Written by Kate Billing, Founder & Creative Director, Blacksmith

A 3 minute read & 53 minute watch

Welcome to The Real Room!

The Real Room is a space I’ve created for conversations about the tricky business of putting being FULLY HUMAN at the centre of how we live, lead and work.

In the Real Room, I have conversations with fabulous humans from all over New Zealand and the world. They’re conversations with a diverse group of people about all things human-related. My guests range from people leaders to thought leaders, researchers to practitioners, corporate legends to creative entrepreneurs, artists to activists, and more. If they’re all about taking a more human-centred approach, I want to talk with them!

Conversation #6 with Cameron Schwab

September is a triple whammy for wellbeing – Blue September (ALL month) for Prostate Cancer Awareness, World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) and then Mental Health Awareness Week (w/c 21st).

In recognition of this momentous month, I’m back in The Real Room with one of my favourite men, someone who comes with an ‘up close and personal’ experience of these wellbeing challenges: Cameron Schwab.

Starting out at 24 years old, Cam was the CEO of not one but three professional AFL clubs (Australian Football aka “Aussie Rules”) over a 25 year period. He is also a talented artist, a prostate cancer survivor and a mental health advocate, not to mention just a damn fine human.

In this 53 minute conversation Cam and I talk about:

  • finding your own wisdom
  • being in transition in life and leadership
  • creating a whole and integrated self
  • changing your personal narrative – from ‘I am’ to ‘I did’
  • how it’s the hard times that define us
  • failure being inevitable on the path to success
  • self at the centre of suffering
  • using your lived experience to help others
  • how goals that are worth achieving are worth suffering for; and
  • ambiguity, growth, and imposter syndrome.

In case you’re not already across them, we reference two fabulous people in the space of humanness – Mark Manson and Michael Gervais. Good men doing good work in the world to help people be and do better.

And please remember that if you’re suffering for any reason, help is at the end of a text, phone call, or internet link at www.1737.org.nz or 1737 from your mobile phone. You’re not alone.

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C Scwab and K Billing

Kate Billing:

Kate is the Founder & Creative Director of Blacksmith www.blacksmith.co.nz, a specialist leadership development practice focused on the development of human-centred leaders and fully human organisations.

For nearly 25 years Kate has worked in the people, culture and leadership space, building a reputation for sharp insights, compassionate challenge, warmth, and energy. Over that time she has worked within a range of industries and organisations, with leaders from the boardroom to the front line, all of whom have demonstrated their capacity for personal and collective evolution.

She believes it’s time for a new kind of leader: human-centred leaders who together will create the world we need for our shared future. Leaders who are examples of what’s possible when we commit to the highest levels of humanity and responsibility in the ways that we live, lead and do business.

Connect with Kate on LinkedIn.

Cameron Schwab:

Cam was appointed CEO of the famous Richmond Football Club at age 24, the youngest in the history of the Australian Football League (AFL), then spent the next 25 years as the CEO of three AFL clubs, the second longest-serving CEO in the modern game.

As DesignCEO he now channels this deep experience in leadership in professional sport and business into mentoring CEOs, senior and emerging leaders, and their organisations across many industry sectors, those seeking to build high levels of cultural, strategic and leadership trust as the basis for sustained, high performance.

Cam is also an artist and writer, an epic storyteller, a cancer survivor and a mental health advocate. As the parent of a trans child, he also supports the Pride movement in any way he can.

Connect with Cam on LinkedIn.