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”

How To Encourage Growth Under A Controlling Boss

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One of the things I enjoy about my work is having conversations with people about the nature of leadership, and the challenges and opportunities leaders face in this continually evolving, interconnected business environment.

One of these conversations lead to a discussion about how leaders who want to push for change can deal with those above them who operate from the command-and-control style of leadership – in other words, those that subscribe to the overtly-controlling it’s my way or you’re out approach.

Since that conversation, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss and learn about how both employees and other leaders are also grappling with this organizational schism of dealing with someone stuck in an Industrial Age mindset of top-down leadership, while having to address today’s challenges and issues which require a more collaborative, inclusive and open workplace dynamic.

Based on these conversations, I’d like to share the following three measures that can help both employees and leaders who have to deal with a controlling boss who is clearly stuck in the ‘this is the way things are done around here’ mindset to ensure that they are able to promote growth and collective success in their organization.

1. Don’t focus on your value but on the value you can create
One of the common issues I hear when I discuss with clients and colleagues this issue of working for a controlling boss – especially those that operate from a top-down, win-at-all-costs leadership mindset – is how they feel like they’re more a means to an end than a valued contributor to their organization.

In discussing this situation, one thing that becomes clear is that both parties are almost speaking a different language in terms of their perspective and perception. For employees, their focus is on how to get those in charge to see them as being something more than what they do. For controlling bosses, however, their focus is simply on what they want their employees to get done in order to obtain their desired end result, regardless of the impact or impression that leaves on those under their care.

To resolve this difference in focus and attitudes, we need to Click here to continue reading »”How To Encourage Growth Under A Controlling Boss”

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #15 – Tanveer Naseer On Overcoming Leadership Vertigo

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With so many books, articles, and studies on how leaders can be more effective guiding their teams in today’s faster-paced, global environment, why do leaders still struggle to help their organizations to succeed? That’s the basis of the conversation in this VERY special episode of Leadership Biz Cafe which wraps up the month-long celebration of the release of my first leadership book, “Leadership Vertigo”.

In this special episode of my show, I’m delighted to hand over hosting duties to my friend David Burkus, author of “The Myths of Creativity” and host of the leadership podcast show, LDRLB, so he can interview me about my new book, as well as asking about my future plans, including a discussion about my next leadership book.

Over the course of this discussion, David and I discuss:

  • What is leadership vertigo and how does it impact leaders in today’s organizations.
  • Understanding one of the key challenges organizations face in terms of balancing leadership development and retaining key talent.
  • What Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela help us to understand about the importance of community and why it’s necessary to rallying employees around our vision or long-term objectives.
  • My experience with a public transit janitor on the Chicago L-Train and what his actions reveal about the true nature of credibility in leadership.
  • What’s next in store for me, including a discussion of what the focus of my next leadership book will be.

As David mentions at the end of this special episode, I’d love to hear what you think about this conversation about my first leadership book, as well as hearing what other topics this might spur your interest in learning more about in future episodes of my show. To do so, please leave me a comment below or fill out the contact form found on my website.

Click on the player below to listen to the podcast: Click here to continue reading »”Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #15 – Tanveer Naseer On Overcoming Leadership Vertigo”

Credibility Is the Foundation Of Leadership

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For the third part of this month-long series celebrating the release of my first leadership book (which will be available in bookstores and through online retailers), “Leadership Vertigo”, I’m delighted and honoured to welcome James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, authors of the international best-seller and groundbreaking leadership book, “The Leadership Challenge”, to my blog. In this special guest piece, Jim and Barry discuss the 3rd leadership principle from the book, “Earn Credibility”, by sharing findings from several of their studies as to why credibility is so critical to our ability to effectively lead our employees and organization.

Jim and Barry, it is truly a pleasure and an honour to have you both sharing your research, knowledge, and insights with my readers. I’m grateful to you both for being so supportive and encouraging of my writings on leadership over these past couple of years. You inspire me to recognize that this book is just the beginning, and that there’s not only another book waiting for me to write, but that there’s more that I can share and give back to the leadership community to help leaders to “love ‘em and lead ‘em”.

* * * * *

“I did not readily admit to my friends where I worked,” Lisa Kelley (not her real name) told us. “I just used to say, ‘A big company.’” The reason, she said, “predominantly had to do with the fact that I did not believe that our leaders were acting with the integrity and honesty that I hold so dear to my heart. I did not feel management set the kind of example that I wanted to abide by.”

Lisa’s sentiment is one that we hear time and time again. People want to believe in their leaders and in the organizations in which they work. When they don’t, they are unlikely to want to follow or do their best work.

For over thirty years we’ve been asking people to tell us what they look for and admire in a leader, someone whose direction they would willingly follow (the key word here is willingly.) The results of our studies over these three decades have been strikingly consistent around the world, and across categories of age, gender, ethnicity, functional discipline, and organizational level.

People are exceedingly clear about the qualities they expect leaders to demonstrate before they will enlist in a common cause and freely commit to action.

What are these crucial attributes? According to our research, people most want their leaders to be honest, forward-looking, competent, and inspiring. These four characteristics rank well above any others, and they are the only four that have been selected consistently by over sixty percent of respondents. Click here to continue reading »”Credibility Is the Foundation Of Leadership”

How To Promote Continuous Learning In Your Organization

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“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

– William Arthur Ward

When it comes to effectively leading teams and organizations in today’s fast-paced, 24/7 global economy, it’s becoming more and more evident that the days of command-and-control leadership are well behind us. That – to paraphrase the quote above – organizations need leaders who don’t just explain or demonstrate the relevance of their vision to those they lead. Rather, what organizations require are leaders who can inspire employees to commit themselves wholeheartedly to making this vision a reality.

It’s a recurring theme found in some of the talks I’ve given this year, going from my keynote speech given at a leadership conference in Chicago last month to my next presentation in Utah in September: that as leaders, we need to do more than simply paint grand visions of the future; we also have to provide an environment where our employees can see the opportunity to grow, evolve, and help build the kind of future that they want to be a part of.

As I prepare for my talk next month on how leaders can help their organizations to shift from relying solely on training programs to promoting a continuous learning environment, I’d like to share the following 3 measures to provide some insights on how you can do the same in your organization.

1. Encourage your employees to challenge their assumptions
One of the first things we have to do to promote continuous learning in our organization is to encourage our employees to challenge their assumptions of their capabilities as well as of what’s possible. To understand the importance of this step to creating a continuous learning environment, we need to first understand how our brain performs tasks.

When our brain performs tasks or makes decisions, it not only taps into the Click here to continue reading »”How To Promote Continuous Learning In Your Organization”

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