Self Leadership Blog
by Andrew Bryant

What is Free News Costing You?

leadership opinion Apr 28, 2020

When I was at school in the 70’s in England, I was encouraged to read two newspapers, The Telegraph and the Guardian and then make up my own mind. I am grateful for learning this discipline early because it showed me the political bias of each of the publications and tuned my critical thinking. That said, because each paper was paid for, the news was mostly balanced. Compare that to US TV today. The FCC fairness doctrine was introduced in 1949 with the intention to get broadcasters to present controversial issues of public importance in a manner that was honest, equitable, and balanced. This rule was eliminated in 1987 and the polarization of the media has increased every year since.

The current Covid-19 Pandemic brings this problem into sharp focus. There has been so much ‘opinion’ from TV, the Internet, Politicians and Religious leaders, that it is hard to separate fact from opinion. If you make the wrong choice, you can put yourself and your...

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Leading Virtual Teams during Crisis

Virtual Teams or virtual team members have been a business reality for many years, however during the current crisis, with stay at home orders, the need to lead has increased. As I coach senior leaders to navigate this current storm, I’m often asked for strategies to effectively lead a virtual team and so here are Seven of my best.

With each member of a team remotely located and no opportunity for face-to-face meeting, there are both challenges and opportunities for the new or established team leader. We have a new ‘level playing field’ where everyone is working and communicating virtually. Gone is the proximity bias, where those in the same location could network face-to-face and build collaboration. Finally, those that have been working in remote hubs have an advantage, in that they are already acclimated to remote technology and communication.

With the crisis creating a ‘reset’, there is an opportunity for leadership to harness the ‘power of...

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In Virtual Meetings are you a Victim or a Leader

communication leadership Mar 25, 2020
 

In keeping with the Virtual Meetings visual format, today's blog is a Vlog - are you a victim or a leader?

I share some insights from one of my leadership coaching session and answer:

  • How do you show that care?
  • How to not be transactional?
  • What type of leadership is required in crisis?

 

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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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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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