Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #22 – Andy Molinsky On Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone To Succeed

Discover the real keys for how to effectively move outside your comfort zone to develop new skills and insights that will power your success.

There’s a common saying shared often in our social media streams that you achieve success, we need to take a leap out of our comfort zone in order to access that space ‘where the magic happens’.

But is this really what we need to do to achieve success and personal fulfillment? That question serves as the starting point of my discussion on the true nature of comfort zones and learning how to grow our competencies with psychology and organizational behaviour professor Andy Molinsky.

Andy is a Professor at Brandeis University’s International Business School, with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology. His research and writing has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Inc. Magazine, Psychology Today, the Financial Times, The Economist, and the New York Times. Andy was awarded as a Top Voice for LinkedIn for his work in education. Andy is the author of two books, including his latest, “Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge, and Build Confidence”, which serves as the focus of this episode.

In this episode of my leadership podcast, Andy and I discuss the realities of moving outside our comfort zone and how we can effectively accomplish this, and over the course of our conversation, Andy shares a number of valuable insights, including:

  • What’s the real difference between between introversion and extroversion (hint: it’s now how shy or outgoing we are).
  • The five challenges we face when moving outside our comfort zone – and the ones that most of us struggle with the most.
  • Understanding the many ways that we avoid moving outside our comfort zone and how this can actually create a negative feedback loop that stifles opportunities for growth and success.
  • The three strategies successful people share in common in how they approach moving outside their comfort zone to drive their future successes.
  • The surprising reason why clarity is a key factor to our ability to succeed in moving outside our comfort zone.

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It’s worth noting that my leadership podcast was recognized by Inc. As one of “12 podcasts that will make you a better leader”. So please help me get the word out about my show.

Click on the player below to listen to the podcast: Click here to continue reading »

7 Strategies To Lead With Abundance

Learn about 7 strategies leaders can employ in order to shift from leading with a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset in order to empower employees.

The following is a guest piece by Dr. Naphtali Hoff.

“People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of win-lose. There is only so much; and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me. The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, the more we are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people. We believe their success adds to…rather than detracts from…our lives.” ~ Stephen R. Covey

About four years ago, I made the decision to shift careers from school leadership to that of executive coach and consultant. To that end, I enrolled in a doctoral program studying human and organizational psychology. In my first course, I was told to interview someone who was in the same field that I sought to pursue and ask that person a series of questions relating to their career path.

After doing some research, I found two successful women that fit the bill. While both were pleasant to speak with and generous with their time, one in particular, a coach and trainer, shared some things that really made an impression on me.

She said that she had benefitted from others’ expertise when she had gotten started and was always looking for ways to “pay it forward” to other aspiring professionals. The fact that I was planning to move to her general area and serve similar clients did not deter her from giving freely of her advice.

She even met me on another occasion over lunch to talk further about how to help me transition and grow my business.

This woman’s behavior not only helped me to get started but she also inspired me to rethink a lifelong script that had become part of my inner thinking and attitude. I refer specifically to Scarcity Theory.

Scarcity Theory, a term coined by Stephen Covey, suggests that Click here to continue reading »

3 Key Steps To Finding Purpose In What You Do

3 key steps shared in a TEDx talk that can help us find purpose in what we do, as well as living the lives we were meant to live.

A few days ago, I got to live one of my dreams.

That’s something that not all of us get to say, which is why I realized that it’s worth taking the time to share this important milestone here on my leadership blog.

So what was this dream that came true for me? Well, this past Sunday, I had the privilege of giving a TEDx talk as one of the speakers at the TEDxConcordia event, something I’m sure you’ve probably figured out from seeing the picture above of me standing on the TEDxConcordia stage.

And if it wasn’t exciting enough to fulfill this dream of becoming a TEDx speaker right here in my hometown of Montreal, what made this all the more special was I gave this talk at the renowned Place des Arts – a performing arts venue has hosted performances by Jerry Seinfeld, Leonard Cohen, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and many more, not to mention the Montreal International Jazz Festival. So I’m sure you can appreciate why this is definitely a memory-of-a-lifetime for me.

Now understandably, it’s going to take some time before my talk appears on the TEDx YouTube channel. But I didn’t want to wait until then to share some of the ideas that I presented in my TEDx talk, especially in light of the overwhelming response and heartwarming comments I received from attendees during the intermission and at the after-show cocktail party.

And so, I’d like to share with you the three key steps I shared in my TEDx talk “Forget Passion – Purpose is the Real Spice of Life” in the hopes that they will inspire you to not only be the kind of leader your employees need you to be, but also what we all need to live the lives we were meant to live: Click here to continue reading »

5 Simple Steps For Cutting Your Work Addiction Habit

Learn about a 5 step process that can help you boost productivity by tapping into the power of fun.

The following is a guest piece by Dave Crenshaw.

Have you become allergic to fun?

I suppose it’s an abrupt question to ask. If I were to ask that of someone, I can understand them taking it personally and responding with “buzz off” or some incantation of that phrase.

But, have you? Many of us have lost touch with our ability to enjoy, let alone have fun.

At some point our careers gained momentum. We gained moderate to significant success, and with success came responsibility, and with responsibility came the aversion to whimsy. For many in this situation, harmless diversions from our work were labeled as laziness; so, we trudged away day in and day out. After all, time is money. Money is labor. And, labor is time. Occasionally, hard time. Right?

Perpetual Motion vs Rhythm

The problem with this line of thinking is that it assumes being effectively productive means attacking your tasks and achieving your goals non-stop, every day, every hour, with reckless abandon. This isn’t productivity. This is perpetual motion. This is work addiction. And it’s the least productive way to work.

Our bodies have what is called a Ultradian Rhythm. Think of your body clock―your Circadian Rhythm. That’s the 24-hour cycle that your body goes through―from the time you wake up, to the time when you are at your most alert, to the time you go back to bed. Well, your Ultradian Rhythm is our mind and body’s productivity clock. Most people can work for roughly 90-120 minutes before they need some kind of break.

In my upcoming book, “The Power of Having Fun“, I call this break an “Oasis.” An Oasis is the fuel that recharges your mind and body. Think of any desert journey scene in any old Hollywood movie. Then, the protagonist, fighting thirst and exhaustion, miraculously happens upon an oasis with all the amenities needed to keep going.

You need not wait for this to happen. You can create these miraculous moments every day. By planning your daily Oasis, you have the power to not just be more productive, but to reenter the world as a happier person.

Here are the 5 steps you’ll need to break that cycle and experience the power of having fun! Click here to continue reading »

4 Critical Leadership Traits That Drive Success And Growth

Learn about 4 critical leadership traits you need to have in order to motivate employees to help drive organizational success and growth.

This past summer, my daughter Malaika worked at her first summer job, which also happened to be her first time in a true leadership role. As one of two co-ordinators of her high school’s orientation camp, she was not only responsible for managing the various activities to help new students become more familiar with the school, but she was also in charge of overseeing the 24 camp mentors who were there to support the new students.

Although Malaika came home every day exhausted from a long, busy day, I couldn’t help but notice a transformation in how she recalled her experiences – where at the beginning of camp, she felt frustrated and a bit discouraged, but as the camp went on, she was more enthusiastic and excited about what had happened that day.

As she talked about her experiences being a leader for the first time, I realized that she had learned about 4 critical traits that we need to succeed at leadership; characteristics that are worth re-examining now that summer is over and many of us have a renewed focus to drive growth in our organization:

1. Take the initiative in asking others for feedback
One of the biggest concerns Malaika had early on was whether she was doing enough to support the 24 camp mentors under her care. Some times, she worried that she was speaking too much and other times, she wondered if she didn’t give her team enough insight or guidance on what to do.

To address her concerns, Malaika decided to speak to some of the camp mentors she didn’t know very well to get their impressions of how she was doing. As it turned out, the camp mentors were not only happy with the job that she was doing, but they appreciated that she wanted to know what they thought.

By being pro-active in seeking feedback from her team, Malaika sent a clear message to the camp mentors that she genuinely cared about their opinions and wanted to know if her efforts were as helpful as she thought they were.

And this effort reveals the first critical leadership trait: our ability to grow as leaders is dependent on our willingness to get feedback from those we lead [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

2. Don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty
One of the reasons why Malaika often came home exhausted from her summer job was not only because she had many logistics and personnel to oversee, but she often found herself running around to lend a hand to one of the mentors, or cleaning up after an activity to allow the mentors to spend more time with their kids to foster those mentor-mentee relationships, or even just helping with getting kids in the different groups motivated to participate.

As Malaika told me about these different tasks she did over the course of the day, I asked her what compelled her to jump in – did the supervising teachers ask her to do it? She just replied matter-of-factly, “I just saw that there was something that needed to be done and so I did it”. Click here to continue reading »

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