TanveerNaseer.com

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

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”

Are You Helping Your Employees To Reach Their Potential?

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When it comes to my role serving as the Governing Board Chairman at my daughters’ high school, one aspect of this leadership role that I enjoy the most is being invited to school events that celebrate the achievements of our students.

After all, when you spend much of your time discussing school budget issues, funding projects, approving various school policies and the like, having the opportunity to talk with students to learn about their accomplishments really helps to provide a context for the collective efforts of my team.

The most recent student celebratory event was particularly noteworthy as the focus was not on the best and brightest students in our school community. Instead, it was on students participating in a work-study program designed for students at-risk of dropping out or who suffer from intellectual disabilities.

The goal of this school-based program is simple – to provide these students with both a knowledge base and hands-on experience that will allow them to join the workforce at the end of the three year program. As these students are not the high achievers who win academic or athletic awards, they typically tend to get overlooked by others because there’s no rising star to be found among them.

And yet, a conversation I had with one of these students not only challenged that notion, but it helped to reveal a very important lesson that every leader today can benefit from. A lesson on how we can bring out the best in every employee under our care.

Before joining this work-study program, Malik was one of several students at-risk of dropping out of school, not just because he struggled to keep up with the school work, but also because he was extremely disorganized. As he told me when sharing his story, he had a hard time with the regular school work load because he couldn’t keep track of the various assignments he had to do.

It was at this point that Malik directed my focus to this binder he had on the table. As he revealed the contents inside his binder, he told me about how this program had helped him to become more organized, not just in how he managed his homework, but also in how he maintained his work station.

Most interestingly, Malik admitted that his newfound ability to be more organized has spilled into his family life as well in that he not only keeps his room clean, but he also makes his bed every morning, something his parents had never imagined he’d do.

Granted, this kind of effort would hardly be considered noteworthy or exceptional for most of us. But the point to here is not what Malik and his classmates accomplished. Rather, what Malik’s story reveals is the importance of helping those we lead to discover their potential to do more, to be more than they are today.

In the case of Malik and his fellow classmates, what helped drive their transformation to feeling like what they do matters and is important was Click here to continue reading »”Are You Helping Your Employees To Reach Their Potential?”

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #18 – Braden Kelley On How Leaders Can Successfully Drive Change

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In today’s faster paced, interconnected world, there’s little doubt that change is the new reality; the new standard by which we now have to operate. But if leaders recognize change as being a new constant in our organization’s field of view, why then are so many leaders struggling to effectively drive change in their organization? It’s the question that serves as the basis of my talk with innovation expert and author, Braden Kelley.

Braden is an experienced innovation speaker, trainer, and digital transformation specialist. In addition to being one of the co-founders of the respected website, InnovationExcellence.com, Braden has published more than 500 articles on innovation as well as being author of the book “Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire”. His latest book is “Charting Change: A Visual Toolkit for Making Change Stick” which will be the focus of our conversation in this episode.

Over the course of this episode, Braden and I touch on a number of fascinating insights that he describes in his latest book, including: Click here to continue reading »”Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #18 – Braden Kelley On How Leaders Can Successfully Drive Change”

How To Successfully Achieve Your Goals This Year

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Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of being invited to be the in-studio guest expert on CBC Radio to discuss why people have a hard time keeping their New Year’s Resolutions and what we should be doing to be successful in achieving our goals.

Over the course of the hour-long show, the show’s host invited callers from across Montreal to call in to share their experiences in making New Year’s Resolutions after which he asked me to share my insights on how people can succeed at achieving their goals over the next 12 months.

Although the focus of the program was on New Year’s Resolutions, I realized that some of the insights I discussed on this show are also valuable for leaders who want to make sure they are providing the right conditions for their employees to be successful in their collective efforts.

And so with 2016 now well under way, I’d like to share the following 3 key strategies that will help you cross the finish line in achieving those goals you’ve mapped out for your organization to attain this year.

1. Direct your focus towards goals that matter
In much of my work with leaders in both Canada and the US, one issue that repeatedly comes up is the struggle with busyness – of feeling like the work we’re doing is simply for the sake of getting things off our plate so we can move onto the next thing demanding our attention, as opposed to doing work that helps move our organization forward in achieving our shared vision.

Indeed, there’s been a number of studies that have pointed out how today’s leaders are operating from an increasingly distracted state – where their focus is often taken away from what matters most to their organization’s shared purpose due to the increasing pull they face on their time, attention and resources.

As such, while many of us are understandably feeling as though our workloads continue to increase year after year, the kind of work we do every day is becoming more and more disconnected from what inspires us to show up and deliver our best efforts to the cause.

That’s why when it comes to defining goals for those you lead, you need to answer the question – why does it matter? [Twitter-logo-smallShare on Twitter] Why should your employees dedicate their talents, creativity, and efforts to making this goal a reality? And where will it lead your organization once you’ve achieved it? Click here to continue reading »”How To Successfully Achieve Your Goals This Year”

Honouring Our Commitment To Show Up

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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”

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