Leadership & Management Speakers

Peter Docker

Leadership Expert | Start With Why Facilitator and Igniter

Peter Docker is passionate about enabling people to be extraordinary. An igniter and implementation specialist who works on Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” team, Docker teaches leaders and organizations how to harness the power of WHY to do extraordinary things. He illustrates his insights by drawing on examples from his previous flying, military, and industry career to explain principles that can be applied in any business.

Docker has worked with Sinek since 2011, helping organizations harness the power of WHY to create extraordinary cultures and sustainable high performance. He is globally recognized as the “HOW” guy to Sinek’s “WHY”. In 2017, Docker co-authored Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team along with Sinek and David Mead. This step-by-step guide on how to discover your WHY is available across the world in 23 languages.

A trained leadership consultant and executive coach, Docker’s commercial and industry experience has been at the most senior levels in sectors including oil and gas, construction, mining, pharmaceuticals, banking, television, film, media, manufacturing, and services — across 84 countries.

Docker previously served as a Royal Air Force senior officer and a force commander during combat flying operations, and has seen service across the world. His career has spanned from a professional pilot, to leading an aviation training and standards organization, teaching post-graduates at the UK’s Defence College, and flying the British Prime Minister around the world. Docker has led multi-billion-dollar international procurement projects and served as a crisis manager and former international negotiator for the UK government.

Leading in The Infinite Game

So many organizations and individuals are obsessed with winning. But how do you win a game that never really ends? Games like baseball and chess are finite, with firm rules and clear endpoints. But business is infinite — there’s ultimately no such thing as “winning” because there’s always a new set of challenges. Those who thrive in the long run — the ones who frustrate and run circles around their competition and contribute more to society and their bottom line — are the ones who play by infinite rules. They do things that enable them to out-manoeuvre, out-innovate, and outlast their competitors.

Peter Docker has worked alongside Simon Sinek as he wrote his latest book, The Infinite Game. In this keynote, Docker will share what he has learned about leading with an infinite mindset in business, as seen through his own lens of working across the world in multiple sectors and industries.

Highlights from Docker’s keynote:

  • What we mean by finite and infinite games and the five practices needed to lead with an infinite mindset.
  • Moving from the language of winning to the language of ahead and behind.
  • How our WHY is elevated to become a just cause and what makes a cause “just”.
  • The practice of building trusting teams, united in a just cause, to create an environment of innovation and creativity.
  • The value of moving from the language of competition to the language of worthy rivals.
  • Surviving and thriving when our very existence is threatened, and the opportunity to regain the initiative.
  • What it really means to have the courage to lead with an infinite mindset, making value-based decisions instead of interest-based decisions.

Start With WHY

Peter Docker shares a powerfully simply idea called “The Golden Circle” (discovered by his colleague Simon Sinek) and builds upon it with examples and stories that bring it to life. This simple idea explains how great leaders inspire through the way they think, act, and communicate. It’s not about changing who we are, it’s about understanding who we are.

Highlights from Docker’s keynote:

  • WHAT you do becomes more powerful when you know WHY you do it.
  • How to use the WHY as a filter, giving you an alternative perspective on your organization, your career, and even your life.
  • The importance of human connection through trust and authenticity and how it is vital to any organizations success.
  • Why some organizations are more innovative, more profitable, command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike, and are able to repeat their success over and over (and how you can, too).

Harness the Power of WHY

Building on Simon Sinek’s concept of WHY and “The Golden Circle”, Peter Docker’s talk explains what it means to start with WHY and then answers the question of what to do next — how to use the energy that is released. Developed over a diverse career, Docker has codified five key principles for leadership. Using examples from his wide industry experience, Docker explains how these key principles can be applied in any organization to create an inspiring culture and sustainable high-performance.

Highlights from Docker’s keynote:

  • An introduction to the five key principles and how they can be applied to your sector or organization.
  • How leadership is about creating simplicity and how it starts with being clear on WHY, as an organization, we do what we do.
  • Why some organizations are more innovative, more profitable and command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike (and how you can too).
  • How to shift the context of your organization so that WHAT you do and HOW you do it take on a whole new perspective.

Note: This is designed as a 60 min (max) keynote talk. For greater depth and understanding regarding the five key principles, Docker also offers the harness the power of why workshop in half-day, full-day, or two-day sessions.

Leaders Eat Last

Peter Docker draws on material from Simon Sinek’s second book, Leaders Eat Last, and his own examples of working within extraordinary teams across multiple sectors. He will explain how leaders can harness the natural drivers that exist in us all to create an environment that attracts the right people, keeps them loyal, and encourages them to work together to create remarkable results.

Highlights from Docker’s keynote:

  • Why some teams are able to trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other.
  • How leaders can harness the natural drivers that exist in us all to create an environment that attracts the right people, keeps them loyal, and encourages them to work together to create remarkable results.
  • The key to creating a circle of safety in which people naturally thrive.
  • How, when leaders can set the right conditions for their people (the right context), individuals will be instinctively drawn together to support one another and overcome the constant dangers that threaten our ability to thrive in today’s marketplace.

Why Discovery: Articulate the WHY

LENGTH: Half or full day*

AUDIENCE: For teams or organizations who want to find and clearly articulate their WHY — of their division, department, or organization as a whole. The length and details of this workshop can be customized to fit the needs of each client.

As simple as the WHY concept is to understand, one of the biggest challenges a company will face is clearly articulating its purpose, cause, or belief — its WHY. While it may be felt, it can be difficult to put into words. Finding the words for our WHY is the first step in being able to effectively communicate it. Until it can be put into words, it’s very difficult to put it into action and nearly impossible to scale.

In this workshop, Peter Docker (co-author of Find Your WHY and the architect of the process) focuses on helping teams or organizations find and clearly articulate their WHY in simple language that inspires action. In the workshop, participants will:

  • Learn about and access the Limbic system of the brain.
  • Learn the architecture of a WHY statement.
  • Articulate the first draft of the WHY statement and clearly define the HOWs of the organization, leaving them with their unique “Golden Circle”.

While the half day will enable participants to get a first-draft of their team or organization’s WHY statement, the full day allows for refinement of the draft and a deeper understanding so the WHY can be more effectively used.

* The length and details of this workshop may be customized to fit the need of each client.

From Possibility to Action

Length: 2 hours to half day

Having discovered our organization’s WHY, the next step is to use it to uncover possibilities that previously were left untouched.

The “From Possibility to Action” workshop starts by briefly introducing the hierarchy of conversation — a simple yet highly effective framework of language that enables teams to identify possibilities that they may not have realised even existed. Then, using the organization’s clearly articulated WHY statement as a source, participants are taken through a process to turn possibilities into opportunities and then into tangible actions.

The outcome of the session will be fresh ideas to take the organization forward that are absolutely consistent with their WHY, complete with definitive actions to bring them to life.

This workshop naturally follows the “Articulate the WHY” workshop and acts as a natural link to the longer “Harness the Power of WHY” workshop.

Harness the Power of Why

LENGTH: Full day or two days*

AUDIENCE: For organizations that know their WHY, this workshop is designed for senior leadership to gain a greater appreciation of “The Golden Circle”. This workshop is ideally delivered over a full day, enabling participants to work on applying the techniques to the challenges they currently face. A half-day option, while covering the five key principles, does not allow sufficient time for participants to practice using the techniques.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to see a different perspective on the challenges they face, revealing new possibilities. Specifically, it will cover these five Principles: Start with WHY, right-to-left thinking, adaptive leadership, being and doing, and relationship. It will also provide an introduction to the tools and techniques of simple, clear, and powerful leadership that participants can use immediately.

The session will draw on a number of relevant examples including those from NASA, aviation, finance, pharmaceuticals, and mining. Participants will also have the option to take a deeper dive into either the organization’s WHY or adaptive leadership techniques, allowing them to work on the current challenges they face.

* The two-day session allows participants to practice the skills they learn in more detail and take a deeper dive into the challenges facing the organization.

WHY-Based Planning (Strategic or Project)

LENGTH: Two days

AUDIENCE: This in-depth workshop is designed for senior leadership teams who want to create a breakthrough in their thinking. It takes the five key principles and applies them as part of a process to a specific strategic challenge the team is currently facing. Perfect for a senior team retreat, this workshop could be applied to a product launch, the creation of a new division, a company merger, or the next two- or five-year strategic plan.

Whatever the focus, Peter Docker will take the team through a unique planning process (adapted from that used for highly complex military planning) that literally turns the traditional approach on its head. It will initially move leaders out of their comfort zone and have them see their challenge from an entirely different perspective, generating new possibilities that raise the bar.

Participants will learn and practice how to turn these possibilities into actionable plans. They will also learn how to maintain a clear focus on the WHY, while also addressing the ‘how’ and the ‘what’.

The result is a strategy true to the organization’s WHY, focused on the outcome and expressed through simple steps. What’s more, it’s a plan that will be responsive to the bumps and opportunities that will inevitably emerge along the way.