Self Leadership Blog
by Andrew Bryant

10 Questions for Creating Change

When creating change, whether personally or within an organization, you will encounter resistance. People will tell you they are on board with the new vision but then engage in behaviors that sabotage objectives.

The first key to creating change is to acknowledge that every behavior has a ‘frame of mind’, constructed of values, beliefs, identity, and intentions. This frame of mind can be conscious or unconscious but will act like a gyroscope, always bringing your behaviors back towards a programmed destination.

Let’s take an example of creating change that most of us are familiar with – dieting to lose weight. We have a vision of ourselves fitter or thinner, and we set a goal to lose X number of kilos by Y date; but what do we do? We cheat, we make exceptions and before long we are eating as we have always done.

Why do we default? Because our eating behavior, like all our behaviors, is controlled by a frame of mind. What are some common frames...

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Remote Work, here to stay or part of a Hybrid Model?

Remember back in 2013, when an employee (Bob) outsourced his job and was fired?

Before being fired, Bob was considered a ‘model employee’, his work was above par, his code was clean, well-written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, Bob’s performance review noted him as the best developer in the building.

In many ways, Bob was a 'man before his time'. He chose to spend one-fifth of his salary to free up his life, reduce his stress, and ensure he hit his targets. Companies in 2013 had different criteria, they liked to ‘keep an eye’ on who was doing the work, for both productivity and security reasons.

With the pandemic hitting in 2020, and most people working from home, ‘keeping an eye’ on people seems less important, and keeping employees healthy, well-balanced with manageable stress is much more so. Security will remain a concern, but solutions have been found for that.

The Future of Remote Work is Hybrid

The future is...

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Business Leadership, Virtual Speaking and Audience Engagement

Would you take free advice from a man worth more than $86 billion?

If that advice would increase your worth by at least 50 percent, would you act on it?

Do I have your attention?

Legendary investor and billionaire, Warren Buffet freely gives advice to improve your communication skills. He says,

“If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark — nothing happens”.

Billionaire entrepreneur, Richard Branson agrees.

“Today, if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you also have to be a storyteller”

The Benefit of Audience Engagement

Buffet and Branson clearly understand that even if you have the best ideas and, or the best product, to be successful, you must confidently communicate in ways that engage your audience.

Consider the success of Steve Job’s Apple product launches. Books have been written about Job’s presentation style, and many CEOs have emulated his stagecraft.

The good news is that communication,...

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Why Being Nice is Not Helping You

Being ‘nice’ is a behavior we teach our children, and as adults, we like it when people are nice to us, so what is so wrong with being nice?

If you value being, considerate, pleasant, friendly, and well-mannered then by all means behave that way and encourage others to do the same. But it may surprise you that being nice does not mean these things.

The Real Meaning of Nice

I have painful memories of learning the true meaning of ‘nice’.

At school in the U.K, my English teacher detested the inexactitude of the adjective ‘nice’. He thought its use was lazy and sought to expunge it from my vocabulary with a smack across the back of the hand, with a steel ruler, if I ever used it. This left a lasting memory on a 9-year old boy and to this day, I cringe when I hear it.

As barbaric as this education sounds, my English teacher was correct in his understanding of the etymology of the word ‘nice’. Its origins are from Latin nescius...

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3 Presidential Leadership Lessons

At the time of writing this, the US Election has been called by the Media, for former Vice President, Joe Biden, with Senator, Kamala Harris as his Vice President. Regardless of your personal preference for the outcome, this is a historical moment.

Right now, Biden and Harris are making speeches about unity and healing and putting together a transition team. It won’t be easy. Rhetoric alone will not get the COVID-19 Pandemic under control or get buy-in from the 70-million Americans who didn’t vote for them.

What strategies can the new President use, and what can we learn that we can apply to our own leadership challenges?

I was born in 1961, the year President Kennedy (JFK) took office as the 35th President of the United States of America. Kennedy, a Democrat, took over from Eisenhower, a Republican, and inherited the containment doctrine of the 1940s and 1950s.  This doctrine founded on the belief that Communism was a threat to the United States seemed archaic to...

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How to Lead Change with Stories

leadership storytelling Nov 09, 2020

Leading change with and through stories is a key leadership competency and so should be a key focus of any leader's development.

Stories create a space for the listener to 'step back' from a current perspective and consider an alternative view. This new awareness creates the flexibility required for a change in attitude and behavior.

A Story for Change of Perspective

On December 24th, 1968, fueled by fears of Russian space supremacy, and guided by President Kennedy’s vision, Apollo 8 comes around the moon for the first time.

The astronauts are greeted with the most amazing spectacle – Earth Rise.

From the Dawn of Time, man has spoken and sung of our god’s looking down on the earth from above, and now for the first time, we humans get a god’s eye view of our blue-green planet spinning against the vast backdrop of space.

Vicariously, through the eyes and cameras of those brave astronauts, we had escaped the cultural frames of race, religion, nationality,...

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How to be Heard - Every Time You Speak to Your Team or Address an Audience

career influence success Nov 06, 2020
 

In a previous post, I spoke about how not to get passed over for promotion, and one of those steps was to speak up. Regardless of your seniority your business or career, there’s a lot of noise out there and if you are not heard, you cannot influence, and if you can’t influence you can’t be successful.

Many people have the mindset that it’s best to fly under the radar, but successful people know that.

"if you don’t want to be part of the herd, you must be heard"

In this post, I’m going to share with you 5 strategies to get heard and pave your way to be heard and be more influential.

Some of these strategies might seem counter-intuitive and earlier in my career, I struggled to apply them, sometimes missing opportunities because I didn’t get my message heard.

I don’t want you to miss out – so listen up!

Strategy 1: Bad News First

The evening news, on TV, does not start with a cute story about a baby animal being born at the...

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How not to be Passed Over for Promotion

 

Are you driving your career, or are you being a passenger?

In this post, I want to share some actions you can take to ensure you don’t have to swallow the bitter pill of disappointment when you are passed over for a job that should rightfully be yours.

Promotion Secret Sauce

Philip was furious, he had worked hard, stayed late, been loyal, exceeded his numbers, but missed out on the promotion he was expecting.

When he asked his boss the reason, he was told that the other directors felt he lacked, ‘Executive Presence’.

Philip hadn’t realized that he was missing the ‘Secret Ingredient’ to success in a modern organization, and it cost him. It cost him big-time.

“Executive Presence is the ability to project confidence and gravitas (substance) under pressure.”

Executive Presence is about the right kind of ‘visibility’, whether the meeting is in person or on a global call. Having worked with many managers and leaders, to...

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Choosing the right Executive Coach for you

Choosing an Executive Coach for yourself can be a little confusing, to say the least. Your Executive Coach is going to be your confidant and you will need to open up to get the best from the relationship. So whether you are spending your own money or your organization is providing you with a coach, it’s helpful to have more than just a ‘gut-feel’ to go on.

Most coaches will give you a no-obligation, 30 to 60-minute ‘chemistry’ meeting to assess if there is a fit for both parties. That’s right, an experienced coach may spot you are not committed to the process, or the organization has misaligned expectations and so excuse themselves from the assignment.

I recommend that you meet with at least two coaches but no more than four. Meetings can be face-to-face, by video conference, or by phone. Try and ask each coach the same questions, and take note of the questions they ask you. A good coach is going to get you to step back and think. You will find...

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Remembering Sean Connery - Bond - James Bond

“Bond, James Bond”

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Academy Award Winning Scottish Actor, Sir Thomas Sean Connery (25 August 1930 – 31 October 2020).

The first actor to play James Bond in a movie in 1962, Sean Connery has been an icon for my entire life. My parents were fans, and as soon as I was old enough, I was a fan.

This blog reflects on the impact of Sean’s life, both on and off-screen.

Being Bond

Connery had been an actor in small theater and TV productions before he played Bond, but it was this role that launched his career. James Bond 007, a British Secret Service agent, was created by writer Ian Fleming in 1953, but Connery’s physicality and humor brought the character to life. If you watch an interview with Connery, you will hear the humor, that so distinguished his alter ego’s dry wit.

He played 007 in the first five Bond films: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with...

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