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 »”7 Surprising Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From Jazz”

7 Ways Leaders Excel – And 7 Ways They Get In Their Own Way

Learn about 7 ways that leaders can excel in today's organizations, and 7 ways that they can trip themselves up from succeeding in their efforts.

The following is a guest piece by Lolly Daskal.

Leadership is much more than what you know or even what you do. Your personality in great part determines how you influence the people around you. That’s why it’s important to know who you are as you lead if you want to understand how you go about the work of managing, delegating and leading.

But as with most things, there are two sides to every personality trait. For every good tendency there is a bad one; for every light there is a dark; for every strength there is a weakness. These traits make up what I call your leadership gaps. Unless you can learn to integrate and leverage every part of who you are—especially your gaps—these hidden impediments will get the best of you, and your business and leadership will be impaired.

Here are seven of the top ways to be the best leader you can be—partnered with seven ways you might be holding yourself back: Click here to continue reading »”7 Ways Leaders Excel – And 7 Ways They Get In Their Own Way”

Let’s Not Confuse Hard Work With Meaningful Work

Doing-hard-word-instead-of-meaningful-work

The following is a guest piece by fellow author Dan Ward.

Like most authors, I get a lot of questions about my books. One question I struggle to answer is “Was the book hard to write?”

On the one hand, writing my books required considerable time and effort. Researching, drafting, editing, re-editing and then re-re-editing all involve a certain amount of mental exertion and can get taxing after a while. Plus, I was on active duty in the military while I wrote my first two books, so the only time I could carve out uninterrupted quiet time to write was at 5:00 am. Getting out of bed so many dark mornings in a row is nobody’s idea of easy.

On the other hand I enjoyed the experience so much that I hesitate to call it “hard.” In the wee hours before dawn the house is quiet, the coffee is hot, and I have the whole world to myself. I find the blank page inviting and exciting. I love the feeling of creative expression and I don’t even mind the editing process.

In fact, the hardest part most days was having to stop writing and go do other things. And of course habit makes things easier too. The 100th early morning was easier than the 1st or 2nd.

So if I’m pressed to answer the hard question, I must say Click here to continue reading »”Let’s Not Confuse Hard Work With Meaningful Work”

Credibility Is the Foundation Of Leadership

Credibility-leadership-vertigo

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”

Leadership Vertigo – Understanding Why Leaders Go Off Course

Leadership Vertigo - Tanveer Naseer 1st leadership book

When you write about leadership for a number of years, and especially when you receive numerous awards and recognitions for your writings and insights on leadership, it’s only natural that one of the questions you’re often asked is ‘when are you going to write a book?’ This has certainly been the case on my end – in fact, I recall one conversation I had with a friend of mine almost a year ago where in an off-the-cuff moment, he said “Tanveer, you know you have a book in you, right?”

To see such interest and demand for my writings in this larger format has certainly been gratifying, all the more so now that I have this very special news to announce (something I’m sure will put a big smile on my friend’s face, if not also hearing him say ‘I knew it!’).

Given how this blog and its readers have been the key driving force behind this pursuit, it’s only natural for me to announce here publicly the news of the release of my first leadership book, “Leadership Vertigo: Why Even the Best Leaders Go Off Course and How They Can Get Back On Track”.

To learn more about where you can pre-order or purchase this book online – both for my Canadian/US readers, as well as those outside North America – please check out this brand new leadership book page I created on my website. On this information page, you’ll not only find links to buy my book at some of the major online retailers, but you can also read some of the wonderful and generous advance praise my book has received.

Of course, when you tell people you have a book coming out, a new common question arises – what’s your book about? In this piece, I’d like to share with you the answer to that question.

What is Leadership Vertigo?

When I’ve told my inner circle of friends and colleagues the name of my new leadership book, naturally, the first question I get asked is “what is leadership vertigo?”. To answer this succinctly (you can get the more detailed answer in the book), leadership vertigo refers to the gap in perception between how we view our leadership and how those we lead experience it. Click here to continue reading »”Leadership Vertigo – Understanding Why Leaders Go Off Course”

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