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 »”My Top 10 Leadership Insights For 2017″

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?”

6 Steps To Strengthen Team Cohesion

Learn about 6 steps leaders can take to strengthen team cohesion to boost employee productivity and drive organizational growth.

If there’s one point all of us can agree on today, it’s that we’re living in increasingly divisive times.

As a writer, I can certainly appreciate the irony of this statement. But as a leadership expert, it also highlights a critical function leaders need to play both to drive organizational growth, as well as to boost employee productivity.

While those efforts to divide us as opposed to discovering those commonalities that bind us together might seem to be more an issue within the political and social issues realm, organizations are clearly feeling the effects of these forces within their workforce.

And this is something leaders need to be mindful of if they are to continue to foster conditions necessary for ensuring people can work together effectively towards the achievement of a common goal.

As such, here are six steps that will help you strengthen team cohesion, regardless of what storms might be looming outside your organization’s walls.

1. Draw clear lines between what your team does and the shared purpose of your organization
One of the best ways to strengthen team cohesion is helping your employees to view their efforts within the context of the larger vision of the organization. After all, it’s easy to care about our contributions, but what about the contributions their fellow team mates make? Of course, when people don’t carry their load or if they make a mistake that impacts the whole team, it’s easy to care (or more likely get upset).

But team cohesion is about getting everyone on the team to consider the whole along with the individual parts. In other words, when you communicate and lead your team using your shared purpose as your compass, everyone wins [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

2. Ensure employees get real-time feedback to help assess their performance
There’s a common consensus amongst the various studies on employee engagement that leaders need to be giving more feedback to their employees. But another thing leaders should be doing to strengthen team cohesion is promoting conditions that encourage employees to give each other feedback in real-time, and not just as part of some 360 annual review.

Getting real-time feedback from your peers fosters greater clarity about how various team members are perceived to improve contributions and involvement. Ensuring your team members get feedback from their colleagues will also reduce Click here to continue reading »”6 Steps To Strengthen Team Cohesion”

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”

Why Leaders Should Depersonalize Communication

Researchers have found leaders are more effective in how they communicate when they depersonalize the message. Learn what this means and how to do it.

The following is a guest piece by Dr. Derek Roger and Nick Petrie.

It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it

Talking comes so naturally to us we tend to forget just how much skill is involved. Even when we’re speaking fast, every word is selected as the appropriate one, from a huge collection we have stored in our brains. We weren’t born with language; all the words, and the rules governing them, had to be learned.

Spoken language, together with the gestures to go with what we’re saying, are what constitutes communication. It is at the heart of what it means to be human, but it all goes wrong when we’re less selective about when, how and what we communicate.

Let’s use a simple illustrative example, from the world of work: you’ve just completed a short proposal for a contract, a task you haven’t done before, and your boss is reading through it. How does she respond? The reply you’re likely to dread, especially if this all takes place in front of your colleagues, is along the lines of “You’ve done a pretty bad job of this. Didn’t they teach you anything at college?”

Unfortunately, feedback to direct reports often carries this kind of blaming tone, and it is hardly surprising that so many engagement surveys highlight the negative effects of poor communication. One solution is to provide communication skills training, but the negative ratings often persist.

The reason is that the principles of conventional communication skills programs may be quite ambiguous. Eye-contact is an example: the rule is that you should maintain eye-contact for a certain percentage of the time, to indicate continued interest, but if it’s maintained for too long the conversation starts to feel like an interrogation!

On the other hand, if you’re conveying complex information, people might break eye-contact because they’re reflecting on what you’ve said, not because they aren’t attending.

Listen, just wake up!

So what can be done to improve communication skills? Click here to continue reading »”Why Leaders Should Depersonalize Communication”

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