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Lord John Taylor of Warwick has a story that makes me weep, a story that should give hope to people of all socio-economic backgrounds and of any race (watch the video below to see what I mean.)  Born to Jamaican parents and raised poor by a single Mum, Lord Taylor defeated the extreme odds to become, not only a Barrister, but also the youngest and only black Lord in the House of Lords.  What was it that lifted him out of poverty and into the most esteemed establishments in the world?  It hasn’t been an easy ride, and there have been many ups and downs.  So how does someone pick themselves back up?  What do you do when you fall?  Lord Taylor has an amazing proven track record to shine some light on these areas and lift us all up.

The Global Townhall is honored to welcome Lord Taylor of Warwick.


Gabrielle Reilly:  When you were a child did you have any idea what you wanted to be when you grew up, or did your life evolve?

Lord Taylor:  I had a very strong bond with my mother, who prayed for me every day. We were poor, but she gave me more love than a billionaire could buy. She inspired me to be a winner not whiner. But after I saw Martin Luther King Junior on television, giving his I Have a Dream speech, I knew I wanted to inspire other people, of all races. I also used to enjoy watching the TV Courtroom drama Perry Mason and decided I would like to become a Barrister (courtroom attorney), which I did. After that I became one of the UK’s few black Judges. I have also been privileged to have worked as a director and chairman of several companies, BBC TV and Radio anchorman, newspaper journalist, University Chancellor and a Baron in the House of Lords. When I was appointed by the Queen to the House of Lords, in the UK Parliament, in 1996, I was the youngest Lord and the only black one.

Gabrielle Reilly:  We are dedicated to helping people excel around the world by getting tips from the world’s most successful people.  What has helped you excel in life?

Lord Taylor:  My faith in Jesus Christ. He died for my sins over 2,000 years ago and I am really grateful to Him! In business, politics and my media career I never just seek Information. I also seek Revelation… and that comes through the Holy Spirit and reading His word in the bible. Even when I have made mistakes, He has turned them into positives. Grace meets us where we are, but never leaves us where we are. All my life I have met obstacles. I was told by teachers at school that being born black and from a poor background would make it very difficult to achieve my goals. But God has opened doors for me, way beyond my childhood dreams.

Gabrielle Reilly:  How do you plan your time, is it somewhat spontaneous or do you have priorities you focus on accomplishing first?

Lord Taylor:  I love Proverbs 16 v 9: “We make our plans, but God directs our steps”. So I always ask God to guide me. I know He does, but I have not always listened! But I am learning to discern His promptings more clearly, as I grow older. I believe God has put certain goals in my heart and I always keep them in mind, because it is so easy to become distracted, especially as a busy member of the House of Lords. Of course there are days when it is also good to just do something spontaneous like go for a refreshing walk in the park or listen to some music. God gave us free will. We are not robots.  



Gabrielle Reilly:  How have you responded through difficult times?  Where you optimistic or did you feel crushed in moments???  How have you come out the other side?

Lord Taylor:  God uses the tough times to work on our character. God did not take Daniel out of the lions’ den, but He protected and sustained him throughout the experience. I have learned far more in the valleys than on the hilltops. After all, it is in the valleys where the lilies grow. I have been through some experiences which seemed unfair and unjust. But I decided to get better, not bitter.  I have learned that when fear knocks, answer the door with faith.



Gabrielle Reilly:  What is one of the most important lessons you have learnt in life?

Lord Taylor:  Even though I do not know what the future holds, I can trust Him who holds the future. 



Gabrielle Reilly:  What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Lord Taylor:  It’s not falling down that counts, it’s getting back up again. It’s not over, until you have overcome.



Gabrielle Reilly:  Everyone in the public eye gets criticized.  How do you personally handle that side of public life?

Lord Taylor:  By understanding that no man can make me feel a failure, unless I allow him to do so. No man made me and no man can break me! If God calls you, no man can stop you. I am also blessed with close friends, who have stood with me in good times and other times.

Gabrielle Reilly:  Where do you find motivation?

Lord Taylor:  By reading the bible, prayer, my mother’s memory and wanting to do something about the inequalities that still exist in our world. No child should be starving in this world and it is wrong that millions still are. That fact alone motivates me to keep trying to change things.


Gabrielle Reilly:  What are you currently working on?

Lord Taylor:  I am writing a book called Winning The Race, to be published later this year. It is a celebration of multi-racial and multi-cultural diversity, comparing the UK and the USA! I have also started The Warwick Leadership Academy, which is a Centre of Excellence for public speaking and professional presentation skills.


Gabrielle Reilly:  What are your aspirations for the future?

Lord Taylor:  I love speaking to different groups around the world, especially in America, since I find Americans very welcoming. I would like to continue doing that. I am also writing a script for a film drama about politics, race and ambition. I am in discussions with one of Hollywood’s top Oscar winning actresses about the storyline and she is excited about being in it.  


Gabrielle Reilly:  What causes do you support?

Lord Taylor:  I am one of the Patrons of The Cybersmile Foundation, a charity which helps victims of cyberbullying, on the various social media internet sites. It is a particular problem amongst teenagers. I am involved with the William Wilberforce Trust, which campaigns against modern day slavery and trafficking. For some years I have mentored young people and enjoy speaking in schools and colleges. I also give my time to a number of charities involved in combating racism and promoting racial harmony.

Thank you so much for the inspiration Lord Taylor!

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