Self Leadership Blog
by Andrew Bryant

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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The Resilience Definition Paradox

A definition of resilience can be found in any dictionary, but for a living breathing definition of resilience, you will discover it etched in the faces of those that have faced difficulties head-on, and refused to be defeated.

You might see resilience looking back at you in the bathroom mirror, or in the face of your spouse as they prepare for another day of work, or in the dogged determination of a co-worker or employee. Resilience can be an in-built quality or a choice, but either way it is not revealed in calm waters but in tough times.

Resilience Definition – Bounce Back or Bounce Forward?

For humans the dictionary defines resilience as:

“the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness.”

For substances it is the ability to spring back into shape, elasticity.

The paradox, for me, is that with these definitions’ resilience is about recovery (getting back what you have lost) or springing back to an original shape, as if nothing had happened....

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Motivation for Leaders

If you are a manager or leader, you will likely have faced the challenges of motivation.

  • How do I motivate myself?
  • How do I motivate my team?
  • Why do different people require different motivation?

As an Executive Coach and Leadership Motivational speaker, I am versed in the theory and practice of motivation and extensively work with leaders to improve their results. In this post I share my favorite theory and application using my own research.

Motivation for Leaders

Being human, we have a smart brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex, which we use to imagine and predict the future. These imaginations and predictions create expectations. Expectancy Theory (Victor Vroom 1964), is a model about how expectations lead to motivation.

Vroom’s theory says that, if the future seems reasonably likely and attractive to us, we know how to get there, and we believe we will be appropriately rewarded, then we will be motivated to act. In other words, if people expect a positive and...

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Personal Mastery - Definition and Importance to Learning

Personal Mastery has many definitions but what is most important to understand is that it is not a destination or a definitive state, but a process. The idea that mastery is a process was described by Peter Senge, in his book ‘The Fifth Discipline’

People with a high level of personal mastery live in a continual learning mode. They never “arrive.” (Peter Senge)

The application of personal mastery is key to living an effective life and having a successful career. This has never been truer than at this time in history.

In this post we explore, what is Personal Mastery, why it is important and, how to develop it.

Personal Mastery Definition

I define Personal Mastery as follows:

"Personal Mastery is the process of living and working purposefully towards a vision, in alignment with one’s values and in a state of constant learning about oneself and the reality in which one exists."

Personal Mastery and Self-leadership can be considered synonymous. They...

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Using Metaphors for Change, Growth, Coaching and Leadership

 

As a professional speaker and as an executive coach, change and growth are the things that I have been focused on for my entire professional career. Today, as I was on a call with a prospective client, three metaphors came to me. I then shared these examples of using metaphors to create change on a LinkedIn Live, and you can see the video recording above.

In this post, I thought I would go deeper into the definition and power of metaphor for creating change, as well as show you how to use these three metaphor examples and create your own.

Metaphor Definition and Purpose

A 'metaphor' is a word or phrase that is symbolic of something else. The word comes from the Greek, ‘metapherein’ which means ‘to transfer’. In communication we use metaphor to transfer meaning from one thing to create awareness or understanding in another context.

Not only does a metaphor transfer meaning, it can ‘re-frame’ the meaning that the listener currently holds. This is...

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What Children teach us about Leadership Development

coaching leadership legacy Feb 19, 2020

Children and Leadership Development; at first glance there's not much to connect the two topics, but when speaking at a conference or coaching a leadership team, I often find myself using my children as examples. This is, of course, motivated by the fact I am a proud father - but also because children so quickly reflect our values.

As leaders, our values drive our behaviors, and our followers very quickly pick up on what's important to us. In this post I wanted to share 3 such Leadership Development Principles, that children bring into focus.

Leadership Development Principles

1. Modeling Behavior

Every parent knows that children are great mimics, they watch you like a hawk and duplicate your behavior. This can be amusing, as when my daughter first started painting her nails after watching her mother, or my son picking up my tennis racket and saying, "like daddy." The dark side of this modeling is when children mimic the aggressive behavior of adults. This dark side of mimicking was...

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Presentation Skills – Training Tips to Improve Impact

career coaching speaking Feb 18, 2020

Whether I’m working with graduate trainees or managing directors, there is always a realization of the need to improve presentation skills. Why are presentation skills such an important skill to accelerate your career or secure your position as a leader?

Well, I’m sure you have sat through many mind-numbing, ‘death by PowerPoint’ presentations, but have you also experienced listening to an engaging story-teller, who has you on the edge of your seat and inspires you with new insights?

Being the engaging storyteller gives you visibility, credibility and influence. These 3-factors are essential to your career Success.

Learning Presentation Skills

The ability to present or speak well is within everyone’s grasp. With 20-years’ experience as Motivational Speaker, I have coached the most boring of CEO’s and the most timid individual contributor to speak and present with impact.

Regardless of your current position or skill level, to become effective...

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