image by Pete Linforth on Pixabay

I was scrolling through Facebook the other night when a post from one of my friends caught my eye. It read:

“Y’all better get right with God. A reckoning is coming. The end is near!”

Confident words.

I read it again. And again. How did he know the end was near? Why was he so confident in what he was saying? As I thought more about it, I realized that it wasn’t so much what he’d said, it was more about how it had made me feel. Uncertain. And scared.

I’m not a Christian, but he wrote those words with…


Let’s get real

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

There is a ton of stuff out there on leadership. To be an effective leader, you need a list of skills, both hard and soft. It’s like a golf swing. I read somewhere once that you need to have about 76 things in sync to have the perfect swing. Leadership is the same — there isn’t one thing that defines great leaders.

It’s easy to lose focus on all the things you need to become a great leader, especially in this very real and unpredictable world. Empathy, resilience, decision-making, and self-confidence all form part of the myriad of skills you…


It’s all about value

Long before I became a manager, I was a young and ambitious employee looking to be promoted. I wanted to climb the ladder, make more money, and have more responsibility. I worked hard. I was loyal. I followed the progression pathways set out by the company to the letter. Diligence, focus, and attention to detail were my priorities. It was all I thought I needed to get those promotions I so badly wanted.

The truth is, that approach didn’t really work. I’m not saying that being honest, loyal, and hard-working are wrong, it’s just that they should be the foundation…


Especially in times of change

Photo by J W on Unsplash

I’ve been lucky enough in my life to have managed lots of different teams across vastly different sectors. From search and rescue operations to corporate management, the situations, locations, and challenges have all been unique. But there’s always been one common denominator. The people.

Arguably, it’s the people that can be the most challenging aspect of being a leader. Not because they’re difficult, but because they’re all so different. Needs, circumstances, and ambitions, all play a part in the teams we lead. No two people are the same which means there is no “one answer fits all” when it comes…


Focus on where you’re going

Photo by timJ on Unsplash

I’ve always been fascinated with leadership. It’s one of those mysterious things in life that some people have a natural affinity for, while others have to work hard to prove their skills. There’s never been that one perfect leader. Some have flaws, others have made blunders that have gone down in history, never to be forgotten. But we all know that being a leader is about constant learning. You’ll never know everything there is to know on the topic. Situations differ vastly, so do people. But it’s a journey worth exploring if you’re interested.

When I first became a manager…


Most business owners and managers tend to follow conventional thinking and promote their best performers. They feel like they want to reward people for performing well, so they promote them. Research has shown that this is not necessarily the correct approach and can be detrimental to your business on many levels.

Performance is not always potential, so here are some reasons why you should consider looking elsewhere when you’re thinking about your next generation of leaders.

You create a technical gap

By promoting those that perform the best, means you create a knowledge gap that needs to be filled. You might be a proactive leader…


By asking yourself these questions

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I’ve burned out twice in my life. Once climbing the corporate ladder and the other running my own business. I can tell you, it’s not a nice thing to experience.

The biggest problem is that you don’t even know it’s coming until you’re flat on your face, exhausted and fried beyond all recognition.

Burnout is bad for your health. Even pre-burnout is bad for your health. Early signs can include mood changes, feelings of anger, weight gain, and a loss of energy. You’ll probably have no interest in doing anything fun in your spare time. …


Even when things go wrong

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

Being a confident leader can mean different things to different people. Some might see it as the ability to make decisions, while others might see it as the skill to motivate teams — especially through difficult situations. Some people see confidence purely from an external perspective, like how a person carries themselves or how they talk.

While these attributes certainly do contribute to leadership confidence on some level, they cannot be done so in isolation. In other words, just because someone “talks the talk” doesn’t make them a good leader.

In my experience, leadership confidence comes down to one thing.

Don't do what I did. It could be disastrous to your credibility as a leader

Getting into management can be one of the most rewarding steps in your career.

Those first few days, weeks and months can be a mix of excitement, nerves, and what at times feel like utter chaos. You want to do as much as you can in the shortest time possible so you can make your mark and show your worth. But as you settle in, it becomes quickly obvious that this management thing is a process. It’s not something you’re going to be good at from day one. It takes time (and plenty of mistakes) to become an effective leader.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Building rapport is an essential part of business. It’s also a vital part of being a successful leader. Good rapport is what creates trust, which allows us to build strong networks, negotiate effectively and have lasting, meaningful relationships.

Connecting with people is fundamental to our success as leaders. It’s the only way we can develop loyalty and harmony in our teams and create a culture of innovation that inevitably results in long-term growth and sustainability.

A few years ago when I was working as a healthcare professional, an important part of my job was building trust with people — often…

Darren Ryan

Leader, writer, entrepreneur. History fanatic. Ocean lover.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store