Hiring and Firing: When Work and Social Media Don’t Mix

Hiring and Firing: When Work and Social Media Don’t Mix
I'm sure you've heard some of the crazy stories about employees being fired for what they posted on social. Take for instance…. The Taco Bell employee who was fired for posting a picture of himself on social licking a stack of taco shells at work. The day care attendant who was let go when she posted, "I start my new job today. But I absolutel...
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Why a Self-Driven Approach Matters for Employee Development, and How to Integrate it

Why a Self-Driven Approach Matters for Employee Development, and How to Integrate it
There's no question whether organizations should prioritize professional development, especially if they want to retain talent. But not all organizations are having the types of growth conversations that put employees in the driver's seat and set them up for success. According to Gallup , 87% of millennials and 69% of non-millennials rate "pro...
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When Fast Business Growth Creates New Challenges for Leadership

When Fast Business Growth Creates New Challenges for Leadership
While growth and change are exciting for a small or medium-sized business, rapid expansion is usually accompanied by potentially problematic challenges, both for the organization's culture and its leaders. If your small company grows by, say, 120% (the average first-year growth for startups according to Equidam ) and your current number of employee...
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Demystifying Measurement & Leadership Training ROI

Demystifying Measurement & Leadership Training ROI
A common misconception about ROI is that it needs to be framed in a dollar amount. This may be the case with specific types of investments, but when it comes to behavioral training, what you're measuring can vary. If, for example, you know that your employees are experiencing some degree of disengagement, this could potentially be impacting your mo...
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Getting Started with Fierce: What to Expect When You're Ready to Produce Results in Your Organization

Getting Started with Fierce: What to Expect When You
Are you curious about our programs but not ready to pick up the phone yet? This blog post is a little different from what we typically publish, but I wanted to take the opportunity to be transparent about our process and provide you with an idea of what to expect as a potential client. If you've never worked with Fierce, you may be wondering what t...
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Is Technology Helpful or Harmful to the Personal Learning Experience?

Is Technology Helpful or Harmful to the Personal Learning Experience?
As technology continues to advance, people are asking questions about whether it benefits or takes away from how we as humans learn best. Right now, the impact of virtual options when it comes to learning and training is not 100% clear, and the verdict is still out. The number of variables is a big reason for this—what's being learned, how it's bei...
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Mergers and Acquisitions: Why Provoke Learning Around This Topic?

Mergers and Acquisitions: Why Provoke Learning Around This Topic?
With stock prices higher than ever and interest rates still low, the past two years have been ideal environments for companies to invest their growing cash reserves to purchase another company. After surveying 1000 CEO and venture capitalist investors, Deloitte's annual Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Report predicts 2018 is another year of cont...
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A Fierce Farewell from Chris Douglas, EVP of International Expansion and Learning

A Fierce Farewell from Chris Douglas, EVP of International Expansion and Learning
Dear readers, My time here at Fierce is officially coming to an end. Not in heart, but in presence. Although I'm technically retiring, I'm not a big fan of the word "retirement." I prefer the Spanish word jubilación —it suggests jubilation and joy rather than a "stop" or "end." Although one chapter is closing, I'm about to embark on a new and excit...
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Sustainability Made Easier: How to Reinforce Training and Overcome Roadblocks

Sustainability Made Easier: How to Reinforce Training and Overcome Roadblocks
​ In my experience with current and prospective Fierce clients, one of the greatest training-related concerns that surfaces is around sustainability. More specifically, how do we successfully implement reinforcement tools in our organization to maintain behavioral shifts? Sustainability seems to be an anomaly for many and it's often mistaken as com...
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What’s Missing from Your “Whole-Person” Approach to Leadership Development

What’s Missing from Your “Whole-Person” Approach to Leadership Development
The "whole-person" approach is a holistic way of looking at development and training—it takes into account the individual's vision for themselves in all areas of life and provides the supportive resources they need to help make that vision a reality. The intended result is self-actualization. This approach is often employed as a talent st...
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Transform Your Culture of "Nice" into One of Results

Transform Your Culture of "Nice" into One of Results
Most of us were raised to "be nice" to others, and understandably so. Who doesn't want to be considered nice? It definitely pays to show kindness, and we all like to be treated with kindness in return. But is it possible to be too nice? Have you noticed yourself or other people in your organization avoiding a real issue? Either pretending it doesn'...
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Do You Have a Fear-Based Work Culture? Here’s How to Fix It!

Do You Have a Fear-Based Work Culture? Here’s How to Fix It!
If fear-based tactics are being used as a driver in your workplace, it could have a negative effect on your time, money, relationships, and psychological well-being. Do you know where your organization's culture currently stands? A Close Look at the Problem Fear can manifest in the workplace in many ways, but it typically occurs with a trickle-down...
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How to Start Drastically Reducing Turnover in Your Organization Today

How to Start Drastically Reducing Turnover in Your Organization Today
In today's gig economy, individuals with unique skills and experiences are incredibly valuable to organizations…and their competitors. If companies want to attract top talent and reduce turnover, it's growing increasingly important to differentiate themselves and provide what employees really want. Why the First 6 Months Are Critical In a study of ...
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Are Your Conversations Succeeding or Failing? How to Identify Traps in Your Organization

Are Your Conversations Succeeding or Failing? How to Identify Traps in Your Organization
If important conversations are not succeeding or not happening in your organization, it's costing you more than you might realize. Our 2017 Fierce eBook in partnership with Quantum Workplace captured perceptions on workplace miscommunication and found that approximately 50% of employees rated their conversations as less than great. If miscommunicat...
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How to Keep Stress from Sabotaging Workplace Culture and Productivity

How to Keep Stress from Sabotaging Workplace Culture and Productivity
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the overall level of stress people are feeling in your organization? Are you able to answer this question? If you're in a leadership role, it's important to stay vigilant about managing not only your own stress but maintaining an awareness of employee stress levels within your organization. On one hand, a smal...
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Want to Improve Performance and Engagement? Here’s Why Autonomy is Essential

Want to Improve Performance and Engagement? Here’s Why Autonomy is Essential
What comes to mind when you think of autonomy?  You might imagine engaging in solo work with your headphones on, focused, and free of distractions. Perhaps you imagine yourself sitting in a coffee shop or bundled up under the blankets at home with a cup of hot cocoa. While there might be some truth to this idea of autonomy, there's a lot more ...
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Want to Make Remote Work Work? Here’s the Success Factor

Want to Make Remote Work Work? Here’s the Success Factor
Digitally speaking, we are more connected to each other than ever before. And as technology continues to advance, so do our opportunities to successfully telecommute. Gallup reported that in 2016, 43% of employees in the U.S. worked from home at least some of the time, up from 39% in 2012. As mentioned in our 2018 predictions , we expect this perce...
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Training vs. Learning: How to Make Your Training Program Stick

Training vs. Learning: How to Make Your Training Program Stick
"Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and diligence." –Abigail Adams Each month, Fierce gathers together as an organization to share what has impacted us over the month. It's a time to reconnect and re-energize. This week our training department talked about their deep passion for how, at its core, Fierce is not actu...
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Before Investing in a Leadership Training Program, Here’s What You Should Know.

Before Investing in a Leadership Training Program, Here’s What You Should Know.
Every year, organizations invest in leadership training. The hope is to produce both better leaders and ROI. Unfortunately, ineffective training leads to an approximate loss of $13.5M per year, per 1,000 employees . If you're going to invest in your leaders, it's important to understand why so much money is being lost, and where training ...
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On a Scale of 1 to 10, How Would You Rate Your Business Relationships?

On a Scale of 1 to 10, How Would You Rate Your Business Relationships?
In our daily routines, we might find ourselves getting lost at times in what is often referred to as “the grind.”  Wake up. Go to work. Work hard. Achieve. In the process of doing what we do, we may have moments where we lose sight of why we’re doing it. I recall a specific incident in a previous position that woke me up, so to speak, to what really matters. One day I was blasting through an extended list of tasks, which included sending out emails to a long list of clients. My boss was copied on the emails, and he gave me some great feedback: “It might be nice to add something in that’s more personal. Wish them a good day or something. You know, create some warm fuzzies. Clients like warm fuzzies.” And it’s true! Adding warmth to our “business interactions” strengthens relationships and brightens our experience of...
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Leaders, Identify Your Weakest Employee Tie

Leaders, Identify Your Weakest Employee Tie
"Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike." – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix When we form a relationship, we form a tie between ourselves and another person. Our relationships generally begin with a point of connection through something we share in common, and these ties gradually strengthen ...
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When Heads Collide: How to Make Conflict Productive at Work

When Heads Collide: How to Make Conflict Productive at Work
  "If we aren't going to be afraid of conflict, we have to see it as thinking, and then we have to get really good at it." –Margaret Hefferna We frequently weigh in on our blog and in our resources about the importance of creating more robust inclusion in the workplace. The main idea is this: inclusive cultures require collaboration and divers...
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Navigating Identity Politics: Insight for Leaders

Navigating Identity Politics: Insight for Leaders
There is a phenomenon taking place where groups and individuals are shrinking rather than expanding their points of view, unwilling to consider someone else's perspective outside of their own social group—at work, in friendships, and within families. Political differences and polarization are threatening inclusion. And these rifts are happening in ...
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How to Combat Fear in 2018

How to Combat Fear in 2018
"Thinking will not overcome fear but action will." –W. Clement Stone The start of a new year often comes with a new set of resolutions and meaningful changes we want to make in our lives, both at work and at home. When we try to put our intentions into action, we are often met with a universal barrier: fear. We all experience fear to some degree. I...
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Work Faster!!! The Role of Urgency in Performance Management

Work Faster!!! The Role of Urgency in Performance Management
  "Nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished." –Lao Tzu Business is fast-paced. In order to keep up with and outshine the competition, we quickly rush to complete our goals, often while multitasking. On top of the busy work day, some also rush to work, rush to meetings, and rush to get home. If the idea of being told to mo...
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Susan's 2017 Year-End Message

Susan
This morning I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you that would be the most helpful in this New Year. I probably wrote several thousand words until they condensed into: Please stay awake! You may recall a central idea of Fierce conversations… Our careers, our companies, our relationships, and indeed our very lives succeed or fail, grad...
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Have Business Goals for 2018? Here's Why Planning is Paramount

Have Business Goals for 2018? Here
Whether you intend to grow revenue, improve professional relationships, or introduce new projects, one thing is for sure: planning is paramount. Without it, the shared vision you have for your organization, as well as your personal goals, won't become reality.  Would you chart the Atlantic Ocean on a sailboat without planning your route, equip...
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Lessons in Business: 2017 Year-end Reflections

Lessons in Business: 2017 Year-end Reflections
​ Businesses are getting ready to transition to a new year and planning is underway. This transitional time invites reflection on what was successful over the past year, and what changes need to be made to ensure success well into the next. We recently released our 2018 predictions, and part of the selection process for these predictions involved r...
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Increase Employee Engagement with These 5 Conversation Skills

Increase Employee Engagement with These 5 Conversation Skills
Our 2018 predictions released earlier this week (read them here ​ !) tell us one thing for certain: as we get ready to move into the new year, leadership will need to be willing and ready to have the sometimes tough but necessary conversations with their employees and fellow leaders. A 2016 ATD study revealed that 83% of respondents consider commun...
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A Close Look at Our 2018 Business Predictions: What to Expect, and How Leaders Can Prepare

A Close Look at Our 2018 Business Predictions: What to Expect, and How Leaders Can Prepare
Whether in our private lives or business, if there's one thing we know for sure, it's that change is inevitable. Each year we explore past and present trends as well as the ever-changing needs of individuals and organizations to forecast what we can expect to see as these changes unfold. As the current year comes to a close, we're turning our gaze ...
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Build an Intentional Culture: 3 Tips to Align Behavior with Company Values

Build an Intentional Culture: 3 Tips to Align Behavior with Company Values
Intention is our aim, our objective. It is defined as a determination to act in a certain way.   Let’s take a look at the word “act” here. While many organizations have core values that create intention, oftentimes the values are not cohesive with  leader and employee actions. In other words, there is a need to define how your employees behave in everyday situations if they are to demonstrate the company’s most critical values. It sounds so simple, yet it is often overlooked. Take “respect” as a value example.  Many of our clients share this value. However, to one employee, respect might mean telling someone the absolute hard facts that come to mind for a particular strategy. For example, tell them how it is – be a straight  shooter  –  it  is to their benefit . On the other hand, to another employee, respect might mean allowing someone the space and...
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The Importance of Personal Integrity in Leadership: 4 Ways to Follow Through

The Importance of Personal Integrity in Leadership: 4 Ways to Follow Through
We live in a world where our attention is often split and demands fly at us from every direction. Sometimes you may even be asked to compromise your values or abandon things you care about. Having integrity in such a world is especially challenging, yet exceptionally important for leaders. Integrity is invisible and conceptual, yet it's responsible...
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Conversation Chaos: The Hidden Villain in Your Workplace

Conversation Chaos: The Hidden Villain in Your Workplace
There's a villain in your organization. It's a Darth Vader, Wicked Witch, Sauron, or Lord Voldemort—and it's the reason why many of your most common workplace problems persist, including disengagement and poor performance. All issues in your organization have one thing in common: conversation chaos . Unproductive, unfocused, and ineffective communi...
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Leadership Tips: Say What You Really Think

Leadership Tips: Say What You Really Think
Alethophobia is an intense, abnormal or illogical fear of the truth. In Fierce Leadership , Susan Scott asks, “How many times have you told someone – your boss, a colleague, a customer, your spouse – what you thought he or she wanted to hear, rather than what you were really thinking? Painted a false, rosy version of reality, glossing over problems or pretending they simply didn’t exist?” This happens often. The thing is…we have legitimate reasons for why we don’t want to fully disclose. Perhaps it has destroyed a relationship in your past, and you don’t want to do that again. Perhaps you have seen someone lose their job over disclosing more, and you happen to like your job. Maybe you truly don’t believe it is your place to say what you notice or feel (this is a popular one). The kicker is that not sharing the whole truth is...
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Millennials: A New Generation is Reshaping the Workplace

Millennials: A New Generation is Reshaping the Workplace
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by INC and examines how Millennials are reshaping today’s workforce. Over a third of today’s workforce in the United States is currently comprised of Millennial workers, and this number is constantly growing. In the last few years, Millennials have surpassed Generation X to become the dominant generation in the workplace and it is becoming increasingly important for companies to understand what Millennials want in order to attract and retain top talent. Per Sylvia Ann Hewlett, research from the Center for Talent Innovation identifies three areas of focus that are important to this generation that progressive companies are taking note of. 1. A Diverse and Inclusive Workplace – As the most diverse generation in the workforce to date, with 44.2 percent identifying as non-Hispanic white in the latest census, an inclusive and diverse workplace is incredibly important. Millennials desire a work environment that mirrors...
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The Great Divide in Workforce Generations: Who Will Win?

The Great Divide in Workforce Generations: Who Will Win?
Lately the generational divide has been a topic front and center, in conferences, the press, blogs... we are surprised, and a little concerned with the assumptions about each generation that is being offered up as the "capital T" truth. Millennials now make up more than half of the general workforce, which may explain why they are taking a large ma...
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Leadership Tips: Bridge the Generation Gap

Leadership Tips: Bridge the Generation Gap
Chances are you work closely with someone who is of a different generation than you. Maybe he or she is your boss or your newest hire. Regardless, if they're on your team or you work directly with them, your relationship with said person(s) directly impacts your results. So how do you think you do at building relationships with people of a different generation than you? I've always done really well connecting with colleagues who are almost exactly my age or those in the Boomer age range. My values, how I see the world, and what we think is funny or interesting often times seems to be the same. And yet, do I work with people much younger than me or Gen X'ers? Yes. The reality is that it's important to be self-aware about who you form relationships with more organically and who you need to be more intentional with. It's...
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The Surprising Power of Appreciation at Work

The Surprising Power of Appreciation at Work
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and explains how both positive and negative emotions have a cascading affect with employee morale. At Fierce, we have a term called an emotional wake . An emotional wake is what is remembered after you have left a conversation. Whether positive or negative, your emotional wake ripples out and affects your colleagues. It is contagious. A negative attitude in the workplace is just as infectious as a positive one. Per Chris Cancialosi, Forbes, constant complaining can have devastating outcomes on a team including: • It hurts productivity • It makes you look unprofessional • It brings people down Fortunately, a consistently positive outlook can produce the opposite results. According to Positivity Strategist Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, what you focus on grows. “It seems simple: you focus on joy and you grow joy, you focus on trust and you grow trust; you focus on...
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Improve Your Company Culture with These 3 Ways to Give Thanks

Improve Your Company Culture with These 3 Ways to Give Thanks
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, and for many, it is full of tradition. Whether at home or in the workplace, gratitude fills the air with the holiday season. For me, every Thanksgiving dinner, my family starts a conversation with the same question. We go around the table and ask: what are you most thankful for? This conversation is su...
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Leadership Tips: Show Appreciation to Your Leaders

Leadership Tips: Show Appreciation to Your Leaders
For emotionally intelligent leaders, a marker for their success is how often they share appreciation with their teams. However, this week I want to put the conversation in the hands of those they lead. Think back over the year: How many times have you told your manager you appreciate him or her? The responsibility to build emotional capital is a two way street. It’s important to share with your boss, and those who lead within your organization, that you recognize their work and are thankful for the job they do. How do you show appreciation to your leaders?

Strengths-Based Employee Development: The Business Results

Strengths-Based Employee Development: The Business Results
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Gallup and explains the business impact of a “strengths-based” employee development program. It is a well-known fact that employees are craving more on-the-job career development, and for the most part, are not receiving it. Common excuses and bottlenecks include, gaining support from company managers and leaders, fear of losing top performers, and not enough time and resources. Top performers are more likely to leave if they are not getting the career development that they are seeking, and the cost of losing those employees is much higher than employee development programs. “Gallup estimates that only about one in 10 people naturally possess high talent to manage, and organizations name the wrong person as manager about 80% of the time.” Per Gallup, part of the disconnect is that the wrong people are put into management roles and thus are not creating the right environment...
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3 Conversations To Develop Yourself

3 Conversations To Develop Yourself
“While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship or a life – any single conversation can.” When I was in the entertainment industry, my friends and family loved to tell me about the fresh faced actor who landed in Hollywood, and on their first day, was plucked out of the crowd and put onto the path of stardom. I had to break the bad news to them. 99% of the time this story is not the entire truth, and rather, a glossed over version from a PR team. They pitch it that way, because many of us love the idea of being that one in a million, that person who has a glow and is launched on the path of success and prosperity. The reality? It doesn’t actually happen that way. You’re selling yourself short to buy into it. While someone...
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Leadership Tips: Practice Coaching

Leadership Tips: Practice Coaching
In our Fierce Coaching module , the goal is to ask questions in order to help an individual work through an idea or issue, in order to find a new path forward. This week look for opportunities to do this with someone in your life. Start by asking: What is the most important thing we should be talking about? Don’t coach them because you want to share your brilliant idea, or because you’ve been in a similar situation and have all the answers. Coach them because every time you ask someone what’s the most important thing we should be talking about together, you give yourself and that person the opportunity, through conversation, to have new perspective at the end of the conversation. Don't miss this rich opportunity.

It's Time to Be the REAL You at Work

It
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by The Washington Post and explores the benefits of being the “real” you at work. In the article, Bucklan explains the benefits of ditching the “work persona” many people work years to cultivate. She asserts that although people take on this professional persona to enhance their careers, in the long run it damages it more than it helps. “When you feel comfortable in your own skin, you make stronger choices — choices your “professional” self might be afraid to make.” Bucklan explains six easy steps you can take to unleash the real work you. A few of these tips include speaking your mind, staying clear of the water cooler gossip and making yourself vulnerable. Work can be difficult enough when being your true authentic self – don’t make it harder by putting up a façade. Be you. Be fierce. Read the article

How to Propose a New Idea in a Closed Environment

How to Propose a New Idea in a Closed Environment
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” -Steve Jobs Anyone can be a leader within an organization. Whether or not your role has the “leader” title assigned to it, you can be someone on the forefront innovating. Organizations that encourage everyone, from individual contributors, managers, all the way up to the CEO, to take on a leadership mindset create cultures that don’t settle. Few companies are really in this place. Many choose to abide by an old rank and file hierarchy that squashes creativity and inevitably disengaging employees. So what can you do if you work inside a culture where new ideas are not welcomed? Do you have to accept it for what it is and keep your creativity to yourself? No. The beauty of culture is that it is made up of the people who inhabit it. Meaning, everyone impacts how things operate, not just those at the...
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Leadership Tips: Say It Out Loud

Leadership Tips: Say It Out Loud
An old adage that I heard often growing up was think before you speak . This is a very valuable saying for me, because I am what you would call a classic "external processor." While that phrase has saved me from saying things that could have a negative impact, it has also encouraged me to self-edit and sometimes hesitate to voice opinions or concerns. This week's Fierce tip encourages you to say it out loud . This isn't about indulging in stream of consciousness, rather, it's about not over-analyzing. This week if you're in a meeting and you have an idea that you think could really move the team forward - speak up . Let go of needing to have a perfectly formed thought and allow others to influence and build off your inspiration. If your idea is met with a luke-warm reaction, don't get discouraged. As Albert Einstein said,...
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6 Ways to Integrate Play Into the Workplace

6 Ways to Integrate Play Into the Workplace
  This week's Friday resource comes from Inc. and offers 6 ways to incorporate play into the workplace. In the workplace, play has long been regarded as the opposite of work. Instead of placing them on opposite ends of the spectrum, what if we combined them? What if we could get work results from prioritizing play? Work that involves play allo...
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Believe It or Not…Goofing Off Produces Business Return

Believe It or Not…Goofing Off Produces Business Return
In our busy, fast-paced society, we run the risk of blowing off play as mere "child's play." There's just so much to do , we say. When important priorities need tending in the workplace, pressing pause to play a game or joke around with a coworker may seem like the very last thing you should be doing. The reality is that it may be one of the very b...
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Leadership Tips: Have Fun Together

Leadership Tips: Have Fun Together
  Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun. - Randy Pausch In our connected world with constant emails and social media, it is easy to never truly break away from work. Given that, you better have fun along the way. Or what’s the point of all this work? Having fun is not only good for your health, but it makes your team’s discretionary effort rise. The catch to having fun is…as a leader, you can’t force it. This week’s tip is to give your team a set budget to plan something fun together. Don’t put tons of criteria around it. It could be a happy hour, a lunch, a secret costume for team members to wear… whatever makes the team tick. It is a mistake to choose the events and outings for the team members. Let them own it. And go along for the ride.

10 Unmistakable Signs of a Fear-Based Workplace

10 Unmistakable Signs of a Fear-Based Workplace
This week's Friday resource comes from Forbes and lists 10 ways you can tell if your workplace is operating from a place of fear. Motivation can stem from worry and fear, or it can stem from being in an environment where trust and strong relationships flourish. The source of motivation has a drastic impact on workplace culture—if motivation is comi...
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