Self Leadership Blog
by Andrew Bryant

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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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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Executive Presence Definition and Career Strategy

Think of the most confident person you know. Think of how they stand, how they hold the space and how, when they speak, everyone listens. This is Executive Presence.

Executive Presence Definition 

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

In addition a person with executive presence can present effectively and has the ability to 'read the room', so that they can influence an audience.

In a complex, fast paced world it is vital to be noticed, heard and trusted. Executive Presence is therefore an essential competency for both individual contributors and leaders.

Career Strategy

In my 20-years of experience as an executive coach, working with C-level executives and those that want to crack the C-Suite, I have observed that those who are successful have mastered executive presence.

I have created a free Masterclass on how to to develop executive presence and you can watch it here. You can also read these 12-Strategies...

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Office Politics - The Visibility Rule

 

To succeed in any organization, you must understand 'office politics'. The first rule is to be visible, doing good work is not enough if you're not associated with it. You must learn to shine.

Let me tell you about Chris who's an experienced pharmaceutical Healthcare Executive. He's delivered results as a sales head early in his career and had been moved to head office in Europe in an administrative role.

Chris made everything run smoothly. However, he did it in an under-the-radar manner, so when he wanted to step up to a country manager role he was not deemed ready.

Chris had not followed the first rule of office politics:  

BE VISIBLE!

The Visibility Rule

How could Chris have gained visibility instead of just quietly making things efficient?

  1. He could have first alerted Senior Management to the cost of the in efficiencies
  2. He could have let people know that he was going to resolve the issues
  3. H could have socialized the benefits of the Improvement in addition
  4. He could have been...
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Influence - upwards, laterally, downwards and in circles

career coaching influence Jan 09, 2020

in a previous post, "How to Influence Your Boss", I explored how to influence upwards, but just as important is how to influence laterally.

When I teach programs on influence or influence without authority, I ask participants to create a circle of influence like this diagram:

I then ask them to put ticks or crosses, representing ability or inability to influence, against each circle.  Obviously some circles will need sub-circles to represent individual key people. This is a useful exercise to map out where you need to develop or strengthen your influence.

In a modern matrix style organisation, your success will be determined not just by what you do, but by what you can influence others to do. The effective manager/leader learns to find out what is important to the people in their circle of influence and communicates to them in terms of what matters them rather than directly stating their own needs.

The "How to Influence Your Boss" post expands on finding needs and...

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How to influence your boss

Research has shown that the inability to build a successful relationship with the boss is a significant reason for managers failing or not reaching their full potential.

When I approach this topic, I encounter several mindsets that lead to an inability to effectively influence, these include:

  • My boss is autocratic
  • My boss doesn't listen to me
  • I don't want to jeopardize my career
  • I have no power in the relationship
  • My boss doesn't give me time

Do any of these, sound familiar?

The problem with blaming the boss is that you have created an external locus of control which is the exact opposite of self-leadership. To influence you must ask yourself, “what can I do that will make a difference?” The purpose of this blog is to provide some ideas to get you started:

  1. Create an Ally

Allies have open and honest conversations; they may not always agree but they will listen to what each other wants and assertively communicate what their own needs. "But my boss doesn't...

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