TanveerNaseer.com

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

Why Storytelling Matters In Today’s Leadership

Power-of-storytelling-leadership

With this latest piece on my leadership blog, I’m delighted to announce a new partnership with The Economist Executive Education Navigator. The opportunity to collaborate with such a respected and renowned publication is both an exciting opportunity and a great honour.

Through this new partnership, I will be contributing articles to The Economist Executive Education Navigator and in addition, I will be featuring articles originally published on The Economist Executive Education Navigator website. So to kickstart this new partnership, I decided to reprint the article below on the importance of storytelling skills for today’s leaders. But before I do, allow me to first share my own thoughts on this topic.

Of the many skills and traits that today’s leaders are expected to have in order to help their organization succeed and thrive, effective communication is without question one of critical foundation stones for successful leadership in today’s interconnected, digital world.

Of course, when it comes to discussions on how leaders can do a better job communicating their idea or vision to those under their care, there is naturally a focus on how leaders can employ storytelling to not only articulate their vision, but how this communication tool can help motivate employees to commit their native talents, creativity, and insights to making that shared purpose a reality.

Granted, in this digital age of text messages, emails, video conferencing, and social media, storytelling as a communication tool can seem a bit quaint, harkening more the image of people sitting around a campfire sharing stories than around a conference table trying to figure out the next steps of a new initiative or how to resolve a current issue.

But the fact remains that storytelling is a powerful and effective vehicle for leaders to better inform, inspire, and educate those they lead of not only the journey before them, but of the challenges that stand in their way.

The simple truth is that no one Click here to continue reading »”Why Storytelling Matters In Today’s Leadership”

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”

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”

Where Do We Go From Here?

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As 2015 begins to wind down, many of us – myself included – are understandably eager to wrap up the remaining work threads of this year so we can shift our focus to what we’d like to achieve and move forward with in the New Year.

Indeed, researchers at Wharton University have found that moments that stir notions of a fresh start or a new beginning are aligned with that internal motivation we all have to strive to do better, to be better than we are today.

And yet, as most of us know firsthand, those promises that a new year often brings to mind invariably loses out to the day-to-day realities that once again drive our attention away from the things we long to achieve or transform within ourselves.

It’s little surprise, then, that soon after the start of this upcoming new year, many of us will be left feeling as if those plans and goals we set for ourselves to achieve were simply an adult version of calling out “do-over!”, hoping that the chance to start over will somehow lead us to a better reality than the one we have right now.

Of course, it’s not just the end of one year and the impending arrival of a new one that stirs such sentiments and perceptions.

In working and talking with leaders across Canada and the US, it was clear that one thing they shared in common was that feeling of being caught in a perpetual loop where progress is simply defined by getting things done instead of by making a tangible difference, both for their organization and in the lives of those under their care.

Unfortunately, this feeling has left many leaders questioning not only their efficacy, but even the value they bring to their organization through their leadership. Of whether this is all that there is for them offer to those they lead.

Granted, it’s a good thing that these leaders are willing to openly express that frustration because it means that they know they can and should expect more from themselves; of what they can inspire, empower, and provide through their leadership.

But it also illustrates the importance of using milestone moments like the impending start of a new year to Click here to continue reading »”Where Do We Go From Here?”

Recognizing Our Power To Lead And Inspire Others

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Over the course of this year, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over North America speaking at conferences and with organizations about how we can do a better job being the kind of leader our employees need us to be.

As I travelled from the East Coast down to the South Coast, and just two weeks ago, to the West Coast when I spoke at an IT-education conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, I couldn’t help but notice a common line of inquiry being brought forward by some of the leaders in attendance.

While the exact circumstances and dynamics varied among these different leaders, there was nonetheless a common thread at the heart of each of these questions being asked – how do I get those in charge above me to be more like the leaders you demonstrated are necessary for an organization’s long-term growth and success?

Regardless of the focus of my talk or the industry in which these leaders serve, I always began my answer with the same starting point – the fundamental truth is that we can’t get people to do what we want or need, even if at times it’s in their best interests.

Consider, for example, those times when we’re given advice by our doctors for how we can improve our health. How many of us openly embrace the changes to our lifestyle that we’re being told to make? Most often we don’t, that is until our health deteriorates to the point where we no longer have the choice but to follow our doctor’s directives.

But what’s really interesting about this question is not how it surfaces in such diverse groups – from businesses to public institutions, from government agencies here in Canada to multinational organizations based in the US. Rather, what’s interesting is how in each of these situations, the leader standing before me is essentially giving up their power to be the change they need to see in their organization.

Of course, the almost immediate response most of us have to discussing power in the workplace is to view it within the lens of our organization’s structure; that the degree of power one has is relative to the position you hold within the organization.

While it’s understandable to view power from this perspective, the problem I have with this viewpoint is that it leads us to Click here to continue reading »”Recognizing Our Power To Lead And Inspire Others”

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