Coaching,  Leadership,  productivity

Secrets of High-Value Creating Teams: Learnings from Legendary Professor Hawkins

In our global, highly complex world, the heroic leadership figure has increasingly become a relic.

Manfred kets de vries, 2011a: 56

Over the past 6-7 years, I’ve recognized a need beyond executive coaching for organizations heavily reliant on teamwork. Consequently, I’ve invested in team coaching training, an emerging field within the industry. So, when I learned that Professor Peter Hawkins was offering his class in the US, I promptly applied. Professor Hawkins is a world-renowned leadership expert and a thought leader in executive and team coaching, often advising leading companies and governments in pivotal change initiatives.

I feel fortunate to be able to learn from him this past week. Below, I summarized my reflections from this once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience.

On the first evening after dinner, I had the privilege to chat with him one-on-one. He was still buzzing with energy despite flying in from Barbados just the night before. So, I couldn’t resist asking, “How do you stay so energized?” With his signature warm smile, he revealed his secret:

“I don’t rely solely on myself; I tap into infinite sources of energy.”

Professor Peter Hawkins

This philosophy lies at the heart of his teachings – the power of partnering with others in our missions. In a team setting, he emphasizes the transformation of stakeholders into partners, enabling the creation of something greater than the sum of its parts. That magic unraveled during that three-day journey.

At 73, Professor Hawkins exudes a passion that inspires all who encounter him. Drawing from his 40 years of Sufi training, he imparts wisdom gleaned from luminaries like Tagore, Rumi, Hafiz, and many others.

One of his favorite quotes, “Die before you die,” is a poignant reminder to shed ego and attachments, making space for new beginnings. This ethos underscores the importance of embracing the cyclical nature of growth and renewal in serving our communities and stakeholders, including our planet and future generations.

According to Hawkins, high-value-creating teams must adhere to these five core disciplines:

  1. Commissioning: Defining what the team must deliver to create value for stakeholders.
  2. Clarifying: Establishing the team’s purpose, goals, and roles.
  3. Co-Creating: Cultivating interpersonal relationships and team culture.
  4. Connecting: Engaging with critical stakeholders and seeking feedback.
  5. Core Learning: Adapting and applying insights to foster team growth.

During those three days, we were fully immersed in that, gaining invaluable hands-on experience by coaching a real team while being part of a team. It was a rigorous, multi-dimensional process yet a profoundly practical and enlightening experience.

As I relish this beautiful experience, I’m eager to impart this learning to the teams striving to improve. If you’re a team leader looking to unlock your team’s potential, contact me for an exploratory conversation. Let’s embark on this transformative journey together!

A modified version of this article was published on LinkedIn.

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