Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

My Top 10 Leadership Insights For 2017

A look back at my Top 10 leadership insights from 2017 and what they reveal about how leaders can be successful in the year ahead.

With the New Year now well under way, many of us are understandably creating goals and developing plans for what we’d like to achieve over the course of the next 12 months. For myself, the start of a New Year also presents a unique opportunity to look back on the past 52 weeks to see which of my writings resonated the most with my readers.

It’s an interesting exercise because it not only lets me know what ideas and topics garner the most interest and engagement from my audience, but it also reveals some interesting patterns about what’s on the forefront on the minds of today’s leaders.

Perhaps most interestingly is the fact that – as was the case for the my top leadership insight in 2016 – the top leadership insight I shared last year came from a piece that revolved around a personal story of mine and the lessons I learned of how to be more effective in how to lead and serve those under our care.

In fact, the second most popular leadership insight also came from a personal experience, in this case from one of my daughters who took on her first leadership role last year and what that experience taught her about what it really takes to successfully lead others.

So, I’m definitely going to keep that in mind when it comes to what I plan on writing and sharing here on my leadership blog over the course of the next 12 months to come.

In the meantime, here are my Top 10 leadership insights of 2017 as chosen by you, the readers of my award-winning leadership blog. Enjoy!

Leadership Insight #10 – Becoming a leader is not about promoting yourself; it’s about helping others to succeed and thrive [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

“Bringing this kind of intentionality to how we develop and support leaders is important, not only to how organizations select who will join the leadership ranks within their workplace, but in how our employees view and understand what they should expect from those in charge.

Indeed, as much as it’s critical for today’s leaders to create an environment where employees are internally driven to bring their best efforts to the work they do, it’s incumbent on those in senior leadership positions to ensure that they are providing the right guidance and support for those who will one day take their place at the helm.”

Read more on this leadership insight here: Are You Supporting Your Organization’s New Leaders To Succeed?

Leadership Insight #9 – The power to inspire others exists in all of us. We just have to choose to be present to use it [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

“To illustrate what I mean by this, think about any leader who you look to as a source of inspiration. No doubt they’ve Click here to continue reading »

What Will You Do To Make Next Year Better?

An end-of-year reminder for leaders to look beyond hope as a driver to fuel change in the New Year by focusing on what really propels people forward to change.

With just a few days left on the calendar, the time has once again arrived for that annual event of compiling retrospectives for the year that was. Whether it’s highlighting the top moments, the major trends, a look back at the various talented people who passed away this year, compiling and cataloguing what transpired over the past 12 months has become a standard feature of our contemporary lives.

Of course, these lists of the top moments of the past year invariably lead to much being written about what a bad year 2017 turned out to be, and of our hopes that 2018 will be better. It’s in these moments that I enjoy being a writer because in many ways, our writings allow us to travel back in time, peeling back the days, weeks, and months so as to revisit past perceptions and anticipations for what might come.

In looking back at what I wrote at the end of 2016, it was interesting to see how 2016 was regarded by many to be ‘a bad year’ and how there was all this hope for 2017 being a fresh start to change and improve things.

While most of us might not recall what made 2016 not such a great year, there’s little doubt that this year will not go down in our collective human history as being one of our finest moments in time.

With a rise in hate towards various racial, ethnic, and minority groups in parts of Europe and North America, the growing fear of a potential nuclear war alongside rising tensions in the Middle East, the onslaught of stories revealing the seemingly ubiquitous presence of sexual harassment and violence women endure in many of today’s workplaces, as well as uncertainties on the economic front has certainly left a bad taste for the year that was.

And yet, the simple truth is we’ve been here before. Perhaps in some ways, this is a product of the faster-paced, always-on nature of our digital society. That we inevitably feel this fatigue when reaching that one-year mark, fatigue which manifests itself in this hopeful expectation that a mere change in the calendar year will spring forth better times.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with being hopeful, the fact is hope alone is not enough. Without question, our world is facing many critical issues, some of which can seem too daunting for us to address, let alone overcome.

But as many of us prepare for the impending arrival of a new year as a key motivator for change, we must reconcile with this truth:

We have a choice of letting change simply happen to us, or to adapt and learn from it to be stronger going forward [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

Sure, we’ve all seen examples of our fellow citizens being at their worst, of succumbing to their fear of those different from them and spreading hate and fear in response. We’ve seen political opportunism take hold where politicians seem more interested in defending their behaviours and actions, instead of honouring their responsibility to first and foremost serve the best interests of every person who falls under their leadership.

But, at the same time, we’ve seen Click here to continue reading »

Understanding The Fine Line Of Activism For Today’s Leaders

A look at how leaders should address the fine line of activism to meet the demands of both customers and shareholders in an increasingly socially divisive world.

The following is a guest piece by Anne Bahr Thompson, founder of the boutique consultancy Onesixtyfourth.

Profound changes in cultural sentiment are shifting the landscape for business. An increasingly divided political climate has had many companies—large and small, new and legacy—across industries stepping up and taking positions on issues typically outside the realm of business.

Over the past year, the number of brands that have taken activist stances on topics in the public debate has grown significantly. Rather than decreasing the call for companies to behave responsibly, government policy appears to be increasing the pressure. More and more, the public is demanding that leadership brands declare a point of view on social justice, civil liberties, the environment, and even more.

Taking a public stand can be polarizing. Companies that do so run must weigh the risks of losing more customers than they gain, as well as angering employees, investors, and other stakeholders. Not everyone defines doing good in the same way. To minimize backlash and not violate trust with customers, employees, and other stakeholders, it’s crucial that a company only takes a stand that reflects its purpose, values, and, importantly, its operational practices.

Leadership is now intertwined with responsibility

Beginning as early as December 2011, my three years of research into brand leadership, good corporate citizenship, and favorite brands, which ultimately led to a five-step model of Brand Citizenship, demonstrated that leadership and responsibility can no longer be managed as separate from one another.

Step 3 of the model – Responsibility (behave fairly and treat employees, suppliers and the environment well) – emerged as the pivot point between being Click here to continue reading »

How Organizations Can Help New Leaders To Succeed

Learn about how organizations can support and guide new leaders to ensure they are successful in their new roles in the organization.

Without question, one of the common tasks organizations everywhere have to deal with is leadership development. Whether it’s due to an aging workforce or the growing numbers of Millennials now moving their way through the workplace, there’s no question that developing the next group of leaders will play a key role in an organization’s growth and success in the coming years.

But what measures should organizations be taking to not only create effective leadership development programs, but to support these new leaders to ensure a successful transition into these new roles in the organization? That’s the focus of my conversation with Dr. Naphtali Hoff in this episode of my leadership podcast, Leadership Biz Cafe.

Naphtali Hoff is an human and organizational psychologist and also President of Impactful Coaching & Consulting, where he works as an organizational consultant.

He is also the author of the book “Becoming The New Boss – The New Leader’s Guide To Sustained Leadership Success”, which is the focus of this episode.

Over the course of our conversation, Naphtali and I discuss a number of key factors around leadership development and succeeding at leadership, including:

  • The key areas organizations should address to help prepare new leaders for what awaits them.
  • How organizations can create mentoring opportunities that benefit both new and experienced leaders.
  • How to help new leaders learn to effectively delegate responsibilities to their team members.
  • How both new and experienced leaders can “think positive and achieve” to drive their organization’s vision forward.
    Why organizations need to move beyond learning and create “a workplace of teachers” and how to go about doing this.

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

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 »

Are You Helping Employees Find Purpose In What They Do?

A revealing look at the role leaders need to play to help their employees find purpose in the work they do and with it, fuel their organization's growth.

As the clock starts to wind down on 2017, I’ve been spending some time reflecting on some of the recurring themes and ideas I’ve written and spoken about over the past 12 months. Among these various leadership topics and issues was the subject of finding a sense of purpose in what we do, a topic which also served as the focus of the TEDx talk I gave this past September here in Montreal.

With this in mind, I’d like to share the story of a student who attends my daughters’ high school and what his example reveals about the role leaders play in helping their employees find a sense of purpose in what they do.

At our school’s Governing Board meeting last week, we had two teachers who shared a new project they run for students who are at-risk of dropping out of high school. In this program, these students spend half their school day learning core curriculum subjects and the other half is spent learning vocational skills on-site. This way, when they graduate, they already have hands-on experience to help them enter the workforce.

One of the latest projects involves rebuilding and restoring bikes confiscated by the police. As we toured the bike workshop, I couldn’t help but notice how clean this machinery shop was, especially given the kind of work that gets done there.

I was told by one of the teachers running the program that at the beginning of the school year, one of these at-risk students told him “I don’t want to work on fixing bikes. I just want to work on keeping this place clean. I want to broom the floors, wipe clean the work surfaces, and take care of the garbage.” So, this teacher decided to give this student a pass on teaching him how to repair bikes and instead, guided him on how he could keep the place tidy and putting things back where they belong.

As I looked around the workshop, I couldn’t help but be impressed that the reason why this workshop was so clean was because one of the students had stepped forward saying the skills he’d like to learn were how to keep a machinery workshop clean and organized.

Since our board meeting, I’ve been thinking a lot about this boy; of how at such a young age, he had figured out an important truth about the nature of purpose – our sense of purpose is not simply created by the work we do, but through the choices we make [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

In terms of leadership, what this means is that we don’t have to be Click here to continue reading »

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