Meet the keynote speaker and Leadership Coach at our inaugural Hero Hang virtual away day
Bringing the whole company together at HomeHero has always been something we’ve looked forward to. It’s a chance to revisit our mission, discuss what’s working for us (and what’s not), and connect as a team over some pretty ambitious goals we’ve set ourselves.
This year, with our wings clipped by COVID, we decided to bring the team together virtually for the biannual HeroHang.
So what went on?
We enjoyed a fireside Q&A with our founder Kenny Alegbe.
We had Culture & Vision breakout sessions and brainstorms.
We had a riveting product update.
We competed fiercely in the Hero Championships.
But first, we got off to a strong start with a keynote from John Peck.
Adventurer, coach, and mentor, John Peck has worked with some of the world’s most successful companies (BT, Coca Cola, Salesforce, KPMG) to help their teams and leaders achieve remarkable things.
After the keynote we sat down with John to carry on the discussion…
Great talk, John! what attracted you to the field of leadership training?
Ever since I was a young army officer I’ve been fascinated by the difference a great leader can make. I became really interested in learning how some people built credibility and could command the sort of respect required to lead and go on to do great things. After I went on to become a senior police officer, often having to do difficult things in unpredictable environments, it was leadership ability that made the difference in whether we were able to overcome obstacles. So I wanted to learn a bit more about this, and how to help other people raise their game.
What experience has shaped you most professionally?
One of my early consulting projects. I partnered with three people I really respected – a great trainer, an outdoor adventurer, and a senior advertising guy – and we put together what we thought would be the perfect programme for teams and put it to the test in a factory in the North West. We were shocked at the difference we managed to make for that particular group, really helping them turn things around. This success is what prompted me to leave the police force and go into this business full time.
What do you consider the most important skills you need to do good work?
Listening skills and humility.
In my coaching, I try not to find out anything about the individuals I’m going to be working with because I want to work from a blank page, with no assumptions. The less I know about the business and the people in it the better. The focus needs to be on the team as a whole, how they work together, and how we can get them flying – quickly! My job really is to make myself redundant as soon as possible.
How do you stay motivated in times of crisis?
You become a leader. My job is to keep hope alive in times of crisis, so the motivation comes naturally in that respect. I was speaking to a client recently about the “fear bubble” and the need to focus on very short time frames when under pressure in life. Don’t look further than the end of the day, the end of the week or the next finish line. This way you don’t get frightened or anxious about things down the line and the big picture. You can only effect what you do in the short term, so set short-term targets, celebrate when you get there, and then set more.
How does one become courageous?
It’s about stretching yourself. I deliberately stretch myself all the time. Right now that means whizzing around the country to work with people and keeping going until the restrictions come in. You must focus on what you can do now and what the limits are now, and keep moving forward while you can. It’s about constant growth, a new challenge, a new skill. I’m always buzzing about something.
What mistakes do you see teams making again and again?
The fear of conflict. If teams have a fear of conflict, then the trust is eroded. This means that every time they come to the point of discussing something uncomfortable but potentially meaningful, they run away. You have to not be paranoid about conflict. Ideally, you should be able to get to the bottom of issues, even if it’s a fraught process. The good stuff happens when you can express vulnerability and not be afraid to share that with team members.
What’s on the to-do list for you in the future?
There’s a range of rocky mountains called the Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Sky. A friend of mine and I are planning on heading there in the Spring. I’m yet to tell my wife!
And any thoughts on the HomeHero team?
You guys have such a diverse team and I loved all the questions. I knew your COO Chris back in the day when he was at BT and what a brain. I had him by my side in Kurdistan on a mission and his resilience and staying power was impressive. I’m sure this translates to a startup well. Kenny’s energy really is something too. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for you guys!
You can find out more about John Peck at Tiger Teams.
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