Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

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 »”Understanding The Fine Line Of Activism For Today’s Leaders”

How Should Leaders Address Challenge Of Low Performers?

Dealing with low performers can often be a difficult process. But avoiding dealing with low performing employees can often be more damaging to employee morale and your bottom line.

The following is a guest piece by Terri Williams.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and a company is only as strong as its lowest-performing employees. At first, this analogy may appear to be an overreach—after all, how can one or even a handful of poorly performing workers affect the success of an entire organization?

However, according to data from the Eagle Hill National Attrition Survey, low performers can have significantly negative effects on an organization. Below are a few excerpts from the survey respondents:

  • 68% say low performers lower overall workplace morale.
  • 44% say low performers increase the work burden on high performers.
  • 54% say low performers contribute to a lack of initiative and motivation, resulting in a work culture where mediocrity is accepted.

Low performers in management roles contribute to attrition among high performers. These workers leave for a variety of reasons, including limited career growth and pay. However, according to Eagle Hill’s survey, among companies with high turnover rates, 26% of high performers leave because of poor management.

And it’s costing companies a pretty penny to replace workers. Eagle Hill reports that replacing a mid-level employee – including hiring and training costs, in addition to lost revenue and lost productivity – can add up to 150% of that employee’s salary.

How Low Performers Affect Morale and the Company’s Bottom Line

Low performers undermine the concept of teamwork. According to Autumn Manning, CEO of YouEarnedIt, an employee engagement firm. “So much work today is accomplished through a team, and the really tough problems are the ones that require a creative approach, critical thinking, or a team who has the desire and motivation to work harder and smarter.”

However, if one or more members of the team are viewed as free loaders, it can negatively Click here to continue reading »”How Should Leaders Address Challenge Of Low Performers?”

Understanding The Real Drivers Of Employee Engagement

NYT bestselling author Kevin Kruse reveals the 4 real drivers of employee engagement that are critical to an organization's ability to drive growth and success.

It’s a common fact of leadership today that if you want to improve productivity and fuel organizational growth, you need to make sure your employees are engaged at work.

And yet, despite both the evidence supporting the critical role employee engagement plays to driving your organization’s success and most leaders wanting to improve employee engagement levels in their workplace, organizations everywhere are still struggling with this issue. Why is that? This conundrum serves as the basis of my conversation with fellow leadership expert and NYT bestselling author, Kevin Kruse.

Kevin is a serial entrepreneur having founded several multi-million dollar companies, and even winning the “Inc 500” and “Best Places To Work” award for company culture.

In addition to writing for Forbes, Kevin is the author of several books, including his New York Times bestseller, “We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement”. Currently, Kevin serves as the Founder and CEO of LEADx, an online leadership learning platform that offers free leadership development to leaders around the world.

In this episode, Kevin and I focus on his book “Employee Engagement For Everyone: 4 Keys to Happiness and Fulfillment at Work” and over the course of our conversation, we touch on a number of important insights about employee engagement, including:

  • Why the biggest hurdle we face in improving employee engagement is often due to our not truly understanding what it really means.
  • The surprising finding about who’s responsible for driving employee engagement in today’s workplaces.
    How improving employee engagement levels doesn’t simply benefit the organization, but also has a positive impact on employees outside of work.
  • What studies have found to be the 4 primary drivers to effectively drive employee engagement, and with it, organizational growth and success.
  • Understanding what building trust really means in terms of driving employee engagement.
  • What leaders get wrong about communicating more to boost employee engagement.
  • What leaders and employees need to understand about recognition and its role in driving employee engagement.

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 »”Understanding The Real Drivers Of Employee Engagement”

What Happened To Trust And Integrity In Today’s Organizations?

Trust and integrity seem to be in decline in many organizations today. Here's a revealing look at why they are so critical to leadership and organizational success.

Over the past several weeks, there has been a recurring theme in the news of organizations being caught at their worst and with it, how often leaders drop the ball in owning up to these failures incurred by those they lead.

While the most talked-about examples have been Pepsi’s tone-deaf commercial and United Airlines’ abhorrent treatment of one of their passengers, I want to share the story of another organization’s colossal misstep in order to illustrate how the disconnect leaders engender between an organization’s efforts and those they are meant to serve can have a far greater and deleterious impact than we might realize.

Perhaps best known internationally as the creator of the Ski-Doo snowmobile and Sea-Doo personal watercraft, here in the province of Quebec, Bombardier holds a storied and revered place as a shining example of Quebecois entrepreneurship, business acumen, and high-tech talent.

Or at least they did until it was revealed that the company had given its executives a 50% pay hike after laying off 11 000 employees and asking for over $1 billion in bailout funds from the provincial and federal government in order to help keep them afloat.

Since the news broke, Bombardier’s image in the province has taken a serious hit and the company has been subject to numerous protests outside their headquarters here in Montreal. Bombardier has since attempted to save face by announcing that they would defer almost half of the proposed executive compensation until 2020.

But by then it was too late as even now, more than half of Quebecers say they have a negative impression of this once well-regarded company, a reality that will not only impact their ability to garner public funds in the future, but also the way their employees view their organization and their contributions to it.

Now, in the case of Pepsi and United Airlines, the typical focus tends to be on them being examples of failures in crisis communication. And yet, while these assessments are correct, they also create a false impression that these incidents are temporal in nature, evoking the old adage of how time heals all wounds.

But the real lesson we should be taking from each of these examples is not simply what and how we communicate following a clear violation of what we claim to be our organization’s vision and/or values, but of how this kind of disconnect in our leadership can irreparably damage the trust we’ve earned – not just with our customer base, but amongst those we have the responsibility to lead.

Through the examples of Pepsi, United Airlines, and Bombardier, we not only see first-hand what happens when we fail to honour what we claim to stand for, but also an important truth about the nature of trust in leadership. Namely, that trust is not a transitory value, but should serve as an unyielding cardinal point in your leadership [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

It’s a fact that both the CEO at United Airlines and Bombardier have failed to understand given how their first response in the face of public outrage over what happened under their watch was to sidestep any real responsibility and in the case of Bombardier, go so far as to justify it as being the norm.

What both of these leaders have clearly failed to learn is that trust is more than a noble virtue – it’s a promise we make to others that we’ll do them no harm [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

Of course, while these examples demonstrate just how quickly leaders can Click here to continue reading »”What Happened To Trust And Integrity In Today’s Organizations?”

How Do You Inspire Others Through Your Leadership?

Most leaders look for role models to inspire how they lead. But it's also important for leaders to consider how to inspire those they lead.

As a people person, I always enjoy visiting new places and new cities as it provides the opportunity to meet new people and spark new conversations, some of which can lead to some very thought-provoking discussions.

For example, a few weeks ago, I meet with a group of leaders to exchange ideas on the growing challenges found in today’s increasingly uncertain global business environment. During this event, I had a one-on-one conversation with one of those leaders, a discussion which began with that typical starting point of sharing our respective stories of what lead us to the work we do today.

When I shared insights based on some of my recent writings on leadership, this leader asked me an intriguing question – ‘how do I go about inspiring others?’

Now many of us have examples of successful leaders who we look up to for inspiration and insight into how we can succeed in the endeavour of leading others. I’ve often been asked which leaders I gain inspiration from and while there are many examples, the ones I often cite are Nelson Mandela and Walt Disney.

But the interesting thing about this particular question is that it shifts our focus inwards onto ourselves in order to examine what we’re creating through our own leadership. That we move beyond simply evaluating our leadership in terms of various established metrics like goal achievement, productivity, and efficiency ratings, in order to ask ourselves what seeds are we planting in the hearts and minds of those we lead?

In other words, the question becomes less about who inspires us and shifts towards answering how are we inspiring those around us through our own actions and words?

As my conversation with this leader continued, it became clear that this was the concern he was having. Although he had facts and figures that proved he was helping his team to reach various assigned targets, he didn’t know if he was inspiring his employees the way his leadership heroes had inspired him. And what’s more, he admitted that he honestly didn’t know where to begin.

Granted, this query can seem to be a bit conceited. After all, if we think about those leadership figures we all admire and look up to, there’s a clear and undeniable reason why they’ve earned our respect and admiration.

And yet, there’s one question that revolves around every individual we look to as a source of inspiration and guidance for today’s leaders – do we see them as inspiring leaders because they achieved extraordinary things, or is it because they Click here to continue reading »”How Do You Inspire Others Through Your Leadership?”

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