show for five years—a role I absolutely loved. No matter what, I want to have a voice. Not for the sake of talking, but for championing ideas and issues that I think need to be championed. That was something that I really tried to make my show about, and it’s something that I hope will carry me through whatever chapter my life brings next.
Alex: What are the three things you’re most passionate about?
Andrew: Family, faith, political engagement
Alex: How do you stay healthy? What’s your main health-related goal?
Andrew: I’ve struggled with weight my whole life, always trying to hit a certain goal, and often falling short (or succeeding, then taking a couple of steps back.) In recent years, I’ve really stopped with this mindset, and have tried to adopt the slow-and-steady approach. Making better choices when I can, and trying to incorporate healthier eating and behaviours into my lifestyle rather than trying to completely invert my lifestyle, which isn’t sustainable.
Alex: How do you build wealth? What’s your main financial goal?
Andrew: Financial independence has always been important, but my money has been a secondary consideration in career to actual enjoyment of what I do—and a sense of purpose in it.
Alex: How do you balance work and family life?
Andrew: My wife and I both have demanding jobs—but jobs that we love. The balance is really easy for us, because we understand the requirements of each of us—sometimes checking and responding to emails on ‘off’ hours—but we support each other in it because we mutually understand the importance of career in each other’s lives.
Both of us try to pick up the slack for each other, and it works. Whether it’s cooking, doing the dishes, or other household tasks, we just naturally seem to adapt to the other person’s needs, and it’s wonderful.
Alex: How do you enjoy spending time with family and friends?
Andrew: Contrary to the healthy eating goals I mentioned earlier, food is a huge social draw for me. I love experiences around food—new culinary experiences, new restaurants with friends, half-price appetizer-hunting with fellow churchgoers, for example.
Alex: What has been the most fulfilling role you’ve ever had, or the most fulfilling project you’ve been involved with so far?
Andrew: I wouldn’t choose one project, but rather a collection of smaller initiatives. For about 10 years of my life, I struggled with mental illness, including a nearly successful suicide attempt in 2010. Recovery has been a long process, but I’ve had the opportunity through my career in media to advance mental health awareness and systemic changes through speaking engagements, consultation with business groups, and advocacy with politicians. It’s been a driving force for me.
Alex: What’s one career planning lesson that has made a significant difference in your life?
Andrew: Not pigeonholing myself into hyper-specific roles/companies/locations. It’s easy to lose sight of the forest through the trees, but I’ve always tried to look at opportunities in the context of what my broad, top-line goals are. For example, it’s easy to look at a specific job and say, ‘I want that.’ I’ve tried to unpack that and ask what it is about that job that’s appealing, and whether those qualities are better gained elsewhere. Sometimes, the answer is surprising.
Alex: What would you like your legacy to be?
Andrew: In my personal life, I want to be a good Christian and a good husband. Professionally, my business is about ideas, so I want to be known as someone who never shied away from defending ideas, but also who was willing to never stop learning, whether that allowed ideas to evolve or strengthened the basis of existing ideas.
Alex: Andrew, thank you so much for your openness and the many insights you’ve shared with us in this interview!
Did you find one or more of Andrew’s thoughts helpful? Are there any ideas or resources that came to mind as you read the interview?
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Also, consider checking out the How to Reach Your Potential interviews with Trina Boos, Hamza Khan, James Tjan, Vlad Rascanu, Drew Dudley, Alexandru Holicov, Andrew Mizzoni, Christa Dickenson, Louise Adongo, Sarah Chaudhery, Jake Nicolle, Andy McIlwain, Busola Akin-Olawore, Rebecca Laramée, Richard Obede, Bailey Parnell, Cerys Cook, Blake Snow, Sean Cooper, Toota Nihal Hassanien, Kulwant Bangar, Angela Achitei, Sharon Chakkalackal, Lauren Bates, Gabriela Casineanu and Shaila Kibria. Thank you.