An authority on leadership and a renowned innovator, Dr. Peter Jensen is a pioneer in bringing the concepts of coaching and personal high performance to corporations worldwide. Jensen has worked with the best and brightest in Fortune 500 companies in eight countries applying his extensive understanding and realistic practices to the art of leadership. He knows firsthand what it takes to get the best out of people.
Peter has attended seven Olympics, assisting athletes and coaches in winning over 50 Olympic medals. His work with athletes provides an amazing laboratory in which to both observe and practice how to support and develop people who truly are striving to reach their potential while learning to manage intense pressure and high expectations.
Also a top rated instructor at Queen’s School of Business he combines a potent understanding of the fundamentals of effective leadership with new ideas and ongoing insights from Olympic coaches and athletes. He has a unique ability to bring practical clarity to complex concepts by illustrating their tangible application in the business world, and the power to invigorate audiences through his compelling use of humor, and personal experiences.
Jensen is the author of the best-selling book The Inside Edge, a powerful roadmap for using the mental preparation techniques of elite athletes to improve personal performance. His latest book, The Winning Factor, offers managers solutions from exceptional Olympic coaches on motivating, engaging and developing their employees. His work has been featured on ABC, CBS, CBC, and CTV and in a wide array of print media in North America and Europe.
Here is an excerpt from my interview of him. To read the complete interview, please click here.
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Morris: Before discussing The Winning Factor, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth? How so?
Jensen: Probably my mother because she believed everything was possible so put no limitations on me.
Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development? How so?
Jensen: Hard to single out one person but it was Kazimierz Dabrowski who first introduced me to the critical role emotion and imagination play in human development. He was the one who coined the term “third factor.”
Morris: Years ago, was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) that set you on the career course you continue to follow? Please explain.
Jensen: Again it grew out of my working/studying with Dr. Dabrowski. I was going through a difficult time in my life at that point and the timeliness of his concepts given the adversity of was facing really changed the course of my life.
Morris: To what extent has your formal education been invaluable to what you have accomplished in life thus far?
Jensen: I think formal education of any type can be an assist and a PhD has helped with credibility but I am also a believer in Mark Twain’s observation that you ought not let your schooling interfere with your education. Life can be a tremendous learning laboratory if you let it.
Morris: How do you define a “winner”? A “loser”?
Jensen: Only in developmental terms. Winning isn’t about the medal but about what happens to you in the achievement of that medal. If you will be nothing without a gold medal then you will be nothing with one. A loser is someone who lacks self awareness and self responsibility.
Morris: Of all the films you have seen, which do you think most effectively portrays great leadership in a competitive sports context?
Jensen: Probably Invictus, the Nelson Mandela South African rugby story.
Jensen: it’s been a while since I’ve seen it so memory may be inaccurate but Hoosiers.
Morris: When and why did you found Performance Coaching?
Jensen: In 1991 because I saw a need for training in coaching in the Organizational world that paralleled the coaching development systems prevalent in the sport coaching certification programs that had been implemented in several countries at the time.
Morris: To what extent (if any) has its original mission changed since then? Please explain.
Jensen: Not so much changed as deepened and, to a small extent, expanded. We believe more strongly then ever that managers and leaders need to move away from constantly directing and supervising into developing. They need to take on the more fulfilling mandate of becoming a developer of people.
Morris: In your opinion, to what extent (if any) have professional sports been corrupted by greed? Please explain.
Jensen: There is no question that the pendulum has swung dramatically away from players as owned pawns that are used to generate huge profits for those who own them. Clearly the adjustment has led to some greed and entitlement in some athletes. Most people no matter where they work would take as a wage their market value. Many athletes can get that in today’s world. Is it greed? I suppose we would need to know what they do with their resources before we passed that judgment. They are privileged.
Morris: What do you regret most about organized youth sports programs for children up to the age of 14? Why?
Jensen: That parental involvement has run amok. Sport has tremendous developmental potential for young people when they are involved not just in playing but in working through the various issues that are bound to arise in a competitive environment.
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To read the complete interview, please click here.
Peter cordially invites you to check out the resources at his website: