Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

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 »”4 Critical Leadership Traits That Drive Success And Growth”

What We’re Getting Wrong About Improving Team Performance

Why do most efforts to improve team or individual performance fall apart within a short period of time? Why is it that our feelings of accomplishment diminish so quickly after we achieve a goal or target? These questions are just some of the topics I discuss with Stanford professor and author Shirzad Chamine in this episode of “Leadership Biz Cafe”.

Shirzad is the chairman of CTI, the largest coach-training organization in the world whose clients include managers and executives from Fortune 500 companies, as well as faculty from Stanford and Yale business schools. In addition to his PhD in neuroscience, Shirzad also holds a BA in psychology, an MS in electrical engineering and an MBA from Stanford, where he lectures.

Shirzad’s first book “Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential And How You Can Achieve Yours” has already become a New York Times bestseller, having received critical acclaim in both business and leadership circles.

Over the course of our conversation, Shirzad and I discuss:

  • How most of us impair our performance through self-sabotaging thoughts that we mistakenly view as being beneficial.
  • The simple trick that allows us to overcome this self-sabotaging perception in order to improve our performance.
  • How to tap into your higher brain areas to increase your performance by tapping into your real potential.
  • How to determine whether the criticism or feedback you provide to your employees has a negative basis and not a productive one.
  • The lie that pushes high-performers to excel and why we should all avoid it.

As I mentioned at the end of the show, Click here to continue reading »”What We’re Getting Wrong About Improving Team Performance”

Leadership Lessons From a ‘Miracle Worker’

If you’ve watched the science fiction series “Star Trek”, you’re no doubt familiar with the character Scotty, the ever-dependable chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise. In several episodes, we see Scotty pulling off what appears to be almost impossible engineering feats, earning him the reputation among his crew mates of being a “miracle worker”.

While it’s unlikely that any of us would ever be considered a “miracle worker” by our peers, there are still some practical approaches to leadership that we can glean from Scotty which can certainly help us to be as effective as this character, both in how we lead our team or organization, as well as obtaining the results we’re aiming to reach –

1. Set out clear expectations from the start

In several episodes of this series, Scotty had the responsibility of repairing some mechanical problem which his superior, Captain Kirk, would stress needed to be fixed immediately in order to protect the ship’s crew from harm. In each of these situations, Scotty made it clear from the start just how long he and his team would need to resolve the situation, regardless of when Kirk wanted the problem to be fixed.

What Scotty demonstrates in these situations is the importance of Click here to continue reading »”Leadership Lessons From a ‘Miracle Worker’”