TanveerNaseer.com

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

Understanding The Power Of Expectations

Leadership expectations and employee potential

A few weeks ago, my oldest daughter and I were watching one of our favourite dramas when a scene came along that spurred on a conversation about leadership and the expectations we have about those we work for.

The scene in question revolved around one of the main characters who in his new job as a sous-chef had spent the past few days cutting over 40 pounds of potatoes into paper-thin slices. When the head chef – the main character’s boss – walks into the kitchen, the sous-chef points to the heaping bowl of potato slices on his station and tells the head chef he’s completed his task.

The head chef takes a quick look at the potato slices and tells his sous-chef that it looks like he finally got the hang of it near the end. The head chef then takes the large bowl of potato slices and tosses them in the garbage.

As his sous-chef starts to blurt out his exasperation at seeing days of his work being tossed away, the head chef pulls him over to another cutting board and takes out an odd looking vegetable. He then tells his sous-chef to slice the vegetable using the same technique he used with the potatoes.

After making a few paper-thin slices, the head chef picks up a slice and tells his sous-chef that the odd-looking vegetable is a white truffle that goes for over $1000.00/pound.

The head chef then tells his sous-chef that cooking is an art – that to succeed at it, you need more than dedication and precision, you need something innate; something he sees in his new sous-chef. And that’s why he wanted his sous-chef to cut all those potatoes – so he could develop his innate skills in order to better learn the techniques involved in classic culinary prep work.

After seeing the interplay between this boss and his new employee, my daughter – who for the past few weeks has been sending out resumes for summer job positions – looked at me and said ‘I want to work for a boss like that’.

Her reaction was not surprising – after all, who wouldn’t want to work for a boss who recognizes our innate potential and provides us with the guidance and support to help develop that potential?

Unfortunately, I met my daughter’s hopeful enthusiasm with a discouraging reply, pointing out how it’s a rare occurrence to work for a boss who encourages the growth of their employees.

Now granted, it is important to provide children with a realistic world-view of what’s awaiting them out there in the real world. And yet, at the same time, I realized that this conversation shines a light on the bigger issue of Click here to continue reading »”Understanding The Power Of Expectations”

Laziness – The Counterintuitive Act Of Leadership

Laziness-and-helping-employees-do-great-work

The following is a guest piece by fellow author (and Canadian) Michael Bungay Stanier.

You jest, sir!

Laziness as leadership? Surely that can’t be correct.

“I didn’t get to where I am now, young man, by being lazy.”

What is this, clickbait?

In fact, no.

Think about the dual responsibilities of any leader: results and people. That one-two combination goes by other names as well: strategy and culture; impact and engagement.

Part of the secret of success for both of these is doing less, not more. Being lazy.

Let me explain.

Part I: Be strategic
Let’s look at a simple model that will help you understand how you spend your time. It categorizes work into three simple types: Bad Work, Good Work and Great Work. Essentially, these are measures not of quality but of impact.

Bad Work is the waste-of-time, soul-crushing bureaucratic work. If you’ve ever thought, “This is my one and precious life; these are hours I’m never going to live again … and I’m somehow doing this!” you’re doing Bad Work.

Good Work is your job description. It’s busy, efficient, and productive. It can also be a comfortable rut.

Winston Churchill said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Good Work can do the same. We find ourselves keeping plates spinning, responding to the inbox and attending meetings, mistaking keystrokes and maintenance for impact.

Finally, there’s Great Work. This is the work that has Click here to continue reading »”Laziness – The Counterintuitive Act Of Leadership”

What It Takes To Be Captain Of The Change Journey

Successful-change-leadership

The following is a guest piece from Dr. Karin Stumpf.

Implementing change is a vital requirement of modern business life. In my work as a change professional I have identified three leadership attributes (also described in more details in my book “Leading Business Change”) that are key to successful change:

  • Being active in shaping the organization transformation
  • Role modeling the required behavioral adjustments and
  • Motivating the people involved and impacted

1. Shaping the Organization Transformation
Being a shaper means being clear on the way forward, being able to explain to others how they will transition from one situation to another. As the change leader, you are ultimately responsible for the delivery of the expected results and you need to take ownership, as well as making (some tough) decisions whenever required.

It is fine to have an open mind to different opinions to get the ultimate solution, but at some point you have to act at the risk of being wrong. I have seen too many managers fear mistakes. They want to spend so much time trying to make sure they “get it right the first time” that their inaction leads to the entire project’s immobilization. In business as in life, you cannot move forward by standing still.

That necessarily entails being able to Click here to continue reading »”What It Takes To Be Captain Of The Change Journey”

Honouring Our Commitment To Show Up

Leadership-Honouring-Commitment-to-Show-Up

For the past several years, one constant of my leadership blog has been the fact that I publish new leadership insights every Tuesday throughout the year. It’s something that’s important not just for my readers as it allows them to know when to expect my latest leadership piece, but it also helps me to overcome those inevitable bouts of procrastination that every writer has to grapple with in the process of creating a new work.

Of course, sometimes the problem with publishing new material for my leadership blog has less to do with overcoming procrastination as it does with the downside of having a fixed day of the week on which to publish new articles.

It’s a problem that came to light a few years ago when I noticed that both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fell on a Tuesday – the very day of the week that I publish new articles for my leadership blog.

Given that most of my readers would be spending time with family and friends instead of reading articles online, I naturally felt some reluctance with writing two new pieces for those dates considering that in all likelihood they would go unnoticed.

My wife also pointed out that since most people won’t be interested in reading articles about work while on their holiday break, this could be a nice opportunity for me to take a break and just save these ideas to share at another time later in the new year.

From almost every vantage point, it just made sense for me to save these leadership insights until after the holiday break when more people were likely to read these new pieces.

And yet, something didn’t sit right with me in skipping out on providing something new for my readers to ponder and consider about the nature of leadership. In part, this feeling was due to the fact that at this point I had garnered a sizeable international audience in parts of the world where it was business as usual instead of a holiday period.

But what ultimately drove me to publish two new pieces on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day that year was something more internal, more meaningful. It was a feeling that I wanted to honour the commitment I had made to my readers – namely, that each and every Tuesday, I would share my insights on how they can become a better leader for those under their care.

This wasn’t just about doing what’s right or what’s expected. It was about recognizing that the key to success is not just what we know, but how driven we are to show up and deliver our best [Twitter-logo-smallShare on Twitter]; to demonstrate our commitment to bring our best selves to the work we do.

Granted, I’m sure my readers would have understood why I chose to take a break in not writing something new for those two weeks. And yet, if we think about it, what makes successful people stand out from others is Click here to continue reading »”Honouring Our Commitment To Show Up”

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #16 – Heidi Grant Halvorson On Why No One Understands You

Heidi-Grant-Halvorson-Leadership-Biz-Cafe

A common theme found among the numerous books and articles on successful leadership is that leaders need to be more open, more transparent with those they lead in order to improve communication channels and drive forward initiatives that are key to an organization’s success and growth.

But what if we’re not as open or as easy to read as we might think that we are? What if the actions we’re taking overlook a key aspect of how our brain operates?

That’s the premise and focus of this new episode of my leadership show, “Leadership Biz Cafe” where I welcome Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson to share her insights from her latest book “No One Understands You And What To Do About It”.

Heidi is a social psychologist whose research and writings focus on the science of motivation. She is also the Associate Director of the Motivation Science Center at Columbia Business School and a member of many esteemed scientific communities and organizations. In addition to authoring several books including “Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals” and “Focus”, Heidi is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today.

You may also recognize her name from some of the guest contributions she’s made to my leadership blog as well.

Over the course of our conversation, Heidi and I discuss a number of interesting points and insights from various studies shared in her latest book that can help leaders become more effective in their roles, including: Click here to continue reading »”Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #16 – Heidi Grant Halvorson On Why No One Understands You”

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