TanveerNaseer.com

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

What Will Your Leadership Legacy Be?

Leadership-legacy-and-succession

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve written about how successful leaders build thriving teams, along with what necessary steps we need to take to not only encourage organizational growth in the months and years ahead, but how we can help our employees to adapt to changes we need to make to ensure we achieve our shared purpose.

As is often the case when we write about leadership, the focus tends to be on what we can do today to improve how our organization operates going forward and hopefully, achieve the kind of success we envisioned when we first took on this leadership role.

And yet, a common theme running through the past couple of pieces I’ve written here on my blog also lend themselves to the idea of looking beyond our time serving as leader and to what we’ll leave behind as the legacy of our time serving as the steward for our organization’s vision and shared purpose.

When I announced to my Governing Board team my decision to resign as chairman a few months back, the news was met with some disappointment and sadness, followed by an impromptu round of applause when I revealed my plans to run in the upcoming school board elections for school board chairman. In the time since making this announcement, there’s been a feeling of assurance among my team members about the future, with a few of them telling me that they know that the team will be fine without me.

While it might sting at first to hear that those you lead are confident that they can move along without you, it’s probably the biggest compliment we can get as leaders when the time comes for us to hand over the helm to someone else.

When we see that those we lead meet our impending departure not with trepidation or concern, but with sadness and appreciation, we know that we’ve Click here to continue reading »”What Will Your Leadership Legacy Be?”

Leading Through The Power Of “And”

Power-of-And-in-Leadership

When it comes to discussions on leadership, there are certain constants or inevitable statements that you’re likely to come across. One of the most common of these stems from the ongoing debate over whether culture is more important than strategy in terms of the organization’s long-term success and viability.

Unfortunately, the popularity of debating the merits of one tactic over the other has recently given rise to a whole new set of either/or scenarios where leaders are encouraged to adopt one approach at the expense of the other. To date, some of the either/or scenarios I’ve seen debated include:

  • vision vs. strategy
  • knowledge vs. action
  • people vs. results
  • thinking vs. doing
  • managing Millennials vs. every other workplace generation

Of course, it’s understandable why there’s a growing appeal for this approach – given the increasing complexity of leading organizations in today’s interconnected global economy, it’s only natural that we want to find quick answers to help us navigate these often choppy waters.

And yet, the problem with these zero-sum models is that they not only misdirect our focus from more urgent issues, but they also create more harm than good for the following reasons:

1. It overlooks the dualistic nature of these approaches
I’ve read recently a few articles where people have argued that the fast-pace of today’s market demands less focus on knowledge and thinking and more on action and doing. Of course, it’s easy to argue for a take-charge bravado when you’re not leading an organization still suffering from risk aversion thanks to the difficulties faced over the last few years.

That’s not to say that we need to do the inverse – of waiting until we have all our ducks in a row before we release our collective efforts out into the world. Rather, it means Click here to continue reading »”Leading Through The Power Of “And””

Will This Be The Year Leaders Put Employees First?

Leadership-putting-employees-first

As we approach the end of the first month of this new year, many of us are now well under way in implementing our plans and strategies to achieve the goals we’ve mapped out for the next 11 months. In terms of what leaders view as their top goals to achieve this year, a new study reveals some interesting opportunities, and with it, some key obstacles leaders will need to address if they are to help their organization move forward.

In the CEO Challenge 2014 study carried out by The Conference Board, CEOs and presidents from over 1 000 organizations around the world were asked to identify what they saw as the top challenges for their organization. While it wasn’t surprising to see innovation and customer relationships being included in the top 5 challenges, the study’s most revealing finding is how the top challenge for leaders worldwide was Human Capital – namely, how to engage, retain, manage and develop their employees.

In other words, leaders in every region of the world recognize that their employees are the defining factor both for their organization’s ability to achieve their goals this year, and as well as for their overall long-term success. As Rebecca Ray, Senior Vice President, Human Capital at The Conference Board, and co-author of this study points out:

“This emphasis on people-related issues makes perfect sense in a still-uncertain economy. Building a culture that supports engagement, employee training, leadership development, and high performance is something companies can control, and can mean the difference between growing market share and simply surviving in 2014. Moreover, if the focus of individual companies is sustained, Human Capital may well be the engine that revives economic growth.”

This is certainly encouraging news, as it reflects a growing shift from the survivalist/just treading water mindset to one that seeks opportunities for development and growth. However, we do have to be mindful of Click here to continue reading »”Will This Be The Year Leaders Put Employees First?”

One Important Leadership Lesson To Take Into Next Year

important leadership lesson moving forward

Earlier this month, I gave my last talk for this year – one which examined the role charisma plays in effective leadership. After sharing research findings from the fields of neuroscience and psychology, as well as examining the common characteristics charismatic leaders share, attendees were able to appreciate that being charismatic is not about charm and how others perceive us.

Rather, it’s about how we make those around us feel – about themselves, about their capabilities and the value of what they can contribute to our shared purpose.

Recently, we all got to reflect and appreciate this reality as we looked back on the life of Nelson Mandela and how he chose to lead his life in a way that transformed his country from one that divided people based on the colour of their skin, to a nation that celebrated together his life and the vision he put forth for them to make as their own.

Although we might remember him through his various quotes and speeches, the real leadership lesson to be gleaned from his life is how he empowered those around him to not only envision a better future for all South Africans, but how he encouraged their willingness to embrace the great expectations he placed on each of them to not only do better, but to be better versions of themselves.

And Mandela was able to encourage the best in those around him because he exemplified in his actions and words his confidence that – while a daunting and at times difficult goal – it was one that his followers could nonetheless achieve if they rallied together around a shared purpose; of embracing their commonality and sense of belonging, and using that as the lens through which they understood and appreciated their collective efforts.

I wanted to highlight his message and my talk here in one of my last pieces for this year because Click here to continue reading »”One Important Leadership Lesson To Take Into Next Year”

Decoding The Truth Of Leading Multi-Generational Workforces

Research findings on leading multigenerational workforce

When it comes to discussions on the various challenges leaders need to address in today’s fast-changing global economy, there’s one topic that merits a proper assessment as to whether or not it’s really an issue for today’s organizations. And that is the issue of how to effectively manage a multi-generational workforce.

In some ways it’s only natural that we see an increase in discussions on potential challenges for organizations in operating under a multi-generational workforce. With the Boomer generation staying in the workforce longer due to declining retirement savings and increasing cost-of-living expenses, organizations are not only having to deal with three different generations of employees working together, but also the impact of a slowdown in the rate of upward career movement for younger workers.

The problem, though, with these discussions of managing a multi-generational workforce is when the focus shifts to trying to articulate differences in values, motivations, and attitudes based purely on generational cohorts, especially when it comes to trying to differentiate the Millennial generation from previous ones.

One of the key faults found in all these discussions on the differences between Millennials and the other generational cohorts is that they often differentiate generational values with respect to technological differences – in particular, differences in usage – as opposed to sociological ones. Specifically, how the focus tends to be on how Millennials are the first generation to grow up in a ‘high-tech’, mobile world.

We have to remember that Click here to continue reading »”Decoding The Truth Of Leading Multi-Generational Workforces”

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