Self Leadership and
The New Leadership Playbook
Blog by Andrew Bryant


A Model for Transforming the Executive Leadership Team

The Executive Leadership Team (ELT), typically consisting of the CEO, CFO, COO, CPO, CMO, CRO, CTO, and other CXOs, should be the most important team in the company. Why is it then that the ELT is often:

"The worst performing team in the whole company!"

The answer is that most Executive Leadership Teams are not structured as a team but rather as a workgroup. A team's success is dependent on the collaboration of each member of the team towards a shared goal. In short,

"Nobody wins unless everybody wins!"

In a workgroup, each member focuses on their silo of responsibility and measures success in terms of their own KPIs or OKRs. In a workgroup, each member reports to the CEO but is competing for attention and resources. This structure results in little or no collaboration and can promote a culture of internal competition and distrust.

A High-Performing Executive Leadership Team

“I think I have a job for you", he said.
"I have taken on a new CEO role, and I need my...

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Self-Leadership: The Key to Enhanced Productivity in a Post-Pandemic and Digital Age

In the wake of the global pandemic, the world has seen an accelerated shift toward digitalization. This shift has brought about new challenges and opportunities in the realm of productivity.

Increased productivity means greater output from the same amount of input. It means higher efficiency with which a company or economy can transform resources into goods and services. In short:

"Enhanced productivity is the opportunity to create more from less."

A sustainable increase in productivity occurs when individuals and teams can complete their work efficiently and tackle more complexity, whilst taking care of physical and mental health.

As we navigate this new landscape, the concept and practice of self-leadership have emerged as critical factors in enhancing productivity.

The Connection Between Self-Leadership and Productivity

Self-leadership is the learned ability to intentionally influence ourselves to achieve our objectives (Bryant and Kazan 2012). Rather than being an...

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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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Mentoring - The Benefits, Skills, and Pitfalls

Mentoring has a triple benefit. It benefits the mentor, the mentee, and the organization, so it is not surprising that people and culture, or human resource, departments are keen to set up mentoring programs. Why then do many mentoring programs fail, and what are the pitfalls?

The idea of mentoring can be traced back 3000-years to Homer's Odyssey. In this Ancient Greek epic poem, Odysseus entrusts his young son Telemachus to the care of a mentor, when he goes off to fight in the Trojan War. This history is likely the reason for the stereotype of the older, successful, man mentoring a young ambitious one. It also highlights the current need for those women, who have successfully navigated to the top, to mentor a new generation of women leaders.

Mentoring Definition

In a modern and business context, mentoring can be defined as a developmental partnership between a Mentor, a leader with expertise in one or more areas, and a Mentee, an individual seeking learning and growth in these...

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Forcing a return to work won’t fly!

Many companies are, through policies, forcing a return to the workplace for full or part-time.

The often-stated rationale for mandatory attendance is the importance of in-person collaboration. Sounds logical - But not to a Wells Fargo IT executive who told me that he has been forced to return to work full-time in a cubical, on a floor with no other IT personnel, whilst his entire team is situated in different cities.

Apple employees are up-in-arms over a hybrid model of mandatory attendance on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Employees have written an open letter to the executive leadership team challenging the need for, and the possibility of, in-person collaboration within Apple’s siloed structure. This excerpt from the letter calls out the hypocrisy of the mandate from Tim Cook and his team.

“We tell all of our customers how great our products are for remote work, yet, we ourselves, cannot use them to work remotely? How can we expect our customers to take that...

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The New Leadership Playbook

Being an effective leader or manager in a post-pandemic world goes beyond being good at what you do; it requires balancing empathy with accountability.

The New Leadership Playbook provides a practical guide to being human and understanding people whilst simultaneously driving for, and delivering accelerated results.

 It does this by sharing principles that work and plays to achieve success.

This is a book that you will not only read more than once, you will want each of your team to read and apply the tools within it.

Why a Leadership Playbook?

In sports such as American football, set moves are often called a play. The aim is to move the ball down the field, but there are various plays to achieve this. Coaches and players keep a record of these plays in a playbook, so that they can be learned, rehearsed and executed.

When you lead people, you need to understand the principles of leadership and have plays for your team to effectively execute and achieve objectives. The New...

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The Cost of Speaking Up – Conflict and Communication

You probably have first-hand experience with conflict and issues with communication, and you have likely struggled with whether you should speak up, or not.

As a coach and motivational speaker in Singapore, I regularly hear of the problems people face in getting heard, the ‘right way’ and I even teach a class on conflict and communication at Singapore Management University, but if you think this means I don’t mess up, you would be mistaken. In this post I will share a framework and my own experience because I have come to realize:

“We teach best what we most need to learn.”

Culture, gender, age, and personality are just some of the factors that complicate communication and lead to conflict. I am a nearly 60-year-old, university-educated, white male, whose personality is high on directness and only moderate on diplomacy. I work with both Asian and North American clients and yet the challenge to speak up without causing conflict is a common...

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