Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

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?”

7 Ways Leaders Excel – And 7 Ways They Get In Their Own Way

Learn about 7 ways that leaders can excel in today's organizations, and 7 ways that they can trip themselves up from succeeding in their efforts.

The following is a guest piece by Lolly Daskal.

Leadership is much more than what you know or even what you do. Your personality in great part determines how you influence the people around you. That’s why it’s important to know who you are as you lead if you want to understand how you go about the work of managing, delegating and leading.

But as with most things, there are two sides to every personality trait. For every good tendency there is a bad one; for every light there is a dark; for every strength there is a weakness. These traits make up what I call your leadership gaps. Unless you can learn to integrate and leverage every part of who you are—especially your gaps—these hidden impediments will get the best of you, and your business and leadership will be impaired.

Here are seven of the top ways to be the best leader you can be—partnered with seven ways you might be holding yourself back: Click here to continue reading »”7 Ways Leaders Excel – And 7 Ways They Get In Their Own Way”

Integrity – A Critical Cornerstone To Effective Leadership

Why integrity remains a critical leadership attribute and five ways that leaders can develop and display integrity in how they lead their team and organization.

The following is a guest piece by Terri Williams.

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

A lot has changed since Eisenhower marched first into war and then into the White House. But time has not diminished the importance of integrity as a leadership trait.

According to a survey by Robert Half Management Resources, both employees and C-suite leaders place a high premium on integrity among executives. In a survey of over 1,000 office employees and more than 2,200 chief financial officers, respondents were allowed to choose up to 3 responses to the question:

Which of these are the most important attributes in a corporate leader?
Robert Half Management study resultsWhy is integrity such an important leadership trait?

While both employees and CFOs rated integrity as the most essential leadership trait, a greater percentage of employees considered it the top quality in an executive. Such results were no surprise to Click here to continue reading »”Integrity – A Critical Cornerstone To Effective Leadership”

Revealing The New Realities Of Employee Engagement

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The following is a guest piece by Mark Royal.

Leaders already know that keeping their teams motivated, engaged and driven to succeed is a demanding task in itself. But in today’s world it’s even harder, because leaders have to keep their people engaged while responding to huge, disruptive changes in how we work and what we care about in the workplace.

It’s a big challenge, but the first step to overcoming it is knowing what the changes are. In Hay Group’s new book, “Leadership 2030: The Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future“, we’ve identified six ‘megatrends’ that are transforming societies and the global business environment as we know it.

The six megatrends leaders must be prepared for:

  • Globalization 2.0 – Economic power is shifting from mature Western economies to emerging markets, so we’re seeing more diverse market needs, more collaboration across countries, and global competition for talent
  • Environmental Crisis – The world is facing a disruptive combination of climate change and scarce raw materials that brings the perfect storm of challenges for businesses: increasing costs, fluctuating values and concerned stakeholders
  • Demographic change – Aging populations are changing the face of the global workforce and exacerbating the war for talent
  • Individualism – Growing freedom of choice is eroding loyalty and forcing organizations to respond to individual needs in an increasingly diverse workforce
  • Digitization – Work is going remote, and the boundaries between professional and personal lives are blurring, as people increasingly live life online
  • Technology convergence – A combination of nano, bio, information and cognitive (NBIC) sciences is set to spur a wave of powerful technological breakthroughs – speeding up the pace of change and creating new product markets

Right now, employee engagement is already a moving target. To take a line from the X Files, “the future is out there.” To successfully keep people engaged and on track to deliver business results, leaders must Click here to continue reading »”Revealing The New Realities Of Employee Engagement”

Credibility Is the Foundation Of Leadership

Credibility-leadership-vertigo

For the third part of this month-long series celebrating the release of my first leadership book (which will be available in bookstores and through online retailers), “Leadership Vertigo”, I’m delighted and honoured to welcome James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, authors of the international best-seller and groundbreaking leadership book, “The Leadership Challenge”, to my blog. In this special guest piece, Jim and Barry discuss the 3rd leadership principle from the book, “Earn Credibility”, by sharing findings from several of their studies as to why credibility is so critical to our ability to effectively lead our employees and organization.

Jim and Barry, it is truly a pleasure and an honour to have you both sharing your research, knowledge, and insights with my readers. I’m grateful to you both for being so supportive and encouraging of my writings on leadership over these past couple of years. You inspire me to recognize that this book is just the beginning, and that there’s not only another book waiting for me to write, but that there’s more that I can share and give back to the leadership community to help leaders to “love ’em and lead ’em”.

* * * * *

“I did not readily admit to my friends where I worked,” Lisa Kelley (not her real name) told us. “I just used to say, ‘A big company.’” The reason, she said, “predominantly had to do with the fact that I did not believe that our leaders were acting with the integrity and honesty that I hold so dear to my heart. I did not feel management set the kind of example that I wanted to abide by.”

Lisa’s sentiment is one that we hear time and time again. People want to believe in their leaders and in the organizations in which they work. When they don’t, they are unlikely to want to follow or do their best work.

For over thirty years we’ve been asking people to tell us what they look for and admire in a leader, someone whose direction they would willingly follow (the key word here is willingly.) The results of our studies over these three decades have been strikingly consistent around the world, and across categories of age, gender, ethnicity, functional discipline, and organizational level.

People are exceedingly clear about the qualities they expect leaders to demonstrate before they will enlist in a common cause and freely commit to action.

What are these crucial attributes? According to our research, people most want their leaders to be honest, forward-looking, competent, and inspiring. These four characteristics rank well above any others, and they are the only four that have been selected consistently by over sixty percent of respondents. Click here to continue reading »”Credibility Is the Foundation Of Leadership”

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