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7 Questions with Joel Bryant
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Joel Bryant
Name: Joel Bryant
Current title: Director
Current organisation: Bryant Leadership Coaching and Consulting
Joel Bryant is a former award-winning Corporate Trainer and University Lecturer. He is also a prolific author and passionate speaker, who has published 35 books in the last 15 years, each of which examines themes of change, growth and greatness. Prior to leaving his last corporate position with Dun & Bradstreet, he was named one of only 61 employees worldwide to receive its highest honor, Best of the Best Leadership Award.
(Joel is pictured below with his daughter Nicole and grandson TJ).
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
My biggest challenge is in helping leaders redefine value propositions in ways that promote organizational development and employee satisfaction beyond the standard metrics in ways that elicit their under-utilized skills, abilities and interests.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have over 25 years of successful business development and management experience across various industries including consumer services, business credit and product marketing. I changed paths in 2000, however, because I wanted more than these opportunities offered, namely, a different kind of self-actualization. So, I became an author, educator and leadership coach.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I usually awaken at 4 a.m. to meditate, journal and identify the two most important goals of the day. After that, I read a few business and psychology publications, things that tune me up so I can tune out distractions. I spend evenings reading, reflecting and networking with others in and outside of my industry and interests.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
As a leader, it's important not to overact. Situations are seldom as dire as they seem and others sound when relating them. Even if they are, calmness is currency. It also builds credibility and suggests confidence. I pause for 10 seconds before responding anytime someone tells me something they deem critical or extreme. This interim anchors me emotionally and improves my response-ability.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I still derive immense value from Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. It reminds me to be thoughtful, congruent and compassionate. I'm naturally intense with high expectations. But reading it reminds me to relax, relate and recognize how to proceed in contexts that are often ambiguous and routinely sensitive. I especially practice the habit of "Seeking first to understand, then to be understood," as I can be reactionary occasionally!
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
I identify what others value then build on this, whether with clients or associates. In doing so, they are more committed and creative in accomplishing objectives. (They are also more enthusiastic en route). I also praise profusely in efforts to awaken them to their latent capacity. People are capable of doing more than their job descriptions assign and we assess. It's all about creating a climate wherein greatness is a requirement, then supporting this appropriately.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
I once hired a person who I thought was a decent fit but didn't really stand out based on how we assessed talent. I was sure she'd be average at best. Yet once hired, she worked as if she was trying to pay me back for having faith in her. Over time, she became one of my top performers and team-players. That experience taught me the relativity of assessments. Ultimately, it's about people and how we as leaders use our position to elicit their greatness.