87 | Leading from behind, with Peter Docker


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By Scott McInnes and Inspiring Change. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


While it may seem counter-intuitive at first, there is wisdom in the concept of leading from behind. This episode of Building Better Cultures deconstructs team dynamics and the long-term impact of providing individuals the space to contribute. Host Scott McInnes invites Peter Docker, the popular motivational speaker and author of multiple books, to share his unique take on human collaboration and the tools he’s developed to put theory into practice.

Learn about the three pillars that Peter details in his new book, "Leading from the Jumpseat: How to Create Extraordinary Opportunities by Handing Over Control." Together they provide the mutually reinforced scaffolding for fostering healthy cultures – wherever people are working together and accountable to one another. Those three key ingredients include:

  • Commitment
  • Humble Confidence
  • Belonging

From his years as a pilot and respected mentor in the Royal Air Force – as well as his transition into the private sector and beyond – Peter has derived an approach that empowers individuals and opens the way for the kind of leadership that inspires loyalty, drive and authentic pride of purpose.

The conversation wraps up with reflections on legacy. What do we wish to be remembered for – and why? For Peter, it’s a question to be examined carefully. What may appear on the surface like the thing you wish to be remembered for could actually be far less important than what you have achieved just below the surface; sometimes the most penetrating impacts ripple out slowly over time.

Key Takeaways:

  • A bit about Peter’s eclectic professional journey, from his career as a pilot with the Royal Air Force to his more recent success as an author and speaker.
  • What “Leading from the Jumpseat” means and why this book is important not only for leaders of the largest companies but also within a single family unit.
  • Peter shares the origin story that sparked the idea for “Leading from the Jumpseat.”
  • Leadership as Human Connection: Leaders are tasked with nurturing a sense of belonging because it fosters responsibility. People will tend to step up by choice more easily than they are willing to be held accountable. The secret ingredient: Caring.
  • There is nothing “soft” about caring. Leaders who support and cultivate are nurturing a level of commitment not unlike that which military leaders elicit from their troops.
  • Making the right moves: How leaders can promote a workplace culture that holds space for employees to contribute and shine. It starts at the top of the organization with clarity about priorities and goals. Once those guard rails are in place, the stage is set for what Peter calls “humble confidence.” It’s not about ego but clarity and purpose.
  • What constitutes “humble confidence”:
    • We are able to listen and welcome input from others.
    • We see the world as a place of purpose and opportunity, rather than scarcity and fear.
    • We’re thinking of others around us, rather than just ourselves.
    • We’re resolute in where we’re going, even when we aren’t sure of how we’ll get there.
  • On Commitment: The difference between a position and a stand: Peter explains the way in which a stand is clear and clearly moving forward. Once a stand is established, the commitment follows and a plan of action can be put in place.
  • Peter offers some concrete exercises for leaders who want to build a better culture:
    • Commitment: Rather than a position against, figure out the stand “for” that sits underneath it.
    • Humble Confidence: Take a situation at home or at work for which you know a solution. Rather than going straight to problem-solving mode, enjoin those around you to suggest what they might do. The willingness to create that opportunity requires humble confidence.
    • Belonging: Send a text to someone you’ve been out of touch with for a while or reach out to someone on your team with a call out of the blue just to find out how things are going and what you can do to be of support. This is the human connection that underpins everything else.
  • Peter explains why the concept of legacy is so important in his view. It’s about being the pebble in the pond, and not knowing where those ripples will go. Holding space for those unknown effects is critical because we don’t know what amazing things may derive downstream.

About Peter:

Click here to check out options for purchasing “Leading from the Jumpseat: How to Create Extraordinary Opportunities by Handing Over Control.”

Website: https://www.leadingfromthejumpseat.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterdocker/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/peterdocker Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peterdocker/

About ScottLearn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here.

About WorkvivoTo discover Workvivo, a workplace communication and engagement platform that offers seamless digital integration, please click here.

104 episodes