Self Leadership Blog
by Andrew Bryant

President Trump and the need for Validation

 

The media are currently discussing the latest 'tell-all' book about President Trump today. Specifically his relationship with his father. But the need for validation is common in life, but is it healthy, how can we overcome it'?

In the above video (recorded live on LinkedIn), I share my journey from the need for validation to self-leadership. As an Executive Coach, I often find what holds my clients back from their full potential is a pattern of seeking validation.

The Need for Validation

When we are born, we can do nothing useful but are loved by our parents for just being. Just being human in itself has value, and how much we appreciate that value is the measure of our Self-esteem. BUT, and here's the rub, when we go out into the world, to school, to college, to work, we are not appreciated for just being, we are measured for our doing. 

We have been conditioned to perform. From the encouragement to take our first faltering steps, and successful potty efforts,...

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Leadership in Uncertainty and Rapid Change

 

Leadership is challenging at the best of times, but during periods of uncertainty and rapid change, it requires a special mindset.

In this video, part of my Leadership Accelerator Program, I talk about the 'Stockdale Paradox'. This term was used by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, after interviewing Admiral James Stockdale. Stockdale had been the highest ranking military officer held and tortured in the 'Hanoi Hilton', a Vietnamese Prison. Admiral Stockdale was shot down in during the war between America and Vietnam in 1965. He was held for 8-years with no certainty that he would survive, be released, or ever see his family again.

The Stockdale Paradox

The Paradox of Leading in Uncertainty is that you mus face the brutal fact of your current reality AND never lose faith that you will prevail.

Leadership in Uncertainty and Rapid Change

If you find yourself in a leadership position during uncertainty and rapid change, it is essential the you communicate clearly, consistently...

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Goal Setting – A Self-leadership Worksheet

What was I thinking?
20-years ago I kept my goal setting, ideas, drafts for speeches, notes from courses and outlines for books in spiral bound notebooks. During a recent tidy-up I reviewed these notebooks and was fascinated to see how the ideas have become part of me and the goals have been achieved.

One of those goals was to write a book on Self-leadership. This goal was completed in 2012 and in Chapter 7, I share the Goal Setting Worksheet that I used.

I’m sharing it again here it here in my leadership blog, as I believe it’s important to look beyond the current situation and plan your future. I know I’m going to.

Goal Setting Worksheet

Self-Leaders set goals for themselves and through Self-observation and Self-feedback regularly achieve them. When you have a clearly defined intention you gain a laser like focus and act effectively. If you want to effectively and intentionally achieve a goal, the following process will put your goal into your physiology so that...

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Double Loop Learning for Surviving & Thriving

learning self-leadership Apr 27, 2020

The world, as we know it, is in a spin. Assumptions we made about life and business have been upended by a tiny virus that has had massive impact on the Global Economy and individual lives. Typically, when we receive feedback to our actions, we make a course correction and carry on, but in this unprecedented time – we need to challenge our assumptions and apply double loop learning.

 What is Double Loop Learning?

Argyris & Schon (1974) proposed double loop learning theory which promotes learning to change underlying values and assumptions. The following diagram explains it:

In single loop learning, we receive feedback from our actions and adjust our behavior accordingly. Indouble loop learning we take a ‘step back’ and challenge our assumptions, beliefs and values about why we behaved that way in the first place. Double loop learning is really ‘disruptive thinking’. 

As with any learning strategy, using the double loop requires asking...

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15 Self-leadership Quotes for Tough Times

self-leadership Apr 22, 2020

Yes, this current pandemic is frustrating, disorientating and very sad, and yes, it’s OK to feel the emotions that come with the current disruption. For those who have a roof over their head and food in their belly, it's a time to discover what’s really important and what you are made of.

In my 2012 book on Self-leadership with Dr. Ana Kazan, we described Self-leadership as:

"the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objectives”

Right now we need to be practicing self-leadership and one way of 're-framing' how we think about things is through quotes. I'm sure you have your favorite quote that you turn to, to get you through tough times, but to get you started:

15 Self-leadership Quotes

1.    “Mastering others is strength; mastering oneself is true power” - Lao Tsu

2.    “The first and best victory is to conquer self” - Plato

...

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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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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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Personal Mastery - Definition and Importance to Learning

Personal Mastery has many definitions but what is most important to understand is that it is not a destination or a definitive state, but a process. The idea that mastery is process was described by Peter Senge, in his book ‘The Fifth Discipline’

People with a high level of personal mastery live in a continual learning mode. They never “arrive.” (Peter Senge)

The application of personal mastery is key to living an effective life and having a successful career. This has never been truer than at this time in history.

In this post we explore, what is Personal Mastery, why it is important and how to develop it.

Personal Mastery Definition

I define Personal Mastery as follows:

"Personal Mastery is the process of living and working purposefully towards a vision, in alignment with one’s values and in a state of constant learning about oneself and the reality in which one exists."

Personal Mastery and Self-leadership can be considered synonymous. They both...

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Get out of your Comfort Zone – Motivational B.S?

“Get out of your comfort zone.”

We have all heard this advice, whether from as a cliché from a Motivational Speaker or in a Social Media meme. But is this B.S? And by B.S I a mean a Belief System!

The belief system (B.S) in this advice is that we employ the courage to try new things, and as such is sound; but how much is too much? Consider the following:

  • The human body has very specific comfort zones for things like temperature, blood glucose, and atmospheric oxygen. For example, humans can survive for periods in double digit zero degree centigrade and although our cells start to die at 41c, people can survive a day trip to Death Valley which reaches highs of 55c.
  • On waking this morning, your fasting blood sugar should be under 100 mg/dl, but if you have just had a good breakfast or lunch it’s likely to be around 140 mg/dl. If you are not a diabetic, your body has a sophisticated method for keeping your blood sugar in a ‘comfort zone’. Too...
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Self-coaching Questions - for when things go wrong

coaching self-leadership Feb 11, 2020

If you have ever tortured yourself over a set-back or failure, or ever wondered if successful people do something different, then have I got news for you?

"Set-backs and failures are part of life, and if you are an entrepreneur or leader, how you handle set-backs and failures will determine your long-term success."

With 20-years experience as an Executive Coach,  I have learned the power of questions, and in this post I will share with you some self-coaching questions you ask yourself.

Read on, or Watch the Video

Quality Controlling your Questions will determine the quantity of your Control. I have been guilty, in the past, of the self-indulgence of asking,

“Why me?”

When the world appeared to conspire against me. Or the self-recriminating question of.

What did I do wrong?”

When things did not go as planned. Perhaps you have caught yourself asking the same questions, but did you know there are better questions?

Questions that move you toward a...

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