Self Leadership and
The New Leadership Playbook
Blog by Andrew Bryant

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How to Read the Room on Zoom

 

How do you read the room on Zoom?

I was asked this question by one of my coaching clients who wanted to transform her influence, to get the promotion she sought.

I’d previously shared with her that in addition to projecting gravitas and confidence, executive presence means, reading the room.

The Greek Philosopher, Aristotle wrote, that in order to influence, we need pathos. Pathos gives us the English word, empathy, meaning the ability to understand the feelings and motivations of your audience. This is what I mean by reading the room.

Pitching your idea, or presenting information without knowing what state the audience is in or what’s important to them, is like driving on a freeway blindfolded.

So, how do you read the room, and how do you do that in a Zoom, or Teams environment when many participants have their cameras off?

Well, if you are still listening to me, then I already know something about you.

You are curious and open to learning. You are ambitious and want to...

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Personal Branding - How to build your Brand

Jeff Bezos famously said, "Personal Brand is what people say about you when you leave the room", but without a personal brand, there are many rooms that you won't get a chance to enter!
 
If you are not known for something, or otherwise forgettable, you can forget career advancement or financial success.

Boss-Level Personal Branding

The key to personal branding is that you clearly communicate your value, and that value is relevant to your audience (clients, colleagues, senior executives).

I was recently coaching a fellow Professional Speaker, who was struggling to find his 'tagline', that value statement that follows your name. Do you have a tagline?


Ironically, this speaker was an expert on communication, but calling himself, 'The Communication Expert' was a bit too generic, so I challenged him to articulate, his Message, his Methodology, and his Market. I asked him what problem he solved for people and what they said about him after he solved it for them?
...
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Choosing the right Executive Coach for you

Choosing an Executive Coach for yourself can be a little confusing, to say the least. Your Executive Coach is going to be your confidant and you will need to open up to get the best from the relationship. So whether you are spending your own money or your organization is providing you with a coach, it’s helpful to have more than just a ‘gut-feel’ to go on.

Most coaches will give you a no-obligation, 30 to 60-minute ‘chemistry’ meeting to assess if there is a fit for both parties. That’s right, an experienced coach may spot you are not committed to the process, or the organization has misaligned expectations and so excuse themselves from the assignment.

I recommend that you meet with at least two coaches but no more than four. Meetings can be face-to-face, by video conference, or by phone. Try and ask each coach the same questions, and take note of the questions they ask you. A good coach is going to get you to step back and think. You will find...

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The Secret to Effectively Managing Employee Mistakes

I will always remember an inspiring speech by Darrell, a CEO that I was coaching. The occasion was a ‘town hall’ for employees just after it was announced that he would be moving on to new pastures.

“Make mistakes”, he said.

“Just don’t let your mistakes be bigger than mine”

It is not often we hear a leader encourage his team to make mistakes, but Darrell knew that making mistakes was part of the business and that you should limit the size of your mistakes. Darrell’s leadership had created a culture of creativity and customer service, and many people openly wept on his last day.

A critical test for any leader is how they effectively manage employee mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable but your response to them will determine whether you enhance productivity and employee engagement or destroy moral.

A simple maxim for mistakes would be –

“Be tough on standards, be tender on people.”

Before I discuss how to implement this...

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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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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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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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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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Executive Coaching in Singapore and Asia

Executive Coaching has come of age and is now viewed as an effective way of developing leaders. Smart companies are making executive coaching a core element of leadership development; whether that is when grooming a CEO successor or helping managers transition to leaders.

It is therefore not ‘news’ that a recent survey reports 86 percent of US companies hired Executive Coaches to sharpen the skills of individuals who have been identified as future organizational leaders. The numbers are similar in Europe whilst the uptake of executive coaching in Singapore and Asia has been slower but is catching up.

The demand for good Executive Coaches has been driven by organizations demands for immediate results.  Executive Coaching provides feedback and guidance in real time, and lasting transformations can be observed after 3 to 6 months.

As individuals advance to the executive level, developmental feedback becomes increasingly important. Many executives plateau in critical...

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