TanveerNaseer.com

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

Why Leadership Should Be Hard

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With the arrival of this last month of the year, I’ve been finding myself in a mixed state of mental exhaustion and reflection, which considering the work involved in bringing my first leadership book out into the world alongside my regular workload is quite understandable.

What’s interesting, though, is how many of the leaders I’ve spoken and worked with over the past year are also in this dualistic state. Unfortunately, for most of them, the mental exhaustion is far outweighing any notions of making efforts for reflection and review.

Indeed, I’ve seen many leaders shake their heads and admit with some frustration how their job has become so much harder than it used to be. Although I sympathize with the challenges they face, and the complexities that now dot the landscape of operating in this 24/7 global environment, the reality that we all have to own up to is that leadership is hard. And it’s meant to be hard.

As I’ve written before, leadership is not about you – it’s about the people you lead and serve [Twitter-logo-smallShare on Twitter]. That alone makes this job a difficult one because you are taking on the responsibility of combining the hopes, dreams, and ambitions of a diverse group of people and connecting it to something bigger than yourself.

But this has always been the key function of leadership – of how to rally the collective talents, experiences, insights and creativity of a group of people around a common vision or shared purpose that others want to help transform into today’s reality. Our collective history is replete with individuals we admire and try to emulate thanks to their successes in achieving goals that in their time seemed unimaginable.

And yet, in light of today’s faster paced, ever-changing business environment, it can seem almost impossible for us to Click here to continue reading »”Why Leadership Should Be Hard”

The 3 Questions Leaders Must Ask And Answer

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The following is a guest piece by Scott Eblin.

During the past six of the fourteen years I’ve been an executive coach and leadership educator, my observation is that my clients are generally more stressed each year than they were the year before. The feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed has gone up year over year. One of the ways I know this is by asking a few questions at the beginning of most of my presentations.

Let’s say we have a roomful of 100 corporate executives and managers. The first question I ask is “How many of you have been promoted in the past year?” Usually around 20 or 30 percent of the audience members raise a hand. The next question is “How many of you are in the same job you were in a year ago but the scope is much bigger today?” That question brings a lot more raised hands – usually at least 80 percent of the audience.

Then I ask, “How many of you are in the same job you were in a year ago, but the performance bar has risen significantly in the past 12 months?” That’s usually about 100 percent of the hands. Finally, I ask, “How many of you are operating in a constantly changing competitive environment?” That is most definitely 100 percent of the hands.

If you’re doing the math at home, you recognize that most people are raising their hands at least twice, maybe three times or even four. So, it’s sort of obvious why they feel overworked and overwhelmed.

Beginning with the Financial Crisis of 2008, most organizations have adopted a Click here to continue reading »”The 3 Questions Leaders Must Ask And Answer”

5 Important Keys For Taking On New Leadership Challenges

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Of the various articles I’ve written for my website, this one is quite unique as it’s the product of a writing collaboration between myself and Col. Chris R. Stricklin. At the time we were writing this piece, Chris was stationed at Kabul, Afghanistan as the Chief of Staff/Chief Operating Officer for the NATO Air Training Command.

In addition to the unique experience of shaping and discussing the various points we wanted to share in this piece, it was wonderful to see how quickly we discovered both the common ground we share, along with the commonality found in our individual experiences regarding the challenges we’ve faced and seen in how we can help to bring out the best in those around us – even from a half a world away.

I hope you’ll enjoy the combined insights Chris and I bring to this piece on how we can effectively take over the reins of an established team and help them to continue to achieve success in attaining the shared purpose that defines why we do what we do.

* * * * *

The house is perfect. Yard meticulously manicured, walls freshly painted, window treatments perfectly hung…it is as you dreamed…just as you move out. For those who move often, it is a commonly understood idiom the house is always the way we want it just before we move out.

As a leader, the same goes for developing a team. You develop those who follow to be intrinsically motivated toward the success of your mission and you meticulously handpick the different levels of leaders below you to execute your vision.

When it is finally running like a well-oiled machine, corporate promotes you to the next level of challenge. What about your successor? People think that assuming a leadership position over a poorly performing organization is the biggest challenge you could face, but the truth is… becoming the leader of a tight team is a larger challenge.

Follow these five simple ground rules and your new leadership challenge will be off to a great start. Click here to continue reading »”5 Important Keys For Taking On New Leadership Challenges”

How Leaders Promote Collaborative Environment

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When it comes to thriving in today’s fast-changing, interconnected global economy, one of the attributes of organizational success that often comes up is ensuring that we promote greater collaboration among the various teams and departments within our workplace.

Indeed, the ability to foster collaboration in your organization has become a critical leadership competency as technological, process-driven differentiators give way to people-centric ones in today’s knowledge-based global economy.

Unfortunately, while leaders may state that they want to engender a more collaborative environment in their organization, they don’t realize how often own actions are actually serving to stifle collaboration, promote the growth of silos, and ultimately hindering their organization’s ability to innovate or incur any real forward momentum.

Time and time again, I’ve met with leaders who are eager to champion collaboration among their different teams and departments, but who unknowingly create or reinforce barriers that prevent their employees from challenging their assumptions or beliefs of how things can be done.

Although in some cases, the actions and behaviours are specific to a particular situation, there are nonetheless some common missteps these leaders share which have only served to impede collaboration among their employees.

To address and prevent these common mistakes from happening in your organization, I’d like to share the following four measures that leaders should take to ensure that they’re creating an environment where employees are compelled to dedicate their discretionary efforts to the shared purpose of their organization.

1. Define at the start what to expect from one another
At the start of any new initiative – whether it’s the development of a new product or service line, a change initiative to improve things, or coming up with an action plan to address a current crisis, there’s the natural and understandable tendency for all involved parties to Click here to continue reading »”How Leaders Promote Collaborative Environment”

Will This Be The Year Leaders Put Employees First?

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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?”

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