active CEO Podcast #20 Sean King Leading Within Proximity

active CEO 20 Sean King Leading Within Proximity 2

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, we chat with Sean about his path to becoming a lawyer, innovating in the legal services industry, becoming an entrepreneur, never defining himself by his career and being a co-CEO. We also speak about the triple bottom line, fostering an active and healthy lifestyle in the workplace, being involved in the community and seeing the world through the eyes of an adventure racer.


Sean King is a young thriving entrepreneur who has disrupted the legal landscape of Australia, is scaling his business Proximity at a rapid rate and knows the importance of his team having the energy to perform.

He is an adventurous Canberra lawyer, who founded the Proximity legal practice in 2011 with James Dunn, following a successful career at law firm, DLA Piper and Phillips Fox. Proximity is an award winning law firm with a difference providing legal, procurement and commercial, and governance and assurance solutions through innovative advisory practices.

He has a Bachelor Degree in Computer Engineering and Bachelor of Law from the University of Canberra, as well as a Graduate Diploma Legal Practice from the Australian National University. In his spare time, he is a Director of EarlyBird Events, supports Menslink, loves being in the outdoors and recently competed in the Adventure Racing World Championships held in Reunion Island in Madagascar.

Community is a huge part of his life and has been a great role model for his team in supporting and getting involved in the Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival, which is the most accessible triathlon for the corporate, government and community.O

Sean talks about:

  • Having a traditional upbringing and growing up in country victoria, Australia.
  • Being open minded where your career takes you.
  • The drivers that led to Sean setting up Proximity with good friend and co-CEO James Dunn.
  • Challenges that some of the big law firms have with some pretty significant mental health challenges that result from the work pressure, long hours.
  • Having to be strategic about what you are going to pursue.
  • The backstory behind the name Proximity
  • Being forced to innovate as a new entrant as you have advantages and disadvantages to a market, especially an established market.
  • Focusing on getting the flexible work environment right for staff.
  • Bringing the corporate, government and community together for the Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival.
  • Staff participating in the Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival.
  • Proximity being proud to put back into the community.
  • Menslink and the relationship with Proximity.
  • The spark that led Sean to becoming an adventure racer.
  • Finding new limits for yourself and navigating adventure racing with your friends. 
  • Focusing on leadership that gets a lot of people involved in the decision making.
  • Having a collective decision making process, so people feel a part of it.
  • Going horse riding and jumping for the first time.
  • Why he would love to solve how we do better by Australia’s indigenous population.

Active CEO Wellness Tip – Be the One!

Be the one! Developing a positive frame of mind about your exercise is important. Align your exercise efforts with things that are both positive and reassuring. Exercise in a fun & enjoyable environment. Objectively measure results. Do things that you enjoy. Exercise with a group of positive people. 


“The good feels so good, when you navigate to a point because it is often the hard part to get there and I think that is true of life. If everything came perfect all the time and super easy, then you might not enjoy those highs as much.” Sean King navigating business and life on the active CEO Podcast.

“How you relate to people with inside your organisation, dealing with clients, and providing meaningful and useful advice that helps people solve the problems and issues they come to you with.“ Discussing the importance of people with Sean King, on the active CEO Podcast.

“I didn’t want to find myself in 20 years looking back and saying, ‘I have carved out this great legal career but it is at the expense of everything else that interests me.’” Sean King on becoming an entrepreneur on the active CEO Podcast.

“At certain points you have just got to say what have I got to do right now, because if you think of the whole thing, it is just a bit overwhelming.” Being in the moment with Sean King on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Sean King LinkedIn
Sean King Facebook
Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival
Proximity LinkedIn
Earlybird Events
Adventure Racing World Championships
Australian National University
University of Canberra
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#19 – active CEO (NRG2Perform) – The Gift That Keeps on Giving Link
– Dina Al-Tayeb (Dentalia Clinics) – Arabian Tri Eagle Link
#17 – Patrick Kidd OAM (Invictus Games) – Healing Power of Purpose Link
#16 – Liza Pavlakos ( – Adversity Transforms Lives Link
#15 – Michael Sewards (SkyBus) – All Aboard the SkyBus Link
#14 – Jamin Heppell & Jen Ziegner (Mountains & Marathons) – Leading From the Mountain Tops Link
#13 – Chris Dean (Choice Energy) – Disrupting the Energy Spectrum Link
#12 – Kate Palmer (Sport Australia) – Changing the Game Link
#11 – Tim Cosulich (Fratelli Cosulich Group) – Navigating the Global Family Business Link
#10 – Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien (Rising Tide Africa) – Magic Happens Outside the Comfort Zone Link
#9 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #2 – Creating an Earthquake Link
#8 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #1 – Your Strengths are What Energise You Link
#7 – 
Trina Gordon (Boyden World Corporation) – Recruiting World Leaders Link
#6 – Indiran Padayachee (RentCorp) – Winning Only Matters Link
#5 – Suzie Hoitink (Clear Complexions) – Enemy of a Great Life is a Good One Link
#4 – Rene Zondag (Peter Burwash International) – People Are Our Greatest Asset Link
#3 – Anne Gripper (NSW Office of Sport) – 6 C’s of Leadership Link
#2 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 2 Link
#1 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 1 Link

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