Vanilla Luxury: How did it all start?
Andrew Bryant: Joining the dots backwards, my life has always been about how human beings can be the best version of themselves. My first qualifications in the U.K, as a Physiotherapist and then Acupuncturist, allowed me to work with athletes, helping them heal and to get into peak condition. Realising that winning was not only physical but mental and spiritual too, I then studied psychology, linguistics, neuro-semantics and even hypnosis.
After successfully helping individuals and teams to perform, I was invited to coach leaders and leadership teams to high-performance. This resulted in me developing my Self Leadership methodology which delivers Transformation, Ownership and Impact.
Vanilla Luxury: What's Transformation, Ownership and Impact?
Andrew Bryant: Transformation is about choice and change. We do not choose the time or place of our birth, our gender or social circumstances, but once the ‘cards have been dealt’, we have a choice to change ourselves and influence the world around us.
One of my strengths is that I am a ‘catalyst for change’ and I’m often humbled to be the spark that ignites the fire in others. This change cannot happen unless we take ownership. Ownership of our thinking, feeling, words and actions towards our goals. Yes, I understand that the world is not fair, and bad things happen, but we can own our responses, and having worked with many successful people, ‘taking ownership’ is the common factor in their success.
Nobody has the right to judge you for who you are, but the world will measure you by the impact you make. Either you run faster, sell more products, or save more lives, but you will be rewarded and remembered for your impact.
When surveying my clients over the last ten years, the three things that they constantly mentioned in terms of results were, Transformation, Ownership and Impact.
Vanilla Luxury: Why is self-leadership so important that you've written not just 1 but 2 books on it?
Andrew Bryant: Self-leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feelings and actions towards your objectives. It’s important because it puts you in the driver’s seat of your life. You can’t lead others unless you first lead yourself, and if you lead yourself, you will be significantly more efficient and effective.
My first book about Self-leadership (2012 McGraw-Hill) with Dr Ana Kazan was intended to bring all the self-management, leadership and motivation theory into one volume. It’s a great book for people who want to do a deep-dive into the topic and is used in MBA programs. The problem for some is that it’s a lot to get through, and so in 2016, I wrote a smaller book which contains the essence of the Mindsets and Strategies of Self-leadership which is more accessible and can be read in about an hour. What’s interesting is that I get emails from all over the world with people saying that the 2016 book changed their lives.
Vanilla Luxury: Why is it important for leaders to be coached?
Andrew Bryant: Coaching is often associated with sports, and it’s visible because the coach works on the ‘outer game’ of performance – how we hold the racket, kick the ball, or dive into the pool. Leadership coaching is more about the ‘inner game’, for example; what is the leader’s intention? How self-aware are they? Are they exercising effective influence?
Using my Self-leadership methodology I can coach an athlete or CEO because both need Transformation, Ownership and Impact. The exciting thing about coaching leaders and aspiring leaders is that by improving their leadership, I am vicariously impacting the lives of thousands of people through their work.
Vanilla Luxury: As a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a past President of Asia Professional Speakers – Singapore and TEDx veteran, what made you sign a pledge not to appear on an all-male conference panel?
Andrew Bryant: I am a father of two daughters, I have two sisters and in my first job as a Physiotherapist, I was the minority gender. This, I realised means I don’t have a gender bias and so when I see women discriminated against, I strongly feel the injustice.
As a Self-leader, I’m not just going to accept the things I cannot change, I’m going to do my part to change the things I cannot accept. Lecturing on Executive Presence for Singapore Management University’s Women in Leadership Program, and letting conference organisers know that all-male panels are biased and frankly ‘stupid’, are just a couple of things I do.
Vanilla Luxury: Any success stories to share with us?
Andrew Bryant: In short, when we change ourselves we change our circumstances around us. There are so many stories, for example, I was recently recognised by the President of Singapore for the Self-leadership work I do with teenagers. These kids lacked self-esteem and self-confidence causing them to self-harm and self-sabotage. Within six months, these youth are transformed into confident communicators who are hopeful about their future.
I remember a young lady from South America who came to Singapore for an IT Project Management role. She was good at her job but lacked confidence in herself. When she took ownership, the transformation was remarkable and she was immediately promoted.
There was also the small startup in Australia where I coached the CEO and his team, and in a few short years he IPO’d the company and called me from his apartment in San Francisco to thank me for the work together.
Another incident is an Indian Managing Director who, when I asked him about his legacy, set up a not-for-profit and put his daughter in charge.
Despite all the success stories, the main reason I research and coach on Self-leadership is that I needed it for me. I went through a tough divorce and was worried about my kids, but now I have done the work on myself; I have remarried to a beautiful woman, and I have happy kids, good friends and a great home-life.