Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

7 Surprising Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From Jazz

Discover 7 surprising lessons the world of Jazz that reveal how you can become a better leader for your team and organization.

The following is a guest piece by Laura Montgomery.

Ambiguity, risk, urgency, public scrutiny: Nothing is more inevitable.

Anxiety, negativity, fear, shame: Nothing is more sabotaging of success.

These statements are equally valid for a business leader—and for a jazz musician. Frank J. Barrett is intimately familiar with both of these roles. A management scholar and executive-education lecturer with a PhD in Organizational Behaviour, Barrett is also an accomplished jazz pianist and the author of “Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz”.

In Barrett’s view, business is a mess just like life on the jazz stage. You find yourself in situations you didn’t choose, dictated by the decisions and actions of others. You have countless options for moving forward, but no clear rules to tell you what the right answer is. The only way to succeed is through improvisation and innovation, rooted in a positive, unrestrained mindset.

After carefully studying tools and techniques that facilitate success both on the stage and in the boardroom, Barrett has identified seven principles of jazz improvisation that can help those who leads teams.

1. Mastering the art of unlearning
“We all have routines, habits based on what has worked for us before. But this can lead to us getting better and better at the wrong things—what I call skilled incompetence,” says Barrett. We need to be suspicious of our own patterns and be fully present in the moment, he advises, seeing seeing situations for what they are now and not what came before. Click here to continue reading »

Comments » | Tags: , , , , , , , | August 16, 2017 by |

How HR Can Help Managers To Become Better Leaders

Learn about 4 ways that your HR department can help newly minted managers in your organization become better leaders.

The following is a guest piece by Kelly Barcelos.

Hiring employees is a tough job, especially today. Organizations in practically every industry are struggling to attract and retain great talent, especially in senior and executive leadership roles. With average job tenures dropping at every level, Human Resource professionals may need to play a more active role in leadership development and coaching.

Importance of HR for Business Productivity and Leadership Development

As HR professionals, you’re uniquely qualified to help leaders develop the skills, systems and processes required for achieving their own objectives as well as organizational goals. You aren’t likely to be affected by any team bias or prejudice, and probably find it easy to remain objective about the organization’s short-term and long-term needs.

Leadership development is important for organizations, since it helps:

  • Achieve and sustain high overall productivity
  • Drive revenue and improve the bottom line
  • Align leadership styles with circumstances
  • Resolve organizational problems
  • Enhance employee engagement

You can also help leaders determine job definitions for certain roles. This goes beyond job descriptions, by identifying goals for each role and then creating behavioral profiles to simplify the process of achieving them. These profiles can be used by leaders to understand their team’s needs, talents and communication styles as well.

How can HR improve leadership development in an organization? Click here to continue reading »

Comments » | Tags: , , , , , , , | August 9, 2017 by |

5 Summer Books That Will Make You A Better Leader

Five leadership books worth reading over the summer break in order to learn how to become more successful at leading others.

As a leadership writer, I get asked from time to time to share a list of my favourite leadership books; books that I found to be the most informative either for those new to leadership, or for those looking for new insights on how they can build on their existing leadership skills.

With summer now in full-swing and with many people now gearing up to take their much-needed summer vacation break, I thought it’d be fun to share five of my favourite leadership books, along with my own leadership insights on how we can be the kind of leader our employees need us to be:

1. “Multipliers – How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” by Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown

Have you ever worked for a boss who made you feel like you did your best work? What was it about their leadership that allowed them to motivate you to bring your best efforts to the job? That’s the question Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown answer in this book.

Their basic premise is that successful leaders – who they call “Multipliers” – view intelligence as something that can be expanded, as opposed to being a fixed and limited resource. Based on their own research, Wiseman and McKeown share actionable steps to help readers transform into leaders who tap into the full potential of every employee under their care.

One of my favourite insights from their book – “Multipliers understand that people love to contribute their genius. If they put in the effort to figure out someone’s genius, they have opened a pathway for that person to contribute.”

This idea aligns with one of the leadership insights I’ve written about numerous times here on my leadership blog:

Leadership is not about you; it’s about how you’re empowering those you lead to succeed and thrive [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

Click here to buy “Multipliers – How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” on Amazon and Amazon.ca.

2. “The Progress Principle – Using Small Wins To Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer

One of the common challenges leaders everywhere face is how do we empower people to be driven to deliver their best, and which actions of ours are causing people to lose their motivation?

In “The Progress Principle”, Harvard professor Teresa Amabile and psychologist Steven Kramer reveal that the key to understanding this is Click here to continue reading »

2 Comments » | Tags: , , , , , , , , | July 25, 2017 by |

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #21 – Tim Sanders On Why Bizlove Is Critical For Today’s Leadership

NYT bestselling author and former executive Tim Sanders on why bizlove is critical to our ability to succeed at leadership and how we can tap into this power in 3 simple steps.

When it comes to our leadership, how generous are we with the knowledge we have and the people we know in terms of helping others to succeed? And why is this so critical to our ability to succeed as leaders? That’s the focus of my conversation with best-selling author and former executive Tim Sanders.

Tim is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and former Yahoo Chief Solutions Officer. Tim has been featured in Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and ABC news. His approach to leadership and business is simple – share what you know and who know you to help others succeed, and do so with compassion towards others. Its those very principles that are the focus of Tim’s New York Times best-selling book – and the focus of our discussion in this episode – “Love Is The Killer App: How To Win Business & Influence Friends”.

Over the course of our conversation, Tim shares a number of fascinating insights and stories, including:

  • Bizlove is having a genuine desire to see others succeed without expecting anything in return. – @SandersSays [Twitter logoShare on Twitter]
  • Too often we focus on the wrong people: on those who boost our ego instead of those we truly helped. – @SandersSays [Twitter logoShare on Twitter]
  • Use gratitude to drive you forward, but don’t treat it as your sole motivator for helping others – @SandersSays [Twitter logoShare on Twitter]
  • When you’re generous and effective at growing other people, people will follow you. – @SandersSays [Twitter logoShare on Twitter]
  • Caring leaders are more able to get their employees to take action than leaders who don’t care. – @SandersSays [Twitter logoShare on Twitter]

There are, of course, many more fascinating and thought-provoking insights shared during this episode – it’s just that some can’t fit into 140 characters or they’re just so much more enjoyable to learn hearing them from Tim himself. This episode also features a number of fun and insightful stories, including a reading trick my middle daughter Malaika – whose not much of a book-reader – uses to capture and recall information she reads in books assigned for school.

As I mentioned at the end of this episode, I’d love to hear what you think about this episode, as well as what other topics you’d be interested in hearing more about in upcoming episodes of my show. Please share your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment below or by filling out the contact form on my website.

I’d also appreciate it if you could rate my show on Google Play, Stitcher Radio, or iTunes to help support future episodes of this leadership podcast.

Click on the player below to listen to the podcast:

[Running time: 54 minutes]

Noteworthy links:

  • Buy Tim Sanders’ book “Love Is The Killer App” on Amazon.com (or Amazon.ca for Canadian readers).
  • Check out the special Leadership Biz Cafe webpage on Tim’s website featuring exclusive content for my listeners at TimSanders.com/LBC.
  • Learn more about Tim’s work and her writings at TimSanders.com.

Comments » | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | July 18, 2017 by |

9 Strategies Of Uncommon Wisdom For Fuelling Top Performance

Learn about 9 strategies leaders can employ that are key to achieving top performance in the organization.

The following is a guest piece by Larry Sternberg.

Fuelling top performance is the goal for most leaders and managers. The best managers know their people are the key to achieving top performance on every metric of success they track. As a leader or manager, how can you make the biggest difference through leveraging the talents and efforts of the people on your team? This handful of specific strategies can help.

1. Accept People As They Are
Your job as a manager is not to change people. Your job is to optimize people’s performance. Start by accepting people as they are. The old adage applies here: Marry as is, and consider any change a bonus.

Select people for your team who have the right mix of strengths, knowledge and potential. Focus on what’s right with people instead of what’s wrong with them. Optimize the alignment between what people bring to the table and what you need your team to achieve. And, be prepared to tolerate some undesirable behaviors — because they are part of the package.

2. Emphasize the Why
Consider the story of three people laying bricks. When asked, “What are you doing?” One person replies, “I’m laying bricks.” The second person says, “I’m part of a team building a really big brick wall.” The third person replies, “I’m just one of many people working together here to build a cathedral where people will get married, christen their babies and lay their loved ones to rest.” Which of these people do you think is most motivated to do great work?

Help people advance from what to why so they see their work as Click here to continue reading »

4 Comments » | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | July 11, 2017 by |
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