The New Leadership Playbook with Andrew Bryant – #335

The New Leadership Playbook

The New Leadership Playbook with Andrew Bryant – #335

Being an effective leader in a post-pandemic world goes beyond being good at what you do; it requires balancing empathy with accountability. In The New Leadership Playbook, self-leadership coach Andrew Bryant provides a practical guide to being human and understanding people, whilst simultaneously driving for accelerated results. For nearly 25 years Andrew Bryant has been transforming individuals and organizations with his Self-Leadership Methodology and has delivered training, coaching and keynotes on five continents in 20+ Countries to 200,000+ Executives.

The New Leadership Playbook


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Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript

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The New Leadership Playbook

James Taylor 0:00
Please welcome Andrew Bryant. Good to see you, Andrew.

Andrew Bryant 0:42
Good to see you too, James.

James Taylor 0:45
So in this book, you can put a definition of leadership, I thought we can start there just Sukh as we hear the phrase leadership, what is this? How do we can think about it. And one of the definitions you provide is leadership is the process of influencing others in a manner that enhances their contribution to the realization of group goals. I think that word influencing is really interesting. So what does influencing mean to you?

The New Leadership Playbook


Andrew Bryant 1:12
Well, thank you for that. So that is, that is a social leadership definition. And there are as many definitions of leadership as writers on the topic, and that’s a that’s a quote from a leadership writer. Bass. leadership is influence. John Maxwell coined that as a phrase and for me, influence is as opposed to manipulation. Now, the interesting thing is if you go to the dictionary and look at influence, persuasion, manipulation, the actual definitions don’t really give you a distinction. But over the years working coaching executives, and in a university setting, I’ve done this and I’ve said, If I walked down into the audience grabbed one of you and dragged you to the front of the room, would that be influence? And everybody universally says No, that wouldn’t be influence? And I said, Well, what would that be? They would say, well, that’s manipulation that’s forced. That’s coercion, I’d say absolutely. I agree with you. Manipulation actually comes from the root manners, which means hand, which gives us the expression man handled. So you know, in leadership, sometimes we can force people, we can manage people, but that isn’t influence. Then there’s the point I could get somebody from where they’re sitting in the audience up on stage by cajoling them and pleading with them promising them. Oh, please, please, please. And I call that persuasion. I think we’ve all been persuaded that come to my party on Friday night. I’m busy. So please, please, please come I need you there. I don’t think that’s influenced either. I think influence is when the person gives you a willing. Yes. And if I would say to the audience that have come up on stage, and what would be important to you around your learning your transformation, being a role model for the audience, what will be important for you to come and join me here on stage? And somebody says, Well, yeah, those things are important to me. I will come on stage that is a willing. Yes. So the simplest definition of influence is getting a willing, yes. And if we as leaders are getting a willing, yes, from our followers, then I believe that’s leadership.

James Taylor 3:15
And one thing I really like about this book is actually reminded me of great books on learning guitar. As you know, I have an interest in like music and everything. And it’s a playbook format. And it reminded me of some really good books I’ve read on learning guitar, or even learning drums, and other instruments. Because you find a lot of guitar Guitar Tutorial books, they tend to either focus on principles or theory. And you got these others that can focus on just kind of quick riffs or licks that you can learn so you can get a bunch of songs under your belt pretty quickly. The problem is that a lot of those principles books tend to be a little bit too academic. And they kind of they’re a bit off-putting at times well, the licks books you can attend to reach a limit very, very quickly in your learning. So I thought was really just because what you did is you in this book, you’ve combined principles and kind of playbook actionable kind of tactics, please. So can you talk about like why you decided, to write it in this way? Because this is the first book you’ve had, you’ve had multiple books, why did you decide to write the book in this type of format.

Andrew Bryant 4:23
Because this was written for a client. So I was working with one of my Silicon Valley clients and I coached the CEO and the executive leadership team doing the thing that I, I usually do and the chief people officer said to me, could you write a book for our managers we want to have, you know, the way that we do things in our company. And I’d actually seen those kind of practical books for other clients. I have some I’ve spoken for a number of clients, some of them have handed me their manual, and I always been sort of frustrated by them because they were like, they’d hodgepodge they done, you know, a bit of DISC personality here, a bit of this here. And I was thought, you know, I really could do a better job than that. So when I was asked to do this, I thought, here’s a real opportunity, the client wanted a very practical, here’s how you give feedback, here’s how you have a career conversation. Here’s how you manage bad performance, they needed that in a very coaching format, which I was absolutely happy to do. And I delivered that on request to the client, we agreed that I would deliver them the material that they would do, but I kept the intellectual property so that I could publish this book for the public. Because that client didn’t want the principles behind it. They wanted the, what you call the licks, what some people would call the hacks, they wanted that. But for me, I always understand that principle drives behavior. You can teach somebody how to do something, but but if they don’t understand why they’re doing it, then they can never reach a level of mastery. And you know, for me, the analogy is chess. And I use the chess analogy in my self-leadership books. And I love playing chess, and you know who one of my key chess Buddies is I play almost daily with him online. And if I’m playing it trying to play catch up, I can watch a video on how to do an opening, right how to do the Queen’s gambit or the Sicilian defense. And you could follow the moves. But if you don’t understand why those moves, work, and in what context those moves work best, you want much better. So you need both principles, and practice. And so I divided the book. So if you want to just read the link, the hack, you can read it. I need to give somebody feedback tomorrow, or this afternoon, quick read that section. But if you really want to become a master of management and leadership, you understand why you do things,

James Taylor 6:54
I think was that reminds me a little bit of a book that came out a few years ago. Michael Pollan is a professor at Berkeley in California. He wrote a book called The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and if you ever saw it, it’s it’s a book. I mean, I’m a vegan, but it’s a book about why we meat and you know, plant based diets and all these things. And essentially, because he talked about he first wrote this really big, thick academic book about omnivore and plant based and why it’s good. And then people kept saying to him as clients, could you just write like a slightly shorter book, like a condensed version that we can give to our family members and friends. So then he wrote the second book, which is slightly, and then people came to begin said, Actually, could you read a book of just the rules, or the laws, like do this, never, never buy something that’s got more than five things in list of the ingredients, like, don’t eat something that your grandmother wouldn’t have recognized? Like simple little kind of laws like this, in this book, you’ve kind of you’ve kind of done, you’ve condensed all your knowledge and experience into these these principles, which are enemies. And the tips are the kind of plays which I really like, I love that as a format.

Andrew Bryant 8:03
Now, well, thanks, I’m glad you like it and took the time to read it. I had the same experience. In 2012, I wrote self-leadership, how to become a more successful, efficient and effective leader from the inside out. And that gets used as a textbook on MBA programs. But a good friend of mine, Jerome Joseph, who, you know, was doing some some marketing for me, and he said, Could you write the simple one? And could you have it to me by Saturday, at this point, it was Wednesday, right. And so I wrote that book in three days. And that became an Amazon bestseller, because you can read it in an hour. And it gives you self-leadership and an hour, and then you can go back to it. So maybe that was the primer that showed me that I needed to write this book, in sections. So you can read the whole book, or you can read the bit that you need. Right now. I haven’t quite distilled it down to the 10 rules like Jordan Peterson’s 10 Rules for Living, but maybe maybe they’ve come up with a great idea that, get them

James Taylor 9:01
get them carved on stone and get them some stone for you. So and in the book, you kind of talk about accelerating results. That’s kind of as a lead. That’s one of the key things. And on the principle side, you talk about this combination of three principles, clear expectations, mindset, and motivation and right behaviors. What is it important, what is important for the leader to remember when it comes to that first principle that clear expectations? What should we be always thinking when we think about our phrase clear expectations? What what does that mean? What does that look like?

Expectations, Mindset And Motivation

Andrew Bryant 9:30
Oh, well, that’s that’s a great question. The one of the things I’ve always told managers is that if you’re gonna be a good manager, make sure you have a mirror. Because more often than not, when we’re complaining about our people not delivering the result. Right. If we really look in the mirror, we didn’t explain it very well to them. And a lot a lot of stuff gets lost in communication, but the word communication contains the root in it communio, which means to share. We’ve only communicated when there’s a shared understanding And, and so, so often managers have been didactic that to do this. And I give a very simple example in the book, you know, let’s say the manager says, you know, go buy a sofa, right? And they will follow up with Do you understand? And when a manager says, do you understand employees always say yes. If I asked managers do they always understand they always say no. And I say, well, actually, yes, they do understand, they understand what they understand. And so setting clear expectations is your clear. What do you want? What kind of sofa do you want, right. And in communicating that does the person you’ve delegated that to understand the type of sofa and the use and function for the sofa? Because then they understand the principle behind it, right? So I mean, if I say, go out and buy this catalog number, you know, this is it. Or if I go, so go find this a sofa that’s suitable for our waiting room, we want something that looks nice for our guests coming to the podcast, then you could give them a level of ownership and empowerment in the choice of that, because they know the function, they know how it’s going to be used, why it’s going to be used. So hence, expectations are everything. How often in life, have we entered into conflict with even dearest loved ones, as spouses, because we had different expectations. And that’s because we didn’t communicate them.

James Taylor 11:20
So that kind of feels like it links naturally to leadership styles. I mean, you talk in the book about different leadership styles. Your back when you’re someone that’s born in in England, brought up in Australia, live for many years in Singapore, now you’re in Portugal, you’ve worked all different parts of the world. What is your you mentioned, these four key types of, of leadership styles or kind of typical types of leadership styles? And as I was reading that part of the book, I was thinking back to some of my own experiences in leadership, where, let’s say, when I worked in California, I found that people they were very task or goal orientated. So you could just you know, that there was a certain way of working and leading them. Whereas working, let’s see, more folks, maybe in parts of Southeast Asia, it felt a little bit more directive at first, although there was lots of people there, it was almost like building relationships is there’s more of a kind of coaching element rather than being so. So directive. So have you noticed that leadership styles tend to predominant one type of leadership style in different parts of the world? Or is it generational? Or is it still very much you need to understand that individual standing there in front of you?

Leadership Style

Andrew Bryant 12:31
Well, yes, to all of the above. So let me unpack that a little bit. The way I describe leadership in the book is based on some, some leadership theory. And that is that there is a leadership style, there is the follower’s motivation and skill set. And then there is the context. And the situation. And that’s where, you know, country or culture would come in. So if we were on a plane at 35,000 feet, and the oxygen mask did actually fall from the ceiling, if the captain came out of the cockpit and said, ladies and gentlemen, a bit of a problem, let’s create some focus groups, I’d like to get some buy in around what my options are, we’d all be terrified. At that point, I joke that even the atheists would get religion at this point, that at the stage of it’s a crisis, right, that’s the situation, our ability to affect that crisis, unless we can fly a plane is zero. So we need the leadership style to be highly directive, fasten your seat belts, you know, Stay in your seat, you know, put your head down. But the ultra mascot, do, as you’re told, is the correct leadership style in that scenario. If you’re leading a bunch of professionals who know their staff, and it’s a very stable environment, then telling them what to do is gonna get a heck of a lot of resistance and pushback, you need to engage them be participative or consultative, get their buy in and direct them, you know, to work towards a bigger vision and get buy in around that vision. So we have to think, what is my leadership style? Is it appropriate for this context? And for these people, and so having some self awareness, and that’s the self leadership piece. And the flexibility for that is very important. Now, culturally, yeah, there are elements of culture, and that is context. I didn’t deep dive in this book on all the different cultures. I just wrote a speech yesterday for a client in Sweden. And I talked to I went to my textbook on culture, and I talked to my Swedish friend. And there’s the Swedish paradox. They’re highly individual, and yet they like to make decisions collectively. Well, there’s a paradox right there. So, you know, how are you going to manage that as a leader? Well, you want to make sure they know that they have their individual choice, and then we’ll get together and create a consensus around how we’re going to do it.

James Taylor 15:00
It reminds me of three years ago, there was a series of plane crashes. I think it was Korean airlines or one of the Korean Airlines, there’s lots these kind of crashes. And they listened to the black box recordings to see what was going on. And it often happened when there was a pilot and a co pilot. And they were very different in seniority. So as the pilot was very senior, very expensive, and the copilot was very junior. And you would listen to the transcripts of these and you would hear things like the copilot saying, Ah, Captain, I see that mountain is getting quite close, ah, Captain that is getting even closer now. But not shouting out, Hey, we’re gonna crash this boat if you don’t move, and they had to send it and a lot of pilots to training. And it was they had to be a bit more just kind of a bit more forceful a bit more upfront, as well. So, I mean, that is like context and culture. I think that kind of audiences do you work with? That must be a real kind of interesting mix when you’re working with these kind of global organizations. Yeah, and

Andrew Bryant 16:03
then you throw gender in there and as well, and it can be really interesting. Yeah, that’s a great. That’s a great case study. In fact, it was Korean Airlines was the study which became Korean Air because Karela airlines became deregistered. And there are a number of factors to that. One is the language the Korean language is not a very directive language. So you vaguely pass there’s the hierarchy. So most people are under the impression that they are safer when the pilot is flying the plane. In fact, that case study shows you You’re safer when the copilot is flying, because it’s easier for the pilot to tell the copilot they’re making a mistake. In a high power differential culture like Korea, it’s almost impossible for the copilot to tell the pilot he’s making a mistake. And this birth something called CRM cockpit resource management, which became called Crew Resource Management. And I built quite a lot of that into this book, as you read this book, you’ll see that being human whilst delivering accelerated results means that you have to understand who’s in front of you, how are they responding. Because if you are being like that pilot and not listening to your to your copilot, you’re going to crash the plane or crash the car.

James Taylor 17:21
I remember, years ago, when I did my MBA, I remember we had we did a series of trainings around around leadership, and unfortunately was extremely academic. Remember kind of thinking back, I wish we’d been able to have a chance to roleplay and do different different things. You mentioned this idea of chess and the you know, the world of chess or and lots of games like go, for example, in China, were completely changed when machines started beating the humans, because the machines start to get really good at chess. But then what happened is the humans start to have the opportunity to, to play against machines and the human’s ability to win actually improve. They’re the kind of rankings can have massively skyrocketed as well, because they got a chance to practice the whole time. Is there a way to practice leadership? Or do you just have to kind of get into an organization and start doing it?

Andrew Bryant 18:19
Well, you raise a very important observation here. And this is the new leadership playbook. And the reason it’s a new leadership playbook. A lot of leadership principles are of course, timeless. It’s new, because we live in this virtual environment, you and I are talking through zoom right now, as you record, this podcast. And AI and robotics is real and the pandemic has accelerated the automation. Smart people are not going to be afraid of that. Because we can use AI and robotics to accelerate our learning. Right. So using chess and the chess algorithm, the AI behind chess, I will play against the computer. And I can set the ranking of the computer I’m playing against, I know what my my chess ranking is. And I’ll set the AI a couple of 100 points above my chess ranking, and play and lose. And then I’ll step back and analyze the game. And this is a key self-leadership approach, which is self-learning. You accept the reality, you adjust your behavior, and then you accelerate forwards. So we can use these role plays to accelerate. And that’s why in the plays in the book, I wrote them as conversations that a lot of the plays are actual conversations. How do I give a feedback conversation? So I’ve given an example. If they say this, you can say this, if they say this, you can say this. This is how you frame a performance conversation when somebody’s not meeting their target. This is how you consider where somebody is in terms of their promoter ability. And there’s no such word but I’ve made it up and their actual performance. So Oh, it gives you as you read the book, you’ll get a little bit of that feedback, oh, I was gonna say it this way. But if I say it this way, I’ll get a different result. And then the opportunity to go, and it is a play. So you got to go practice it, get the feedback and adjust your behavior and improve. So leadership is an iterative process. I had, I was talking to one of my CEOs, client coaching clients, I think was about last month. And he said to me, he said, I don’t know how it was for you, Andrew, but he said, I’m starting to think I’m getting wiser. And it was just it was just, it was just a funny thing for him to say. But what he was articulating is pattern recognition. You get better at chess, because you thought, right, oh, if they go here, this is going to happen. If I go here, this is going to happen. And leadership is the same. And we as we, as we gain more experience, we talked to more people, we get better at pattern recognition. What improves your learning is a framework to learn how to interpret that. And that’s what I have, hopefully, put in this book.

James Taylor 21:05
So and one of the places I really enjoyed that there was a section on coaching. You talked about the power of asking questions, being able to go deeper, probing further, whether that’s with a someone that’s that’s one of your team, or someone that you work with, or even a family member. So what are some great questions. You’ve had many, many years experience as a coach, what are some great questions to ask, if you want to just probe a bit further, perhaps you want them to help that person? Reframe the challenge or the opportunity that they’re looking at? What are some nice questions to kind of go a little bit deeper?


Andrew Bryant 21:41
Wow, okay, well, so firstly, in coaching, and in that section, I say, this way, you have to know what you’re coaching for, you have to index the current reality. So I use this, I use this framework, accept the reality, right, adjust your behavior, and then advanced or accelerate towards your objective. So where are you right now? What is happening? who said what, where, how? And doom? These are the index questioning that we have? Because if we’re coaching somebody, we need to know how they perceive the reality back to early discussion on expectation, what is what is actually happening for them? And so we start with that, and then you can you can use probing questions. What does that mean for you? What do you believe about that? What would be a good outcome for you? If you want this? There is a great coaching question. And I, I kind of almost have gone off using it because it was made so popular by Dr. Phil on the Oprah show, which is, how’s that working out for you? And it’s because we often get stuck into doing things a certain way, because we’ve always done it that way, even when we’re getting really bad results. And that coaching question is, how’s that working out for you? And if you ask it in there, and people go, it’s not working out really well. So how would you like to work at it to work out? What would be a desired outcome for you? So what can you change to make that happen, and that presupposes that you have some agency and ownership in the outcome? More often than not, even if we have little agency, if we increase our belief in our agency to change the outcome, we get a better outcome. Okay, so are there certain things that we can absolutely adjust? Right, what I say, you know, how I say what I do how I do it, and there’s a whole bunch of things that I can’t change the weather, for instance, but I can change my attitude to the weather. Right? So it’s raining and I wanted it to be sunny. And rather than throw up my hands, I could say, well, what’s my outcome? Well, I want to have a good day. Right? So put our raincoat go for a walk. Does that. Does that does that does answer it?

James Taylor 23:52
Yeah. No. I mean, it’s interesting. I mean, one of the ones someone used to me the other day, and I thought, have they got an early copy of your book? Or is this a common common question? And the question was this one, and you actually read it in the book? What do you believe about x? Yes. And I thought that’s a really good question. Because what it does is it makes you then voice what you believe. And then as you’re hearing yourself saying that you’re going, is really, is that really what I believe but is that really true? Is that and I think that’s a fantastic? What do you believe about eggs because it makes you have to voice what you believe about that problem or that opportunity?

Andrew Bryant 24:29
Yep. So there’s, in framing and reframing there’s, there’s what we call the black box that X, whatever x is, is your current experience leads to why what you believe about that common experience, right? And we get locked in that frame. That box that this happens, therefore, it means that now as a ridiculous situation, the cockroach crows in the morning and the sun comes up So in the mind of Rikako, there’s a cause and effects the sun game up that x. That means I made the sun come up. That’s why. Now, of course, it is such a ridiculous scenario from a human perspective. yet so often we have these false cause and effects. Right. You know, I, the prospect hasn’t called me back after I’ve sent them the proposal, therefore, they think I’m too expensive. Well, no. I mean, that’s in your head. What do you believe about that? Well, they haven’t called you back. There is a million reasons why they haven’t called you back. Right. And you I know that you’ve done a lot of sales in your time and developing, you have to have well, what else could it mean? Right, can be they got busy, they didn’t receive it. You miss you didn’t you didn’t connect exactly with their pain point. Could be a whole bunch of things. So what do you believe about this? Go find it out.

James Taylor 25:52
Then I have a cute story. That I mean, that goes to the idea which I tend to find in a lot of great salespeople. I know there’s a there’s a curiosity in and so they’re asking that, you know, this one question, but they’re asking these kind of questions like, Well, does that really mean that you know, there’s that that questioning mindset?

Andrew Bryant 26:11
Yeah, absolutely. And understanding that reality is fluid in these situations. I just have a cute personal story that I’d like to share. So I was just in the UK earlier this month or the end of last month, dropping our daughter Lila off at university, she’s going to study to be a vet, and they had an April intake at Nottingham. And we’re in a pub in Nottingham, my wife, Andrea, and I and Lila is Xandra is daughter with we she’s my stepdaughter. And anybody who’s had a stepdaughter knows that that’s a tough relationship. She’s going to be very skeptical and cynical of you for your entire life. So we’ve had a fun relationship. She’s super smart. But we’re in this pub in Nottingham, and she asked me this question. She says, How much do you charge for coaching? And I always understand what’s the question behind the question. And I’m like, Well, why do you need some? She said, Actually, I do. And I said, So what’s the issue? And she was having second thoughts about her commitment to do five years of that. And I said, Well, that’s natural. I said, even the CEOs, I coach have second thoughts about their decision. But let me ask you a question. Do you have enough data yet to know whether you made the right decision or not? And she said, No. And I said, How long is the shortest period of time that you would need to have any kind of data? And she said, Well, I guess one term one semester, I said, Okay, so right now, there’s no point worrying about this. We need to have this conversation in one semesters time. And she said, Yes. And then she turned to a mother and said in Portuguese, now I know why they pay him. At the final validation, and that was a little bit more to it than that. But basically, you know, she had all this angst or this inner turmoil. And really, she didn’t have enough information. She didn’t need to worry, she just needed to throw herself. And her mother was very happy, because, you know, she didn’t want her to quit.

James Taylor 28:17
One of the other plays you mentioned in the book is around collaboration, which is a common theme that we have speaking with guests here on the show. What have you witnessed? I mean, you’ve worked with lots of different leaders, lots of different industries. What have you noticed about those who have been successful in building a very collaborative culture in their organization, and I’m thinking of this, I was actually talking to a client a couple of days ago, a new client. And one of the things that they expressed to me was that their organization doesn’t have a particularly collaborative spirit in it for various different reasons. And I was thinking about this, and I was reading your book, and I thought, Okay, well, I wonder if, if a really great leader went into what would they do? What have you seen what have great leaders do have done to kind of develop to foster to build that collaborative culture in an organization?


Andrew Bryant 29:09
Okay, so this goes back to my earlier work on on self-leadership is that we can’t collaborate if we’re needy, right? We need to have met our psychological needs and feel safe so that we can be abundant, right? And so it’s very important that the leader creates a psychological safe environment, and each person is validated for what they bring to the party. Because if anybody is needy, they’re worried about the ego. They’re worried about their power, they’re going to be engaged in some level of turf war. I can’t collaborate. I can’t give you my ideas. Because if I give you my ideas, well, then you might use my idea and then it’s not my idea anymore. Well, if you come from a place of abundance, here’s a really great idea, but you know what, I’ve got 900 99 more great ideas use this one. And in fact, if I give you this idea, it’s going to come back to me even better than when I put it out there, that abundant mentality because you have led yourself, you’ve influenced your own thinking, feeling and actions, then, you know, a self-leadership team where you have a clear direction, and people coming in and they’re confident in themselves, they are much more likely to be abundant and share the moment we have any kind of silo mentality that your game is my last and many organizations are structured that way that created a competition, then you won’t get the collaboration. So the leader has to look, are there any structural impediment over and above the psychological safety individuals had coming with self-leadership? Is there any structural? So I mean, many years ago, I worked with an IT company, who said, Could you could you, Andrew, could you run a conflict management training? And I said, Well, yeah. And I was thinking I’d do that in my sleep. But the point is, where’s the conflict? Who’s in conflict with whom? And the innovation department was in conflict with the operations department? And I said, Well, what’s the KPI? What’s the performance indicator for the operations department? 100% uptime? What’s the what’s the KPI for the innovation department, new products, new apps? I still let me ask you a dumb question. Does the does the innovation department have to test their apps on Operation servers? And they said, Yes. I said, Well, you’ve institutionalized conflict, because they have completely competing KPIs. And there’s no, yes. And here, there’s no, you would be familiar with Improv Theater. You know, the first rule of improv theater is yes. And not yes. But and so there’s immediately conflict built into the system. So good leaders look at their departments, and they go and understand. Do I have good people who who are validated for who they are? Is it a safe environment for them to throw an idea out without having it shut down? And have I removed any structural impediments to the collaboration?

James Taylor 32:12
That I just saying that I’m also thinking of clients within banking within pharmaceutical where you’ve kind of often got this very common battle that seems to go on between product or the sales, relationship, manager side, and compliance. And there’s just this constant struggle and, and, and I felt like one of the thing is just obviously getting things out on the table, I think it makes a big difference that everyone can see everyone and hear everyone. And then the other thing I found, I don’t know, where you take this is, sometimes I find what’s been out of kilter. Is one group of people have a lack of respect for another group of people. Maybe it’s because of their domain expertise is different. Or maybe it’s for various different reasons. How would you feel if if a leader is an organization where maybe there’s one group, let’s say, the tech group, we think, Well, we’re fantastic. We’re the smartest group and then there’s another group, which is the compliance side, they are they just, they just want us to stop doing something illegal, they just want to stop doing so. How do you build a sense of respect? How does a leader foster that sense of respect within that organization?

Andrew Bryant 33:25
Well, again, that’s often that’s structural. So to your answer around compliance, one, one part of compliance is sometimes human resource. And smart organizations have taken HR and stopped being a department and take an HR people and made them write business managers or business partners rather. So you’re an HR partner to business. So business has to achieve X, and we’re back, the x and y are going away. But business has to achieve an outcome and HR is there to make sure they achieve that outcome in a way that engages people and doesn’t break the rules. So they’re working together, tech, right? tech guys need to be partnered with the sales guys, so that they are a solutions team, that they understand what the client wants. And then they build the solution technologically, to solve the problem in a safe, secure, compliant way. And respect happens when we work with somebody when we understand what they know that we don’t know. Trust is built the same way. The trust is built in the trenches. It’s a band of brothers. And so good leaders build teams where different divisions or different individuals and especially ours work together on a common outcome. And that’s when we build trust. And that’s when we build respect because we realize they know stuff we didn’t know

James Taylor 34:49
your language. I know you said you said tech guys and sales guys, the the main I would say because it is a very funny part in the book. work where you go and deliver. I think there’s a seminar for Tanvi gametime, I think is. Yeah, exactly in Singapore. And it’s it’s really interesting interchange because you’re one of these people know you personally, you know, if someone doesn’t know you, you could come off as like this kind of type A personalities. But you’re like an onion, there’s so many different layers to you, which I think is interesting and is reflected in the book. So could you please just share with our audience that story because I think it’s a really fascinating story that kind of brings a sense along as a line of respect, trust the whole kind of gender thing within organizations as well.

The New Leadership Playbook

Andrew Bryant 35:42
Okay, so thank you for picking up on that, for me, guys is a gender-neutral term or gender-neutral pronoun, or whatever. So yes, I am very much he for sheep. I’m a father of two daughters and a brother to two sisters, and I am on external faculty at the women in leadership at Singapore management University where Dr. Tammy Galton brings me in for a session on executive presence specifically for women. And yes, it has been joked that my general physiology is that if the leadership doesn’t work out for me, and coaching doesn’t work out for me, I could get a job as a nightclub bouncer. So so. So the first time that Dr. Tammany introduced me to this group of high powered women, we’re doing a leadership for Women program, she she really built me up, you know, just as you did with the intro, and I appreciate it, you know, author of books, coach to CEOs, and immediately created this, this barrier between me and the audience. And I struggle to get the point through. So next time we did this, I said, Tandy, I appreciate that you love me, and you like my work. But please don’t introduce me with anything she said. But I said, Please, just trust me on this. So it’s day three, the women have all bonded, they’ve worked through their eggs, they’ve built their avatars of their strong female identity. And I walk in after lunch. And I just stand in front of the group of, of powerful women, and I don’t say anything for 60 seconds, it gets extremely uncomfortable. And then I say, while I’ve been standing here, you have in your mind conjured up some adjectives that describe me, please turn to the person next to you, and share what some of those adjectives are. Some of them needed to share with somebody else. And some of them were quite happy to tell me, you know, arrogant, confident, alpha male. And so they had labeled me well, and truly, and all I hadn’t even opened up my mouth. And I said, you know, his problem, men label women and stereotype women, and that’s unfair. And yeah, you just did the same thing to me. Let me share some slides of some things that I do. And I showed the time that I was a single dad, and I show the work I do with that risk teenagers. And when I was a physiotherapist working in outback Australia delivering babies because I, there was no midwife. And I asked them, did that change your perspective? Now? For the majority? It did, there’s always the hardest test is that now we still think you’re an alpha male, like, Okay, fine. But it’s a problem that we all have about gender and age and ethnicity is that bias exists. And even Daniel Kahneman, who wrote thinking fast and think slow, said, after 50 years of studying unconscious bias, I can tell you, I’m still biased. So do I still trip up? Yes, I absolutely do. And I ask those very, very pro feminist, just take a chill pill for those of us who are trying to be better, right, don’t shoot us down because we’re not perfect. Please encourage us that we’re desperately trying to get through our bias. Right.

James Taylor 39:05
And it was interesting you saying that it reminds me also of a podcast I was listening to the other day, it was the the act that took the part of Damon Matt Damon on the Bourne series. I can’t remember his name as American act from California. I think he’s also in the Avengers TV series as well. If you looked at him, you would assume he’s have a certain type of kind of rugged kind of male you know, outdoorsy type of person. And he is that and you mentioned improv and he is also something else and maybe I’ll put a link to this interview that you did and it was fantastic because it just showed all the complexities in someone and not judging that person that you know the first time that you see them as well. Your every time I talk with you always kind of sharing new ideas as we How do you keep your own thinking fresh, what influences Do you try to surround yourself with

Andrew Bryant 40:01
Well, I’m always I’m always reading these days, I’m watching a lot more video listening to podcasts. I love to exercise my mind and my body. And I will listen to an audio book or a podcast when I go for a walk. And I feels very efficient. I’m working my body and my mind. And a friend of mine, who is an organizational psychologist, tested my fluid intelligence. So you know, there’s IQ. And there’s, you know, there’s EQ, but the fluid intelligence is how you keep your brain fresh and new ideas. And I’m very good at taking two quite disparate ideas from two different authors and connecting them and I know you have this as well, and doing the podcast, you know, you’ve already done that, in this conversation, you said, Oh, that reminds me of this. And this is how this connects this. So my brain works very much as a connector, how am I? How does this fit in with this, and I’ve got very good at, at challenging my own thinking and paradigms, right. So I will put something out there. And I welcome the feedback and I, I noticed how it pushes other people’s buttons. So there’s a great piece of research by a lady by the name of Tangney, who in 2000, talked about humility. And working in Asia for 1718 years, humility is a big value. Humility doesn’t actually mean making yourself less than other people. humility comes from humility as meaning grounded. But But humility is having an accurate and either overestimated or underestimated view of your own abilities. I just talked about my intelligence, which could sound arrogant, but now it is what it is, my intelligence in this area has been objectively measured, it is what it is, this is why I get hired because I can connect the dots. But what humility is also is the ability to consider other people’s perspectives as equally valid as your own. And this level of being able to embrace that ambiguity is that I need to hold on strongly to my viewpoint, but at the same time, I need to absolutely 100% Consider what if I was 100% Wrong. And there was a different viewpoint, and I keep myself fresh, by considering the opposite. Whether I’m talking about philosophical ideas, political ideas, scientific ideas, I like to challenge my intelligence by by almost debating the opposite point. And I often encourage the leaders I coach, who are pushing ideas, okay, now for the next 20 minutes. I want you to argue against that.

James Taylor 42:34
Yeah, yeah, there is a politician here in the UK, who always used to rate up art article read write up articles for some of the big newspapers here. And he would write two different articles one for and one against the idea. And then he would leave into the very last minute, before he decided which he sent to the editor. Because it was his way of like working. And I know, I didn’t have a speaker, you may know Matt church, it was based in Australia. And Matt, he talks about this idea of when you’re reading a book, having two yellow kind of legal pads. And as you’re reading it, you have the one on your left, you’re writing all the things you’d like and concepts you think are good and adding to those. And then you’re right, all the things you disagree with and why you disagree with them. So you’re always going to work in these two, these two, the kind of critical thinking and creative thinking kind of side as well. You’re you’ve always got very high kind of emotional intelligence, but you’re also a geek, you like technology? I know. So do you use technology in ways either that can free up your time for your own creativity? Or help you augment the creative work you do? And just tell us a little bit about that?

Andrew Bryant 43:49
Oh, and again, to the point about, we talked about AI and learning, and I always think so I’m not. I think you need to make technology your friend. And as we, as we pivoted into doing these things, virtually, we still fellow speakers, rail against, oh, my God, I have to learn zoom and teams and learn how to use a webcam. And I was like, wow, bring it on to what can I use? One of the things I use, and I haven’t got it switched on to this, and I wish I had, typically anytime I’m coaching anybody, I’ve got a meeting, I have turned on. So every meeting, I’ve got the audio on the transcript. So for my coaching clients, I immediately share the transcript. So they’ve got everything we said. And it’s written down so they can export it as a Word document and do a search. Because often I’m coaching a client and they’re doing a pitch and either they’re trying to influence their boss or the board members. And I help them frame it. And I might say, Well, I would say it this way, and they go, Oh, that’s brilliant. Can I write that down? So you don’t have to? I’ve recorded it. You can just read it back. Or they might say something really good. And I say well, that’s it. You nailed it, and they go, I don’t remember what I said. I said okay, all right. We’ve recorded So that’s just an example of. And so I pay for the subscription, because I’ve got months and months for that. As I wrote this book, you might remember I interviewed you back in 1990. Sorry, 2019. For myself leadership success summit, and a couple of pieces in this book, were actually interviews of leaders that I’d said, you know, how are you leading, etc. And as I was writing this book, and I wanted the stories, I’m like, I need I need a story that articulates this point i Hang on, I interviewed the managing director of Red Hat about that, and I went back, drop the video into auto AI and transcribe it for me, I lifted his exact quote, went straight in the book. And so that’s how I leveraged my time with technology.

James Taylor 45:49
Well, you’ll be glad to know this interview that we’re doing just now people go to James When you look at the transcript section is actually done. My is the one we use as well. So it’s always quite funny because I read read through them. Sometimes it is not totally accurate. And I always love how can my strange accent how it can take certain words create certain words from it as well. But it definitely worth doing. I know that this idea of recording everything, every session is something that people like Ray Dalio, the Great Investor at Bridgewater capital uses every single meeting, with exception of an HR related meetings, every single meeting in the building is recorded, audio recorded and video recorded and transcribed. So you can type in a word or a keyword phrase and bring up any meeting that’s happened within the organization for the past 10 years, where that word or that phrase, or that person has been mentioned, and it’s called brutal transparency. And one of the nice things that they make them do as well. He said, anytime you mentioned someone else’s name in a meeting, you have to send them a link that person a link to the transcript of that meeting, if obviously, if it’s if it’s internal, as well. And that’s just because that then gets rid of the whole idea of speaking behind someone’s back, as well. It’s just a different different way of doing that. So,

Andrew Bryant 47:05
yeah, yeah, well, I love that. And I mean, the whole value of ethics is doing the right thing, even when nobody’s watching. And we are seeing in the media now, of course, that people are reinventing history. And then the interviewer says, Well, let me just play the video of what you said last year, and playback. And I think there’s some conversations I’ve had, that I would be terrified if they were recorded in playback. And as I’ve got older and wiser, I am editing myself more in real time, and particularly that about talking about others. Because we live in an industry where it’s really easy to gossip about AG, colleagues and competitors. And I really, I know that I have not always been my best self about that it’s so easy to get that person. And now I’m really watch. If this was being recorded to sort of play back, would I be okay for them to hear that? Now, I’m actually okay to tell people where I disagree with them. And so I’m getting better. And so that was a, that was a growth area for me, that tendency to get pulled into gossip, I and I work really hard not to do that. Now,

James Taylor 48:15
now that the new leadership playbook is out now, where is the best place for people to go to get their copy of the book and also to learn more about you your your coaching your writing, and your other programs that you have?

Andrew Bryant 48:28
That’s very easy. So firstly, the book is already available for pre-order on Amazon, or by the time this goes out, it’ll be it’ll be live. For both the for the individual book and the ebook is already on Amazon easiest place to find it, the new leadership will have it and if you are an organization wanting bulk orders, that’s the place to go. So you can get that directly from me, Or you can go to And that has both a link to all of the above and to my coaching. So the things I talked about self leadership and the new leadership playbook. I use technology and I bought web domains.

James Taylor 49:04
Well, Andrew Bryant, thank you so much for coming on the Super creativity podcast. You can subscribe to the super creativity podcast on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts while you’re there. Leave us leave us a review. I would really, really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor, and you’ve been listening to the super creativity podcast.

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