Self Leadership Blog
by Andrew Bryant

Goal Setting – A Self-leadership Worksheet

What was I thinking?
20-years ago I kept my goal setting, ideas, drafts for speeches, notes from courses and outlines for books in spiral bound notebooks. During a recent tidy-up I reviewed these notebooks and was fascinated to see how the ideas have become part of me and the goals have been achieved.

One of those goals was to write a book on Self-leadership. This goal was completed in 2012 and in Chapter 7, I share the Goal Setting Worksheet that I used.

I’m sharing it again here it here in my leadership blog, as I believe it’s important to look beyond the current situation and plan your future. I know I’m going to.

Goal Setting Worksheet

Self-Leaders set goals for themselves and through Self-observation and Self-feedback regularly achieve them. When you have a clearly defined intention you gain a laser like focus and act effectively. If you want to effectively and intentionally achieve a goal, the following process will put your goal into your physiology so that...

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What is Free News Costing You?

leadership opinion Apr 28, 2020

When I was at school in the 70’s in England, I was encouraged to read two newspapers, The Telegraph and the Guardian and then make up my own mind. I am grateful for learning this discipline early because it showed me the political bias of each of the publications and tuned my critical thinking. That said, because each paper was paid for, the news was mostly balanced. Compare that to US TV today. The FCC fairness doctrine was introduced in 1949 with the intention to get broadcasters to present controversial issues of public importance in a manner that was honest, equitable, and balanced. This rule was eliminated in 1987 and the polarization of the media has increased every year since.

The current Covid-19 Pandemic brings this problem into sharp focus. There has been so much ‘opinion’ from TV, the Internet, Politicians and Religious leaders, that it is hard to separate fact from opinion. If you make the wrong choice, you can put yourself and your...

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Double Loop Learning for Surviving & Thriving

learning self-leadership Apr 27, 2020

The world, as we know it, is in a spin. Assumptions we made about life and business have been upended by a tiny virus that has had massive impact on the Global Economy and individual lives. Typically, when we receive feedback to our actions, we make a course correction and carry on, but in this unprecedented time – we need to challenge our assumptions and apply double loop learning.

 What is Double Loop Learning?

Argyris & Schon (1974) proposed double loop learning theory which promotes learning to change underlying values and assumptions. The following diagram explains it:

In single loop learning, we receive feedback from our actions and adjust our behavior accordingly. Indouble loop learning we take a ‘step back’ and challenge our assumptions, beliefs and values about why we behaved that way in the first place. Double loop learning is really ‘disruptive thinking’. 

As with any learning strategy, using the double loop requires asking...

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15 Self-leadership Quotes for Tough Times

self-leadership Apr 22, 2020

Yes, this current pandemic is frustrating, disorientating and very sad, and yes, it’s OK to feel the emotions that come with the current disruption. For those who have a roof over their head and food in their belly, it's a time to discover what’s really important and what you are made of.

In my 2012 book on Self-leadership with Dr. Ana Kazan, we described Self-leadership as:

"the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objectives”

Right now we need to be practicing self-leadership and one way of 're-framing' how we think about things is through quotes. I'm sure you have your favorite quote that you turn to, to get you through tough times, but to get you started:

15 Self-leadership Quotes

1.    “Mastering others is strength; mastering oneself is true power” - Lao Tsu

2.    “The first and best victory is to conquer self” - Plato

...

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Leading Virtual Teams during Crisis

Virtual Teams or virtual team members have been a business reality for many years, however during the current crisis, with stay at home orders, the need to lead has increased. As I coach senior leaders to navigate this current storm, I’m often asked for strategies to effectively lead a virtual team and so here are Seven of my best.

With each member of a team remotely located and no opportunity for face-to-face meeting, there are both challenges and opportunities for the new or established team leader. We have a new ‘level playing field’ where everyone is working and communicating virtually. Gone is the proximity bias, where those in the same location could network face-to-face and build collaboration. Finally, those that have been working in remote hubs have an advantage, in that they are already acclimated to remote technology and communication.

With the crisis creating a ‘reset’, there is an opportunity for leadership to harness the ‘power of...

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In Virtual Meetings are you a Victim or a Leader

communication leadership Mar 25, 2020
 

In keeping with the Virtual Meetings visual format, today's blog is a Vlog - are you a victim or a leader?

I share some insights from one of my leadership coaching session and answer:

  • How do you show that care?
  • How to not be transactional?
  • What type of leadership is required in crisis?

 

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Why Toilet Paper? There's Something More Important

We are in the midst of a pandemic and I’m waiting in my Dentist’s office after having my temperature checked. The patient before me, a young man, comes out from the treatment room, wipes his nose with a tissue and throws it in the bin next to me.

Disgusting!

A behavior that would have barely registered a couple of months ago now triggered my feelings of disgust.

Disgust is an emotional response of rejection or revulsion to something potentially contagious. Unlike our animalistic fight or flight response, disgust is a more evolved response that we developed to protects us from harmful foods. Disgust is primarily triggered by taste, but smell, sight and touch also come into play.

My initial response to the young man in the Dentist’s office was not so much logical as ‘psycho-logical’. My consciousness, and yours, has been primed by news of the dangers of contracting Covid-19 from other human beings. We are primed to see danger and be disgusted more...

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Leadership Style to Leadership Practice

What is your leadership style? Does it stay constant, or vary depending on the context and motivation of your employees /team?

Leadership books and leadership blogs are fond of listing leadership traits, but to be an effective leader you need awareness of your default leadership style and behavioral flexibility depending on the context and level of employee motivation. That is going to take some practice.

Leadership Blog to Leadership Practice

Before we explore your leadership style, we must address the fact that there are about as many definitions of leadership as there are authors on the topic. This leadership blog is more focused on practice than theory, so a practical definition, from The Social Psychology of Leadership, is:

"Leadership is the process of influencing others in a manner that enhances their contribution to the realization of group goals."

I like this leadership definition because it speaks to a ‘process’ that requires ‘influence’....

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Times of Crisis call for Self-leadership – Covid-19 Edition

Times of Crisis can bring out the best and the worst in people. Charles Dickens begins his Tale of Two Cities with:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

With the current Covid-19 Virus Outbreak it certainly feels like worst of times, but how do we avoid it becoming, “the winter of despair”?

Before I share some Self-leadership strategies to survive the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on health, business and travel, let’s look at some of the altered behaviors that crisis can trigger.

Behaviors in Times of Crisis

People respond to the stress of crisis in different ways, typical behaviors that let you know that you, or someone you know, is not coping include:

  • Disbelief or Denial
  • Emotional numbness
  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs
  • Anger, moodiness, and irritability
  • Nightmares and other sleep disturbances
  • Panic attacks
  • Isolation or withdrawal from others
  • Disinterest in previous activities
  • Sleeping too much

Primed,...

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False Humility will Kill your Career

False humility, or more importantly, not understanding the true definition of humility will kill your career. I know this because I’ve spent 20-years coaching people to senior leadership positions and the C-Suite.

Before you react, please note, I am not advocating arrogance. Arrogance and humility are not even on the same continuum, and misunderstanding this will cost you.

To be successful as a man or woman in today’s business world you need to project confidence, have a voice and be visible – in short ‘Executive Presence’.

My experience is that there is a ‘humility barrier’ – a cultural, gender and mind-set inhibitor to developing, presence, influence and leadership.

Humility Definition

The first step in breaking through the humility barrier is to look at the correct definition of humility and how it has been misinterpreted.

The definition of "humility" comes from the Latin word humilitas, which translates as "humble", but also as...

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