Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant Joins Us On The Join Up Dots Podcast
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant
Andrew Bryant is the founder of Self Leadership International www.
Andrew was guest number 13 and spoke openly about how he moved into the career he is now in and then set about to make it something that has pushed him to the top.
He has written two books on the topic, Self-Leadership: How to Become a More Successful, Efficient, and Effective Leader from the Inside Out (Bryant & Kazan, 2012) and Self Leadership: 12 Powerful Mindsets & Methods to Win in Life & Business (Bryant, 2016), and The New Leadership Playbook – Being Human whilst delivering Accelerated Results (Bryant, 2022).
He has also contributed to many blogs, books, and articles on self-leadership and leadership.
Andrew has coached hundreds of leaders and leadership teams to become the best version of themselves and to scale their companies.
He has international experience with clients from Asia, Australasia, the United States of America (USA), Europe, The Middle East, and Africa.
How The Dots Joined Up For Andrew
Not only has Andrew worked across geographical locations and cultures, but he has also transformed and developed leaders across industries, including the airline industry, software and hardware companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, professional services, banking, finance, manufacturing, hospitality, and travel.
Andrew is married to Andrea, who originates from Rio do Janeiro, Brazil.
He has two children from a former marriage and is now a stepdad, and whilst he enjoys the excitement of the big stage or conducting a senior leadership retreat, he is most fond of his work
teaching self-esteem and self-confidence to disadvantaged and at-risk teenagers.
So what is self leadership, and can it most efficiently be applied not just in a corporate environment but also in life generally?
And what would be the first step to bring an insight into the lives of our listeners today?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show, to join up more dots with the one and only Mr Andrew Bryant.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Self Leadership expert Andrew Bryant such as:
Andrew shares why so many opinions in life should just be ignored and unless they are helping you build your future simply reject them.
We discuss the Leadership Principles and why setting clear expectations is the key way to really getting ball rolling in life and in business.
Andrew shares how his dots joined up with his early career in medicine, even though it wasn’t quite the area that he should have headed into.
Andrew breaks down the differences between self efficacy and self-confidence and why they make such a huge difference to our potential success.
How To Connect With Andrew Bryant
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Self Leadership Expert Interview
Life shouldn’t be hard life should be a fun filled adventure every day. So now start joining up dots tap into your talents, your skills, your God given gifts and tell your boss, you don’t deserve me. I’m out of here. It’s time for you to smash that alarm clock. And start getting the dream business and wife you will, of course, are dreaming of. Let’s join your host David route from the back of his garden in the UK, or wherever he might be today with another JAM PACKED episode of the number one hit podcast. Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [0:43]
Join Up Dots. Thank you so much for being with us. Well, today’s guest is the founder of self leadership International, and the world’s leading expert on self leadership. And he’s now appearing on the show for the second time. Yeah, he was guest number 13 back in 2013. Actually the third interview we ever did, and he spoke openly about how he moved into the career he’s in now and how he set about to make it something that has pushed him to the top. Now he’s written two books on the topic, self leadership, how to become a more successful, efficient and effective leader from the inside out, and self leadership 12 powerful mindsets and methods to win in life and business. This is key it’s life and business. And the new leadership playbook is out now being human whilst delivering accelerated results. He’s also continued contributed to many blogs, books and articles on self leadership and leadership as you can understand, now, not only as Andrew worked across geographical locations and cultures, but he’s also transformed and develop leaders across industries including the airline industry software and hardware companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, professional services, banking, finance, and travel. And now he’s living in Portugal. He’s married to Andrea, who originates from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. He has two children from a former marriage, and is now a stepdad. And whilst he enjoys the excitement of the big stage or conducting a senior leadership retreat, he’s most fond of his work teaching self esteem and self competence to disadvantage at risk teenagers. So what is self leadership at its core? And can it most efficiently be applied not just in a corporate environment, but also in life generally? And what would be the first step to bring an insight into the lives of our listeners today? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Andrew Bryant.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [2:45]
Well, just waiting for the applause to die down there. David, thank you for that magnificent introduction. I’m doing very well this morning.
David Ralph [2:52]
Well, I remember talking to you in 2013. And you seem to be doing very well, then you seem to be in your sweet spot. So I’m gonna start with a question, you know, is the sweet spot sweeter? Or is it still the same sweet spot when you look back 10 years, is it sort of just a total different Andrew Bryant that we’re going to be speaking to today?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [3:15]
I think I’m a lot wiser. It I think I’m in a different sweet spot. I think it’s a better sweet spot. But looking back, there’s a roller coaster from 2013 to today. And your last year I turned 60. So now I have an official card that allows me to not give a flying insert exploitive. So I’m now in a new spot where I can say and think and feel and do whatever I want. Because obviously as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else.
David Ralph [3:46]
It’s a true thing that isn’t it getting older. Because you know, my mom and dad are in their 80s. They they just say anything they want, they just seem to do anything they want. And I just wonder whether it is, you know, their background, which now seems kind of out of place as as things move on? Or is it just that they are throwing caution to the wind?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [4:09]
It may be and there’s a subtle turn if it’s you just realise that what other people think of you is none of your business. You know, if they’re not paying your credit card off, if they’re not paying your mortgage, then their opinions are worthless. Obviously, if it’s some feedback, if it’s an insight taken on board, but but don’t live your life for other people, I think that would be a solid piece of advice for anybody.
David Ralph [4:33]
Now with that this is this is core to everything, not looking at or taking too many people’s opinions in into consideration. Now you’re in a business, which in many ways is an online business. It’s an offline business as well. But of course you will have comments thrown at you from different formats. You might get comments on Twitter where you send out something which is valuable and useful. And then you suddenly get a bad image of stuff that maybe isn’t so positive. How do you deal with that when things don’t quite go the way you expect?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [5:11]
Well, I would love to tell you that it’s water off a duck’s back. But that’s not true. Because however independent you are, you know, there’s still a part of us that likes to be loved and appreciated and admired. And so particularly when I experienced it, just the other day, I was actually sending out a PDF of my new book, to some people, I respect other leaders and speakers in the area, and just say, Look, you know, it’s my latest book, you know, to review, copy, just FYI, this is what I’m writing about. And somebody assumed that I was pitching them something, and gave me a very offhand rejection. And if I did actually feel for a full 30 to 60 seconds of the rejection, and I’m like this, this is a peer, this person should know who I am. And then I don’t they were busy, they saw it come into their inbox, and they assumed it was a pitch. And let’s face it, we’ve all been overwhelmed by those pitches. And they had just been off handed. And it took me the 60 seconds to calm down the limbic system, you know, the reptilian brain, and just go you know what, this is not about me, this is about where they’re at. And hashtag irony. This individual did a TED talk on about not judging. So they had judged me I had judged them. And so 60 seconds into the reaction, I laughed it off.
David Ralph [6:31]
Now, is that a different Andrew from 10 years ago, would Andrew have gone for a minute and a half of festering?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [6:41]
Yeah, maybe I think I think the time, the time for festering has shortened and I think you mentioned the online, I think we’ve all become a lot more experienced in handling online. And you know, the period 2016 to 2020. There was a huge amount of polarisation. And last year, I had a bit of a health crisis, and potential death sentence, the story ends very happily, everything was benign and alternative, okay. But at that moment of epiphany that I might have only a few months left on the planet, I removed 2000 People from my personal Facebook, because I just went, I just don’t want any of that kind of conspiracy theory stuff in my life. And so I just removed it. And I suddenly felt much calmer, not having to read that stuff. So I think we’ve all become a little bit more mature around understanding that the moment you post something on Facebook, LinkedIn, send it out on Twitter, it’s a tweet, rather than you send it out through email. You could say I like oranges, and somebody will go, Well, that means you’re prejudiced against lemons or apples. So it’s like, no, I’m just saying I like oranges. So I think we all need to take a chill pill around, people are just looking to react.
David Ralph [8:03]
One of the things that I do, I don’t really do any social media through the podcast at all. But if somebody sends me an email, it’s one to one communication. And I will jump on that. And I will send back a personal video, or I will help them in some way. And I find that is so much more positive for me and my business. Because I’m dealing with people that have reached out to me, instead of the ones that are just sitting there in a bad mood, as you say, just typing what they feel at that time. totally different ballgame. Now, what I want to do, I want to jump into your book The the leader playbook than the one that you’ve just brought out, okay. And there’s a bit, it really interests me, because in many ways, I totally, totally, totally agree with it. But then there’s a bit that I don’t so I just wanted to sort of bring this up, okay. Now, with the new leadership framework, you have a guide for success, and this is your leadership principles. And it’s clear expectations, time, times mindset and motivation, times the right behaviours leads to accelerated results. Now, I agree with that totally. But the word expectations is that the right word? Is that the right one that we should target? Because I find that so many people have expectations, but actually are not right for them or they’re too stringent. Should it be clear objectives instead of expectations?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [9:33]
Okay, great expectations, so you’re having a reaction to the word. Here’s what I mean when I write expectations. When I teach a leadership class, whether that’s in a University MBA programme, or whether that’s with an executive leadership team, I tell managers or leaders that they need a piece of equipment and everybody sits up on the edge of their seat and I say, yeah, you can get it from your local hardware store. You can get it from it. keyer it’s a mirror. Because when we don’t get results, we need to look in the mirror first. Why? Because in any communication, we set an expectation, right? And so what I mean by expectations is, I right now have a picture in my head of the sofa that I have in my living room, right. And if I say the word sofa or couch or city, you know, all three words are interchangeable in the United Kingdom, you would automatically get a picture in your head of a sofa, couch or city. Now you realise Of course, that my expectation if I sent you out to buy one the same as mine, right, but I just said, go out and buy a couch. You might buy a three seater, four seater five seater, you might buy it in leather or cloth, it might be blue, or brown or cream, it doesn’t matter. The point being is we you might think that we have the same expectation about a couch or city or a sofa. But the chances of you getting it right are limited. So in just one word, the expectations could go wrong. So by expectations, and I did dive this in that first play, is Simon Sinek got famous with his with his TEDx around, start with y. But you have to articulate that what does y look like? Sound like feel like, here? So my expectations are? This is my mental map of what I think feel that success should look like. And you would have your mental map. And so we have to have a conversation to align those expectations.
David Ralph [11:31]
Now, I agree with that. Yeah, I agree with what you’re saying. But when it comes to say, the next time expectations, you know, I talked to loads of people and they say, Oh, yes, I will achieve that by by next Monday. And I was saying to myself, is that? Is that? Right? Is that right? To have a time expectation? Because there’s so many variables that can come in, right, knock you off track, and then you get deflated, but you haven’t achieved that is? Can you see what I’m saying? i I wonder if the expectations are often aligned to what people are hoping for more than being clearly defined on what’s possible?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [12:13]
Well, that’s why I wrote expectations. And that’s why in the book, and it’s called the new leadership playbook. Being Human while successfully delivering accelerated results, is that the being human is that humans tend to either experience hubris, I’ll get it all done by next week, or they suffer with self defeating beliefs, oh, I could never do that. And so we have to address either of those two ends of the scale as a leader or a manager developing ourselves, because we can’t lead others unless we first lead ourselves. And as we develop our people finding out what their expectation is of our objective. So if I say I want this done next week, rather than just putting a full stop at the end of that sentence, say, okay, you know, this is this is what I would expect to have it done next week, what’s your expectation? And they might say, Well, I actually don’t know how to do this yet, I’m gonna have to study it, or I’m gonna have to get help. And I don’t have the resources. I don’t have the authority to dump to acquire the set resources. So I’m going to, I’m going to need to adjust those expectations. And therefore it becomes a dialogue.
David Ralph [13:19]
What if there isn’t a dialogue, ie it’s an entrepreneur, setting their expectations, so they’re sitting there, they’re in their back bedroom, whatever, they’re creating their side hustle. And by setting expectations, and they haven’t got that, that Jiminy Cricket sitting on their shoulder to say, actually, have you thought about this? How would we do that?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [13:43]
Okay, so in my 2012 book, I talked about realistic optimism. Because psychology shows us that optimists make terrible decisions. And we know that entrepreneurs, their psychometric tends to be overly optimistic. That’s why they become entrepreneurs on entrepreneur from the French entreprendre. To undertake risk to undertake the risk of a journey was the original meaning of the word it was the French economist, John Baptista, say, who gave us the word entrepreneurship, this undertaking a risk and they are optimistic. Now, realistic optimism is the ability to believe in the possibility but also look at well, what else could go wrong? And as I coach C level executives, that’s one of the things I teach them. If you if you ever went to a debate class, when you went through school and you had to argue both sides of an argument, it gives you that critical thinking skill. And as entrepreneurs learn through failures, they develop the critical thinking skill. Yes, I’m going to run at this and believe that were going to get a million users in the first three months. But using your your your negating statement, which I’ve used a number of times today, but I also need to look at if I Don’t get these what is my plan B?
David Ralph [15:03]
If you haven’t got a plan B, because I, I am a great one for plan A, I only have planners because I think so many people have too many Plan B’s, and they start working towards something, and then we jumped on. And in the end, they’re just sort of going spinning round in a circle. So I’m asking you the question from my point of view, but I always say, Forget Plan B, just have a plan A, and make it happen.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [15:30]
It’s a wonderful statement, and I love the optimism that goes with
David Ralph [15:35]
it, you’re gonna say, I can realise I can feel it?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [15:39]
Well, the realisation is that there is no such thing as a it’s just a singular plan a what, you know, when you study entrepreneurs, and I’ve, I’ve worked with coached entrepreneurs for 20 plus years, is that entrepreneurs don’t follow a plan, we know that they often fail MBA classes, because they’re very bad at making a plan. What they’re very good at is adjusting the plan in real time. So whilst you say, oh, it’s Plan A, if you actually track the original decision and the changes in behaviour along their plan, a evolved and morphed in real time. So we, you know, just as the name of this podcast is join the dots, we join the dots backwards and rationalise our decisions, anything we do in life, we look backwards and say, Oh, well, that’s why I did that. We’re at the time. We didn’t know why we did it. So your your optimism, I could be a little cynical and say, Okay, you said you were only going to plan a but your plan a morphed and evolve as things happened along the way.
David Ralph [16:41]
Yeah, I would accept that. And I will give you a round of applause for that answer. Because I actually agree with that. And, and that is one of the interesting things. And so if we jump back on Join Up Dots again, to where you were 10 years ago, how much of your movement to where you are now has been a plan that has been structured and built out.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [17:08]
So this is why we agree because not that much. I have been driven passionate by my why which is waking people up to be their best possible selves. That’s why I wrote two books on self leadership is that what drives me is every time I meet somebody, whether it’s an at risk teenager, or whether it’s the CEO of a Silicon Valley company, I always have the sense that they could be a better version of themselves. You know, I believe we teach best that which we found hardest to learn, I found it hard to learn to be the best version of myself. If I look at my own psychometric my own personality profile, I’m actually low on conscientiousness, which means I’m very creative. I’m very in the moment. But that means I’m not very good at planning. If we look at the research on self leadership, some of which I’ve done, some of which has been done by some very, very, very clever people, we discovered the people with natural self leadership actually a high conscientiousness, so I had to learn the very thing that I teach, which actually makes me quite a good teacher of it, because I’m empathetic to those people that struggle with planning. And so I am here today, because I followed my passion, I followed my purpose, my mission, and I found just like you different plan a ways to move myself along the track. And since 2013, look how the world has changed. Your your I was third interview on your podcast now. communicating through podcasts communicating through LinkedIn lives, everybody has a broadcast station, you are ahead of the game in setting this up, in communicating your content to the masses. Because most people, there was a barrier to entry. Now everybody is broadcasting, which creates a lot of clutter and a lot of noise. And those of you that those people that started early like yourself and be in terms of my writing, hopefully we’ve refined our content, and we’re able to offer some curated and discerned insight.
David Ralph [19:13]
Now what interests me is with Join Up Dots, and this is what I love about Join Up Dots is Yeah, you look back, and you can go oh yeah, I can see how I got there. But there’s always a kind of core element that’s in us. And mine. I love motivation. I love feeling inspired. I love watching true stories of overcoming obstacles or Netflix and if anything comes up as a true story, my kids say our data like that or watch that one tonight. Now, I want to take you back into 1982 Because one of the things that interested me about you was that you graduated as a physiotherapist and you actually further process realised but you wasn’t that clear on enjoying keeping people healthy. Yeah, but you did like be what makes people tick, which has kind of led you to where you are today. Now, could you have gotten to where you are today without that? Some might have said a four step but I would have said is a big.on your journey?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [20:16]
Oh, it absolutely is a Join Up Dots backwards because I mean my Plan A was to do medicine I was a fairly good science student at the grammar school. And I was good. I thought I’d look cool with a with a mask on and become a doctor. Little did I know that I’d be wearing a mask for two years non stop. Sorry, little, little pandemic joke there. So I didn’t make it into medicine because they joined my boys Grammar School with the girls high school and I got distracted. And I had the grades to get into physiotherapy, which I enjoyed. It’s a very practical science, lots of biomechanics. But working in hospitals working rehabilitating people wasn’t as inspiring as working with sports people back to my mission, helping them to be the best version of themselves. And working in sport. I quickly got excited about the mindset, the psychology piece, which I had some studies as an undergraduate physiotherapist, but then that just opened me up to the because positive psychology didn’t really happen until the 1990s. So I was looking at some fairly esoteric things in the in the 80s, around mindset and goal setting. I did a postgraduate in traditional Chinese medicine, I studied hypnosis, these are some things that have put me in a position today to do what I do. Yes, they’re all they all make sense. looking in the rearview mirror. I don’t know how I made the decisions at the time. But I did.
David Ralph [21:42]
Now this passion that you have now for self leadership, do you think if you went back even further, but actually the dots were there, even before the graduation Has that always been part of you, because this is one of the things that fascinates me with people that really achieve in life, you can almost take it back to the childhood version of themselves. And it’s there, it’s in them, it’s ready to be tapped. But so many people just kind of get confused. And they go off and get a job. And I end up doing, you know, banking and insurance like I did for many years. And they forget that essence that actually is waiting to spew forth every day.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [22:25]
Oh, well, you can certainly take it back to my, to my early graduate years. I was I was reading everything I could get on human performance. I read all the positive psychology books or the or the self help books in those days. I mean, I read the magic of thinking big and, and thinking Grow Rich and I started studying philosophy. On my own. I didn’t do it at university, I started reading philosophy. I was just curious about the human condition. You know, I had this. So I mentioned my own psychometric. I mean, I’m low on conscientiousness, but I’m very high on openness to experience. I just want to know what’s going on and why does it work? To your point about going back to childhood, I remember to remember you used to buy a weekly magazine that then you put in folders and it created like an Sackler. Yeah, previous Britannica, right? Well, my dad helped me subscribe to how it works. And it was a seer, you know, each week or each I think it was each week, you’ve got a magazine and you know, it’s A to Zed. And, you know, how does it work? How does an abacus work to? How does a zebra work? I don’t know. And, and I used to love reading this. So this curiosity, how does it work? And initially it was external things and then it became more how do we work? How do we work as a human being? How do we work? How does consciousness work? Is a question I’ve read and researched for a long time, just how do we have this experience?
David Ralph [23:47]
Now the key thing with building life’s like you have an I have is Yeah, but dots do join up. But you really have to get an obsession and obsession for the subject. So let’s listen to Jim Carrey. And I’ll be back straight with you to find out where your obsession really kicked in his Jim Carrey,
Unknown Speaker [24:06]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [24:32]
So when did the love really kick in? Because that seems to be the key point. When obsession kicks in and you you’re willing to do the thing even if you’re not being paid for it.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [24:46]
That’s a great question. I mean, I love that clip from from Jim Carrey and the man who carried a $10 million. Check around there’s expectations for you. He carried that $10 million, check around in his pocket till he got paid $10 million for Dumb and Dumber I can’t, I can’t put a time on it. You I think you’re right. I think it’s always been there. I mean, I graduated as a physiotherapist in 1982. In 1985, I sold everything in London and moved to Australia and travelled Australia on a on a motorbike. And then, and then I set up a chain of clinics. And right, I was successful until I wasn’t until, until I failed. And I had to go and sit up in the Blue Mountains and go, Well, what do I do with the rest of my life, right, and I was offered a job. And I could have taken the safe option, I could have taken the job, they’d have paid me a signing bonus, and it would have dealt with my initial cash flow problems. And I decided that’s not what I want to do. I want to continue to to speak about coach and develop people in this area of self leadership. And so I bet on myself, and the rest, as they say is history.
David Ralph [25:58]
Now, it’s easy to say that and I love those kinds of stories. But it’s very easy to decide you want to do something but then get somebody to pay you for it is a bit of a journey. So how did you transition from that? That person sitting on the top of the Blue Mountains to actually somebody going yeah, I believe but you are the solution to what I want Andrew? Here’s a check.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [26:22]
So it literally happened. Like I backed myself. I ran some workshops, and I hired venues and sent out flyers and people came. And one day somebody came and from Singapore. And he sat through a seven day programme I was running and he said, You’re amazing. And I said, well, thank you very much. And he said, you’d be amazing in Singapore. And I said, thank you very much. But I knew that I didn’t have the money for a ticket at that point. He said, I’ll set everything up, I’ll send you the tickets, and we’ll split the profit 5050. And I was like, I hope there’s a profit because it’s outside, I can’t afford it. And again, I backed myself, I went up to Singapore, and we did the programme. It was profitable. We split it 5050 in that workshop I did in Singapore was somebody from Singapore Airlines. And they thought it was brilliant. And they invited me to work with Singapore Airlines. So my first client in Asia was SQ who had no problem flying me up to Singapore and all points beyond and I put the leadership and coaching programme into Singapore Airlines back in 2016 to 2007 I think it was anyway. So way back when I put the coaching programme into there. And then that opened up a bunch of doors when you’re in Asia. And they say, Well, who else have you worked with? And you say, well, Singapore Airlines, they go, Oh, come in, we want to have a conversation.
David Ralph [27:42]
Now I want to jump back into your book, the new leadership playbook, because what we’re talking about here, really at its core, is what you call play. Number five, confidence. And confidence is the mindset of being certain of your abilities, or having trust in people’s plans or the future. Now, a lot of people again, would have that opportunity thrown at them and go, Ah, no, I’ve just been making it up. No, I’m not at that level. I can’t do this. And we hear the phrase of fake it till you make it which I kind of liked but I don’t like as well. How do you once again, bridge that gap? To be able to say, Okay, I haven’t got all the skills, I may not have all the tools, but I can still make this happen.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [28:30]
Okay, so this is a distinction between confidence, self confidence, and self efficacy. So confidence is trust, when we’re confident we actually engender trust people trust us when we feel confident. Last year, I needed surgery and I asked the surgeon, are you confident to do this surgery? And he was taken aback by the question. They’re not used to being asked this. And he said, Yeah, actually I am. I spent a year studying just this technique. And I have great results. I said, Great, okay, you can do the surgery. Imagine if he’d said, I’m kind of okay, at this surgery, put yourself in my position, you’d have gone and got a second opinion. So confidence is trust in ourselves trust in our abilities. So we can have we can trust I’ve done it before. Therefore, I trust myself. I’m doing it now. Therefore I can trust myself. What you’re asking is trust in my abilities in the future, which which is called self efficacy. And there’s a huge overlap between self efficacy and self leadership. self efficacy is I trust myself that even if it goes wrong, I’ll be able to work it out. And there’s an acronym in the book. It’s a triple A acronym, except adjust in advance. Right? And the trust is the ability to accept the reality. It is what it is right? So I try something it doesn’t quite work out. Okay. Accepting that it’s not working out not being in denial, and adjusting our behaviours. And so entrepreneurs, self leaders So successful people are very good at adjusting when it’s not working. And that’s when you advance. So that’s why confidence is so important. And that’s why, if you’re a leader or a manager, you want to engender confidence in your people. So they are much more agile, to serve your clients.
David Ralph [30:16]
Now, this is a phrase I really loved. So I really I’ve scribbled this out as I went through your book, and I thought, this is this is key competence is not walking into a room thinking you’re better than somebody else. Competence is walking into a room knowing you don’t have to compare yourself with anybody else. Now, that is brilliant. And that’s how I build my whole life. I don’t care what other people are doing at all. I just kind of do what I do and do it to the best of my abilities. Because that comparison, if we jump back in the conversation, into social media, and into seeing the highlights of other people’s lives, can be something that can stop people before they even get going on it.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [31:00]
Yeah, well, I mean, the, the, the enemy of confidence is comparison, comparison with some perceived perfection in your own mind, or comparison with somebody else. So that statement, walking into a room and not having to compare yourself with anybody else. I have a mantra and this is a gift to your listeners is the mantra I teach my coaching clients is I have nothing to prove only things to improve. And this I have nothing to prove means that we know Shakespeare said methinks the lady doth protest too much. Stop trying to prove yourself, right. You’re where you are because of the work you’ve done. Are you perfect? No, you can get better. We’ve been talking about this except to Justin event. That last piece is the antidote to hubris, or to arrogance. Why people and I worked in Asia for 18 years, people are uncomfortable with confidence, because they confuse it with arrogance. And they want to be humble. The reality is that, that humility comes from the Latin humility, test, which means grounded, we’re grounded in our skills, our history, we’re grounded, and therefore we can be humble, and therefore we can be confident. And therefore we can try new things. And stop comparing yourself, improve yourself.
David Ralph [32:19]
Now, I want to spend the next part of the conversation going through the seven leadership principles, because I think these these are really powerful. And these will lead to, hopefully a change of intent of many listeners out there. Now you lead with self leadership comes first. How do we start that? How does somebody sitting here who’s really a ship without a mask and oars in a floating around not really knowing what direction they should be heading? How do they grasp that first leadership principle?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [32:54]
You’ve used that sort of nautical metaphor. So my mind immediately jumps to handle this poem Invictus. You know, it matters not how strait the gate how charged with punishment, the scroll, I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul, which was Mandela was founder. So look, I think we’ve all had moments when we were ready to listen. And the key to self leadership is recognising that we have choice. And when we have choice, we can find opportunities. And back to the nautical an opportunity is is a wind just like a hurricane or a typhoon is a wind, an opportunity is a wind that brings us back to port. So at any moment in life, we have choices. We know that Viktor Frankl who wrote Man’s Search for Meaning said, The Last of all human freedoms is the choice to choose our own attitude. And I think you’ll agree with me, wherever you’re at. However, if you’ve hit rock bottom, that’s the moment you realise I have the first choice, the choice to take control of my life, to not keep doing the things that are destroying me to move me towards something that I want. And that’s where self leadership starts. You can’t lead others unless you first lead yourself.
David Ralph [34:05]
So what would be a tip to kick started somebody who is you know, just just wants to first crumb the first dot into actually building self leadership?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [34:17]
Wow, again, I love that. I mean, I love the title of your podcast, it is exactly that go back to the first dot, let’s just do an assessment. Right? You are wherever you are in life, you have survived the worst days of your life. Right the most whether it was divorce, whether it was illness, whatever it is the demise of somebody you love. You have survived this. Therefore you have skills, you have resilience. You have made it this far. If you’re still living breathing and listening to this podcast, you have achieved it. So how do an audit of that those are your dots, right? You are more resilient, you are more confident you are more capable that you’re giving yourself credit for and that’s the first place to start.
David Ralph [34:56]
Now the second one the leadership principles is leaders on learners and I always, I’m always blown away by how little people actually want to learn about themselves. And I always think, you know, look into yourself, you know, and ask the big questions before you move in. And as we mentioned, generally your dream life is already in you, it’s kind of you’ve lived, the experiences of dots have joined up to that point, then become obsessive, but I feel that you’ve got to learn about yourself first, Andrew, Brian, discuss.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [35:33]
Lead learning is the is the leadership, multiplier, IT leaders who are not learning about themselves and constantly developing themselves make poor leaders, there’s a clear correlation between self awareness and other awareness. People who know more about themselves are able to be more empathetic and understand the motivation of others. And in terms of influencing people, you want to influence people in terms of what’s important to them. If you don’t know what’s important to you, you don’t have awareness of what’s important. Other people you can’t influence and therefore, you can’t lead the world is changing at a rapid rate. If you’re not constantly updating yourself on what’s going on, you will be out of date, and therefore you will be of no value and everything is about maximising your value to yourself and to others. So yeah, get out. If you’re not reading, if you’re not listening to great podcasts like this one, then do more, because you will fall behind.
David Ralph [36:35]
Now number three, I particularly love, can you actually remember number three, I’m gonna throw it over, over to yourself. It’s progress over perfection. It is it is. And this,
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [36:48]
this, this is credited to Andy Grove of Intel, Amazon have this as one of their leadership principles. And again, in a fast paced, fast paced world, it is always about progress. We are never Pope, we are never perfect. And you talked about entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs are focused on that minimum viable product, let’s get something into the market. We can adjust it, we can fix the bugs later. If we wait to be perfect, the opportunity will have passed us. And so many times in my coaching through my career, I’ve found people that were stuck, because they were saying, Oh, I can’t do it until unperfect. I can’t come on this podcast because I don’t haven’t learned all my principles, you’re gonna make mistakes. And we’ve already talked about the ability to adjust in real time, is what leadership is all about. So progress over perfection says do something, start with something. Give your first speech, write your first blog post, get your foot your get your first product to market, it won’t be perfect. But you will learn from that which is principle number two,
David Ralph [37:55]
I always love the website WayBack machine.com, where you can put in a URL and see the first version of somebody’s website. And you can see how ugly it is and how some of the best ones you can put Amazon in and see how bad first started. And then you can click on another image and see how they’ve developed because everything does start ugly. And that’s one of the things a lot of people see what they’re seeing now, and think that they’ve got to match up with them. But they don’t use Wayback Machine go and have a look at self leadership.com and see what it looked like on the very first day.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [38:32]
But it better than that some of my early videos were horrible.
David Ralph [38:36]
Yeah. And do you do look? Do you leave them up there? Or do you go? No, it’s part of the journey.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [38:40]
Some I have some I’ve pulled down and replaced with better ones. But I’ve got that, you know, if you if you search YouTube, you’ll find some early stuff that I could be embarrassed about. But I’m not because it was it was cutting edge at that time. And that’s what we have to do. And remember, we’ve already discussed here on this show that, you know, the comparison will will eat away your confidence. So stop comparing with with out of context, compare how far I’ve come is the much better you talk about your love motivation. One of the things that that robs us of motivation is we look how far we need to go. And the first tip I gave is, look how far you’ve come. Because that will motivate you to say, I’ve already achieved a great deal. Therefore, let’s extrapolate that into the future. What else can I achieve?
David Ralph [39:30]
Now I just want to do one last one on here because otherwise the podcast to be two hours long, but they disagree and commit. Now is that because your opinion is not as clear as as a communication, a dialogue you find better ways.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [39:51]
A lot of the work I do is with executive leadership teams. This is the people that report to the CEO or the managing director. And the executive leadership team actually is often The the worst functioning team in the whole organisation when it’s the team that needs to function the best. And the reason is it operates as a workgroup rather than as a team. In a in a team, you should have psychological safety where people can voice an opinion, they can disagree, that we can have a healthy discussion about what our options and opportunities are. But at some point, the team has to agree and move forward. When you’re the voice has been heard, when the discussion has been made, when a decision has been made, then everybody in the team must commit to that what will sabotage an organisation is a senior executive coming out of an executive meeting and say, Okay, we’ve decided to do this. I don’t personally agree with it. But that’s what the boss said. So we’re going to do it, but grudgingly that will destroy them, that will destroy an organisation. So I say disagree and commit, everybody should have a voice. Nobody has a monopoly on a good idea. Which is something I learned from a CEO of an entrepreneurial company I worked with once upon a time, you know, sometimes, the person who cleans the floor or, or the janitor that fixes the broken faucets, actually says, Well, you know, we could do this better. And if you’re open to that, then you can fix things. And so having a environment where you can have people disagree with you. But at the end of the disagreement at the end of the discussion, you’re able to create a commitment where everybody has buy in and moves forward. That’s a mark of an effective team and an effective leader.
David Ralph [41:30]
I was talking to a guy who was effectively Jeff Bezos, his right hand man for a period. And he would say that Jeff would say, No, that is definitely not happening. I’m not going down that route at all, then he would listen. And he’d be quite willing to change his mind. And he said, you know, he was very much data driven, if the data evidence a change, even though he went against his personal commitment, he would change he’s no, I think that’s, that’s powerful.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [42:00]
It is. And people, people who refuse to look at new evidence, are clearly fundamentalists, and are not moving the ball forwards. They’re not making new dots, they’re just rehashing old ones.
David Ralph [42:15]
Well, let’s hear from somebody who did go back into a business and looked at the data and simplified and came out with something powerful, and in many ways, is known as the leader of CEOs, Steve Jobs,
Unknown Speaker [42:29]
of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards, 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [43:04]
Why should people listen to those words, Andrew?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [43:09]
Because he’s explaining the way human beings exist, right? We we only make sense of things after the event. In fact, we’ve we’ve stuck people in brain scanners and watch them make decisions. And they have made a decision, but they rationalise it after the event, we can tell when they made the decision and the brain scanner. And then we tell the story afterwards. And we can see them primed people to tell a particular story. So we are not as in control of our own lives, as we think there’s a lot of things that are priming us, influencing us to go right from our DNA to our early upbringing. But we do get to set a new intention. And when we set a new intention, we change the narrative of our life moving forwards. So looking at the dots, and saying, I’m going to choose the story from these dots. Rather than have the dots tell me that that’s my story. That’s the difference between those people that are successful entrepreneurial leaders, and then go the dots. So I’m no good. Therefore, the rest of my life is no good. You go, No, I’m going to change that.to say that was a learning experience. reframe that dark, and move forward. That’s why what Steve Jobs is telling you is so powerful.
David Ralph [44:27]
And we used to call it the big dot moment in people’s lives that moment where the dots suddenly joined up and you realised where you were and in many ways at that moment, but dots then become stepping stones you’ve got clarity, you can see where you should really be heading. Can you remember when that occurred to you?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [44:49]
When it all happened, I guess the writing of my my book in 2012, the self leadership how to become a more successful, efficient and effective leader. On the inside out, I had been talking about self leadership from 1999. When I thought I’d even invented the term I didn’t a guy called Manse talked about in 87. But when I finished that book, trying to put all of the pieces together trying to create a unified theory of self leadership, I was like, This is why every experience I’ve had in my life up until now has prepared me for this message. That that was about 2012
David Ralph [45:30]
is clarity, clarity, which is the piece that I think most people need and clarity comes by, by looking around and becoming curious and seeing what other people are doing. There’s, there’s a big piece of the puzzle that I think people miss. And that is being focused on the path of looking and trying to make a decision, instead of just waiting for things to turn up. My son is going through university at the moment, and he seems totally devoid on anything afterwards. It’s almost like once I’ve done this, then I decide what to happen. And in many ways, I respect that because it goes against my principles of having a plan and a strategy. But also I say to him, Well, are you curious about what other people are doing? And he’s, he’s not?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [46:20]
Yeah. So is there a question there?
David Ralph [46:22]
Yeah, there’s a question. Curiosity. This is the last question of the podcast before we send you on the Sermon on the mic. is curiosity. Really, at its core, the starting point of everything
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [46:35]
I know about the startup point, everything I think, yes, curiosity, openness to experience, possibilities, the options, the choices. For me, I use the metaphor of chess, I used it, and I’ve used it in both both the 2012 book and this last book, is you have to be curious in chess, because it’s a metaphor for life, you’re both attacking and defending simultaneously. And just like golf, it’s a game where you’re playing against yourself as much as you’re playing against anybody else. And sometimes in chess, it looks like Oh, my God, this unstuck he’s got me absolutely tired. But if you stay curious, and this, the self, the self belief that I can find a way out of this very often, the last game of chess I played yesterday, I lost my queen early in the game. But I didn’t give up. And I won with a very tough in game because I’m like, oh, not giving up. I shouldn’t have lost that queen. That was that was silly of me. But you know what, I wonder if I can just still win this. And I just kept playing and looking for the options and staying curious. And so I went to bed happy because I won the last game of chess of the day.
David Ralph [47:41]
Well, let’s see if you go to bed happy tonight after giving advice to your younger self, because this is the part of the show we called a sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. But unlike the first time he was on the show, you don’t get to choose this time, you’re going to go back to 2013 and the Andrew Bryan, but last appeared on the show. So if you could give him advice. What kind of advice would you give him? I’m gonna play the theme and when it fades? Is your time to talk. This is the Sermon on the mic we go with the best bit of the show. On the mind, the sermon on
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [48:37]
Oh, all right. Well, the Sermon on the mic 2013. I was actually at a high point just published the book I was on your show, of course, which was a high point. This Too Shall Pass is it sets you up to realise that even if things going really well, there’s tough times coming. If you’re in tough times, this too shall pass and good times will happen between 2013 and where we are in 2022 It’s been a roller coaster, I thought I had arrived at the top of the mountain. I went through some really tough times after that, and then have come to higher peaks. So really the best advice for life is strap yourself in realise wherever you’re at. This too shall pass and prepare yourself for the next dip and the next peak. It’s it’s it’s just happening faster and faster as we move further down the line. And so strap in and nothing stays the same and be prepared for that. Whether that excites you or that depresses you. It is what it is. How hard could it be embrace it. And strap in for the roller coaster.
David Ralph [49:49]
Andrew, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you sir?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [49:54]
Self leadership.com pretty much has links to everything. It has links to the new book work, it has links to the old book, it has information on self leadership, it should link you off to my YouTube channel, which is self leadership.tv. And you should be able to find me on LinkedIn. So self leadership.com is the one stop place to find me.
David Ralph [50:14]
And we have all the links to the new leadership playbook or Andrew sight on Join Up Dots. And I have to say, I enjoyed your book because it was an easy read, I could jump through it quite quickly with some, you feel like you’re studying an MBA, but you still came out with good, good exercises to do and insightful content. So was that one of the things that you wanted to do make it quite a quick read?
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [50:41]
Yeah, actually, I got a compliment the other day from somebody who realised what went into that. Because Einstein says, you know, to really understand something, you have to be able to make it simple. And it took a long time to make it readable. Because it was easy to go into management theory, it was harder to make it a practical conversation. So the 12 plays in the book, which we haven’t dived into, are all real conversations that managers and leaders will have to have with their people. And that was the outcome of the book, I had a client that basically had commissioned the book just for their organisation, I hung on to the IP so that everybody could get a copy. But that was the mandate that it had to be readable and immediately applicable.
David Ralph [51:23]
Yeah. And he certainly is. So Andrew, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining those dots. And please come back again, when you’ve got even more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our paths, it’s the best way to build our futures. Mr. Andrew Bryan, thank you so much.
Self Leadership Expert Andrew Bryant [51:41]
My pleasure, David.
David Ralph [51:45]
Mr. Andrew, Brian, so you can go back to Episode 13. And listen to the first time Andrew was on the show, or just listen to this one. Again, self leadership really is important for you to start taking decisions based on yourself, not anybody else, knowing what you want, what you want to achieve how you want to do it, and gaining total clarity and building back into your your life structure. So every morning you wake up knowing what you need to do to make something happen. Okay. And of course, we’re here at Join Up Dots to help you do that. And we are very shortly going to be launching the 10k a month course where we break down internet strategies that will help you not only create one business but create multiple businesses in a simple way as possible. It’s the real internet playbook, I suppose. So look out for that coming soon. But until next time, we will be here again with another episode of Join Up Dots. Until next time, see ya. Bye bye.
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