Kevin Mays

Dr. Kevin Mays has helped thousands of leaders and hundreds of teams revolutionize their performance. He’s a great conversationalist with a dynamic personality that your audience will love. A psychotherapist with a 10-year group dynamics background, he is the developer of the TOTEM Team Dynamics Model. Mays’ clients have included Proctor and Gamble, Pepsi Co., Golden Corral, Carolina Ale House, Burger King, and The Elf on the Shelf.


Totem: Mastering Team Performance is his first book.




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Professional Story: 

Dr. Mays initially went to flight school to become a pilot and travel the world. After an aerial manoeuvre went wrong and almost resulted in a deadly crash, he had the insight that becoming a pilot wasn’t the path for him. This event resulted in him looking inward and his began studying philosophy and meditation. He became a therapist and then ran facilities, turning his attention towards leadership. Dr. Mays began doing leadership development around the country, and for his doctorate, studied leaders who practiced meditation.   He coined this “Enlightened Leadership”.


After moving to North Carolina to work, he eventually made his way back to Michigan, where he was from, and published his first book  “Totem”, which is based on his experience and work. 


“The book is filled with a lot of stories about how to develop a high performance team, how to become an enlightened leader and how to create a robust business that works without you” 

He says the four primal qualities on a STAR team are: 

  1. Strategic – big picture, see the vision 
  2. Tactical – “nuts and bolts” type, action-oriented
  3. Analytic – perform research, are reality-based 
  4. Relational – practice collaborative habits 

“Leaders tend to lead individuals, not groups as an individual, independent organism. The team is an individual, independent organism in itself. That’s what the Totem helps explain” 


“The real work is always about having self awareness; entering into the situation with presence and the general intention to hear the other person” 


Dark Days: When he was 19, Dr. Mays drove a motorcycle across the country, to the West Coast. He broke down in California, and ran out of money. As well, he didn’t know anyone nearby. It was in this situation that he reflected on Buddha’s quote “with your thoughts, you become the world”, and realized he could change his situation.


Best Advice: “The key is, if you want to produce the best product, you have to have your people in the best state of being, a state of being inspired. You can’t make someone be excellent, excellence is something you have to cultivate, nurture and grow” 


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