Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

4 Steps To Move Past Setbacks And Drive Success

Learn about 4 steps that can help leaders successfully navigate through setbacks and get their organization back on track towards achieving its long-term goals.

In today’s faster-paced, interconnected global environment, there’s no question that there are greater demands on leaders in terms of what they need to deliver. And those demands become more apparent when an organization suffers a setback in achieving its long-term goals.

It’s part of the human condition that when we experience setbacks in our hopes, plans, or even dreams, we retreat to our comfort zones to try and address this new wellspring of doubt and uncertainty regarding where we go from here.

While as individuals we have the opportunity to fall back within ourselves as we grapple with what to do next, as a leader, these are the times when your employees need to hear from you the most, not only to help them better understand what went wrong, but more importantly, what happens now.

Given how setbacks tend to create challenging times for an organization – and by extension your leadership – here are four steps that provide a roadmap for how you can help your employees navigate these periods of uncertainty and get back to achieving your long term goals.

1. Be up front about what’s going on
When we encounter setbacks, the natural inclination is to close ranks as an instinctual, protective response when faced with uncertainties about what’s to come. In leadership circles, there’s also a need to protect our sense of authority; that despite the fact that things haven’t turned out the way we planned, we do know what we’re doing.

Unfortunately, these self-protecting measures often lead to treating information as something that’s on a need to know basis. And as most of us have experienced, when there’s an information vacuum inside an organization, people will simply fill that void with their own assumptions or worst, their fears.

So, the first thing we need to do is be up front and honest about the situation. Admit to really what’s going on.

Indeed, by being open when you’re faced with setbacks, leaders instill greater trust in their leadership [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

2. Relate to how this setback affects your employees and not just yourself
Recently, I worked with one leader whose company was grappling with the loss of a major contract. This setback not only created a lot of anxiety and stress within the company’s ranks, it also meant most employees had to tighten their belts as anticipated salary bumps were cut back due to the loss of revenue.

In the hopes of boosting employee morale, this leader shared with his employees how this setback was affecting him personally as well, given how his wife and him had to delay their plans of buying a new house.

This leader told me he hoped sharing his personal hardships with his employees would foster the feeling that they were all in this together. Unfortunately, the only thing his message gave rise to was feelings of animosity and resentment among his employees

What he failed to understand is that what his employees needed was Click here to continue reading »”4 Steps To Move Past Setbacks And Drive Success”

3 Key Steps To Finding Purpose In What You Do

3 key steps shared in a TEDx talk that can help us find purpose in what we do, as well as living the lives we were meant to live.

A few days ago, I got to live one of my dreams.

That’s something that not all of us get to say, which is why I realized that it’s worth taking the time to share this important milestone here on my leadership blog.

So what was this dream that came true for me? Well, this past Sunday, I had the privilege of giving a TEDx talk as one of the speakers at the TEDxConcordia event, something I’m sure you’ve probably figured out from seeing the picture above of me standing on the TEDxConcordia stage.

And if it wasn’t exciting enough to fulfill this dream of becoming a TEDx speaker right here in my hometown of Montreal, what made this all the more special was I gave this talk at the renowned Place des Arts – a performing arts venue has hosted performances by Jerry Seinfeld, Leonard Cohen, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and many more, not to mention the Montreal International Jazz Festival. So I’m sure you can appreciate why this is definitely a memory-of-a-lifetime for me.

Now understandably, it’s going to take some time before my talk appears on the TEDx YouTube channel. But I didn’t want to wait until then to share some of the ideas that I presented in my TEDx talk, especially in light of the overwhelming response and heartwarming comments I received from attendees during the intermission and at the after-show cocktail party.

And so, I’d like to share with you the three key steps I shared in my TEDx talk “Forget Passion – Purpose is the Real Spice of Life” in the hopes that they will inspire you to not only be the kind of leader your employees need you to be, but also what we all need to live the lives we were meant to live: Click here to continue reading »”3 Key Steps To Finding Purpose In What You Do”

4 Disciplines For Long-Term Sustainability Of Change

Learn about 4 measures leaders can employ to generate and sustain momentum in any change initiative to ensure long-term sustainability in their change effort.

The following is a guest piece by R. Kendall Lyman and Tony C. Daloisio.

Years ago, we each had a chance individually, to take a hot air balloon ride. Kendall’s adventure was fun and exhilarating. But for Tony, his ride was terrifying because of his fear of heights and small places. The thought of being thousands of feet in the air in a small basket was petrifying. After comparing our two experiences, we realized how similar our adventures were to how change affects employees.

Some employees are excited about the idea of change; others are terrified. Some find the ride exhilarating, while others find it paralyzing. Some people will jump right in the basket and look forward to the journey and the destination. Others will have to be slowly coaxed into the basket and constantly reminded about why they are there in the first place and where they are going.

Achieving meaningful change takes significant strategy and effort, and an investment in time. It requires generating enough lift to enable the change to float while avoiding things that create drag. And what we’ve learned over the last twenty-five years of implementing change projects is that the work doesn’t end when you’ve reached your goal.

Rather, leaders must continue to work at change, reinforcing the progress made to ensure its sustainability.

To generate lift and sustain change, engage in the following disciplines which are designed to ensure your success. Click here to continue reading »”4 Disciplines For Long-Term Sustainability Of Change”

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?”

Forget Passion – What Employees Need Is Purpose-Led Work

Discover why it takes more than passion to inspire the very best in our employees and how the key is providing purpose-led work.

These days, it seems like the world is facing scarcity in a wide range of areas – from something as basic as access to food and clean water, to something more personal as a lack of time to get through our various daily tasks.

But if there’s one area where there’s no concerns about scarcity these days it’s passion. Whether it’s discussions about politics, social issues, or even the latest movies or TV shows, there’s no doubt that there’s a lot of passion – and debate – to be found in these conversations.

While these forms of passion can become problematic at times, in general, we tend to view people being passionate about something to be a good thing. And no doubt this is why there persists this misguided notion that the key to success is to ‘figure out what you’re passionate about and build a life doing that’.

Don’t get me wrong – passion is a great motivator. But the catch is that its ability to motivate us only works over the short term. When it comes to running the long game, passion sadly comes up short.

That’s why many leaders run into trouble when they try to improve employee morale by encouraging employees to be passionate about their work. While we might gain an uptick in productivity, the truth is that passion alone is not enough to keep that internal drive going over the long run.

What we’re missing is the other half of the equation – that while passion might get our employees energized and excited about what we can create through our collective efforts, what we need to keep our employees invested in our organizational vision is creating purpose-led work.

Thankfully, a majority of leaders are beginning to understand this as a recent survey done by EY Beacon and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that more than 80% of executives said purpose-led work leads to greater levels of employee satisfaction and customer loyalty, not to mention improving an organization’s ability to transform.

That’s why it’s important to recognize that passion without purpose is a lost opportunity for us to do something that’s meaningful and enduring [Twitter logoShare on Twitter].

Granted, when we start talking about creating purpose-led work, this can lead to some hesitation on the part of leaders and their organizations because of the misplaced notion that purposeful work has to be glamorous or exciting.

The truth, however, is that Click here to continue reading »”Forget Passion – What Employees Need Is Purpose-Led Work”

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