Self Leadership and
The New Leadership Playbook
Blog by Andrew Bryant


Unleashing the Power of Critical Thinking to Model and Repeat Success

John joined the coaching call eager to share his success. He recounted how he had applied his learning from our previous sessions and utilized critical thinking to analyze how to influence key stakeholders to buy into a solution.

I celebrated John's success and helped him unpack each step he took in developing the influence capital to achieve his objective. This prompted John to ask the question,

"How do I repeat this?"

Making Critical Thinking a Habit

The Greek Philosopher Aristotle taught that we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, he espoused, is not an act but a habit. In this post, we will explore the importance of critical thinking for success and how to strive for excellence by making it a habit.

Critical thinking is a cognitive process that involves careful analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information to make reasoned judgments and decisions. Critical thinking is a Power Skill that is essential for the future of work. By leveraging critical thinking, we can...

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Self-Leadership: Thriving in the Gig Economy

The term 'Gig' comes from the music world, where performers book "gigs" that are single or short-term engagements. The gig economy is on the rise with almost one-third of the workforce opting for some type of flexible work arrangement instead of a traditional full-time job. 

As a result, there's been a growing need for individuals to develop effective self-leadership skills in order to successfully navigate this new work landscape.

Understanding Self-leadership

Self-leadership refers to influencing oneself to achieve one's goals and objectives. It's about taking charge of your own life, being proactive, and taking responsibility for your actions. In the gig economy, where individuals have more control over their work schedules and tasks, self-leadership becomes essential for success.

"Self-leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling, and actions toward your objectives." (Bryant & Kazan 2012)

The Importance...

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Speaking about Resilience

Resilience is an essential aspect of our ability to adapt and thrive in the face of challenge and adversity. Resiliency is built from psychological, social, and physiological foundations.

In the current environment resilience is a crucial competency for both leaders and employees alike. In this post, we will explore the various facets of resilience and look at three strategies to build and enhance it.

Definition of Resilience

A simple definition of resilience is:

"The capacity to bounce back from adverse experiences, maintain equilibrium during times of stress, and adapt positively to change"

This definition of resilience can be further refined with the three foundations of resiliency.

  1. Psychological resilience: Psychological resiliency is the ability to cope with stress, trauma, or adversity in a way that avoids a toll on mental health but instead promotes personal growth. The psychologically resilient individual practices self-leadership, by using positive...

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Are We Doing Leadership Wrong?

Leadership is essential to the success and sustainability of any organization, especially during times of rapid change. It is therefore worrying that a recent leadership forecast showed a 17% drop in the number of leaders who reported their company had high-quality leaders. At only 40%, this is the steepest decline in leadership quality in a decade. The last time it was this low was between 2007–2008, the height of the global financial crisis.
This begs the question:

"What's going wrong?"

A Crisis of Confidence

Surveys suggest less than half of people have faith in their immediate supervisor and less than a third trust their senior leaders, and CXOs.

Where has the trust gone?

The recent Global Health crisis with a shift in work practices coupled with digital transformation, the rise in AI, and a pending environmental catastrophe have exposed the weakness of the old leadership model that we could trust that our leaders knew what to do.

The old hierarchical model of...

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Power Skills are the Future of Your Career – Just ask HR or Your CEO

According to PWC’s 2023 CEO Survey, 52% of CEOs see a lack of skills being a major challenge to their company’s profitability and Gartner’s 2023 reports that human resource assumptions in workforce planning (WFP) no longer hold in today’s environment.

Leader and manager effectiveness is essential to the future of work, and yet HR Leaders know that a new approach is required.

Soft Skills and Hard Skills

Traditionally job requirements had been divided into soft skills and hard skills.

Hard skills are technical or scientific knowledge that has been obtained through practical learning methods, such as memory or training. Hard skills are essential to certain roles, if you are a heart surgeon or a pilot, there are some very specific skills required to do your job without killing people.

Hard skills become obsolete over time. When was the last time you wrote in cursive, found information using a library card catalog, or navigated with a map and compass?

With AI and...

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Why Would you look for a Motivational Speaker in Amsterdam, the Netherlands?

If you are organizing an event, conference, or convention in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, then you will be focused on the venue, attendees, catering, and industry speakers, so looking for a motivational speaker might be low on your list. In this post, we will share reasons to include the right kind of motivational speaker in your line-up but first, let’s talk about Amsterdam as a conference venue.

Amsterdam as a Conference Location

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is an ideal location for your conference for many reasons, here are the top three.

  1. Amsterdam is one of the most innovative cities in Europe. Rich in creative industries including technology, life sciences, artificial intelligence, finance, and sustainability.
  2. Amsterdam is an international air hub with excellent physical and digital connectivity. High-speed train services to London, Paris, and Berlin provide fast and comfortable connections within Europe.
  3. Amsterdam has over 500 conference venues and the...
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The Most Powerful Leadership Phrase

"I've got your back" might just be the most powerful leadership and team-building phrase.

The effect of this phrase to encourage, empower, and build trust was recently highlighted by a member of a team that I lead. This individual, filled with enthusiasm, had bypassed a guideline and made a decision, that would normally be mine.

Roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities are important but in a startup or agile team that is 'falling forward,' it is also important to encourage ownership and progress over perfection.

Leadership is a Conversation

leadership is a conversation - Andrew Bryant SpeakerI believe that leadership is a conversation, a one-to-one conversation, or a one-to-many conversation. In the New Leadership Playbook, I outline twelve conversations that leaders need to have with their team or organization.

The conversations are guided by seven principles, one of which I have already mentioned, progress over perfection. Waiting for things to be perfect can stifle creativity and productivity. The leadership principle that...

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What I learned from Motivational Speaking in Helsinki, Finland

I recently returned from Finland, where I gave a keynote speech at a management conference. Since this was my first time speaking in Finland, I did extra research to ensure that my message was well-received by the audience of senior leaders.

Finland is the Happiest Country in the World

As of March 2023, Finland has been ranked the happiest country in the world six times in a row. The World Happiness Report is based on ratings of self-reporting of their quality of life in various dimensions. I was curious to see whether Finns felt happy and so interviewed as many as I could about their ranking.

From taxi drivers to event planners and executives, I was curious how a country with a short summer and long winter could score so, highly.  

The taxi driver was incredulous about the results and showed me a foggy weather forecast to make his point, but then he was originally from Estonia so perhaps I should exclude his data!

The answer lies in what Finns don’t do rather than the...

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Friend or Foe? Understanding your Network

I'm not sure whether night sentries really call out, "Who goes there - friend or foe?" but I'm certain that foes don't announce their intentions before making an attack. The same is true in our personal or professional network.

Here's a hard truth, most of the people you know are neither friends nor foes, they are neutral. They will smile in the corridor, will nod in a meeting, and may even like your occasional post, but when push comes to shove and you actually need support, they are nowhere to be seen.

A true friend or ally will come to your aid in times of duress, even at personal or reputational risk. Such friendship should be nurtured and treasured. In my opinion, they are like owning priceless art, you must look after them, appreciate them, and you can't have too many or your attention will be diluted.

A foe in your network is easier to spot, as they will actively sabotage you whenever there is an opportunity. Your loss is their win. Such people see the world in terms of...

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Top 6 Public Speaking Skills Everyone in Leadership Must Master

Since the Ancient Greeks, oratory, public speaking, and debates, have shown the power of the spoken word to influence and make an impact.

Not everyone wants to be a Professional Speaker, but everyone can become more professional when speaking to an audience.

Public Speaking and Leadership

Effective communication is a vital skill that every successful leader must possess. Leaders can inspire, influence, and direct their teams to achieve organizational goals through communication.

Whether it is the company kickoff, a team meeting, or presenting to the board, leadership requires confident and effective public speaking skills. 

Leadership requires courage and so regardless of your level of comfort with public speaking, this is a pill you will have to learn to swallow if want to be successful. Having been a professional speaker for nearly 25 years and coached hundreds of people to speak with confidence and gravitas, this blog is designed to sugar-coat that pill. 

It Starts with...

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