Be a Fierce Leader: 3 Conversations to Share Wins


Fierce Vice President of Marketing, Stacey Engle, wrote a piece on how to be a fierce leader for the Human Capital Institute and we wanted to share it with you.  Published Friday, September 12th.

Think about a leader in your life who people deeply commit their time, talents, and hearts to.

I’m talking about the kind of leader who draws out the greatness in others – even when people do not believe in their own greatness. This kind of leader thrives on creating an environment where people are all in.

In Pour Your Heart Into It, Howard Schultz says, “Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners. The more winners you bring with you – whether they are employees, customers, share-holders, or supporters – the more gratifying the victory.”

What can you do to share the wins?

1. Give credit where credit is due. This is absolutely critical. If you do not give credit, there is no way that you will be the leader that people follow into the toughest challenges. There is nothing worse than putting your all into a project, and then the leader taking the accolades.

Be a leader who highlights the accomplishments of others and openly shares how their wins impact the larger picture. Be specific.

Try This: Designate a given timeframe during a regular meeting where you have the floor open for shout-outs or acknowledgements – model this by recognizing people first then ask for additions. For the Fierce marketing team, each person has the opportunity to acknowledge a specific action or attitude at our monthly innovation meetings.

2. Get out of their way. Once you have set clear expectations of what is needed, give your team the space to problem solve and not feel suffocated. This is where true ownership is built. When people brainstorm and act on their own plans, there is more pride in the work.

Be cautious here though. It is important to be there if they need you. Let it be on their terms.

Try This: Create accountability partners inside your team, so that peers can help follow up with specific projects and timelines instead of the direct supervisor. At Fierce, our culture committee sets up new accountability partners every quarter to help bridge departments and help people really own where they want and need support.

3. Encourage people to follow their instincts. This is where drawing greatness out of others lies. You need the people on your team to drive components with full confidence – this means that they must trust themselves. The Fierce Coaching model is a powerful tool for this, because it is about asking questions and creating self-generated insight.

Try to not give advice. One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is to ask questions, truly listen, and show your confidence with the next steps that he or she wants to take.

Try This: Have bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with your direct reports. Use this time to have your employee drive the conversation, and hence, trust their ability to discuss what’s most important. If you need to connect with your employees on specific matters, set up a different time to talk – let these one-on-ones be theirs.

These three practices are not easy. It takes a courageous leader to truly develop others – to look outward and want to share something bigger.

Are you the kind of leader who shares success? How do you do it? What tips do you have?

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