Self Leadership and
The New Leadership Playbook
Blog by Andrew Bryant

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Unlock Your Authentic Self: Mastering Self-leadership

How strong is your identity?

You didn’t get a choice about the time and place of your birth or the culture you are born into, and so your early identity is a matter of chance.

As you mature, you may question,

“Who am I?
What do I want to become?”

This is the beginning of self-awareness, but it will take practicing self-leadership to exercise choice to become the best version of yourself.

When I speak on stage at conferences, conventions, or events, I often share stories of overcoming my own challenges, and some inspiring stories from my clients, or public figures.

I tell my audience, “I would never wish adversity upon anyone, but also I wouldn’t deny anyone tough times”. Through adversity and tough times, we discover what we are capable of and find our self-leadership.

 Victor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor, wrote the bestselling book, “Man's Search for Meaning”. Frankl said,

...

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Solving the Big Problem for Modern Leadership

It can be argued that traditional hierarchical management structures are failing to deliver in terms of employee engagement, retention, creativity, and productivity. In the current environment, self-leadership emerges as a beacon for modern leaders and managers. But what is the big problem and how does adopting a self-leadership approach solve for this?

In the AI era and with the reality of the hybrid workplace, the traditional hierarchical management system is not just outdated; it's a ticking time bomb.

A top-down approach with decisions trickling down, with little or no feedback or innovation from lower-level employees results in rigidity. In an AI-driven world, where rapid adaptation is key, this rigidity can be fatal.

The Big Problem is Trust

In Self Leadership: How to Become a More Success, Efficient, and Effective Leaders from the Inside Out (McGraw-Hill 2012) "Self-leadership is defined as:

"The practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling, and...

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A Model for Transforming the Executive Leadership Team

The Executive Leadership Team (ELT), typically consisting of the CEO, CFO, COO, CPO, CMO, CRO, CTO, and other CXOs, should be the most important team in the company. Why is it then that the ELT is often:

"The worst performing team in the whole company!"

The answer is that most Executive Leadership Teams are not structured as a team but rather as a workgroup. A team's success is dependent on the collaboration of each member of the team towards a shared goal. In short,

"Nobody wins unless everybody wins!"

In a workgroup, each member focuses on their silo of responsibility and measures success in terms of their own KPIs or OKRs. In a workgroup, each member reports to the CEO but is competing for attention and resources. This structure results in little or no collaboration and can promote a culture of internal competition and distrust.

A High-Performing Executive Leadership Team

“I think I have a job for you", he said.
"I have taken on a new CEO role, and I need my...

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Leadership Transformation, and the Rise of Self-leadership, in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countires (GCC)

Having recently delivered a leadership keynote speech in Dubai, U.A.E, I am filled with admiration and optimism for the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Jordan. The region, steeped in a rich tapestry of history and tradition, is on the cusp of transformative change, and the dual pillars of self-leadership and leadership are pivotal in this journey.

Navigating the Winds of Change - Leadership in the Gulf, Past and Future

The GCC, established in 1981, was not merely an economic alliance. It was a testament to the shared vision and camaraderie of its founding nations: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Over four decades, the GCC has evolved, navigating complex geopolitical terrains while strengthening intra-regional ties.

In today's dynamic global scenario, the GCC stands at a crossroads. The transition from oil-centric economies demands not just economic reforms but a paradigm shift in mindset. This is where the essence...

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Living Your Best Life - Secrets to Body Hacking with Self-Leadership

self-leadership Aug 21, 2023

Just a few years ago, body hacking would sound like the stuff of a science fiction movie, but now if you have an Apple Watch, Fitbit, or Smart Scale, you are being provided with data to optimize your health, performance, and well-being.

With all the data that you can now gather on such things as your weight, heart rate, sleep, exercise, mindfulness, and level of ketosis it is important to remember:

“Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.” - Clifford Stoll

At its core, body hacking refers to optimizing one's physical and mental capabilities. Combine this with the transformative power of self-leadership, and you have a recipe for unparalleled personal growth and success. This post explores some insights into body hacking and self-leadership that you can apply to live your best life.

But first a Rant about Fads!

Body hacking is the art and science of enhancing one's physical and mental...

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Ditch the Leadership Clichés: It’s time to Embrace Nuance

leadership Aug 09, 2023

In a world that craves simplicity and instant gratification, it can be hard to ditch the comforting black-and-white leadership mantras and clichés, but they are a thing of the past or should be.

The present Global complexity demands leaders who can navigate the gray, and understand the importance of nuance. Leadership is no longer about being the loudest voice in the room or always having the answers. It's about embracing ambiguity, understanding the subtleties of human behavior, and recognizing that success often lies in considering a new perspective.

Imagine, if you will a tightrope walker on a cable strung between two city blocks. He or she must be confident in their ability whilst at the same time accounting for the wind and movement of the cable. The act of balancing and moving forward requires a laser focus on the destination while being present swaying back and forth above a potentially fatal drop. The tightrope walker cannot say, I will shift my weight to the right,...

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The CEO and Executive Leadership Team’s Role in Creating a Culture of Self-leadership

CEOs are typically driven by pleasing the board. The board is usually pleased with positive quarterly results. These results will only be sustainable if the CEO and their Executive Leadership Team (ELT) effectively lead the people within the organization.

Management guru Peter Drucker said it best when he wrote:

  "The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers." 

This truth highlights that leadership results from a shared psychological group membership (culture) rather than intrinsic to one individual. 

This realization triggers the question, “What is the best culture, and how do we create it?”

Imagine a culture where management and employees experience a feeling of autonomy and ownership, thus contributing their best selves toward a shared vision with clear objectives.

The foundation of such a culture is the practice of self-leadership. Building a culture of self-leadership within an organization is not just a trend; it's a strategic...

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What if AI and Self-leadership had a baby?

There is a fear that AI is a threat to humanity but imagine a world where artificial intelligence (AI) and self-leadership converge, creating a hybrid that revolutionizes how we perceive leadership and technology. This is not a far-fetched sci-fi concept but a potential reality as we explore AI's capabilities and what it means to be fully human (self-leadership). 

Even if you are grappling with understanding and appreciating the benefits of AI, you can guarantee that it will soon be as natural to our children as an iPad is today.

The Genesis: Understanding AI and Self-leadership

Before we delve into the heart of the matter, let's first understand the two key components of our discussion: AI and self-leadership.

“Artificial Intelligence is not just machines, it is Augmented Intelligence, It is a mirror to our human experience and achievement.”

AI is not just about robots and machinery. It's about creating intelligent systems capable of understanding, learning, and...

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Self-Leadership: The Key to Enhanced Productivity in a Post-Pandemic and Digital Age

In the wake of the global pandemic, the world has seen an accelerated shift toward digitalization. This shift has brought about new challenges and opportunities in the realm of productivity.

Increased productivity means greater output from the same amount of input. It means higher efficiency with which a company or economy can transform resources into goods and services. In short:

"Enhanced productivity is the opportunity to create more from less."

A sustainable increase in productivity occurs when individuals and teams can complete their work efficiently and tackle more complexity, whilst taking care of physical and mental health.

As we navigate this new landscape, the concept and practice of self-leadership have emerged as critical factors in enhancing productivity.

The Connection Between Self-Leadership and Productivity

Self-leadership is the learned ability to intentionally influence ourselves to achieve our objectives (Bryant and Kazan 2012). Rather than being an...

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Leadership Insight: Why Would We Follow You?

This story is so familiar that I am sure you have heard it, experienced it, or are living it. Following success in a previous, project, department, or company, a manager or executive is promoted into a new leadership position and fails.

The premise for the promotion is that if someone is successful at leading one team, they will be successful leading any team, but this assumption is based on a common misconception of what leadership is, and how it works.

You Can't be a Leader without doing Leadership

I had a coaching client who was a brilliant marketer. She was creative and led her team to deliver excellent work for her company. She felt she deserved a promotion and the title of CMO. When this finally came, everything changed. The expanded team resented her, complained that she was absent, and the quality of work from her department suffered.

This CMO had confused being a leader with doing leadership, and she is not alone. Leadership books, posts, and memes focus heavily on the...

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