Self Leadership Blog
by Andrew Bryant

Ace your Annual Performance Review

career coaching success Aug 28, 2020

Your annual review or performance conversation can either be an opportunity to advance your career or, feel like a failed parole hearing, condemning you to another year of being stuck in-situ.

This week, I was coaching a Senior Director in charge of Enterprise Strategic Planning. He has an upcoming quarterly performance review and asked me how to prepare. In my experience, coaching hundreds of executives to senior leadership and C-Suite roles, I have noticed that the ‘difference that makes the difference’ is proactivity.

Proactive Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance (PPPPP). Here is the 3-phase strategy I shared with my client so that you too can ace your next review or performance conversation.

Review your own Performance

Your boss is likely to start the conversation by asking,

“How do you think you have done?”

This opening invites you to show your self-awareness of your achievements, but so many people trip over themselves with this first question....

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Career Success – Take on Extra, but Get the Credit

career coaching success Aug 20, 2020
 

Conventional wisdom suggests that for career success, you need to show your value by working above and beyond. But is this the full story?

In the opening scene of The Godfather (1972 Francis Ford Coppola. You can watch the clip above), Don Corleone is receiving requests for favors, on the day of his daughter’s wedding. The undertaker asks for revenge against two boys who beat his daughter when she refused their advances. Don Corleone grants the favor, but not before saying,

“Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day accept this justice as a gift on my daughter’s wedding.”

The Godfather movie is a case study of the power of reciprocity for influence. If you are going to give value, know your value, and seek value in return.

Coaching Career Success

I am currently coaching a Senior Vice President, who has her eyes on a C-level promotion. She has made her aspirations known to her organization and is...

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Getting Respect – You are doing it Wrong!

In a Harvard Business Review study of 20,000 employees, 54% claimed that they don’t get respect from their leaders. Respect has shown to improve employee trust and safety and effect a 92% increase in focus and priority. The obvious conclusion, therefore, is to instruct managers and leaders to be more respectful, but what if this conclusion is wrong?

If you are honest with yourself, do you respect someone who does not deserve respect? Are you able to respect someone who does not respect themselves?

Respect Definition

The verb respect means to admire someone (or something) because of their abilities, qualities, or achievements. It can also mean having due regard for their feelings, wishes, or rights.

In my work on self-leadership, and through over 20-years of coaching, I can share that most people struggle to respect their own abilities, feelings, or rights. And how can you expect respect if you do not respect yourself!

Coaching for Respect - A Case Study

Recently I was coaching...

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Diversity is Difficult but Doable

How to be a Diversity and Inclusion Game Changer

I recently shared, on Social Media, that I would be giving a keynote speech at a large online event. Unfortunately, the best image that showcased 'yours truly' included two other white men. The optics were not great considering that I am an advocate for women's leadership and have signed a pledge to not appear on all-male panels.

There were some women and other ethnicities speaking at the conference and the panel was diverse, but not diverse enough. I called the organizer, a former mentee of mine, and he shared his frustration that he had asked many women, but they refused to speak.

I have faced this same issue before when I have organized physical and virtual events. It can lead to weird conversations like, "We are missing a Black Woman or an Asian man, and we have nobody representing LGBTQ".

In a perfect world, we would have the best person for the job, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, age, ableness, or sexual orientation. But...

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President Trump and the need for Validation

 

The media are currently discussing the latest 'tell-all' book about President Trump today. Specifically his relationship with his father. But the need for validation is common in life, but is it healthy, how can we overcome it'?

In the above video (recorded live on LinkedIn), I share my journey from the need for validation to self-leadership. As an Executive Coach, I often find what holds my clients back from their full potential is a pattern of seeking validation.

The Need for Validation

When we are born, we can do nothing useful but are loved by our parents for just being. Just being human in itself has value, and how much we appreciate that value is the measure of our Self-esteem. BUT, and here's the rub, when we go out into the world, to school, to college, to work, we are not appreciated for just being, we are measured for our doing. 

We have been conditioned to perform. From the encouragement to take our first faltering steps, and successful potty efforts,...

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Virtual Leadership Speaker and Coach

 

Before the Covid Pandemic, my schedule was packed with travel, speaking, and coaching in multiple countries (see video above). Now, there is no travel, but as a Virtual Leadership Speaker and Coach, I can still make a difference from my home-office in Singapore.

Virtual Leadership Speaker

I don't call myself a futurist, but I have been predicting disruption for the speaking industry for some time. With this in mind, I began to set-up the means to deliver inspiration and information remotely from my computer and cloud-based software in 2017.  Now it's 2020 and I am glad I had the foresight and self-leadership to disrupt before being disrupted.

With a 2-PC setup,  I can broadcast leadership speeches, workshops, and coaching anywhere in the world. It's now not unusual for me to start my day coaching on the East Coast of the USA, facilitate a meeting in Silicon Valley, speak in somewhere in Asia and finish my day in India, Africa, or Europe.

All of this was possible...

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Leadership in Uncertainty and Rapid Change

 

Leadership is challenging at the best of times, but during periods of uncertainty and rapid change, it requires a special mindset.

In this video, part of my Leadership Accelerator Program, I talk about the 'Stockdale Paradox'. This term was used by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, after interviewing Admiral James Stockdale. Stockdale had been the highest-ranking military officer held and tortured in the 'Hanoi Hilton', a Vietnamese Prison. Admiral Stockdale was shot down during the war between America and Vietnam in 1965. He was held for 8-years with no certainty that he would survive, be released, or ever see his family again.

The Stockdale Paradox

The Paradox of Leading in Uncertainty is that you must face the brutal facts of your current reality AND never lose faith that you will prevail.

Leadership in Uncertainty and Rapid Change

If you find yourself in a leadership position during uncertainty and rapid change, it is essential that you communicate clearly, consistently,...

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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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