TanveerNaseer.com

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

Where Do We Go Next After We Succeed?

Secret to enduring success in leadership

So you achieved that long sought-after success at work – great! Everyone is cheering you on, applauding your success while you enjoy your time in the limelight.

But as time moves on, your colleagues start to focus on other matters and that success that garnered you all those accolades and praise slowly dims, leaving you with one uncomfortable and glaring question – what do I do now?

It’s the part of process of achieving success that we don’t often talk about, mostly because the focus tends to be on how we can be successful without any real honest examination of what do we do when we actually achieve it.

Understandably, part of the reason for that is that success – especially when it’s a public or life-changing moment – is often seen as being the pinnacle of our journey, leaving us with no where to go but down.

A great example of that is when actors win an Academy Award in the early stages of their career. Although life-changing, it also seems to limit their future successes, as many of them go off to make films that are not as critically acclaimed or commercially successful as the one that won them the Oscar. Given their limited body of work, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that many of them went from being seen as rising stars to potential has-beens.

Fortunately, for most of us, our successes are not as character or career-defining, but that doesn’t necessarily free us from the expectations those around us might have about what we will do next or what achievement we will next attain.

It’s an idea that came to mind after seeing the overwhelming response to the piece I wrote last week about the power of expectations.

As a writer, you’re not always sure what ideas or insights will resonate the most with your readers. So when you see a piece of yours getting the attention like my last piece did – where it not only became the headline article for the Wednesday edition of SmartBrief on Leadership, but it was also featured in numerous other industry newsletters and leadership blogs – it’s hard not to feel like you succeeded in capturing lightning in a bottle.

Of course, as was the case with past articles I wrote which also captured the interest of so many and lead to dozens of new blog subscribers and new readers, it also gave rise to thoughts about how do we match that success. And even how can we surpass it.

There’s no question that this line of thought can leave you facing a daunting dilemma, if not a crisis of Click here to continue reading »”Where Do We Go Next After We Succeed?”

What Leaders Need To Do To Help Their Employees Succeed

Transforming-passion-into-purpose

When I was nine years old, my older cousin got a brand new chopper bicycle for his birthday and it was probably the coolest bike I ever saw. With its hot lime green chassis, checker-board banana seat, and a sports car-inspired gear shift affixed to the bike body just in front of the seat, this bike looked more like a hot rod than a conventional bicycle.

The first time I saw it, I wanted so badly to take it for a spin, and so I ran to my older cousin and asked him if I could take his bike for a ride around the block. Given how it was a new bike and I was only nine, my older cousin clearly had no interest lending his bike to me.

Every summer after that, when we went to visit my uncle, aunt and my cousin, it was always the same answer my cousin gave me when I asked him once more if I could try his bike – “No”. Despite those repeated negative answers to my query, I never once wavered in my eagerness and anticipation of one day riding that bike.

A couple of years pass by, and on one of our summer trips to my uncle and aunt’s place, my aunt tells me how my older cousin is going to be taking his driver’s test soon. Given how he’ll be driving around town, my aunt tells me that he has little use for his chopper bike. She then looks at me and asks “Would you like to take his bike home with you?”

I couldn’t believe my ears. After years of asking my cousin to let me ride his chopper bike, his mom was now offering to make it mine. It didn’t take long for me to blurt out a very excited “Yes!”.

Of course, my parents being the pragmatic types thought that I should try the bike first before accepting it. Given how I’d waited years just to ride this bike, I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to actually own it. So I assured my parents that this bike was a good fit and so we packed up the bike and headed back to Montreal.

As we got home late that evening, I couldn’t try out my new bike until the next day which I figured was okay as that meant that I could show it off to my friends the next morning when I biked over to the neighbourhood park.

The next day, I went out to the garage, excited that I was finally going to be able to take this bike out for a ride. As I rode off our driveway and onto the street, though, I had an unexpected realization about this chopper bicycle – it was just a bike.

For years, I had built in my head this grand notion of what it would feel like riding this bike; of feeling that rush of excitement as I raced down the street on this eye-catching bicycle. As it turned out, riding this bike didn’t feel any different from riding any other bike.

So instead of being this amazing, exhilarating ride, it was actually unremarkable and even at times uncomfortable, especially when it came to changing the gears as the shift handle was difficult to reach. It comes as no surprise then why this bike remains the only one I’ve ever seen that had the gear shift placed down on the bike frame between the handlebars and the bike seat.

Now while my story ended in disappointment, but with an important life lesson on how sometimes things don’t live up to our expectations, I want to share another story – specifically, that of a painter – and how the contrast between his experience and mine can shed light on what leaders need to do to help their employees to succeed. Click here to continue reading »”What Leaders Need To Do To Help Their Employees Succeed”

The One Thing Today’s Leaders Need To Do

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One of the things I enjoy about the various talks I give is the conversations I have afterwards with leaders in the audience. These interactions not only give me the chance to understand which leadership insights resonated with them the most, but it also allows me to learn more about the current challenges and pain points they’re looking to resolve in their organization.

Recently, I was reminded of one of these conversations where a senior VP asked me this question – ‘what would you say is the one thing that every leader should do?’ Now on the surface, this question might seem to infer one of those quick-fix, set-it-and-forget-it solutions that leaders could employ in order to shift their focus to other issues demanding their time and attention.

After all, when it comes to leadership, our ability to succeed in this role involves more than just one skill set or approach, something that’s particularly evident when we consider the increasing demands and ever-changing conditions that shape and define today’s workplace environment.

And yet, despite those increasing demands and distractions – not to mention the need for continuous adaptation and innovation in light of changes that are brought on both within and outside the organization – there is in fact one thing that every leader today should be doing.

Regardless of what position they hold or what industry they operate within, today’s leaders need to make sure that their actions and words serve to answer this one important question – what is our purpose?

Granted, as leaders, we all understand the importance of creating and communicating a vision or mission statement that serves to tell both our employees and those we hope to serve what it is that we create or offer.

Unfortunately, when it comes to defining that vision for our organization, many of us struggle because we make the process of creating it too complex, too unwieldy and consequently, we end up with a message that’s not as relatable as we need it be, nor is it truly effective as being an idea or vision that others would willingly rally around.

When it comes to answering the question of what is our purpose, we too easily get bogged down in the process of conceptualization because we think of our collective purpose in fuzzy terms and not in a manner that best connects this message, this idea with what matters to those under our care.

And many times, we also forget that Click here to continue reading »”The One Thing Today’s Leaders Need To Do”

Creating Intentional Impact That Brings People With You

Intentional-impact-leadership

The following is a guest piece by Inc. columnist Anese Cavanaugh.

We’re well into 2016 now. Recaps, core lessons, results, learning, and themes of 2015 have likely been captured; solutions, goals, intentions, planning, and strategy for 2016 is likely in action… Now what?

How do you make sure that this year stays intentional, awake, and that you lead yourself and your team into a new level of impact? How do you help impact happen in an efficient and collaborative manner? How do you save time, energy, and money in creating outcomes and having life-giving (not soul-sucking) meetings?

And how do you do this all in a way that holds each person accountable for showing up, leading with care, and feeling on purpose and energized vs. on auto pilot and exhausted, by the end of the first quarter?

This can be simple.

You’re going to want to be really intentional about the impact you create together.

You’re going to want to emphasize, support, and model the importance of self-care, of showing up, and bringing your best self to the table.

And, you’re going to need presence. (In all meanings of this word: presence in the moment, presence with your current reality, presence with other, presence with self, executive presence… I’m talking presence in the most holistic sense of the word.). To do this means we have to address 3 key elements: Click here to continue reading »”Creating Intentional Impact That Brings People With You”

My Top 10 Leadership Insights For 2015

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In my penultimate article from 2015, I made the point that in answering the question “where do we go from here?”, we have to look back on the journey we’ve taken and what lessons and insights we’ve learned that can help us as we move forward.

So for my first piece for 2016, I thought it would be a wonderful way to illustrate this idea by doing just that – of looking back at the past 52 weeks of leadership articles and leadership podcast episodes shared here on my award-winning leadership blog in order to discover what were my Top 10 leadership insights that garnered the most interest among my readers.

As I wrote in that earlier piece, our future success hinges on how well we connect where we need to go with what we’ve learned so far [Twitter-logo-smallShare on Twitter]. To that end, as we make plans for what we’d like to achieve in 2016, here’s a look at my Top 10 Leadership Insights from 2015, insights that can help you to use your leadership to not only drive success in your organization in 2016, but create that kind of environment that will allow your employees to thrive under your care.

 

Leadership Insight #10 – Our words do not simply impart information; they influence how people see the value of what they do [Twitter-logo-smallShare on Twitter].

“This is exactly what we see lying at the heart of every study looking into what’s behind those persistent low levels of employee engagement in organizations around the world – a lack of genuine communication between leaders and those under their care.

Time and again, there are study findings released that demonstrate that people want to know that their efforts matter, if not also why they should care about our vision. They want to understand the connections between their efforts and the larger shared purpose that defines why we do what we do.

And this is understandable if we appreciate that – thanks to the faster-pace by which we now have to operate – it’s become harder for people to make those connections for themselves.”

Read more on this leadership insight here: Understanding The Power Of Our Words

 

Leadership Insight #9 – People don’t get excited about being efficient; they get excited about doing work that matters [Twitter-logo-smallShare on Twitter].

“This is the real differentiator between those organizations that are Click here to continue reading »”My Top 10 Leadership Insights For 2015″

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