Episode Focus: An interview with Tanveer Naseer – a Canadian leadership speaker, blogger, and now, published author.


    • The interview is almost 43 minutes in length, so this is going to be a long show.  Tanveer and I had such a great conversation about leadership that we continued talking for almost an hour after the interview was complete!  I love his perspectives on leadership, and I think that you will, too.
  • Due to the length of the podcast, I won’t be featuring articles this week.

VOCL Main Interview

Guest Bio (Margaret Narration):  Tanveer Naseer is an award-winning and internationally-acclaimed leadership writer and keynote speaker.  He is also the Principal and Founder of Tanveer Naseer Leadership, a leadership coaching firm that works with executives and managers to help them develop practical leadership and team-building competencies to guide organizational growth and development.

Tanveer’s writings and insights on leadership have been featured in a number of prominent organization and media publications, including Fast Company, American Management Association, and The Globe and Mail.

Tanveer is the recipient of several awards and recognition as one of the leading writers in the leadership sphere, including being recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the Top 100 Leadership and Management Experts, a #3 ranking on HR Examiner’s Top 25 Online Influencers in Leadership, and ranked as one of the Top 15 Leadership Bloggers in the world.

His first book, “Leadership Vertigo” is now available in bookstores and online book retailers.

Executive Summary of Answers:

What is a leadership-related quote that motives or inspires you? No favourite quote – it depends on the situation.  Having said that, I prefer quotes that cause us to take ownership of the situation.  My view on leadership is that it’s not only positional but in everyday life.

If you were to mentor a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give knowing what you know today?  You need to understand your mistakes.  Leadership is not about you.  Encourage and support others.

Who have been the influential leaders in your life and why? Administrator at McGill University.  He saw enormous potential in me, and he would point out the little things that I might not notice.  You need to look for things that make you stronger.  Do leadership acts because you have a genuine (not forced) interest in people.

If you could pick any Canadian to be your mentor, who would it be and why?  We don’t tend to use leaders as role models (except in sport).  Pierre Elliott Trudeau had charisma in leadership – he was able to rally people around a vision (not him) and was able to get them to connect to the bigger picture.

What do you think are the three most important attributes that a leader can possess?

  • Outward-focused – Mark Twain’s quoteIf we were meant to talk more than listen, we would have two mouths and one ear.”
  • Engender trust – bringing out the best in all of us
  • Vision / shared purpose – communicate the bigger picture

If you could pick only one, which would it be? 
Outward-focused (others can be integrated into this aspect)

Where do you turn to for leadership knowledge? Books? Seminars? Something else?  Read, Massive Online Open Courseware (MOOC), talking to other leaders

What do you think of the state of leadership in Canada (any area, not just politics) today – strengths, weaknesses?


  • We don’t have a stronger focus on leadership
  • Ambivalence about leadership – we tend to only think of the Command and Control style.
  • Need more role models


  • Engaging with different cultures.
  • Improvements at the middle and upper levels of leadership.
  • Finding ways to rally people around a vision.

Imagine you are the host of VOCL – who’s a Canadian leader that you would like to interview and why?  Gaelen Westin (President’s Choice)

Anything else you would like to bring up?  Canadians have so much to offer the world.

What are you working on right now?  Leadership Vertigo – common threads as he was speaking to various leaders.  Most found that the best part of their day was being engaged with others.  Great book for leaders who feel that they are not getting enough traction.  Two more books are in the making!

How can people get a hold of you?

Website – http://www.tanveernaseer.com/ (see contact form)

Twitter – http://twitter.com/TanveerNaseer

Google+ – http://plus.google.com/+TanveerNaseer

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast – https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/leadership-biz-cafe-tanveer/id600135921?mt=2

Leadership Vertigo (Official Site) – (Authored by S. Max Brown and Tanveer Naseer)

Summary –

Over the past few decades, there’s been an exponential rise in the number of books and studies on leadership and what we need to do to ensure organizational success in today’s increasingly complex and interconnected global market. And yet, we continue to see year after year research that shows employee engagement and morale levels plateauing on the low end of the scale. Why is this? Why are we unable to move the needle and create the kind of working conditions that not only allow our employees to succeed but thrive under our leadership?

What these findings reveal is that leaders often can’t see the gap that exists between what they want their leadership to represent and how others actually experience their leadership. Many of us are experiencing a common perceptual problem where our brain sends us false signals assuring us that everything is okay when it is not. We call this phenomenon Leadership Vertigo.

Leadership Vertigo: Why We All Go Off Course and How We Can Get Back on Track will help you to understand how you can counter these bouts of self-deception by employing four Leadership Landmarks: Community, Competence, Credibility, and Compassion, to get your team back on course.

Leadership Vertigo in Montreal – http://plus.google.com/+TanveerNaseer/posts/YMh5pyd1hp9

That was a great interview with Tanveer – I’d like to thank him for his time and insights.

VOCL Closing Thoughts / Future Episodes / Call to Action

What’s been happening

  • The potential for moving to another area – it requires a lot of paperwork and time!
  • Working on becoming a better goalie – I’m having so much fun that I wonder why I ever gave it up…
  • Networking events – helping others.

Takeaways and introspection

    • If you were to mentor a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give knowing what you know today?  You need to understand your mistakes.  Leadership is not about you.  Encourage and support others.
  • There are some great messages that Tanveer gave us.  When things go wrong, are you trying to analyze the “why” so that you don’t make those mistakes again?  Are you focusing on yourself as the leader, or are you focusing on your followers (servant leadership)?

Call to action

  • If you’re listening to this, then chances are that you already like the podcasting format – go check out Tanveer’s Leadership Biz Cafe podcast for more perspectives and interviews about leadership.  While you’re at it, go check out Tanveer’s book – Leadership Vertigo and his website, too.

I’m Chris Hache, asking you to be VOCL for a better Canada

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