The Leadership Hacker Podcast

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Self Leadership with Andrew Bryant

March 9, 2020

Global Thought-Leader, Andrew Bryant, has been transforming individuals and organisations with his Self-Leadership Methodology through coaching, speaking and facilitation for over 20-years.

He is on a mission to 'Wake People Up' to live and work with intention and influence so that they create an impact. Learn how self-leadership is not selfish and how by tapping into personal mastery, we can create greatness.

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What is self-leadership? Andrew describes "Self-leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objective/s". Listen now to explore some more.

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Music: " Upbeat Party " by Scott Holmes

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Click below for the full transcript

 

The Leadership Hacker Podcast – Episode 3 Andrew Bryan – Self Leadership

[Start 00:00:00]

 

Introduction

 

Steve Rush: Some call me Steve, dad, husband or friend. Others might call me boss, coach or mentor. Today you can call me The Leadership Hacker.

 

Thanks for listening in. I really appreciate it. My job as the leadership hacker is to hack into the minds, experiences, habits and learning of great leaders, C-Suite executives, authors and development experts so that I can assist you developing your understanding and awareness of leadership. I am Steve Rush and I am your host today. I am the author of Leadership Cake. I am a transformation consultant and leadership coach. I cannot wait to start sharing all things leadership with you.

 

Welcome to another episode of The Leadership Hacker Podcast. I am delighted to go explore self-leadership today with global bestselling author Andrew Bryant, but before we do that. It is The Leadership Hacker news.

 

The Leadership Hacker News

 

Steve Rush: And it is almost sadness today that I am sharing, and whilst it is sad, we can also celebrate the life of Jack Welsh, who died recently at the age of 84. Jack Welsh was a Titan American businessman who transformed General Electric from an average performer into America's most valuable company. At one point, he ran the U.S. conglomerate from 1981 until 2001 and was once named manager of the century for its achievements by Fortune magazine. He was nickname Neutron Jack for his cost cutting, ruthless approach to efficiency and later became a bestselling author and a confident to many US presidents. For some, Jack Walsh was not a leader or perceived to be leader at all and didn't exude leadership behaviours. I would however, encourage our listeners to consider the backdrop to our working lives and culture when Jack started out his leadership journey. Our world has changed greatly since the late 1970s and 80s when Jack started his revolution at GE. Some of the behaviours may not be appropriate today that he displayed back in 1970/80, but we're still cutting edge and shaped and changed the way that people did things, what we can recognize and for. Was his famous brand of energy and leadership that created his legendary status, he had a four E's and a P for philosophy, which really shot him to fame on the global leadership arena, and for those of you less familiar with Jack's four E's and a P, let me just explain.

 

  • Energy Jack said. Energy is the ability to thrive and action and relish change. People with a positive energy. A generally extroverted and optimistic, they make a contribution and friends easy. They are people who don't complain about working hard. They love to work, they also love to play and have an overall lust for life. So ask yourself this question. Do you bring energy as a leader to your team? Every day? All day.

 

  • The next is energize. He was quoted as saying. “This is the ability to get others revved up.” People and energy ideas can inspire their team to take on the impossible and enjoy doing it. The ability to energize is apparent in some with an in-depth knowledge of their business, who sets a powerful and personal example with strong persuasion skills. So again, let us consider do you energize the people that work with you. To a point that they want to work with you?

 

  • The next was Edge. Edge to Jack meant having the courage to make tough yes or no decisions. Smart people can assess the situation from every angle, but smart people with Edge know when to stop assessing. Make a tough call even without information, and I think what Jack was talking to then was gut feel or intuition, and as a leader is essential for us to pay attention to that intuition, but do we?

 

  • The last E was execute. Being able to execute meant having the ability to get the job done and Jack would say people could have energy, energize everyone around them and make tough calls, but still not get over the finishing line. Being able to execute is a unique and distinct skill, and he would describe as a person knowing how to put decisions into action, pushing them forward to completion through resistance, chaos or any unexpected obstacles. People who execute well know that execution in business is about getting results for everybody. I wondered do we really drive for the execution of business results with clarity and thought.

 

  • And Jack would wrap it up with the letter P, which stood for passion. People with passion have heartfelt, deep, authentic excitement about work, Jack would say. I really care to bare bones about their colleagues, their employees and their friends, and they love to learn and grow and they get a huge kicker of people around them in doing the same.

 

So I would like to encourage you with a final reflection, thinking about Jack's four E's and a P. Do I bring an intense enthusiasm to all the aspects in my life? That is a leadership hacker news. Rest in peace, Jack Welsh, and thank you for the inspiration.

 

Start of Interview

 

Steve Rush: Today's guest is bestselling author of two books on self-leadership. He is a TED speaker and an international coach on self-leadership, Andrew Bryant. Andrew, welcome to the show.

 

Andrew Bryant: Thank you. Nice to be here.

 

Steve Rush: So folks might know you as the author of Self-Leadership, but they may not know much about the man behind the story. So tell us a bit about you and how you have arrived at where you've arrived at.

 

Andrew Bryant: I am English by birth. I am Australian by passport. I am Singaporean by residents, and I am Brazilian by wife.

 

Steve Rush: Wow.

 

Andrew Bryant: That explains a little bit of my so multicultural outlook. Growing up in England, I went to an English grammar school. I was a pretty good science student. I was destined to do medicine, but the government decided grammar schools were elitist and we got combined with the girls high school just before my A-levels and somehow I got distracted and I didn't get the grades for medicine. My first degree is in physiotherapy and I graduated way back in 1982, I worked a couple of years in hospitals.

 

I worked at University College Hospital, London, and then I did what most males physio do. I got involved in sport. I was on the medical team of the First Division Soccer Club. I worked with [Inaudible 00:6:20] I worked with Olympic athletes, and this was the mid-1980s before positive psychology, sports psychology, any of this stuff had been invented or discovered. Those of us who were curious about what makes the difference in performance and started to study things like linguistic programming and hypnosis, visualization and goal setting. I am sort of one of the grandfathers of slap movement in to how that became coaching as we know it today.

 

Steve Rush: And that is part of a lot of our work today. In helping other people as we kind of fall back on some of those tactile foundations that probably born in that sports, physiotherapy, psychology genre, right?

 

Andrew Bryant: I was going to transfer from physio to medicine, but I am glad it did not. Because physiotherapy is very pragmatic science and it teaches you the art of observation. You spend hours looking at people's running gait or how they throw a ball, and it is based on biomechanics, which is very science based. That skill in observation and listening is caught coaching, and I think it is caught a leadership as well, I think it is a very good discipline.

 

Then I studied traditional Chinese medicine, which is a systems based process and the distinction between Chinese and Western medicine. Western medicine is very, Aristotle Li and with a cause and there is an effect. In Chinese medicine, there is often multiple causes, so there is a confluence of situations, the results. In Chinese medicine, you don't get sick because it's hot. You get sick because hot and damp. You don't get sick because it's cold. You get sick because it is cold and windy. Now, anybody living in England understands exactly what that means. It gives you a systems thinking. Then when Peter Singer came out with the discipline, I went; this makes sense because looking at the interrelationship between forces was very much my training. The observation that I think gave me a good grounding to make me an effective leadership coach.

 

Steve Rush: Getting up to the stage of you, writing your book on Self-Leadership. What was it that created the energy and the focus to help you put pen to paper?

 

Andrew Bryant: Simple answer failure. I moved to Australia with my physiotherapy and my acupuncture ideas and I set up a chain of clinics. I was a successful entrepreneur. I focused my energy on a holistic wellness centre and invested huge amount of money. I had this great idea that, you know gyms and should actually be for people that need it as opposed to those guys that have kind of been lifting too many weights. Kind of wanted to go out to those really beefcake guys and say, hey, you're cooked, you can leave. But see, that would be a dangerous thing to do anyway. I had this vision that, you know, the health centres should be for people that need to be every, you know, ordinary people who want to get fit and healthy, and we need to create an environment where they felt comfortable. But I was years ahead of my time, and then the fitness craze hit Australia in around about to 1999, 2000. You buy a membership, but there is no servicing. They took off and I was charging forty-nine dollars a month. Sorry, yeah forty-nine dollars a month and they were charging forty-nine dollars a year. I went out of business in 2000 and then up three hundred thousand dollars in debt with no assets. Literally living in a backpacker's hostel, you know, paying the rent, day by day.

 

Steve Rush: Focuses the mind

 

Andrew Bryant: It really does focus. Now obviously I went through a period of self-criticism and self-doubt, self-judgment, all of the above. But when I kind of came out of the self-pity party, I was set up on the Blue Mountains and I thought, well, if I'm going to rebuild my life, what do I want to do that's important and significant? I don’t want to do what I have already done. I was offered a job setting up a physio clinic; I want to do something different, and what do I love to do? And I love the coaching, I loved opening people's minds up. I went okay, how can I go about that? And, you know, what's the methodology I'm going to use? That is where the research started. Then I got a client, I got my first big client that enabled me to go in and work with his management team. He said, you know, you helped my sports team improve. Now come work with my management team. I did not have a system. I just did the observation thing and went, Okay. What do they need to do to improve? I got results and that was great. Then I had that chip on my shoulder. I thought, well, not chips along with the insecurity. Well, I need the degree to back this up. I went off to do an MBA and I remember arguing with the lecturer on organizational behaviour. He said, well, you know, you have some good ideas. Why don’t you go write your own book? The rest they say is…

 

Steve Rush: History.

 

Andrew Bryant: Yeah.

 

Steve Rush: In the book Self-Leadership. You define self-leadership as the practice of intentionally influencing, thinking, feeling and actions towards your objectives. That is quite a strong statement. Tell us a little bit, about how that came about.

 

Andrew Bryant: Well, that is the shortest version. The thing about self-leadership is I am not the person that invented the term. In fact, the very, very first researcher was a guy called Charles Mantz who coined the term self-leadership. The concept of self-leadership goes back to the Roman Stoics. It goes back to the Greek philosophers. It goes back to louts. Influencing others is strength, but influencing self is true power. The concept itself is not original. It is human reality around that, you know, we have some sense of personal power. If we take ownership and so it is very much the ownership of, what can you take ownership of?

 

And you can actually take ownership of your thinking. We all have thoughts, but do the thoughts have our thought or do we have the thoughts? We all have emotions. But are we having the emotions or the emotions having us? Now, if you have ever been in a fury about something, you know that the emotions had you if you have ever been really sad about something, you've been gripped by the emotion, you were not in control, but when we go, I'm angry about this. Why am I angry about this? What is driving that anger?

 

What is that really about, then, we take that step back into the observer place, and that gives us choice. You know, that is the heart of Stephen Covey work. You know The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Was that proactivity between idea and action, that there is a choice point that we have as human beings.

 

Steve Rush: And in my experience as a coach, Andrew, and I am sure you see this a lot with your clients too. Is most of my work is in a bit in the middle, the gap between the idea and the action and the evaluation of how you get people to move forward. How has that been part of what you do right now?

 

Andrew Bryant: Just before I came on this, I was talking to a CEO pharmaceutical company who wanted me to coach one of his executives; I have been interviewed by his head of HR. Before, I spoke to him, she was obviously playing Buffa, I didn't waste his time. Then his opening statement was, tell me about yourself, because I have not had time to read the briefing material. I kind of wanted to do…in a groan, because that means I've got to tell my entire life story, which I'm doing again. It is a long life story and I have to edit it, and I just I want to come across as like, why are you a different coach? How do I go about that? I really took this point that, you know, the classic coach comes from the inner game and the outer game, and you will be familiar with a book called The Inner Game of Tennis.

 

Steve Rush: Sure I am.

 

Andrew Bryant: And that is coaching is about inner landscape. Outer coaching is how you hold tennis racket, how you serve the ball. The inner coaching is how you think about yourself as a tennis player and with leadership coaches. How do I think about myself as leader? I mean, just this week as coaching the CEO of an organization, it is very successful CEO. I have coached him in other organizations. He has been parachuted into this company, Joint Venture Capital Support, and he his stressing himself out because he built this runway and he has attached his ego. When I say build the runway, build the runway to profitability in a certain amount of time and a curtain number, and he's attached his ego to that. And if it doesn't work, he's feeling like a failure, and so the way he's created a mental schematic of that is his inner world is driving his outer communication. And he's actually, you know, the coaching was to help him not spread doubt amongst his troops, because he's having these doubts. But as the leader there, his doubts, they're not their doubts and their only doubts because he's made such a big deal out of this. Now, if the company burned to the ground, he would rise from the ashes and he would lead another organization. Is very successful, very competent, very intelligent individual. But the countries around that gap between his inner thinking and his execution in this case, his speaking was not as aligned and motivational inspirational as it could have been.

 

Steve Rush: Some folks, when they hear talk about focus on self, focus on me, some people might actually see that rather than being self-leadership as almost being a little selfish.

 

Andrew Bryant: Before I go there. Let me go somewhere else, right. Here is something I did with people, as I say, look, you know, if somebody drive outside the restaurant of the hotel in the Maserati or a Lamborghini, the Ferrari gets out, you know, after having rev the engine so that everybody's paid attention to, and then throws the keys to the valet. Do they have a big ego or a small ego?

 

They don't answer. Most people listening will say big ego. Actually, from a psychological perspective, there ego is fragile. Because they are engaging in egocentric behaviours, right. Look at me look at me, right. So egomaniacal egocentric behaviours are based on a need to feed an ego. When somebody has a healthy ego, a healthy sense of self. They don't need the attention. They don't need to throw the keys at the valet. They could turn up on a bicycle and they would be fine because they know who they are, right. So actually, when you do the work on yourself, you are a better human being to be in relationship with others, right.

Steve Rush: I like that.

 

Andrew Bryant: Ego. Yeah, actually. Collins talked about ego means just sense of self. Egocentricity is a fragile ego. Look at me. Look at me. I am not Okay. You know, a relationship should always be a good start where the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. If two broken people are trying to get together and say, you complete me as the line from the movie go. Yeah, if two broken people meet each other trying to make one complete person, they are co-dependent. When two people have got their stuff together, meet. They create a relationship that has things over and above themselves. Self-leadership is not selfish because when we have taken care of ourselves, we have all the energy to focus on other people. We can listen. We can help and the simplest one is a metaphor that precedes me, but I use it as well. Is if you are on the airplane and the oxygen mask does fall from the ceiling. You are supposed to put it over your nose and mouth first before assisting others, because if you don't look after yourself, you're useless to anybody else.

 

Steve Rush: I like that metaphor. It is incumbent of all leaders to be mentally and physically fit as well as, you know, emotionally fit to help other people, right?

 

Andrew Bryant: Absolutely. Again, I was talking to somebody this morning, different person was saying earlier, and he was saying, you know, I have invested in myself and I am doing this and I am being more recognized at work. Wherever I go, there I am, right. Personal development is going to make you a better leader. Personal development is going to make you a better worker, co-worker, husband, or wife. Again, we are back to this. Working on yourself is not selfish because everybody else benefits. The biggest compliment you can do for somebody is to turn up and authentically be yourself. If you are hiding behind some mask or you are playing some game and then manipulating them into whatever bizarre reality you have, then we are not doing anybody a favour.

 

Steve Rush: And of course, people could spot when people are not being authentic. We get that gut feel that way, don’t we? We would not show where it comes from, but we just know it is not real.

 

Andrew Bryant: Well we are very good, at picking up congruency and incongruence. If there is an incongruence, that is what we pick up and it gives us that that squirmy feeling, as you say, in the gut. Being authentic is a conversation in itself. Right. How authentic are you allowed to be? You know, certain world leaders today, you would say they are very authentic, but they are rubbing a lot of people up the wrong way.

 

Steve Rush: Yeah, quite right.

 

Andrew Bryant: To your point about selfishness is. The human condition is, yes, we need to develop ourselves, but we always operate in some kind of tribe or group because the human being is a social animal. Just because I have my stuff together and I dont have it every day, but most days at least I have the tools and the strategies to lead myself. I cannot assume that the person I am talking to has got their stuff together. They may be operating from a strange mental model or mental schema. They may be having some insecurities. They may be dealing with some trauma; I don't know what's going on in their life, so I can turn up and authentically be me, but sometimes I might have to dial it down a little bit because, you know, I don't know the environment I am in. I don't have a relationship with this individual.

 

Steve Rush: In your book, Self-Leadership, you talk about a couple of characters in there to help people get through some metaphorical thinking. Drivers and passengers. Tell us a little bit, about how that comes about.

 

Andrew Bryant: Yeah sure. It is a very simple metaphor. I think most people who can drive like to drive, particularly if you have an open road and a nice car. I think that sometimes it is nice to be a passenger and sit in the back. When I fly into a foreign city to speak and I am picked up by a car and driven to the hotel. Both are appropriate in the right context, but if you are being a passenger in parts of your life, where you need to take control, then that is a problem. And so it's the awareness of do I need to take ownership and responsibility of this or am I just going to sit in the back and let somebody else drive? And a lot of the times people are going along in life waiting for instructions. You know, for me, I remember the C colon backslash prompt on a DOS computer, you know, is waiting for input, and a lot of people are like that. They are waiting for instructions. We live in a work environment where we want people taking ownership, who are agile, thinking for themselves, because frankly, if people are not thinking for themselves, they are going to be replaced by AI algorithm or some machine learning very quickly.

 

You need to look at your life and look at where I am being the passenger and where I am being the driver. Which brings us to a movie that I do remember, the very first Spider-Man where Uncle Ben says to Peter Parker, you know, with great power comes great responsibility.

Steve Rush: Great responsibility.

 

Andrew Bryant: Yeah. However, with great responsibility, stroke ownership comes great power. When we take ownership for thinking, feeling and actions, we start to influence our immediate environment and maybe the environment at large. We don't influence everything. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people that is life. However, the attitude, the mind-set of what can I take of. Can I be proactive? Can I offer a solution rather than sit there waiting for somebody else to fix it? And that's a huge difference in, you know, anybody who runs a company or leads a team knows that they have drivers and they have some passengers and they know what they rather have more of.

 

Steve Rush: And course, becoming a driver takes practice and persistence, and one of the subsets you talk about in the book in order to kind of unlock some of that is personal mastery.

From my experience around personal mastery. This is one of those things that just never stops. It is kind of like a symphony. It carries on it gathers momentum. What role do you see personal mastery playing in people's self-leadership?

 

Andrew Bryant: Well, in the self-leadership construct that I use for research so that my research or my talking is linked to other people. Is I think in self-leadership? The three elements, which is self-awareness. Do I know what I am thinking, what I am feeling? Self-regulation, which are our habits, and I think really personal mastery comes in the area of habits and then self-learning how we are doing. However when people don't understand what self-leadership is, they extend the definition of personal mastery to include self-learning. Peter Singer said that people with personal mastery are in a constant state of learning, which is great. So personal mastery is about living life on purpose. The self-regulation is doing things in alignment with your vision and your values, and if you continue to do those things, then you will be successful. If you value health, then you are going to exercise and eat correctly. If you value in relationship, you are going to invest in this relationship and you will have habits and strategies around that.

 

I recently wrote a blog where I added the vision, the values and perspectives, and I think that covers the learning. This was about our mental models and schemers that we talked about earlier. If you can have personal mastery, particularly in this very interesting world hashtag post truth is that you need to recognize your own perspective so that you are aware of your biases and be very tolerant I think of other people's perspectives.

 

Steve Rush: Yeah, that is important, too.

 

Andrew Bryant: Yeah, so there is a huge overlap between personal mastery and self-leadership. You can use the terms interchangeably or if you are specifically looking at researching the constructs, then personal mastery comes in the self-regulation piece of self-leadership.

 

Steve Rush: And in coaching of the people, I often have to delve deep into people's inner thoughts to get them to share their thinking and their learnings of what is taking place. In the workplace today, it is fair to say that diversity of thought is not really as common as it could be. What is your take on diversity of thinking and diversity of thought?

 

Andrew Bryant: Very good. Well, I think we Segway nicely from my previous statements, didn't we? Around perspectives. I am a great fan of diversity and inclusion of thought. In terms of diversity, inclusion, I am on the Faculty of Women in Leadership at Singapore Management University. But here were only looking at gender. Right, we are not looking at orientation or we looking at age or disability, etc. Whereas I think if we took a higher frame and said that diversity and inclusion of thinking gives us better results, and I think most people would agree with that. If you have ever worked on. You know, had a really good brainstorming session or you got a partner that, you know, you can you can bounce ideas off. You always end up with a better idea. I have co-authored two of the books I've written and having a co-author looks at something and they challenge you and you go, ah, yeah, I could see it a different way. Every time you have different thought processes, I think you…depending on where you are going you raise the standard. I remember when I did my MBA, learning about groupthink. Where everybody has the same idea and does the same thing, and like the metaphor of lemon running off the cliff. I think if we welcome diversity of thought, I was talking to somebody at a party at the weekend. I was bemoaning the fact that I think they stopped teaching, debating in schools because nobody can actually have a discussion about anything anymore or everybody jumps into strawman arguments or what about isms. Nobody can say, oh, that is an interesting point. You know, could you expand on that? And is there another way of looking at this? And, you know, where's your evidence for that? The ability to actually have dialogue without making it personal seems to have evaporate.

 

Steve Rush: And what do you think causes that emotional response?

 

Andrew Bryant: The emotional response to people is people attach their ego to their ideas and their perspectives. Remember I said we own our thoughts our thoughts are not us. We own our feelings our feelings are not us. Now because human beings are so tribal, we identify. A Manchester United supporter is a Manchester United supporter through and through. It is an identity; it may even be a generational identity from grandfather to father to son. If I meet a Liverpool supporter, there's a problem. Right. They are both members of a tribe, but they are members of a larger tribe if they are both English. Anybody who was not English, they would hate the Germans or the Brazilians or whatever. We have this tribal identity and the inability to have discussions with them. In England, you have Brexiteers and Romanians and Americans have got there Democrats and the Republicans. Is people very closely identified with tribes and are failing to step back from that and actually look at the arguments. Right, that there is good and bad on both sides, but are we talking about those things and leaders in particular need to be able to have the intelligence to hold contradictory thoughts at the same time. One of the coaching things I do with senior leaders is to get them to argue against, you know, they say, hey, I am going to do this, and I said, no, I want you to argue against it. Then I want you to argue for it again, and when they argued against it and then they argued for it. There for is much better because they argued against.

 

Steve Rush: It is a great technique of self-coaching to at the time, isn't it? As self-reflecting?

 

Andrew Bryant: Yeah, I think those mental disciplines and maybe it is because I am fifty-eight years old. Maybe, it is there. My son who is 12 is actually very good at art making an argument, and I really love. He has some self-leadership and that is great, so maybe I am just sounding like an old fogey, but it seems to be maybe it is the rise of social media. There is a whole bunch of reasons why, but it does seem to be that the ability to be aware of your own position and be okay to look at that without feeling like that's an attack on your ego.

 

Steve Rush: And I guess a lot of the behaviours that we carry through high school, university and then onto workers leaders is merely a learned behaviour. If we keep reinforcing those learned behaviours, we are reinforcing bad habits or we are creating new habits. Of course, kids and children are in the early stages of learning about leadership, and I observe leadership in my son's basketball court on a Saturday morning.

 

And for me, leadership is not an age thing or a role thing, it is a behaviour. What do you think we can learn from children when it comes to leadership?

 

Andrew Bryant: Like you, I learned from my kids, and I watch them learning and I watch them taking leadership positions in various things. The first thing you notice, of course, is kids are brilliant models, and as we are growing up, it is a survival mechanism to mimic and model behaviour. I remember driving along when my daughter was very small, and somebody pulled out in front of me and she goes. Is he a stupid idiot, daddy? I did not actually say it, like, obviously, I had probably said it at a previous time and she had led that. She has connected the behaviour to the phrase, and she was tiny when she said this. I think we can learn a great deal.

 

One of the strategies I teach in leadership and in coaching courses is feedback. There is a model I don't know whether I came up with it, but the acronym, I find this very sticky and that is fact impact on future. The fact is the observation of the reality, the impact is what that behaviour is doing, both good and bad and obviously, the future is the future behaviour. Managers and leaders learned this very quickly and I talk about when Tasha, my daughter, was about four. Coming down the stairs off the house that we had recently moved into, it had lot stares. As we moved into it, I had said to her, look, if you are coming down the stairs, hold onto the handrail. I was terrified. At about four, she would fall and I am walking past the bottom of the stairs. Tasha is coming down and she is not holding onto the handrail. I said, Tasha, she said daddy; I said what are you doing? She pauses and says, Well, I am coming down the stairs. I said what, are you not doing? And she does that cute little the four year olds do…oh, I'm not holding onto the handrail, so we establish the facts.

 

She was aware undeniably, of what her behaviour was at that point. So then, I asked the impact question, what might happen if you don't hold onto the handrail? And she thought for a moment and she said in her beautiful 4 year old language fall, ouch, blood. I said that is right. Fall ouch bloody, do you want fall ouch blood? But she said, no, I don't want fall ouch blood. I said what, are you going to do in the future? And she said, Hold onto the handrail. Now from that moment on, I never had to remind her until she was old enough. It did not matter and what I say to manage is if I could change the behaviour of my four year old and if my four year old could understand the current situation, the impact of her behaviour and the future behaviour, and tell me what she was going to do, what is the problem with your people? And the problem is that you're not doing this. You are expecting your people to know exactly what you are thinking and you are not really giving them effective feedback.

 

Steve Rush: It is great little model, love it. I think I will be using that next time myself too, thank you for sharing. This part of the show we are going to kind of delve into your top leadership hacks. If you could just share with the folks listening today. What would be your top three leadership hacks and nudges, tips, ideas?

 

Andrew Bryant: Well, I think obviously I'm going to start with number one, which is to practice self-leadership, which is intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objectives, and as you do that, developing your personal mastery and therefore become more effective. Because let's face it, if you're going to be a leader, you have to be affect, so that will be no one.

 

Number two would be, listen for what is important now. When you really listen to people talk. They tell you what they value. It is as if they are broadcasting the P.I.N to their A.T.M. The secret code, people talk about what they value, and as a leader, you need to frame all communication in terms of what is important to your listeners. Only then can you influence them to move towards the objectives that you see as leaders. That would be number two.

 

My third leadership hack is to give up on perfection in favour of progress. As you take actions, they won't be perfect, but you're making progress as you take action and then you can use the feedback as I just shared fact impact feature to make it better. Because perfection will paralyze you through procrastination, so that is my tip.

 

Steve Rush: Want to kind of cast it back to…we going to call this hack to attack. There are times all of us could be familiar with in our lives where we have screwed up, we have got things wrong. Can you share with us maybe the one thing you can recall where it has gone wrong, but, you know, using that, learning to help you in your forward thinking and your future.

 

Andrew Bryant: Yeah and I would say that in one word, and that is disruption. I already shared with you the story that in 2000, the business model I have was disrupted as low cost health and wellness centres came into Australia. That disrupted me, and I went through a period of discomfort, obviously financial ruin and self-seeking, but I disrupted that. Then I decided what was important to me, my leadership hacks and that pivoted me into speaking, coaching, training. I ended up moving to Singapore because I had some big clients here, one of which was Singapore Airlines, and I built a big training business. I had trainers and I had staff and an office. Then we had the global financial crisis, and suddenly nobody was spending any money on training and development. Then I had to disrupt myself again. I realised I was working for everybody else. I was not doing the thing that I loved, and so I disrupted myself again. I got rid of the office, I got rid of the staff, and I streamlined it so that it was business that I wanted to do because I liked what's important to me was being front of people and making the change.

 

Having had those two in 2017, I saw that in moving to a very ME centric business model that also was massively vulnerable. I look forward and I could see that online learning was the future, and I did my first foray into that in 2017. Did not do very much of it in 2018, 2019 I absolutely put a huge amount of energy into that. I could coach globally; I recorded group-coaching programs and turned those into products like my executive presence accelerator, my C suite accelerator programs, so my hack to attack is always be disrupting yourself.

 

Steve Rush: And it is also interesting because if you're not disrupting yourself, you're creating comfort. Comfort is not helpful when we are looking to progress.

 

Andrew Bryant: No, it is not. I will agree with you there.

 

Steve Rush: Okay. So my final ask of you today, Andrew, is if you could turn back the clock, do a bit of time travel and bump into your 21-year-old self, what would be the one between advice you would give them?

 

Andrew Bryant: You know, I think my greatest lesson over the last few years is to really understand what is meant by the word humility. I did not need to like the word because I am a great believer that we need to be confident and particularly here, in Asia people mistake confidence for arrogance. I was always very anti the sort of fake humility that people have, but what I realized is that humility comes from the Latin humilitas, which gives us the word grounded. It means grounded, and I talked earlier about authentically turning up in relationships. I think what's made me happier, more effective in my life is getting grounded, is realizing who I am, what I'm good at, what I'm not good at, and operating from that grounded-ness and not needing to live my life for the acceptance of appreciation of everybody else, whether that's externally or mentally in a psychodrama. Often we live our lives for the appreciation of our parents, alive or dead. I know I did in my youngest 21 year old self was always thinking, well, you know, would my dad be proud of me? Then a few years ago, I was in a hospice holding my father's hands as he left this world, and he did say to me, I am proud of you, son. Although it was a beautiful moment, I did not no longer needed it because many, many years before I had learnt that I needed to be proud of myself, with or without my father or with or without anybody else.

Now, as you say, what I would said to my 21 year old self, I mean, between twenty one and forty one, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to impress people that didn't need to be impressed. I think that would be from the heart sharing to you.

 

Steve Rush: Thank you for sharing, really appreciate that. So folks are probably wondering, Andrew, how they can get to learn a little bit more about your C-suite accelerator, how they can find about your blog and your book. Where would you like them to go?

 

Andrew Bryant: That is very simple. We have been talking about self-leadership and so go to selfleadership.com on the home page they is obviously at the top navigation bar linked to blog. There are four buttons. One, if you are interested in personal coaching. One, if you are an organization and you want a self-leadership culture of your organization, one for the C-suite accelerator, and I can't remember what the fourth one for, but you go there selfleadership.com and all the things that we have talked about, the links all just flow off that home page.

 

Steve Rush: Well, Andrew Bryant, thank you ever so much for joining us on The Leadership Hacker podcast today.

 

Andrew Bryant: It is absolutely my pleasure, and it has been very enjoyable. Thank you, Steve.

Closing

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I am Steve Rush and I have been the leadership hacker.