Self Leadership and
The New Leadership Playbook
Blog by Andrew Bryant

Leadership Styles for the New Workplace

Imagine you are traveling on a plane, there's a loud bang, and the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling. 

The pilot comes out of the cockpit and says either:

a) “Obviously there's a bit of a problem, can you get into small groups and discuss options, as I would like full buy-in before I make a decision.” 

Or

b) “Ladies and gentlemen, put on your oxygen masks and remain calm; we are experiencing some difficulties but I will get us out of this”? 

You chose b) right?

Clearly, in this situation, a crisis, a directive, or autocratic leadership style is appropriate and even appreciated.

At the start of the pandemic, I was coaching senior leaders to be more directive to give clear leadership and a sense that someone was in control - even if they were making adjustments on a daily basis.

Now, that we are used to living with Covid, and have adapted to a high level of autonomy with work-from-home, is a directive leadership style desirable or...

Continue Reading...

The Best Leadership Book

In nearly twenty-five years of writing about, speaking about, coaching and facilitating leadership, clients often ask me, ‘What is the best leadership book?’ or ‘If I was to read one leadership book, what would it be?’

Best is subjective and depends on where a leader is on their journey. For me, leadership always starts with self-leadership or personal mastery. After all, how can you lead others if you can’t lead yourself?

Prior to writing, ‘Self Leadership – How to be a more successful, efficient, and effective leader from the inside out (McGraw Hill 2012’, I would have said the best self-leadership book would have been ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. 7 Habits is still a must-read for self and time management.

But what about the best leadership book? There are so many, and each covers different definitions of leadership; some are more strategic focus, whereas others are strictly about management. I would...

Continue Reading...

Driving as a Metaphor for Life, Career and Leadership

 

In my 2012 book with Dr. Ana Kazan, ‘Self Leadership – How to Become a More Successful Efficient and Effective Leader from the Inside Out’, we asked are you the Driver or the Passenger of your Life?

Self-leadership, and whether you are the ‘driver’ of your life and career depends on accessing the self-confidence to exercise your autonomy (ownership) over your thinking, feeling, and actions.  Passengers, by contrast, wait to be told what to do for fear of failure or because they lack the self-belief that they can.

I recently heard from one of my executive coaching clients that he would be promoted before he expected.

“How do you feel?” I asked.
“I don’t feel ready”, was the reply.

This is interesting because, in my experience, how ready we are for a new challenge depends on our willingness to get comfortable with the unfamiliar and our belief in our ability to learn.

Learning to Drive - Again

I have recently moved from...

Continue Reading...

The Cost of Speaking Up – Conflict and Communication

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

As an executive and leadership coach, 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 problem.

The Cost of...

Continue Reading...

Remote Work, here to stay or part of a Hybrid Model?

Remember back in 2013, when an employee (Bob) outsourced his job and was fired?

Before being fired, Bob was considered a ‘model employee’, his work was above par, his code was clean, well-written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, Bob’s performance review noted him as the best developer in the building.

In many ways, Bob was a 'man before his time'. He chose to spend one-fifth of his salary to free up his life, reduce his stress, and ensure he hit his targets. Companies in 2013 had different criteria, they liked to ‘keep an eye’ on who was doing the work, for both productivity and security reasons.

With the pandemic hitting in 2020, and most people working from home, ‘keeping an eye’ on people seems less important, and keeping employees healthy, well-balanced with manageable stress is much more so. Security will remain a concern, but solutions have been found for that.

The Future of Remote Work is Hybrid

The future is...

Continue Reading...

Leadership and the Power of ‘AND’

Nigel is sitting in his manager’s office for his annual performance review. It had been a tough year, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic had decimated his plans for Q1 and Q2, but Nigel had put in a superhuman effort and hit targets in Q3. Nigel was expecting nothing but praise for his efforts, so imagine his surprise when he heard the following,

“You have met your Q3 quota, Nigel, but I have some concerns about how you got there”.

All Nigel heard was, “But we have some concerns.”

The word, ‘but’ has the effect of negating everything that proceeds it.

Imagine you and I met, and I said, “I really like you but…”

You would be on the defensive for criticism, even though I prefaced with, “I really like you.”

‘But’; is judgmental and is generally perceived as negative. For example, “I want to do this, but I can’t.”

‘But’ often creates the frame of limited choice. For...

Continue Reading...

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 a 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...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete