The New Leadership Playbook: A Go-To Guide to Modern Leadership

IRI Podcast episode on modern leadership

Today, the rules of business have changed. How we define a workplace is evolving, as well as how we define a leader. What employees needed and expected from a leader in 2019 is not the same as what they need and expect from one now – and for many leaders, negotiating this shift can be a challenge. Today’s guest is Andrew Bryant. He is an author, a coach and a C-suite advisor, and his latest book, The New Leadership Playbook: Becoming Human Whilst Successfully Delivering Accelerated Results, Here, he explains:

  • How leadership has changed, and why;
  • Why his New Leadership Framework can significantly garner better results;
  • What the Seven Principles of Modern Leadership are; and
  • The 12 different "plays" leaders can use to reach leadership goals!

If you prefer to read along while you listen, we've done all the hard work for you! We listened back to this episode and took notes below, and access is free! 


How Has Leadership Changed?

  • Before this question can be answered, we must first address what leadership truly is, because it can take different shapes and forms from person to person.
    • Mr. Bryant defines leadership as “the process of influencing others in a manner that enhances their contribution to the realization of group goals.”
      • Leadership is a process, meaning it can be broken down into three things:
        • The leader’s style
        • Followers, motivation, and skills
        • The environment in which the leadership is happening
  • The environment of leadership is an area where we have seen significant change in modern leadership.
    • Followers have had greater autonomy over the last few years with the pandemic and remote/hybrid workplace solutions.
  • The changing leadership styles that help adapt to these changes in the workplace landscape are how modern leaders can be successful.


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Accelerated Modern Leadership Timeline

  • This shift that we are seeing in the leadership landscape was already in process, but it has been accelerated by outside factors like the pandemic. 
  • We have been on the brink of a digital revolution for some time now, but it is now here quicker than expected, causing modern leadership strategies to adapt.
  • Leaders attempting to return to the “old ways” of leadership post-pandemic are running into a plethora of issues.

The Pandemic’s Effect On Modern Leadership

  • Mr. Bryant was inspired to write his most recent book, The New Leadership Playbook: Being Human Whilst Successfully Delivering Accelerated Results, by the pandemic and the leadership changes he witnessed throughout and post-pandemic.
    • The book was written in response to a need expressed by HR saying: “Our managers don't know how to lead in this situation.”
  • Video calls and platforms like Zoom showed us that while leaders might be able to communicate via video, leaders and managers typically are fairly good at broadcasting, but they were terrible at dialogue.
    • Leadership at its core is a series of conversations, expressed in both one on one situations, along with one to many situations.
  • Only 8% of managers are truly engaging in any kind of interaction and/or engagement on their digital platforms internally.
  • What people were desperate for during the pandemic was a level of engagement, and that is now the standard.

Modern Leadership & Sports

  • Mr. Bryant has a background of working with athletes and teams, so naturally, he likens leadership principles to sports. 
  • In the case of American Football, leadership strategy can be likened to a play.
    • A play is a set of moves to move the ball down the field, and leading your people is no different. Everyone has their role to play in achieving a common goal, and no one is unimportant.
  • Mr. Bryant wrote his book as a playbook. Most leadership books are written from a very high-level, top-down perspective. The New Leadership Playbook is written as just that, a playbook.
    • Its purpose is to be a boots-on-the-ground guide to helping managers and supervisors hone their modern leadership skills.
  • The book is written as a practical leadership guide that if every manager followed, you would be set up for success with great leadership within your organization.

The New Leadership Framework

  • The subtitle of the book is: “Being Human Whilst Delivering Accelerated Results” and there is a reason for this. 
  • The framework for modern leadership is as follows: Expectations x Mindset & Motivation x Right Behaviors = Accelerated Results. 
    • The process starts with clear expectations.
      • 9 times out of 10 that the manager, leader, and/or supervisor has a clear expectation in their head, but that expectation is not received by the followers.
    • Next is mindset & motivation.
      • In order to have the correct mindset & motivation for success, there needs to be a growth mindset. People should buy-in. They need to understand why they're doing what they're doing.
    • Finally, right behaviors.
      • Many leaders struggle to articulate the behaviors that they desire from followers. “You need to try better, try harder, do better”
      • Modern leaders must express which specific behaviors they are looking for from individuals.

The 7 Principles of Modern Leadership

  • Self Leadership
    • Self leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling, and actions towards your objectives.
    • Self leadership is about ownership, responsibility, and clarity around accountability. You can't lead others unless you first lead yourself.
  • Leaders are Learners
    • As stated by John F. Kennedy, leadership and learning are indispensable from each other.
    • Leaders should be constantly learning.
  • Progress Over Perfection
    • As a leader, if you wait for perfection, you will miss out on opportunities.
  • Disagree and Commit
    • This is all about having a voice and encouraging people.
    • Have a voice and be able to disagree; Don't just follow what the highest paid person or highest ranking person in the room is saying.
  • Executive Presence
    • All leaders need the ability to project confidence, gravitas, and poise under pressure, as well as to read the room, and build the team.
    • Nobody can be an effective manager or a leader unless they can build a team.
  • Diversity Matters
    • Building teams with diverse perspectives is extremely important.
    • Whether it is gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, or anything else, diversity plays into all of the other modern leadership principles.

The Plays in the Modern Leadership Playbook

  • The first play is the “why.”
    • Without your why, leaders will have a very difficult time gaining followers who truly believe in the cause. 
  • Another play is “ownership.”
    • Each and every person should take ownership for their role and their actions within that role, both positive and negative. 
    • Each team member has a vital role, and they should be proud of the role they play.
    • Giving effective feedback is a huge part of ownership.
    • One of the biggest effects a leader can have on his/her team, is the ability to give effective feedback in real time. 
  • Objective setting, setting confidence, career conversations, decisiveness, talent & strengths conversations, crucial conversations, culture conversations, and coaching are also all plays in the playbook.
    • To discover and learn more about all of the 12 different plays within the playbook, grab a copy of Mr. Bryant’s book here.

Building and Supporting a Psychologically Safe Workplace

  • Creating a psychological safe space allows people to contribute, bring their ideas.
  • If people don’t feel safe, they don't speak up, they don't contribute, they don't add innovative and creative ideas.
  • If as a leader, you're getting pushback, you haven't connected on the wavelength of the individual that you're communicating with.
  • If there is pushback or resistance, team members likely don't feel safe.
  • There should be significant buy-in from team members, and that can only be achieved when they feel safe in their workplace. 

Self Leadership

  • Self Leadership is Mr. Bryant’s company that he founded in 2004 that offers leadership development and executive coaching.
  • Mr. Bryant has had the opportunity to work all over the globe, gaining new perspectives and insights as to how modern leaders can best serve their teams.

Andrew Bryant Background

  • Attended The University of Western Australia
  • Studied physiotherapy at West Middlesex University Hospital
  • Mr. Bryant is the Founder of his own company, Self Leadership by Andrew Braynt.
  • Mr. Bryant is an accomplished Motivational Keynote Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Executive Coach, and Leadership Facilitator.



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