Self Leadership and
The New Leadership Playbook
Blog by Andrew Bryant

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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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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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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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Leadership is about People, Choices and Economics

There are almost as many definitions of leadership as there are people who have written on the topic. So, rather than complicate matters, I want to simplify this discussion on leadership to just 3-things, people, choices and economics.

I believe that when we understand these things, we can better understand people’s thinking and behavior, and therefore be a better leader.

Self-Leadership and Economics

“Did you meet your numbers?

Governments want to know the numbers, and leaders want to meet or exceed their numbers, but economics isn’t really about numbers. You might not believe me when you see economists pouring over data, creating graphs, charts and models, but the goal of real economics is:

“to uncover the unintended consequences of our choices.”

This perspective that social phenomena result exclusively from the motivations and actions of individuals is where economics (Austrian School) meets Self-leadership. In reality, economics is about...

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Inclusive Leadership means Diversity of Thought

I was once working with a CEO to help get his senior leaders to be more open to input from multiple sources, including younger employees.

“Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas”, he said.

“Wow!”, I thought. What a great mantra for diversity, inclusion, leadership, management and just common sense.

But as Winston Churchill once remarked, “Nothing is as uncommon as common sense”.

Why is Inclusive Leadership and Diversity of Thought not more common?

Well, the human mind is hard-wired to consider ideas and perspectives from our own tribe as superior to those from outside. This human tendency leads to political partisanship, regardless of the facts, and can lead to a senior leadership team that looks the same and thinks the same. The dangers of this ‘we are right, everybody else is wrong’ mindset are obvious; especially in times of rapid change, when past ways of doing things are losing or have lost their relevancy. Read more on unconscious...

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Executive Coaching for Leadership Development

Executive Coaching is effective for leadership development, because leaders require high levels of Self-awareness and behavioral flexibility.  

Executive Coaching comprises of a series of confidential conversations focused on facilitating strategic self-awareness about what underlies behavior, actions, reactions, and interactions. Coaching facilitates the 'coachee' to gain insights into how they execute business strategies, and manage change, conflict and people.

Having a trusted confident (Executive Coach), who can provide feedback and, through questions, clarify intentions, values and objectives is invaluable to a leader.

Without coaching, many executives plateau in their development of critical interpersonal and leadership skills, because they have been promoted for behaviors that are no longer effective at the leadership level.

The #1 Problem for Leadership Development

Leadership development is often hampered, surprisingly, by too much winning. People are promoted for...

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Global leadership 5 Cs

Global leadership is the new standard. When companies were just national, you could make it to senior-level or even the top with a mix of competence and confidence (of course a few good connections could also help).

Today, successful companies are international or global and to be a leader requires something extra. Just doing a good job on your home turf is no longer enough, you have to be visible and you have to have impact.

For example, a senior manager in India or Indonesia could be successfully managing thousands of people, meeting targets, but have no visibility in a global organization. On the flip side, an American or European manager may fail to lead in Asia or South America, because they just don’t understand how to get things done in those cultures.

I was recently having a conversation with a US-based, charismatic, ‘C-level’ executive of a global company, about the direct reports of his peer who worked in Asia. He expressed his frustration that these...

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9 Critical Leadership Truths

I remember being impressed by 9 critical leadership truths that were being promoted at my children’s school. What impacted me was the fact that as a leadership coach and consultant, I am often talking about these very same qualities and skills with my ‘adult’ clients.

This image (taken by my daughter, Tasha) shows the school's ideal student with a combination of qualities and skills – wouldn't it be great if managers and leaders valued the same qualities and worked on their skills?

Leaders and children develop from the inside-out (Bryant & Kazan 2012) and so it is great that being self-aware is promoted. The school sees self-awareness as developing self-discipline, self-esteem, self-confidence, reflection – all great qualities for today’s leader. With self-awareness, we can become a self-manager which includes the skills of; meta-cognition, independence, perseverance, diligence, organization, and responsibility.

If you were to get a report...

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Developing Your Leadership Lens

Any photography enthusiastic understands that, whilst the subject remains the same, the choice of lens will change how it is viewed. What is true for cameras is also true for people, as we all see the world through our own lens of perception and bias.

A wide-angle lens gives you the 'big picture', whilst other times you will want to 'zoom in' to see detail. To have only one lens would cause you to miss out on so much.

Developing Your Leadership Lens

Let me ask you a question; "Do you like to have the data points and build a picture from what you have, or do you prefer to start with a big picture and then work out the details later?"

Neither of these approaches are right or wrong, 'Big Picture' and 'Detail Orientation' are both useful, but the premise of this post, is that to be an effective leader, you need both, plus the ability to focus.

Some leaders focus on the positive and some on the negative and it shows in how they speak. What we say is a ‘reflection of the 'image' we...

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Planful about your Leadership Legacy

 

I have been a Professional Speaker and Executive Coach for over 20-yeas, but I've never received an introduction like this one from Planful CEO, Grant Halloran.

I am humbled that I have had an impact on Grant's career and also vicariously on all the people that he impacts. The synchronicity that he has recently renamed his company Planful, meaning rich in plans - is not lost on me.

Planning a Legacy

The dictionary tells us that legacy (n) is:

"Something that is a result of events in the past"

But, when I am working with leaders, leadership teams or MBA Students, I tell them that Leadership Legacy (n) is:

"The actions you take NOW that impact the future"

The emphasis is on the now. Legacy happens in the now, we don't have to wait until the future, we create our legacy with the planful intentional behaviors we enact today. Intentional behaviors are at the heart of Self-leadership.

Self-leadership and Legacy

Self-leadership is defined (Bryant & Kazan 2012) as:

...

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