#032: Becoming a better leader and team player - Justin Peckett

By Jordan Michaelides
September 20, 2017

Justin Peckett 1

Image:   Justin Peckett

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Justin Peckett ( @jpeckett ) is an ex-AFL player for the St Kilda Football Club and Partner of Leading Teams, a company that helps improve both leaders and high performing teams.

When it comes to leadership, and high performance, I’ve always looked to the military and sport for setting the standard. You’ve probably experienced the typical workplace leader who has never truly earned your respect or commitment. Instead they lead by enforcing your respect through position or ability to stall your career progression.

Military and sporting clubs are a whole different beast. You won’t just be assigned leadership because you have tenure, you must demonstrate it. So how do military and sporting organisations encourage leadership?

The US Navy Seals are known for having the internal commandment “leadership is ownership”. This has been popularised in the private sector and Silicon Valley in recent years - but what they mean, is that taking ownership for everything in your world is a requirement of being a good leader; complaining about outside forces impacting your life is not an excuse.

They believe in this principal so stringently, that there’s another saying in the Navy Seals; “There are no bad teams, only bad leaders”. Leadership is the highest leverage component of what makes a group of people effective or useless.

You don’t agree?

Consider the same-sex marriage debate in Australia. Whether you agree or disagree on its validity, the fact that our nation's leaders decided to not take ownership and have a free vote is a prime example of bad leadership. Their indecision will no doubt cost the Liberal Party their status as the ruling party, as they’ve shown their lack of a backbone. It will cost our nation another $122M (plus interest), and created a divisive media debate that will further drive both the left and right of politics apart.

All because your leaders were beholden to minority groups, and did not take ownership.

I feel that in the Western world we’ve all become blinded in blaming others or outside factors for our situation, and hence it mirrors the current political situation in the US, U.K. or here in Australia. Perhaps now you understand why I think Justin’s work is so important, and maybe he’ll spur you on to take a little ownership in your own life.

Key points we chatted about were:

  • His connection to St Kilda FC

  • Ownership & empowerment in leadership

  • Importance of accountability in empowerment

  • How Leading Teams started for Justin

  • Recipe for the perfect leader

  • The challenges of learning to lead

  • Team leaders, grievances and team turn-arounds

  • Where he looks for inspiration for Leading Teams

  • What he’d teach a class of budding leaders


Enjoy the episode, 
Jordan & Lauren




Show notes

  • Bio, background, current projects {08:45}

  • On his connection to St Kilda FC {19:00}

  • On ownership & empowerment in leadership {21:32}

  • Importance of accountability in empowerment {36:26}

  • How Leading Teams started for him {46:30}

  • Recipe for the perfect leader {52:03}

  • The challenges of learning to lead {53:37}

  • Team leaders, grievances and team turn-arounds {01:01:46}

  • Where he looks for inspiration for Leading Teams {01:07:55}

  • Books he recommends {01:19:20}

  • What he’d teach a class of budding leaders {01:24:20}

  • First steps and recommendations {01:31:07}

  • Morning and evening rituals {01:33:33}

  • Go-to shows or docos {01:34:58}

  • Meditation and stress relief {01:36:56}

  • Something he’s most proud of {01:37:30}

  • What’s on his playlist right now {01:38:40}

  • Lessons learnt from his parents {01:39:28}

  • If he could have a billboard anywhere {01:41:05}

  • What would he do differently from his past? {01:41:43}


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