Any Conversation Can: My Fierce Journey


I enjoy all things “Hobbit” and Middle Earth, even Smaug’s hoarding of the Arkenstone and Gollum’s devastation at losing the ring. The story is about friendship, adventure, courage, and treasure. Finding, stealing, retrieving treasure, at all costs. We all love the notion of finding treasure. Who hasn’t fantasized about what they’d do if they won the lottery. But treasures can be tricky.

Joseph Campbell wrote that the hero’s journey is not complete once he finds the treasure – whether it is a chest of jewels or a powerful epiphany. It is not heroic to hoard the prize, my precious.

The hero’s journey is completed when he has returned to civilization and found a way to share the treasure he fought so hard to gain. Or she.

I am not a hero but in the fall of 2002, I offered what for me was and remains a treasure of inestimable value, one that I had fought to gain and have the scars to prove it – the insights within my first book, Fierce Conversations, Achieving Success at Work & in Life – One Conversation at a Time.

The insight that our careers, our companies, our relationships and our very lives succeed or fail, gradually then suddenly, one conversation at a time. That the conversation is the relationship, which is our most valuable currency. That, while no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation can. That if you want to become a great leader, a great human being, you must gain the capacity to connect with the people who are central to your success and happiness - at a deep level – or lower your aim.

Fierce Conversations provides the principles and practices that help us do exactly that and much more, for there is something deep within us that responds to those who level with us, who don’t suggest our compromises for us.

When you think of a fierce conversation, think authenticity, integrity, collaboration. Think execution muscle, innovation. Think partnership – with your customers and your employees.

Today, thirteen years since the book was first published, our former CEO, Halley Bock, has left and I have stepped back into Fierce, Inc. as CEO. To say that I am pleased doesn’t begin to do this justice. Fantastic team, marvelous clients, redesigned web site (if you haven’t seen it lately, take a look: Picture me doing a happy dance.

I hope to talk with you, work with you. In the meantime, take it one conversation at a time. Make them fierce.

With fierce affection – Susan Scott

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