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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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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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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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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360 Feedback Questions

360 Feedback Questions
Tips & Templates for Gathering 360 Degree Feedback This week’s Friday resource comes from Quantum and discusses what employees want (and need) from feedback gathering processes. Annual (and even bi-annual or quarterly) feedback is outdated. When it comes to feedback, one thing is clear: continuous employee feedback is the most effective approach. In your organization, there are multiple methods you can use for gathering feedback. Unfortunately, some of these methods create more problems than they solve. Outdated processes can create hostility, lower morale, decrease engagement, and have a negative impact on workplace culture. So what are some of these problematic methods, and what are the alternative ways to request feedback? Take a look at these easy fixes, per Kourtney George, Quantum: The Problem: Once-A-Year Feedback Lack of frequency gives managers an excuse to avoid giving feedback and addressing performance the rest of the year, whether good or bad. The Fix:...
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Leadership Tips: Think Outside the Box

Leadership Tips: Think Outside the Box
It’s easy to fall into a pattern. It’s only natural to apply your knowledge of a process, that you know works, to similar projects. You might think to yourself: I know an effective way to do this, why fix something that isn’t broken? This week’s tip is to question your processes, patterns, and ideas. Challenge yourself and those around you to think outside the box. This can be an effective exercise whether you’re in a defined, “official” leader role or not. Sometimes when our first instinct is to just streamline an idea, it can dampen the instinct to innovate. Thinking outside the box doesn’t mean making things more complicated. It can be as simple as getting more creative with how you spend your time in weekly meetings, how your organization handles customer service interaction, and even a new way your audience can interact with the brand of your company. If...
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Leadership Tips: Hold Yourself Able

Leadership Tips: Hold Yourself Able
At Fierce, we believe that accountability is a bias towards action: an attitude, a personal, private, non-negotiable choice about how to live your life. The reality is, as much as you may want to, you can’t hold someone accountable. In Fierce Accountability , we talk about the difference between holding someone accountable and holding someone able. When you hold someone able, you choose to recognize the capacity of each person you are connecting with to achieve the goals you agreed upon. Where can you take a more accountable position in your life? At work? On certain projects? With your partner? With your kids? This week’s tip is to hold yourself able with your commitments. Trust and make the choices you need to make for the important relationships and objectives in your life right now. You are the only one who can.

8 Things You Should Do Before a Vacation to Avoid Feeling Stressed When You Return

8 Things You Should Do Before a Vacation to Avoid Feeling Stressed When You Return
This week’s Fierce resource comes from Business Insider and lists eight things you can do before vacation that will help reduce stress when you return to work. Most of us look forward to vacation. But when we don’t plan accordingly for our time away, our return to the office can leave us feeling even more stressed than we did before we left. The purpose of vacation is to relax, spend quality time with ourselves and our loved ones, and reconnect with what really matters to us. It’s important for us to maximize this time so that we can return to work a revitalized version of ourselves and take on the challenges that lie ahead. Fortunately, proper planning can help us receive the full benefits of time away. Per Jacquelyn Smith, Business Insider, with insights from Michael Kerr, international business speaker and author of You Can't Be Serious! Putting Humor to...
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Leadership Tips: Decide What is Important

Leadership Tips: Decide What is Important
Arianna Huffington’s book  Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder , makes a compelling case to redefine what success means in today’s world. The book gave me some tips and tricks to personally redefine success for myself. Success means different things for different people. And at the end of the day, we only have so many hours to focus on what we think is important. One of my favorite quotes that Huffington included in Thrive is: "And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, 'This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!' "And each day, it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, "No. This is what's important.'" -  Iain Thomas So I ask you: What...
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How to Establish a Performance Improvement Plan

How to Establish a Performance Improvement Plan
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by SHRM and explains how organizations can establish a performance improvement plan to give struggling employees a chance to succeed. A performance improvement plan (PIP) enables managers to address a team performance issue and holds the employee accountable for turning around their performance. There are dozens of reasons why an employee may have poor performance. It could be a personal issue they are dealing with at home that is bleeding over into their work, or a miscommunication on expectations of the role. Per SHRM, there is a six-step process that when followed will help identify gaps in training and skills, create recognition of the performance issue, and will result in performance either turning around or not. If it is the latter, actions such as demotion, job transfer, or termination can result with no surprises. 1. Document performance issues. By documenting the areas that...
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Getting to the Root Cause: Performance Problems in Revenue-Producing Roles

Getting to the Root Cause: Performance Problems in Revenue-Producing Roles
A widespread belief exists in the world of performance management that the assessment of revenue-generating roles should be pretty cut and dry. You are either hitting your targets or you aren’t. And if you miss them too many times, you are out. I agree this perception is true, and , often leaders aren’t digging deeper to understand the root cause of the performance issues within teams. I am not advocating that we stop holding the bar high, nor am I suggesting we keep poor performers beyond the appropriate period of their performance assessment. I am suggesting there are common pitfalls that front-line leaders, especially those newer in their roles, can succumb to when evaluating revenue-producing roles. Failing to reach this deeper level of understanding can become costly, resulting in everything from excessive turnover to missed conversations. Traditionally, revenue-producing roles have been associated with the sales function. However, as business models...
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How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals

How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Balance and talks about how to create an action plan that will help you achieve your lofty goals in 2017. We all know that setting goals is important for personal and professional development. It can be much more difficult to identify specific tactics that work to move the needle towards achieving your goals. For starters, try writing down your goals and placing them close to your desk. This may seem minor, but a surprisingly small percentage of people physically write down their goals. The act of writing the goal down solidifies it and forces you to revisit your goals every time you see them staring at you. Leslie Truex, The Balance, offers six steps that can help create an action plan towards achieving goals. For starters, you must make sure your goals are SMART. “Here is a basic definition of SMART...
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How to Creatively Celebrate Your Team's Wins

How to Creatively Celebrate Your Team
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and shares different tactics to creatively celebrate your team’s wins and sustain motivation. In a business environment that is continuously gaining momentum and moving at a torrent pace, it can be difficult to slow down and celebrate the team victories and milestones. Much has been written about what truly motivates our changing workforce, and the answer is not a monetary value. A study by Glassdoor found that more than half of employees would stay longer at their company if their bosses showed more appreciation. Although it can be difficult to find time to stop and take notice of the little wins, it could be the difference between one of your all-star performers hunkering down for the long-haul or leaving. Chris Myers, CEO of BodeTree, believes that intangibles are a huge motivator for retaining his top performing employees. Money will always be...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate Your All-Stars

Leadership Tips: Celebrate Your All-Stars
It is common for organizations and teams to lean on their all-stars to take them to new levels. That is to be expected. However, we often see that in organizations, the all-stars burn out the quickest. They are also the ones most poached, and they leave for bigger opportunities. We understand that, because the all-stars are the employees you want to replicate. The all-stars are the ones that will always do the extra work . They take on that one extra project. They do one more client engagement. They go above and beyond. It is important to recognize the value all-stars bring to your team and organization. I once worked with a vendor at Microsoft who was famous for burning out his top talent. He would just keep piling on more projects, more engagements, more talks, while leaving other team members who needed more help and development room to have...
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How to Replace Fear with Achievement in 2017

How to Replace Fear with Achievement in 2017
"Thinking will not overcome fear but action will." -W. Clement Stone Fear is a common barrier that exists between where you are and where you want to be. We all experience fear to some degree. It doesn't always manifest as sweaty palms or heart palpitations, either. Sometimes the presence of fear is subtle and sneaky, finding its way into areas of your life where it often goes unnoticed. If you’ve come up with a list of New Year’s resolutions that you want to bring to fruition but one or many of them seem intimidating (which is often the case when it comes to conversations or confrontation), it may be beneficial to turn towards the barrier rather than try to ignore or bypass it. Doing so can help propel you forward toward your goals with greater force, whereas unacknowledged fear can feel like strong winds pushing against you as you try...
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Going Deeper with Accountability

Going Deeper with Accountability
Accountability is a huge challenge in business today . The Workplace Accountability Study recently revealed that 82% of respondents have no ability to hold others accountable, but 91% of people rank accountability as one of the top development needs they’d like to see at their organization.  So simply put, we all want accountability, but we feel we don’t have the ability to get it. At Fierce, we’ve worked with thousands of leaders and organizations over the years to help them create the business culture they want and more importantly, need, to get results. We’ve heard leaders describe accountability as culpability, responsibility, wrong doing, and “blame.” In other words, I need to know who to blame if this all goes wrong. And it is true – the majority of people attach some level of fault and blame to the word accountability . Accountability is something that you must choose every day....
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Has the Focus on the Customer Left the Service Industry?

Has the Focus on the Customer Left the Service Industry?
A couple of weeks ago I went into two different coffee shops – one an independent and one a chain. As I was waiting for my coffee I observed two interactions that left me scratching my head. The first was with a man who ordered a coffee and a breakfast sandwich. When his order came up he received only half of what he’d asked for and when he stated this wasn’t his correct order, the woman looked at him and said "oops". Then silence. No apology. No "Let me make you another one.", no "The next one is on us." The guy looked bewildered and left the coffee shop with his incomplete order in hand. That same week another gentleman ordered his coffee, admittedly with several ingredients and twists, and when his order came up the server had put in the wrong key flavor although the cup was clearly marked...
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Leadership Tips: Stop "Customer Facing"

Leadership Tips: Stop "Customer Facing"
One of the phrases we dislike at Fierce is “customer facing.” The whole notion that you need a different face when you are talking with the customer just doesn’t work for us. While some may argue that it is just an expression, we know that words matter. And having a different face doesn’t work in business anymore. Being in marketing most of my career, most marketing leaders know that keeping the customer front and center is key to success, whether it is a product launch or incentive plan or key event. I have always loved that Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, intentionally leaves an empty chair at meeting conference tables and lets everyone know that it is occupied by “the most important person in the room” - the customer.   And in turn, everyone is forced to remember that the customer perspective needs to be remembered and considered, even if...
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Everything Is Possible with Momentum Thinking

Everything Is Possible with Momentum Thinking
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by  Huffington Post and explains the benefits of “momentum thinking” and how this approach can open doors in all facets of your life. In recent years there has been a lot of talk about the benefits and conversely the harm that positive thinking can bring while at work. Although phycologists and executive coaches can argue both sides of the debate, a new approach is gaining traction. That approach is momentum thinking.  Momentum thinking focuses on possibilities rather than expectations. Humans are inherently limiting their potential in work and life when they set expectations. When you set expectations for how your business will perform this year or your life will eventually turn out – you are limiting your potential by pre-determining the outcome. “There’s no way to be open to all possibilities if you don’t trust in what you can’t control.” Jeffrey Shaw believes...
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Leadership Tips: Nurture Positive Thinking

Leadership Tips: Nurture Positive Thinking
Tomorrow is Positive Thinking Day. At Fierce, we talk about context - the lens in which you view the world. Your context is formed by your beliefs, experiences, and truths. It is how you see the world and how you interpret what happens to you while living in it. What we fundamentally know is that our context determines how we experience the content of our lives. It is the difference in believing in scarcity or abundance. In fear or hope. In loneliness or being loved. Some researchers, like Martin Seligman, frame positive thinking in terms of an explanatory style. People with optimistic explanatory styles will often give themselves credit when good things happen as well as think negative events are temporary and not normal. Negative explanatory styles are the opposite. Which category do you fall into? This week’s tip is to focus on positive thinking. Give yourself credit when credit...
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Your Employees’ Emotions Are Clues to What Motivates Them

Your Employees’ Emotions Are Clues to What Motivates Them
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review  and explains why employees’ emotions are clues to what motivates them.    Emotional intelligence is one of the most important leadership characteristics. One of the reasons this is such a desired trait is that emotional intelligence helps us understand what motivates the people around us – even if they are not completely aware. In his article, Art Markman asserts that companies focusing solely on producing optimistic emotions within are hurting the productivity of their organization. “The more satisfied people are with their current state, the less motivated they are to move forward and achieve new things. A little negative emotion reflects that people have goals that they have not yet achieved.” It is important for leaders to understand and pick up on these emotions. Negative emotions should be seen as an opportunity to connect with an employee and help...
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How to Quit Your Procrastination Habit Once and for All

How to Quit Your Procrastination Habit Once and for All
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Fastcompany.com and explains why people tend to procrastinate, and some solutions to this common issue.  Leo Babauta of Fast Company asserts that most people know the solutions to procrastination – they are simply unaware that they are procrastinating in the first place. “ Clarify what task is most important, clear away everything but this more important task, clarify my motivations for this task, break it down into something smaller and easier if I feel difficulty. Awareness is everything with procrastination. The problem isn’t finding solutions to procrastination—it’s being aware of what’s going on in the first place.” If you are subconsciously procrastinating, it is hard to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and attack procrastination at its root. You have to continually be mindful of your procrastination and aware that it exists in order to control it. A...
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Why Working Smarter Means Conserving Your Energy

Why Working Smarter Means Conserving Your Energy
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by BBC.com and offers insights into how employees can avoid burnout and work exhaustion by conserving their energy. A common workplace phrase we hear is “work smarter, not harder,” but how is this really done? Surely everyone would be working smarter with higher energy levels if this was easily attainable. According to Dizik, “Working smarter is not really about being focused on details to assure productivity, but rather being focused on the energy we harness while we’re working and relaxing.” When operating at a frantic pace, it is extremely difficult to measure energy levels and gauge if you need to take a break or have the capacity to keep pushing. Tracking how you feel at any given hour throughout the day allows you to set your schedule to do your best work during your “high energy times.” This could be first thing in the...
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The Power of Context in Performance Management

The Power of Context in Performance Management
Our beliefs, attitudes, and biases create a filter in which we view the world. At Fierce, we call this context . While it is unconscious, context affects everything we experience daily. What we believe determines how we interpret the world around us, and yes, it has a direct impact on the results we are – or are not – getting in our lives. Context shouldn’t be ignored during a performance management discussion. Before you begin the conversation, examine your context around the individual and the situation. Is it negative or positive? Ask yourself these questions: What are my beliefs (context) about this individual?   Are there beliefs that I am holding skewing the way I am preparing to approach this conversation?   What context does this person hold about me? This conversation? This company? What you believe to be true about people determines how you interact with them and how...
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Why Businesses Should Rethink the Annual Performance Review

Why Businesses Should Rethink the Annual Performance Review
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Forbes and provides insight into why businesses should ditch the annual performance review in favor of a more agile on-going performance conversation. The article focuses on Adobe’s need to shift their performance review process in 2011 after having significant changes to their business model by introducing cloud-based software and real-time services. These changes did not translate to how Adobe was evaluating performance, supported employee growth and fostered a team environment. Common pains with the yearly review process were that both managers and employees alike dreaded preparing for and delivering the review, and in the months following, Adobe saw an increase in voluntary attrition. The antiquated yearly review system was actually hurting the company and hindering their employee’s personal growth more than helping. There were three key areas that needed to be changed: The annual review process Evaluating past performance Comparing employees against...
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Fierce Performance Management: Tips & Tools to Unlock Potential

Fierce Performance Management: Tips & Tools to Unlock Potential
A workplace revolution has begun. The old school performance review processes with ratings and rankings are out the door. And they are being replaced with fresh and agile approaches that make the people the most important factor in the process – not the numbers. Is your workplace  part of this movement? We just wrapped up the inaugural Human Capital Institute (HCI) Performance Management Innovation Conference in New York yesterday. There were robust conversations about leadership development, growth plans, separating compensation from the performance review process, and many other thought provoking topics. Earlier this year, our 2016 predictions included the continual revamp of the performance management review. As we partner with our clients, I am continually impressed with how organizations are shifting their processes to be more and more human-centered. While Fierce does not create the technologies or systems for all of the performance process, we focus specifically on the conversation...
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Leadership Tips: Have a Mid-Year Check-In

Leadership Tips: Have a Mid-Year Check-In
At the end of this week, July begins. It signifies the middle of the year. A halfway point.   In our Feedback program, we talk about waypoints. The definition of a waypoint is a reference point in physical space used for purposes of navigation. When you think about the last time you used Google or Apple Maps to navigate, you probably didn’t take one straight line to get from Point A to Point B. There was probably some redirecting involved – traffic you didn’t expect; construction you may not have known about. You needed points along the way to pivot, to turn, and sometimes, U-turn. Each piece of feedback you receive is a waypoint. It’s an opportunity to check-in and see how you are trending towards your goals; how you are navigating your life, your relationships, and your career. Sometimes, it’s necessary to pause and give feedback to yourself and...
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3 Hacks for Your Summer Work Routine

3 Hacks for Your Summer Work Routine
Yesterday was the first official day of summer. And let’s be honest, sometimes the summer work routine can really drag you down.  You are at the office grinding, while you longingly stalk your colleagues on social media - sailing in the Mediterranean or camping in the Grand Canyon. Summer vacation jealousy can rear its ugly head quickly. So…how do you deal?   Use the summer as a reason and time to explore different ways you can work. It is a great time to take advantage of more daylight, and other people’s vacation time to get ahead. Here are three routine shifts to try: Change your hours.  Experiment with when you work. Perhaps the sunshine in the morning makes it easier for you to wake up. Go to the office early, so you can leave and enjoy more of the afternoon sunshine. If you can’t change your hours, run errands or pay bills early in the...
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Get It Right – Don’t Worry About Always Being Right

Get It Right – Don’t Worry About Always Being Right
Reading the news today, I’m sure you can identify many leaders that seem more worried about being right instead of getting it right – for their people, for their organizations, for their purpose. Last week, we launched our new fierce survey results , and I was not surprised that we found more than 71% of professionals surveyed believe neither their companies nor their government acts in their best interest. Acting in others’ best interests requires deeper understanding of needs and goals. And when you really step back for a moment as an employee and a voter, you should know that it is not possible for your leaders to know everything on their own. They can’t possibly make the best decisions without engaging and learning along the way. That’s why they must focus outward. They shouldn’t focus on “being right”, having the savviest answer, or the most logical argument. They need...
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Leadership Tips: Identify Your Top Time Takers

Leadership Tips: Identify Your Top Time Takers
Most leaders I talk with believe that there are not enough hours in the day. Oftentimes, they talk about a disliked portion of their job and then proceed to delegate it to someone on their team. I have talked about that activity of dele-dumping before. This is not how to approach delegation. It shouldn’t feel like being “dumped on”. And it shouldn’t create a negative connotation with something that can help grow an employee. Having a responsibility delegated to a team member should feel like a privilege. It is development. So how do you avoid the dreaded dump ? You must look more closely at what’s on your plate. Oftentimes delegation is approached with the notion that there are items on your plate that you know are either not your passion or clearly not what you are best at . The complication is that responsibilities that you are passionate about...
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7 Reasons It Always Pays to Celebrate Small Victories

7 Reasons It Always Pays to Celebrate Small Victories
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Inc.com and discusses why it pays to celebrate your company’s small victories. Fierce celebrated its 15 year anniversary this past Monday. While it is important for any company to celebrate big milestones like this – it is also important to celebrate the little victories that take place throughout the year. In the article, Mochari emphasizes that celebrating these smaller victories is a tool that can be leveraged to keep your team focused and motivated during the tough times. Even when a team does not hit their desired goal or projected outcome, celebrate what worked well. Don’t be fooled by the word “small” - there are some serious upsides to this approach. Through spontaneous team celebrations a company increases its desirability to attract top talent via a healthy work-life balance , it cuts down on office confrontations and provides constant positive reinforcement for...
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2 Big Don’ts if You Want Accountability in Your Workplace

2 Big Don’ts if You Want Accountability in Your Workplace
Do you feel that people in your workplace don’t do what they say they are going to do? Are you guilty of overcommitting…or under delivering? Or both? Accountability is a huge problem. The Workplace Accountability Study recently revealed that 82% of respondents have  no ability to hold others accountable , but 91% of people rank accountability as one of the top development needs they’d like to see at their organization. Two don’ts when you want to create more accountability in your workplace. Don’t give advice. Giving advice is one of the worst things you can do when people come to you with problems. Yes, you read that right.  When someone comes to you with an issue and you go straight to advice giving, you are training people to not do the problem solving and work themselves. This has huge consequences to a managers’ time. It can feel so good to...
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Try Something New for 30 Days to Achieve Your Goals

Try Something New for 30 Days to Achieve Your Goals
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Ted.com and explores how trying something new for 30 days can lead to achieving your most ambitious goals.   The idea behind it is simple. If you really want to achieve a new goal you have set for yourself, try it for 30 days and measure the results. One of the issues with ambitious goals is that we never seem to get the ball rolling because the task at hand is so daunting. We start to form questions in our heads like: Where do I begin? How can I really accomplish this with my schedule? It is easy to populate our minds with these thoughts and put off our goals for yet another year. If your 2016 goal is to get healthier but you cannot commit to a routine, take the 30 day challenge. You can do anything for 30 days, right?...
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Achieving Goals: Wading Through Your Murky Waters

Achieving Goals: Wading Through Your Murky Waters
Walter Elliot stated, "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other." I can relate to this quote a lot lately - both figuratively and literally. Two years ago when I was training for my first Olympic distance triathlon, I had to constantly remind myself one step at a time . It was always on my bucket list to train for a triathlon, and I am so proud that I have a few under my belt now. It opened a totally new understanding about myself and how I can achieve things that seem so big initially. Although my training period brought me a lot of joy, it also created doubts I didn't even know I had about myself and my own abilities. Being an overachiever, "type A" kinda gal, quitting rarely comes into my mind as an option when I set my mind to...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate National Recommitment Month with Your 2016 Goals

Leadership Tips: Celebrate National Recommitment Month with Your 2016 Goals
May is National Recommitment Month, which means we should review the goals we set back in January . Have you ever heard of this concept for May? I hadn’t. However, I love it, because we talk every day about how to make sure employees, leaders, and companies get where they want to go. And in order to do this, they must track trends. Conversations are the most accessible tool you have, every single day, to assess if you are heading closer to or further from what you want and need to achieve. Conversations with your team. Conversations with your partner. Conversations with your kids. And most importantly, conversations with yourself. So much in this world is unpredictable, and yet, you always have this way of navigating in your life. I’m sure some things have changed for you since 2016 kicked off. In the first blog I wrote this year, I...
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Leadership Tips: Make Your Own Luck

Leadership Tips: Make Your Own Luck
Steve Jobs once said, “You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” I have always been intrigued by his statement, because the “something” he references seems very juicy. And it is an internal thing. Everyone can have it. So what makes some people have “it”? How do some people know they have “it”? Why do some people seem to always be searching for “it”? This idea came up for me again last week when we kicked off our 2016 Fierce Lunch & Learn Series. Happiness expert and best-selling author, Neil Pasricha, talked with our team about his recently launched book, The Happiness Equation . The premise is to take common ideals about happiness and use research and tangible tips to help people be happier in their lives. One...
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Spearheading Employee Recognition: Welcome to the Age of Being Seen

Spearheading Employee Recognition: Welcome to the Age of Being Seen
We live in a time where everyone is visible more than ever before -- now we can even see how far our reach extends with profile views, shares, tweets, and “likes.” In a world where every failure, frustration, and triumph is publicly recognized online, an unexpected yet poignant result is that conversely, many of us feel less “seen,” both in the workplace and at home. According to a 2011 Workforce Mood Tracker Survey, 69 percent of employees would work harder if they were recognized more often in the workplace. Recognition is inspiring and if we had more of it, we’d probably work harder with our families and friends as well. As more and more people compete for attention and appreciation in the workplace and beyond, there is a silent undercurrent brewing, an epidemic of people not feeling acknowledged or seen for their valuable contributions. This is where our friend and...
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Dan Pink - The Puzzle Of Motivation

Dan Pink - The Puzzle Of Motivation
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Ted.com and uncovers what really motivates employees to perform better. One of the biggest mistakes leaders make in their career, is assuming feedback conversations are a one-way street. Feedback shouldn’t just be about communication what went wrong or right. We also need to spend time understanding what inspires people to do their best, because that is where the answer to employee motivation really lies. In his 2009 TedTalk: The Puzzle of Motivation, Dan Pink explores the three elements required for intrinsic motivation. Do you know what matters to your team?         Read the complete transcript here.

The 1 Thing You Can Do Right Now to Be More Successful

The 1 Thing You Can Do Right Now to Be More Successful
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Fortune and offers advice on the one thing you need to do to foster future success in the workplace. As we jump into the New Year, we hope you have spent some quality time reflecting. But before you commit to your 10 step self-improvement strategy for 2016, we caution you not to focus on your shortcomings too much. As Shawn Archer pointed out in his 2012 TED Talk, as a society we have developed an illogical formula for determining happiness – “If [we] work harder, [we'll] be more successful. And if [were] more successful, then [we’ll] be happier.” Instead we need to flip the formula for success. According to The One Thing You Can Do Right Now to Be More Successful , the first step is to focus on developing your unique superpowers . By building on your strengths, you will not only...
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How Technology and Work Culture Drive Each Other

How Technology and Work Culture Drive Each Other
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Huffington Post and explores the link between employee engagement and the future of workplace technology. The need to keep up with ever changing technology can sometimes leave your head spinning. But if used in the proper way it can also lead to higher productivity and happier, more engaged employees. The trick is not to bring in a new solution expecting it to be one-size-fits-all. According to How Technology and Work Culture Drive Each Other , gamification, intra-company social networks, and external applications all pay a role when it comes to maintaining the health and well-being of employees. Each solution also brings its own set of problems, which if left unchecked can make it less effective. Is technology making life for your team easier or harder? “While cash prizes are nice, they are not as rewarding as simple recognition. People want to be...
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Declaring War on the Wrong Thing

Declaring War on the Wrong Thing
I offer the following true story as an opportunity to practice squid eye. If you’ve read  Fierce Leadership , you know all about squid eye – the ability to spot the “tells” that indicate something is wrong, something isn’t working. If you’re good at squid eye, you are able to see what doesn’t want to be seen, what is hiding, often right under our noses. It’s like having sight in the presence of the blind. “Tells” are all around us and come in many forms. Strongly held beliefs that make everyone weep, winning us nothing to write home about. Organizations that declare war on the wrong things. Even so-called “best” practices, when we consider the results they produce, can in fact, turn out to be worst practices.  I will picture you shouting Eureka! Or found the squid! Or some such celebratory exclamation when you recognize the “tell” in this story that indicates something...
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Differing Work Styles Can Help Team Performance

Differing Work Styles Can Help Team Performance
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and shares a different way to look at helping team performance. Differing Work Styles Can Help Team Performance urges leaders to look at work style diversity as a way to boost their team. Work style is the way one orients with tasks. The first suggestion is to observe your team members to learn more about their work style. Next, it is important to leverage each person’s strength and coach according to their different styles. Have you paid attention to your team members’ work styles? What is the mix in your team? “When members of a team, or leaders of an organization, all have the same style, you’ll quickly run into trouble. For example, if everyone in your group has a big-picture, strategic, intuitive approach to work and chafes against the structure of project plans, you might frequently be over...
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Be Fierce: Find Relaxation in your Efforts

Be Fierce: Find Relaxation in your Efforts
In a recent class, my yoga teacher asked us to “find the relaxation in the effort,” letting go of stress and tension even in the midst of our hardest work.   I needed to hear this. As the new year started, excited about new projects at work and at home, I’ve been eager to do my best and work hard. With this effort, though, I noticed over the past week my shoulders creeping up to my ears and staying there, holding in that internal tension. Even now as you read this, you can check in. Where are you holding tension? Where do you hold tension in your body, mind, and relationships? Then, consider pausing. Take a moment to breathe and relax in the midst of your work. At Fierce, one of Susan Scott’s transformational ideas is, “All conversations are with myself, and sometimes they involve other people.” What conversations are...
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7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity

7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on FastCompany.com and was written by Faisal Hoque. Fifteen days into the year and we are all thinking about the same thing. How we are going to achieve our goals and quotas for the year, right? 7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity shares ideas on how to do just that. Don't let your stretch goals overwhelm you, take it day by day and set yourself up for success. Many people don't believe they need a plan for reaching their goals, and my thought is, those people are pushing their luck. One day it won't be as easy. Think about: What you can focus on that will really support your goals. What is it? Create SMART goals to help you get there. "If we want to be productive with our time and manage it well, we need to spend our time working toward achieving smaller goals...
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Leadership Tips: Have a Performance Conversation 

Leadership Tips: Have a Performance Conversation 
As you come into work this Monday, do you have curiosity around your performance? Do you know where you stand with yourself, your leader, and your colleagues in relation to your efforts? Don't wait until something formal is scheduled to have the conversation. If you had one recently, have another with a different lens. With any goal, getting feedback and refining what is working and not working is critical for growth and success.  Each member on my team gives me one area of focus/feedback every quarter, so that I can continue to improve my leadership and support their efforts. It is very helpful for me to track those trends and regularly check in on how I am doing. This makes me a stronger leader for my team and together we become a more unified group. This week's fierce tip is to have a conversation with your boss or colleague about specifics...
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Getting Results From the Flexible Work Force

Getting Results From the Flexible Work Force
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on  Inc.com Getting Results From the Flexible Work Force  reveals the benefits of having a remote workforce. One of the most important aspects? Culture. Flexible offices require a high degree of trust and that means a strong culture. Culture committees are a great way to get a pulse on your organization, develop your people as leaders and create unity among your office. Regardless if your office is flexible or traditional, what will your team or organization do to develop your culture in 2015? "Build a sense of team. Allow time for socializing, encourage people to share what is happening in their lives, and celebrate both their professional milestones and their personal ones." Read the full article . Looking for more tips on how to create an open office? Read this blog.

6 Crucial Lessons That School Can Never Teach

6 Crucial Lessons That School Can Never Teach
This week's Fierce Resource was originally published on Entrepreneur.com and was written by the Leading Authority for Young Entrepreneurs, Peter Voogd. To Excel You Must Learn These 6 Crucial Lessons That School Can Never Teach  provokes thought and encourages you to evaluate yourself today. What do you know? What are you really good at and what do you enjoy? What don't you like to do, but know doing it will propel you forward? Sometimes the things we enjoy doing, aren't always what will lead us to growth AND it's important to have a balance of both. Take the time to evaluate your responsibilities and think about what you could do differently, what would happen? "A powerful “why.” Realize that no matter where you are right now, you can always take it up a notch. Are you really giving your all daily? Your possibilities are endless when you find compelling reasons. The goal...
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Be a Fierce Leader: 3 Conversations to Share Wins

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. ...
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More Women Give Up on "Having It All"

More Women Give Up on "Having It All"
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this article by Brian O'Connell and was originally posted on  TheStreet.com . NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) — Can working woman "have it all" in the workplace and home? Maybe not. Many women have given up thinking it's an option. Exhibit "A" for that case is a  study  from Seattle-based  Fierce  saying that 70% of U.S. working woman call trying to achieve a satisfying work/life balance "a major cause of stress." For decades ads have said women in the workplace  could  have it all ,  and that it was all a matter of having the right clothes, car or cup of yogurt. Maybe working women were buying that pitch 20 years ago, but today the majority seem to see "having it all" as a false promise and a goal destined to go unfulfilled. To think otherwise risks "taking a serious toll" on women's...
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Leadership Tips: Get Real

Leadership Tips: Get Real
At Fierce, we do not have annual performance reviews. The goal is to have open, honest conversations, 365 days a year, with the people central to your success – set aside rank and title. Talking about performance is one of many conversations you should be having with your leaders and team. In the vein of progress, one of the other conversations we have started to have with our fierce team members consists of self-evaluation, on a bi-annual basis, his or her meaning and growth around each of the Fierce core values. One of our Fierce values is Be Real. We describe it like this: There is no faking it at Fierce. We present ourselves—our capabilities and our knowledge—exactly as we are. We don’t pretend to be anything we aren’t. We are transparent with each other and our clients, and we embrace what makes each of us unique. We ask our...
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