Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

5 Simple Steps For Cutting Your Work Addiction Habit

Learn about a 5 step process that can help you boost productivity by tapping into the power of fun.

The following is a guest piece by Dave Crenshaw.

Have you become allergic to fun?

I suppose it’s an abrupt question to ask. If I were to ask that of someone, I can understand them taking it personally and responding with “buzz off” or some incantation of that phrase.

But, have you? Many of us have lost touch with our ability to enjoy, let alone have fun.

At some point our careers gained momentum. We gained moderate to significant success, and with success came responsibility, and with responsibility came the aversion to whimsy. For many in this situation, harmless diversions from our work were labeled as laziness; so, we trudged away day in and day out. After all, time is money. Money is labor. And, labor is time. Occasionally, hard time. Right?

Perpetual Motion vs Rhythm

The problem with this line of thinking is that it assumes being effectively productive means attacking your tasks and achieving your goals non-stop, every day, every hour, with reckless abandon. This isn’t productivity. This is perpetual motion. This is work addiction. And it’s the least productive way to work.

Our bodies have what is called a Ultradian Rhythm. Think of your body clock―your Circadian Rhythm. That’s the 24-hour cycle that your body goes through―from the time you wake up, to the time when you are at your most alert, to the time you go back to bed. Well, your Ultradian Rhythm is our mind and body’s productivity clock. Most people can work for roughly 90-120 minutes before they need some kind of break.

In my upcoming book, “The Power of Having Fun“, I call this break an “Oasis.” An Oasis is the fuel that recharges your mind and body. Think of any desert journey scene in any old Hollywood movie. Then, the protagonist, fighting thirst and exhaustion, miraculously happens upon an oasis with all the amenities needed to keep going.

You need not wait for this to happen. You can create these miraculous moments every day. By planning your daily Oasis, you have the power to not just be more productive, but to reenter the world as a happier person.

Here are the 5 steps you’ll need to break that cycle and experience the power of having fun! Click here to continue reading »”5 Simple Steps For Cutting Your Work Addiction Habit”

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”

How HR Can Help Managers To Become Better Leaders

Learn about 4 ways that your HR department can help newly minted managers in your organization become better leaders.

The following is a guest piece by Kelly Barcelos.

Hiring employees is a tough job, especially today. Organizations in practically every industry are struggling to attract and retain great talent, especially in senior and executive leadership roles. With average job tenures dropping at every level, Human Resource professionals may need to play a more active role in leadership development and coaching.

Importance of HR for Business Productivity and Leadership Development

As HR professionals, you’re uniquely qualified to help leaders develop the skills, systems and processes required for achieving their own objectives as well as organizational goals. You aren’t likely to be affected by any team bias or prejudice, and probably find it easy to remain objective about the organization’s short-term and long-term needs.

Leadership development is important for organizations, since it helps:

  • Achieve and sustain high overall productivity
  • Drive revenue and improve the bottom line
  • Align leadership styles with circumstances
  • Resolve organizational problems
  • Enhance employee engagement

You can also help leaders determine job definitions for certain roles. This goes beyond job descriptions, by identifying goals for each role and then creating behavioral profiles to simplify the process of achieving them. These profiles can be used by leaders to understand their team’s needs, talents and communication styles as well.

How can HR improve leadership development in an organization? Click here to continue reading »”How HR Can Help Managers To Become Better Leaders”

5 Summer Books That Will Make You A Better Leader

Five leadership books worth reading over the summer break in order to learn how to become more successful at leading others.

As a leadership writer, I get asked from time to time to share a list of my favourite leadership books; books that I found to be the most informative either for those new to leadership, or for those looking for new insights on how they can build on their existing leadership skills.

With summer now in full-swing and with many people now gearing up to take their much-needed summer vacation break, I thought it’d be fun to share five of my favourite leadership books, along with my own leadership insights on how we can be the kind of leader our employees need us to be:

1. “Multipliers – How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” by Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown

Have you ever worked for a boss who made you feel like you did your best work? What was it about their leadership that allowed them to motivate you to bring your best efforts to the job? That’s the question Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown answer in this book.

Their basic premise is that successful leaders – who they call “Multipliers” – view intelligence as something that can be expanded, as opposed to being a fixed and limited resource. Based on their own research, Wiseman and McKeown share actionable steps to help readers transform into leaders who tap into the full potential of every employee under their care.

One of my favourite insights from their book – “Multipliers understand that people love to contribute their genius. If they put in the effort to figure out someone’s genius, they have opened a pathway for that person to contribute.”

This idea aligns with one of the leadership insights I’ve written about numerous times here on my leadership blog:

Leadership is not about you; it’s about how you’re empowering those you lead to succeed and thrive [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

Click here to buy “Multipliers – How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” on Amazon and Amazon.ca.

2. “The Progress Principle – Using Small Wins To Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer

One of the common challenges leaders everywhere face is how do we empower people to be driven to deliver their best, and which actions of ours are causing people to lose their motivation?

In “The Progress Principle”, Harvard professor Teresa Amabile and psychologist Steven Kramer reveal that the key to understanding this is Click here to continue reading »”5 Summer Books That Will Make You A Better Leader”

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #21 – Tim Sanders On Why Bizlove Is Critical For Today’s Leadership

NYT bestselling author and former executive Tim Sanders on why bizlove is critical to our ability to succeed at leadership and how we can tap into this power in 3 simple steps.

When it comes to our leadership, how generous are we with the knowledge we have and the people we know in terms of helping others to succeed? And why is this so critical to our ability to succeed as leaders? That’s the focus of my conversation with best-selling author and former executive Tim Sanders.

Tim is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and former Yahoo Chief Solutions Officer. Tim has been featured in Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and ABC news. His approach to leadership and business is simple – share what you know and who know you to help others succeed, and do so with compassion towards others. Its those very principles that are the focus of Tim’s New York Times best-selling book – and the focus of our discussion in this episode – “Love Is The Killer App: How To Win Business & Influence Friends”.

Over the course of our conversation, Tim shares a number of fascinating insights and stories, including:

  • Bizlove is having a genuine desire to see others succeed without expecting anything in return. – @SandersSays [Twitter logoShare on Twitter]
  • Too often we focus on the wrong people: on those who boost our ego instead of those we truly helped. – @SandersSays [Twitter logoShare on Twitter]
  • Use gratitude to drive you forward, but don’t treat it as your sole motivator for helping others – @SandersSays [Twitter logoShare on Twitter]
  • When you’re generous and effective at growing other people, people will follow you. – @SandersSays [Twitter logoShare on Twitter]
  • Caring leaders are more able to get their employees to take action than leaders who don’t care. – @SandersSays [Twitter logoShare on Twitter]

There are, of course, many more fascinating and thought-provoking insights shared during this episode – it’s just that some can’t fit into 140 characters or they’re just so much more enjoyable to learn hearing them from Tim himself. This episode also features a number of fun and insightful stories, including a reading trick my middle daughter Malaika – whose not much of a book-reader – uses to capture and recall information she reads in books assigned for school.

As I mentioned at the end of this episode, I’d love to hear what you think about this episode, as well as what other topics you’d be interested in hearing more about in upcoming episodes of my show. Please share your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment below or by filling out the contact form on my website.

I’d also appreciate it if you could rate my show on Google Play, Stitcher Radio, or iTunes to help support future episodes of this leadership podcast.

Click on the player below to listen to the podcast:

[Running time: 54 minutes]

Noteworthy links:

  • Buy Tim Sanders’ book “Love Is The Killer App” on Amazon.com (or Amazon.ca for Canadian readers).
  • Check out the special Leadership Biz Cafe webpage on Tim’s website featuring exclusive content for my listeners at TimSanders.com/LBC.
  • Learn more about Tim’s work and her writings at TimSanders.com.

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