Pioneering in leadership: the vision of Bean Pieter Lauwers for Young Potentials

Leadership transcends mere titles or positions; it embodies the ability to foster an environment conducive to growth and development. In an engaging dialogue with Pieter Lauwers, a specialist in emerging leadership, we delve into his unique perspective on leadership, self-development, and the challenges faced by young leaders.

The essence of leadership

Pieter has traversed a notable path in his career, from his days at Scouts and Guides Flanders to his current role at Beanmachine. For him, leadership is not about a title or position but the capability to create an atmosphere where individuals can flourish. “Leadership at Beanmachine is perceived as the ability to foster an environment conducive to development. Whether you hold a specific title or not, if you contribute to such an environment, you are a leader in my eyes,” says Pieter.

Experiences and influences

Pieter’s diverse experiences, from leading youth movements to working in the tech sector, have profoundly shaped his leadership philosophy. “Each experience has taught me something new. With Scouts and Guides Flanders, I saw the power of community and collaboration. In the tech world, at companies like RealDolmen and Digipolis, I learned about the necessity for adaptability and innovation,” he reflects. This blend of experiences underscores his belief that leadership revolves around understanding people’s needs, fears, and guiding them towards their full potential.

Integrating work and life lessons

Pieter passionately discusses bridging his organizational roles with his scouting experiences. “In organizations, I found myself wearing masks and conforming to expected professionalism, which didn’t necessarily make me happier. In scouting, I realized we could achieve great things by respecting each individual’s unique contributions without pretenses,” Pieter explains. This realization led him to Beanmachine, where he seeks to merge these worlds. What draws Pieter to Beanmachine is its focus on growth and development. “Beanmachine is filled with individuals passionate about growth. Each ‘Bean’ has a unique personal story and a journey towards creating an environment where they can truly shine. We support others in their quests with our tools and topics,” he states.

Creativity and Playing with LEGO®

Pieter, a Certified Facilitator for LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, values adding creative and physical techniques to leadership development and team coaching. “Our society, especially the corporate world, is very cognitively oriented. The creative process involved with LEGO® allows our subconscious to participate, engaging more of our memory than we can actively realize,” he notes.

Self-insight and self-development

Pieter emphasizes the importance of self-development and self-awareness in leadership. “Leaders often find themselves in complex situations where they might feel vulnerable. Recognizing our automatic reactions in these moments allows us to choose a path of conscious growth,” he advises.

Working with Young Leaders

Pieter expresses a particular fondness for working with ’emerging leaders,’ who bring fresh perspectives and open-mindedness. “They are curious and often brave enough to share their views openly, which helps us tailor our trainings to be truly effective,” he explains.One common pitfall Pieter observes among young leaders is their fear of being scrutinized when others see potential in them. “They often allow no room for vulnerability, which can limit their growth and the safety of their peers,” he notes. Through coaching, Pieter helps them slow down and reconnect with their uncertainties to manage them more independently.

The ‘Desires and Obstructions’ card set

Pieter, alongside our graphic designer Joeri, developed a card set titled ‘Desires and Obstructions’ to help explore personal desires and fears. “It’s crucial for young potentials to maintain their authenticity while navigating the influences of their environments,” he remarks.

Final thoughts for Young Potentials

Pieter’s parting advice for young potentials is simple: “Stay curious! Explore your values, your motivations. Leadership isn’t about following a predetermined path, but about forging your own. With self-insight, courage, and genuine engagement, anyone can become an impactful leader.”

About Pieter Lauwers

Pieter Lauwers is a trainer and facilitator in the field of emerging leadership, guiding young leaders across various organizations. His leadership skills were honed in the tech sector and as chairperson of Scouts and Guides Flanders. He has further deepened his expertise with leadership programs at Antwerp Management School and a counseling education at Focus on Emotion.

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