Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

3 Keys For Building Relationships With Those You Lead

A leader's ability to build relationships with their employees is fast becoming a critical key to their success. Learn about 3 strategies that will help you build relationships with those you lead.

For almost 10 years, I’ve been writing about leadership and in that time, perhaps one of the most significant shifts I’ve seen has been the willingness to recognize that the key to our success as leaders stems from the relationships we foster and nurture with those we lead.

That we no longer view employees through the lens of Fredrick Taylor’s scientific approach to management – where people are merely assets, and interactions are transactional in nature.

Aside from notions of this being the ‘right thing to do’, this shift from transactional to relationship-based leadership has been proven to create tangible benefits – if not also a competitive edge – for today’s organizations.

In fact, a recent study by Harvard researchers found that when leaders focus on building relationships with their employees, they create conditions that lead to higher levels of organizational commitment, as well as increased employee accountability for their performance and greater satisfaction with their jobs.

This is one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to speaking at the Totem Summit in Whistler, British Columbia later this month because the goal of this conference is building relationships. Specifically, the majority of the conference day involves participating in outdoor activities to allow attendees to interact and engage with the invited guests and speakers. It’s only at the end of the day that attendees will hear speakers like myself share our insights and advice.

This shift in focus in how conferences are designed reflects the current reality in today’s workplaces. Namely, that our ability to succeed and thrive is not simply predicated by the knowledge and skills we’ve accrued, but also by the relationships we seek out to create and build.

Of course, while we might state that building relationships is the key to leadership success, it’s hard to reconcile this truth in the face of today’s faster-paced, ever-changing global environment.

Although we may have access to a greater number of channels through which to communicate and exchange ideas, that doesn’t mean that we’re being effective in creating lasting and meaningful bonds with those around us, and especially with those we lead.

So with that in mind, I’d like to share a few strategies that will help leaders create the proper conditions to truly connect and engage with their employees, and in so doing, provide a workplace environment that engenders greater levels of employee commitment, accountability, and success. Click here to continue reading »”3 Keys For Building Relationships With Those You Lead”

A Lesson On How Successful People Achieve Their Goals

A simple exercise from Warren Buffett reveals a powerful lesson on how leaders can help their employees to successfully achieve their goals.

For many of us, the month of September presents the perfect opportunity to look back on the goals we set out for ourselves earlier this year and to assess how well we are doing in achieving those goals and more specifically, what should we be doing from this point forward to ensure that we successfully attain them.

But if we truly want to feel successful in what we do, there’s another question we should be asking ourselves: are we focusing on those goals that really matter? Are we putting our best efforts and initiatives towards measures that will help us to live the life we were meant to live?

To help illustrate what I mean by this, I’d like to share this story about a conversation between Warren Buffett – one of the most successful people in the world today – and his pilot, and how a simple exercise helped his employee to appreciate how to focus on what matters.

For 10 years, Mike Flint had served as the personal airplane pilot for Warren Buffett. One day Buffett goes up to his pilot and tells him “the fact that you’re still working for me tells me I’m not doing my job. You should be out there going after more of your goals and dreams”.

So Buffett asked Mike to write down a list of the 25 goals Mike wanted to accomplish over the course of his career, whether it be something Mike wanted to do in the next few years or sometime down the road.

After Mike created his list, Buffett then asked Mike to review his list of 25 goals and to circle the top 5 most important goals; the things that more than anything Mike wanted to know he’d achieve in his lifetime.

Not surprisingly, Mike admitted to Buffett that this was hard to do because he really wanted to achieve all of these 25 goals he’d written out in his list. But Buffett was adamant that Mike draw a circle around what he would consider to be his 5 most important goals from this list of 25 goals, and to write these down in a new list of his 5 most important goals.

So after much time and effort, Mike was able to pick out 5 goals from his original list and he found himself looking at two different lists – one that had what he chose as his 5 most important goals and another one which had the other 20 goals that Mike wanted to achieve.

At this point, Mike understood that he should start working on achieving those 5 goals in his important goal list and he told Buffett that he would start working on those right away.

Buffett then asked Mike about his second list with those 20 other goals and asked him what was he going to do about those goals.

Mike told Buffett that while they are not on his most important list of goals, they were things he still wanted to achieve and so he planned on working on those other goals when he had the time to do so. As Mike told Buffett, “they are not as urgent, but I still plan to give them a dedicated effort”.

Buffett then gave Mike a stern look and told him that he got it wrong. He went on to tell Mike how Click here to continue reading »”A Lesson On How Successful People Achieve Their Goals”

Where Do We Go Next After We Succeed?

A frank and honest look at what happens after you succeed in achieving that long sought-after goal and how leaders can drive success in the future.

So you achieved that long sought-after success at work – great! Everyone is cheering you on, applauding your success while you enjoy your time in the limelight.

But as time moves on, your colleagues start to focus on other matters and that success that garnered you all those accolades and praise slowly dims, leaving you with one uncomfortable and glaring question – what do I do now?

It’s the part of process of achieving success that we don’t often talk about, mostly because the focus tends to be on how we can be successful without any real honest examination of what do we do when we actually achieve it.

Understandably, part of the reason for that is that success – especially when it’s a public or life-changing moment – is often seen as being the pinnacle of our journey, leaving us with no where to go but down.

A great example of that is when actors win an Academy Award in the early stages of their career. Although life-changing, it also seems to limit their future successes, as many of them go off to make films that are not as critically acclaimed or commercially successful as the one that won them the Oscar. Given their limited body of work, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that many of them went from being seen as rising stars to potential has-beens.

Fortunately, for most of us, our successes are not as character or career-defining, but that doesn’t necessarily free us from the expectations those around us might have about what we will do next or what achievement we will next attain.

It’s an idea that came to mind after seeing the overwhelming response to the piece I wrote last week about the power of expectations.

As a writer, you’re not always sure what ideas or insights will resonate the most with your readers. So when you see a piece of yours getting the attention like my last piece did – where it not only became the headline article for the Wednesday edition of SmartBrief on Leadership, but it was also featured in numerous other industry newsletters and leadership blogs – it’s hard not to feel like you succeeded in capturing lightning in a bottle.

Of course, as was the case with past articles I wrote which also captured the interest of so many and lead to dozens of new blog subscribers and new readers, it also gave rise to thoughts about how do we match that success. And even how can we surpass it.

There’s no question that this line of thought can leave you facing a daunting dilemma, if not a crisis of Click here to continue reading »”Where Do We Go Next After We Succeed?”

Laziness – The Counterintuitive Act Of Leadership

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The following is a guest piece by fellow author (and Canadian) Michael Bungay Stanier.

You jest, sir!

Laziness as leadership? Surely that can’t be correct.

“I didn’t get to where I am now, young man, by being lazy.”

What is this, clickbait?

In fact, no.

Think about the dual responsibilities of any leader: results and people. That one-two combination goes by other names as well: strategy and culture; impact and engagement.

Part of the secret of success for both of these is doing less, not more. Being lazy.

Let me explain.

Part I: Be strategic
Let’s look at a simple model that will help you understand how you spend your time. It categorizes work into three simple types: Bad Work, Good Work and Great Work. Essentially, these are measures not of quality but of impact.

Bad Work is the waste-of-time, soul-crushing bureaucratic work. If you’ve ever thought, “This is my one and precious life; these are hours I’m never going to live again … and I’m somehow doing this!” you’re doing Bad Work.

Good Work is your job description. It’s busy, efficient, and productive. It can also be a comfortable rut.

Winston Churchill said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Good Work can do the same. We find ourselves keeping plates spinning, responding to the inbox and attending meetings, mistaking keystrokes and maintenance for impact.

Finally, there’s Great Work. This is the work that has Click here to continue reading »”Laziness – The Counterintuitive Act Of Leadership”

How To Successfully Achieve Your Goals This Year

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Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of being invited to be the in-studio guest expert on CBC Radio to discuss why people have a hard time keeping their New Year’s Resolutions and what we should be doing to be successful in achieving our goals.

Over the course of the hour-long show, the show’s host invited callers from across Montreal to call in to share their experiences in making New Year’s Resolutions after which he asked me to share my insights on how people can succeed at achieving their goals over the next 12 months.

Although the focus of the program was on New Year’s Resolutions, I realized that some of the insights I discussed on this show are also valuable for leaders who want to make sure they are providing the right conditions for their employees to be successful in their collective efforts.

And so with 2016 now well under way, I’d like to share the following 3 key strategies that will help you cross the finish line in achieving those goals you’ve mapped out for your organization to attain this year.

1. Direct your focus towards goals that matter
In much of my work with leaders in both Canada and the US, one issue that repeatedly comes up is the struggle with busyness – of feeling like the work we’re doing is simply for the sake of getting things off our plate so we can move onto the next thing demanding our attention, as opposed to doing work that helps move our organization forward in achieving our shared vision.

Indeed, there’s been a number of studies that have pointed out how today’s leaders are operating from an increasingly distracted state – where their focus is often taken away from what matters most to their organization’s shared purpose due to the increasing pull they face on their time, attention and resources.

As such, while many of us are understandably feeling as though our workloads continue to increase year after year, the kind of work we do every day is becoming more and more disconnected from what inspires us to show up and deliver our best efforts to the cause.

That’s why when it comes to defining goals for those you lead, you need to answer the question – why does it matter? [Twitter-logo-smallShare on Twitter] Why should your employees dedicate their talents, creativity, and efforts to making this goal a reality? And where will it lead your organization once you’ve achieved it? Click here to continue reading »”How To Successfully Achieve Your Goals This Year”

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