Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

9 Strategies Of Uncommon Wisdom For Fuelling Top Performance

Learn about 9 strategies leaders can employ that are key to achieving top performance in the organization.

The following is a guest piece by Larry Sternberg.

Fuelling top performance is the goal for most leaders and managers. The best managers know their people are the key to achieving top performance on every metric of success they track. As a leader or manager, how can you make the biggest difference through leveraging the talents and efforts of the people on your team? This handful of specific strategies can help.

1. Accept People As They Are
Your job as a manager is not to change people. Your job is to optimize people’s performance. Start by accepting people as they are. The old adage applies here: Marry as is, and consider any change a bonus.

Select people for your team who have the right mix of strengths, knowledge and potential. Focus on what’s right with people instead of what’s wrong with them. Optimize the alignment between what people bring to the table and what you need your team to achieve. And, be prepared to tolerate some undesirable behaviors — because they are part of the package.

2. Emphasize the Why
Consider the story of three people laying bricks. When asked, “What are you doing?” One person replies, “I’m laying bricks.” The second person says, “I’m part of a team building a really big brick wall.” The third person replies, “I’m just one of many people working together here to build a cathedral where people will get married, christen their babies and lay their loved ones to rest.” Which of these people do you think is most motivated to do great work?

Help people advance from what to why so they see their work as Click here to continue reading »”9 Strategies Of Uncommon Wisdom For Fuelling Top Performance”

5 Tips To Successfully Transition From Rookie To Leader

5 tips that can help anyone successfully transition from being one of the employees to entering the leadership ranks in your organization.

The following is a guest piece by Bill Treasurer.

In the same way people without children can’t really know what it’s like to have kids until they do, you can’t really know what it’s like to be a leader until you actually lead. Even in organizations that invest in leadership development struggle with helping new leaders fully comprehend what it means to lead.

Leadership programs often emphasize the operational mechanics of leading – planning, organizing, budgeting, or content that leans more toward management, such as delegating, time management, and giving feedback. What most leadership programs neglect to cover, but that new leaders quickly discover, is that leadership is massively freakin’ hard.

What is left out is how political, shifting, and unpredictable leadership is. Also absent is how much the emotional aspects of leading overshadow and often interfere with the mechanical ones. Consequently, the excitement of finally moving into a leadership role, sometimes after years of toiling among the rank and file, quickly gives way to intense feelings of pressure, anxiety, and inadequacy.

After moving into their first leadership role, new leaders are often dumbstruck by how ill prepared they are for leading others. Here are just a few of the raw realities that quickly confront new leaders: Click here to continue reading »”5 Tips To Successfully Transition From Rookie To Leader”

My Top 10 Leadership Insights For 2016

A look back at my Top 10 leadership insights from 2016 and the common themes they reveal about how leaders can be successful in 2017.

There’s no question that the start of a new year brings to mind notions of new beginnings and a chance for a fresh start. Of course, as much as we might be eager to set our sights ahead into 2017 and envision all the possibilities and goals we might achieve, it’s worth taking the time to look back on the year that was and what we learned along the way.

It’s from that vantage point that I sat down to put together my Top 10 leadership insights for 2016 as determined by you, the readers of my leadership blog. In putting this list together, it’s always interesting to see which of my pieces were the most popular with my readers, and where I might differ in terms of which articles I’d put in a list of my Top 10 favourite leadership articles for 2016

For example, as a Star Trek fan, I’d definitely include my piece “4 Important Leadership Lessons From The Final Frontier” that celebrated Star Trek’s 50th anniversary in 2016, a piece which came close, but didn’t quite make the Top 10 list of my readers’ most favourite pieces.

What’s also interesting about this process is how certain threads or themes begin to emerge that serve to shine a light on what issues or challenges today’s leaders are most interested in learning more about. Looking at the list of 10 leadership insights found below, it’s clear that many leaders are interested in learning how to develop stronger relationships with those under their care; that their focus is increasing on how to empower their employees to bring their full selves to the work they do.

It’s an encouraging sign, and certainly a great way to begin a new year.

And so with that, here now are my Top 10 leadership insights as selected by the readers of my award-winning leadership blog:

Leadership Insight #10 – Empathy allows us to bridge the gap between how we see things and how others experience them. [Share on Twitter]

“Through our empathy, we’re able to move beyond the binary attitude of “I’m right/you’re wrong” which can impede any initiative from moving forward, to one that’s driven by the desire to discover that common ground we share with one another so that we can promote collaboration and foster sustainable growth.

It’s a truth that becomes all the more obvious when we remember that the key to your organization’s success and future prosperity is no longer based solely on the processes and technologies found within your company’s walls, but within the talents, insights, and experiences of those you lead. Something that one can tap into only if we create conditions where people feel connected to what they do and to those around them, as well as being a part of the shared purpose that defines your collective efforts.

But how do we know if we’re truly being empathetic in our leadership? How can we tell if we’re creating conditions that allow all of our employees to succeed and thrive, as opposed to a select few like our ‘star players’ or those we personally relate to?”

Read more on this leadership insight here: A Timely Reminder Of The Power Of Empathy In Leadership

 

Leadership Insight #9 – When we lead only by authority, our focus is only on ourselves and not on how to empower others. [Share on Twitter]

“Now I’ve written before about the importance of building relationships with those we lead and one of the key reasons for that is to help us better understand our employees’ needs, and of what will best motivate them to bring their best efforts to the table. It’s through such efforts that we’re able to influence others because we’re able to connect our vision or ideas to things that our employees would care about as well.

Again, as leaders, your employees do have to follow your lead and that alone is a sign of your authority. But getting people to believe in your vision, in the goals you want to achieve requires influence, something we don’t have a right to simply because of our title or role. Rather, it’s something we have to earn by gaining the trust and respect of those we have the responsibility to guide and support so that they can succeed in their collective efforts.”

Read more on this leadership insight here: Is Your Leadership Based On Influence Or Authority?

 

Leadership Insight #8 – The power of relationships is that it allows us the freedom of knowing we don’t have to go it alone. [Share on Twitter]

“One of the truisms of modern-day leadership is that as leaders, we can’t expect to have all the answers. Of course, the corollary to that axiom is that leaders shouldn’t be afraid to ask or accept a helping hand from those they lead. After all, how can we help those we lead to grow if we don’t value their ability to offer a helping hand?

How can we encourage our employees to challenge their Click here to continue reading »”My Top 10 Leadership Insights For 2016″

Why Expressing Gratitude Through Our Leadership Matters

A look at how expressing gratitude can help leaders bring out the best in those they lead and drive their organizations to succeed.

This past weekend marked the celebration of Thanksgiving Day here in Canada, our last holiday long-weekend before the inevitable cold blast of winter arrives to blanket our country in snow and ice. While Thanksgiving in Canada differs from that in the United States in being a celebration of the end of the harvest period, what these two holidays share in common is that it’s a holiday for spending time with family, and expressing gratitude for the good fortune we’ve experienced this year.

After spending time with my family this weekend and catching up with everyone, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between those moments of sharing words of gratitude with my family with those moments where leaders express gratitude to those they lead.

After all, more than simply being a nice thing to do, expressing gratitude through our leadership has been shown to have a tangible impact on the overall productivity of our employees, if not also on the level of commitment they bring to the work they do.

For the past several years, Dr. Adam Grant and Dr. Francesca Gino have been studying how expressions of gratitude impact prosocial behaviour and fuel motivational drive, and one study in particular provides some interesting insights for leaders on the benefits of expressing gratitude to those under our care.

Dr. Grant and Dr. Gino conducted an experiment to look at how expressing gratitude would affect the motivation and commitment levels of fundraisers who were hired to raise funds for a university from within their alumni community.

For this experiment, the fundraisers were paid a fixed amount regardless of how many calls they made, and each of them was provided with daily feedback about their performance. The fundraisers were separated into two groups working different shifts, with one group getting a visit from a university director who personally thanked the fundraisers for their work, while the other group was simply left to do their assigned tasks.

What the researchers found was that the fundraisers who received those messages of gratitude from the university director made more phone calls to help raise money for the university as compared to those who hadn’t.

Upon reviewing the results of their experiment, Dr. Grant and Dr. Gino concluded that expressions of gratitude increase employee motivation and performance levels because it makes people feel ‘socially valued’.

Now to be clear, this doesn’t mean that all we have to do is say ‘thank you’ to our employees in order to increase their productivity. Rather, what this study’s findings demonstrate is that a genuine recognition of your employee’s efforts will ignite their internal drive and commitment [Twitter-logo-smallShare on Twitter].

In other words, this isn’t about Click here to continue reading »”Why Expressing Gratitude Through Our Leadership Matters”

The 3 Things Leaders Must Do To Build Meaningful Communities

Building-communities-leadership-vertigo

Last week, I shared the news of a special, month-long leadership series here on my blog to celebrate the release of my first leadership book, “Leadership Vertigo” (to learn more about the book and the numerous book retailers where you can buy a copy, click here to check out the book page on my website).

To kick-start this special celebratory leadership series, I’m delighted and honoured to welcome Doug Conant, Chairman of Avon Products and retired CEO and President of the Campbell Soup Company. In this special guest piece written for this celebratory leadership series, Doug shares his insights and experiences with the 1st leadership principle discussed in the book, “Build Community” and how it can help leaders to ensure they are helping their employees to succeed and grow. 

Doug, it’s my honour and pleasure to have you start off this celebration on my blog. I’m grateful and humbled by how generous and supportive you’ve been of my writings and insights on leadership, as well as of this initiative on my blog to help leaders become the kind of leader their employees need them to be.

* * * * *

“If we’re all facing the same issues of having fewer resources and less time to do things, if we’re all aware of the increasing demands from our employees for our time and attention, why is it that some of us are able to meet these expectations while the rest of us are missing the mark?” – From Leadership Vertigo by Tanveer Naseer and S. Max Brown

Have you ever set a concrete goal and worked tirelessly towards reaching it, only to realize you haven’t quite hit your target? If so, you’re not alone.

In their new book, Leadership Vertigo, Tanveer Naseer and S. Max Brown explore the elusive space between leaders’ best intentions and their actual actions. Many leaders have an aspirational mission that drives their work but fall short when it comes to actually reaching their goals in a sustainable way. Or worse, they may delude themselves that things are on track only to be faced with the sobering reality that they are missing the mark.

In their book, Naseer and Brown endeavor to help leaders entrenched in this counterproductive “leadership vertigo.” By identifying 4 key “pillars” of success, the book helps leaders mired in adversity to recalibrate and achieve enduring success.

When Tanveer approached me to talk about their first “pillar”, Build Community, I was happy to share my experiences as CEO of Campbell Soup Company, and to help answer this trenchant leadership question: Click here to continue reading »”The 3 Things Leaders Must Do To Build Meaningful Communities”

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