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 ...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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 ...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

The Most Overused Negotiating Tactic is Threatening to Walk Away

The Most Overused Negotiating Tactic is Threatening to Walk Away
This week's Friday resource comes from Harvard Business Review and discusses the impact of threatening to walk away during a negotiation. A "walkaway" outcome to a negotiation occurs when one or more parties involved are no longer willing to consider other possible outcomes or alternatives. In walking away, perspective is limited and power is exerc...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Engage with an Opposing Point of View

Leadership Tips: Engage with an Opposing Point of View
One of my favorite Bob Dylan songs is “A Satisfied Mind”. In the lyrics he says, “How many times have you heard someone say, if I had his money I'd do things my way.” I often think of this line when I look at leaders, and make a judgement of what I might do if I were in their position. When you look from the outside in, it can be easy to pass judgment when it’s all hypothetical. This week’s tip challenges all of us, whether you are in a formal leadership role or not, to participate in one of the more difficult aspects of being a leader: Engage , with an open mind and heart, with an opposing point of view. Leadership is more than a job title - it’s a state of mind. We can all participate and see how we handle the pressure of being someone who...
Continue reading

Lack of Clarity in the Workplace is Costing Your Organization

Lack of Clarity in the Workplace is Costing Your Organization
“Clarity affords focus.” –Thomas Leonard If things are foggy or ambiguous on our way to success, any actions we take will require more time and resources, or may fail altogether. Especially if we’re not sure where we’re going. Clarity matters. Each small clarity problem within an organization may seem insignificant at first, but gradually, they lead to big problems. Fortunately, miscommunication issues can be resolved before we arrive at a sudden “ Oh, crap! ” Effective conversation is the way to clarity. There are no alternative fixes. When a conversation is effective, miscommunications are either resolved or prevented, and employees feel clear on their roles, goals, and action items. You’ll know a miscommunication has occurred if anyone is unclear. A miscommunication has also occurred if a conversation hasn’t taken place that in fact needs to take place. Here’s what these common miscommunications are costing organizations: 1. Engagement Survey findings in...
Continue reading

New Research: The State of Miscommunication - 6 Insights on Effective Workplace Communication

New Research: The State of Miscommunication - 6 Insights on Effective Workplace Communication
We’re excited to announce Quantum Workplace's launch of the Fierce + Quantum eBook on the state of miscommunication in the workplace. The free eBook dives deep into the issues of miscommunication and offers solutions for creating more engagement and clarity in one-on-ones, team meetings, and organization-wide. We wanted to conduct this research on miscommunication to fully understand the impact it’s having on organizations, including the costs (time, money, engagement, relationships, productivity, and more), and explore how effective conversations can help. Fierce + Quantum Quantum helps organizations retain top talent, motivate performance, understand turnover, and build magnetic cultures. Their studies reveal that communication is indeed at the heart of employee engagement. Fierce and Quantum have both researched employee engagement in the past, and have weighed in on the conversations needed to improve engagement and workplace culture. In preparation for this eBook, Quantum Workplace and Fierce Conversations designed a survey to capture...
Continue reading

How These Top Companies are Getting Inclusion Right

How These Top Companies are Getting Inclusion Right
This week’s Friday resource comes from Fast Company and highlights the ways top companies have achieved results through their inclusion strategies. Inclusion produces a domino effect with more than one benefit: it creates a culture where employees feel encouraged, appreciated, and engaged, which leads to more innovation and collaboration, which then leads to positive results for the bottom line. Creating an inclusive culture requires a proactive approach on behalf of HR and leadership. Unfortunately, many traditional diversity and inclusion programs are ineffective and fail to address factors that are key when attempting to create cultural shifts. Per Gwen Moran, Fast Company, here are some often overlooked strategies from top companies who have successfully transformed their organization’s culture into one of inclusion and diversity: 1. Emphasize from the start. "At Johnson & Johnson, communicating the importance of inclusion is critical. At every level of training, diversity and inclusion are emphasized. 'As...
Continue reading

You Cannot Motivate Your Team, But You Can Inspire Them

You Cannot Motivate Your Team, But You Can Inspire Them
This week’s Friday resource comes from Forbes and lists ways leaders can inspire their teams. There are two types of motivation: external and internal. External motivation often comes in the form of rewards, money, fame, or praise. Internal motivation, on the other hand, is driven by our deeper values and needs. Leaders can create external incentives, but these efforts are short-lived once the reward has run its course for the receiver. The best way to produce sustainable results within an organization is to tap into each individual’s internal world and inspire in a way that leads to long-lasting and self-directed action. When leaders have the right kind of conversations with their team members, it can inspire, engage, and drive employees to act. Here’s what to address in these conversations, according to Frances McIntosh, Forbes Coaches Council: 1. Connect with their core values. “By identifying what’s important to them and what...
Continue reading

Fostering the Sense of Belonging Promotes Success

Fostering the Sense of Belonging Promotes Success
This week’s Friday resource from Forbes discusses why belonging is important in the workplace and offers tips on how to create it. Having a sense of belonging is essential in our work environment for not only success but also our well-being. Belonging leads us to feel more engaged, connected, and fulfilled. To belong is to feel connected to the people we work with and to the work we do. John Baldoni, Forbes contributor, offers insights on how to generate this sense of belonging for employees. 1. Find purpose . "Work without purpose is work; work with purpose can be joy. When people know that what they do matters to others and how it is connected to what the organization gives meaning to labor. Purposeful work is work that encourages commitment." Read more tips and the full article here .

Want to Improve Workplace Performance? Don’t Overlook This Essential Element

Want to Improve Workplace Performance? Don’t Overlook This Essential Element
Improving performance requires leaders to consider employee engagement, satisfaction, and culture and ask how these areas can be strengthened. One how  element of performance that deserves an in-depth look is autonomy . What comes to mind when you think of autonomy? You might imagine engaging in solo work with your headphones on, focused, independent, and free of distractions. While there might be some truth to this idea of autonomy, there’s a lot more to it. For starters, it’s less about how often we interact with others and more about ownership, accountability, trust relative to our work, and having a sense of control over how we use our time. In a larger context, autonomy creates a sense of empowerment for the person who is autonomous. Let’s look at some data that supports just how much autonomy matters… Researchers from the University of Birmingham have reported that if you have flexible working...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Provide Autonomy

Leadership Tips: Provide Autonomy
With engagement levels of employees at an all time low, many organizations are looking at what they can do in order to engage the hearts and the minds of their teams. While there is no one single right answer, our Fierce Whitepaper,  What Employees Really Think About Best Practices: Survey Uncovers 3 Things Employees Crave , shows that the top highest rated practices are Transparency, Autonomy, and Responsiveness. Nearly 50% of those responded identify the most beneficial practices as those that encourage accountability, development, and individual empowerment within the organization. Autonomy does just that. As defined in the Fierce whitepaper , autonomy provides people with the freedom to make appropriate decisions which ensures employees remain focused and engaged. This week, ask yourself: Do I provide my team the necessary level of autonomy to be active and engaged in their work? Are they clear on where they can act and when they...
Continue reading

4 Barriers to Personal and Professional Growth (And How to Tear ‘em Down)

4 Barriers to Personal and Professional Growth (And How to Tear ‘em Down)
“You will either step forward into growth, or backward into safety.” —Abraham Maslow Throughout life, we experience moments of momentum where we feel like we’re expanding, moving upward, and spreading our fierce little wings. Other times, we feel like our own growth has become sluggish or blocked in some way. When stagnation occurs, it’s an indication that it’s time to get curious and shake things up. Stagnation can be safe and comfortable…at least in the beginning. I like to use the analogy of a dirty house when thinking about this concept. It feels nice sometimes to ignore chores. But after a while, the dishes in the sink start to smell bad, dust piles up on the shelves, and you can’t seem to find where you put anything. Growth works much the same way. We can get comfortable in our routines, but eventually the stagnation weighs on us. The longer we’re...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Develop People Around You

Leadership Tips: Develop People Around You
"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." - Harvey S. Firestone, Founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Here at Fierce, we’re in the business of helping others grow. And our clients are on all different paths in supporting their people’s development, from offering very sophisticated development programs to just starting on the path of giving options. Regardless, the leaders we work with realize that developing their people is a critical piece for success. This isn’t just a “check the box” – employees crave it. According to EdenRed, 68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy, followed by working hours flexibility (74%), then promotion of health at work (72%). I’d argue it goes beyond the policy, because people truly want growth opportunities. So you must ask yourself: If this perk is highly desired, how do I help aid others’ development?...
Continue reading

5 Steps to Finding Your Focus

5 Steps to Finding Your Focus
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fast Company and details five steps to help find your focus in a chaotic work environment. Today’s workforce is becoming more decentralized as teams commonly work together remotely, across different cities, states, and countries. Much of the time, technology, the very thing that connects these remote teams and coworkers, can also be the excuse for becoming increasingly distracted at work. Although the buzzing of a phone, chime of a computer, or that chatty coworker on your company messenger can seem like the perfect excuse to delay that project you are working on, these distractions are now commonplace and can no longer be validated. Things will not get easier as technology continues to advance, and the ability to focus and continue to produce great work amidst the clutter will be vital for employees everywhere. Jones Loflin, coauthor of Getting to It , offers...
Continue reading

Why Frequent Feedback Conversations Are Thriving (and Annual Reviews Are Dying)

Why Frequent Feedback Conversations Are Thriving (and Annual Reviews Are Dying)
How often do you receive feedback at work? How often do you give it? “Not often” is a common answer. And I’m here to tell you that “not often” is not often enough. I used to work for an organization where employees received bi-yearly reviews. During these 30-minute meetings, my supervisor and I would go over the review forms and determine what was going well and where there was room for growth. The reviews were helpful when they occurred, but I wonder— if I had received this feedback months ago, or as issues were occurring, what difference would it have made for my own growth, the quality of my work, and the company? I’d bet money that it would’ve made a significant difference. The Case for Frequent Feedback Feedback (and how often it’s delivered) directly impacts performance and employee engagement. Hands down, employees perform better with more frequent feedback ....
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Build Your Leaders Up

Leadership Tips: Build Your Leaders Up
In our often time-constrained, all-consuming routines as leaders, it can be hard to focus and help others around you. And when I say others, I mean other leaders – the people you aren’t normally focused on helping and supporting. It’s often assumed that this orphaned population of fellow leaders are “skilled to fend for themselves.” Hey, they are super talented and should have it figured out…that’s their job, right?! Well, we know that is not reality. Leaders are pressured in all directions – from the top, the side, and the bottom. And when you think about it, often it is hard for them to even know what they need in the middle of it all. I was recently talking with a leader in one of our client companies, and she is tasked with building a new middle manager training program. When I asked about the vision, she shared that more...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Check-In Now

Leadership Tips: Check-In Now
Step back and reflect on all of the people you will interact with this week - inside and outside of work. Do you have a gut feeling about something that needs to be talked about? Now is the time to do something about it. I'm not saying that your instinct about a situation is necessarily correct.   Many times our instincts are fueled by our own fears or thoughts around a certain situation. What you may perceive as an issue, may be something entirely unrelated. However...what if it isn't? Is it worth glazing over? This week's tip is to connect with the person you most need to check-in with.   Be specific and share what you sense. The worst that can happen is you are wrong. Just be prepared to be.

When Giving Critical Feedback, Focus on Your Nonverbal Cues

When Giving Critical Feedback, Focus on Your Nonverbal Cues
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and shares tips for focusing on nonverbal cues and body language when having feedback conversations. One of the most difficult things to do, from novice managers to tenured leaders, is give feedback. Especially when the feedback is critical and not easy to deliver. There is always a balancing act between delivering honest and open feedback and not discouraging the employee, causing them to retreat further inward. The ability to give this feedback successfully starts with the culture of the workplace. If employees are engaged and part of an inclusive environment where their voice is heard, chances are they are more likely to respond well to feedback. Per Emma Seppala, Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion, using a positive, open, and supportive style of feedback where employees feel safe can lead to incredible outcomes. “Leaders and managers in...
Continue reading

7 Habits of People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance

7 Habits of People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fast Company and shares seven habits of people who have achieved work-life balance. Achieving work-life balance in a world in which we are constantly connected through technology can seem more like a fairytale than a reality. According to the American Sociological Review , 70% of American workers struggle with finding enough time to devote to their lives outside of work. Although most Americans have not found the correct balance, there are some tools that can help. Harvey Deutschendorf, Fast Company Contributor, shares tools utilized by the 30% that have achieved this elusive balance. A few include: 1. Making deliberate choices about what they want in life. Instead of rolling with the punches and letting life unfurl, people who have achieved work-life balance make deliberate choices about what they want from life and how they want to spend their time. Once these parameters...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Perhaps We Don't Need Work/Life Balance

Leadership Tips: Perhaps We Don
In business there is a lot of talk around work/life balance. To me, this topic is always too broad. I think for many, life is more fluid than that. In a world of constant connection, many of us work when we could be playing and play when we could be working. This week’s tip is about moving the conversation beyond looking at work/life balance as vacation and time at work. Rather than keeping those pieces apart, what would happen if we combined them more? Often people believe that you have to be really lucky to love what you do enough to not need a vacation from it. Perhaps in our current state of business, where 70% of Americans are disengaged at work, this is true. However, if your organization and your employees came to work each day as excited as they are to leave on Friday - what results could...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Your First Idea May Be Your Best

Leadership Tips: Your First Idea May Be Your Best
Imagine for a second that you are in a meeting where the goal is to solve a challenge. An idea immediately comes to mind, however you skip over it, with the hope that an even more brilliant idea might pop into your head. Why do we do this? Why do we discount our immediate instinct? This week’s Fierce tip encourages you to vocalize all the first ideas you have, and to trust the instinct that told you that this is a problem, solution, challenge, or whatever it may be. If you’re a leader, this week when you are in a meeting, ask everyone to say their first ideas. You may be surprised as to what is being left unsaid due to self-editing. No matter what your initial idea may be it may look different once others collaborate and innovate on it, or it might be the perfect solution right off...
Continue reading

3 Tips for Supercharging Small Team Collaboration

3 Tips for Supercharging Small Team Collaboration
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and shares three tips to supercharge small team collaboration and maximize efforts. Effective collaboration is critical to teams of all sizes, but it becomes especially important for smaller teams that do not have as much time, resources, and bandwidth as others. If your team is not operating at its highest potential, you could be in danger of running low on time or money. Being agile, adaptive, and most importantly, highly collaborative, is what separates high-performing teams from the ones that are just staying afloat. Per Matt Hunckler, Forbes contributor, and his interviewee, Max Yonder, there are some tips that can lead to better small-team collaboration. 1. Share Before You’re Ready.  We have all gone deep down the proverbial rabbit hole only to find out the task at hand did not come to fruition as plans changed. Not only is it disheartening...
Continue reading

Are Your Collaborative Efforts Falling Flat? Here Are 3 Rules for Success

Are Your Collaborative Efforts Falling Flat? Here Are 3 Rules for Success
As leaders, we like the idea of collaboration, we just don’t like to actually do it. Especially at the highest levels. We tend to feel the pressure of ‘the buck stops here.’ We’re unwilling to bring others into tough decisions. We confuse collaboration with consensus. We like the allure of thinking our decisions are the best for our organizations. The list unfortunately goes on and includes lack of trust, not wanting our opinions to be ignored, not wanting to share critical information, not having enough time...we convince ourselves that for all these reasons and more, collaboration may not be the best decision. And there is some support for this thinking. In his book Tipping Sacred Cows: Kick the Bad Work Habits That Masquerade as Virtues , Jake Breeden identifies automatic collaboration as one of these bad work habits. One example he gives is, “there is no greater danger to productivity...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Ask Your Team

Leadership Tips: Ask Your Team
"Unity is strength . . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved." -Mattie Stepanek Think about a time that a leader in your organization has made a decision without consulting the people it affected. How was the decision received? Was there resistance? Most of the time, when there is an issue with a decision, it is because people’s opinions and concerns were not addressed in the first place. People ultimately want to know that their perspectives matter. The engagement piece is more important than the final outcome. At Fierce, we have a culture committee – composed of cross department members – that is focused on bringing our core values to life. They explore and recommend opportunities from recognition programs to mentorship to coordinating our company-wide fantasy draft team. Why do we have this group? Because it is critical for our team members to help steer how...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Transparency - the Chicken or the Egg?

Leadership Tips: Transparency - the Chicken or the Egg?
In leadership, there is a lot of talk about the need for transparency. Transparency builds trusts and loyalty; it makes people feel engaged and breeds accountability. And yet, for many leaders the conundrum becomes when and how much they share. If you think about it, it becomes a bit like a chicken and egg situation. Which comes first: The information or the trust? As a leader would you share more if you trusted more and, conversely, would others trust you more if they knew more? This week take a look at your relationships and see if you’re being as transparent as you could or should be. If not, ask yourself what is missing in your relationships that holds you back from fully sharing. Do not get caught up in what "should come first." Have the conversation.

Leadership Tips: Address Your Mokitas

Leadership Tips: Address Your Mokitas
Mokita is a Papua New Guinean term for something that  everyone knows but no one talks about .  Papua New Guineans measure the health of their tribes by how many mokitas they have. The fewer mokitas, the healthier the tribe. In other words, the tribes that can talk about the difficult topics are the most healthy. We have this concept in America. It’s called the elephant in the room. That thing that we know and feel compelled to not talk about, because the consequences may not be “pleasant.” The family gathering may have its own special elephant while your team meetings may have another. Mokitas can show up everywhere. One could be that your one team member is always late, and although it has negative impact on everyone, no one ever says anything. It could be that your mother always pressures you on a particular topic, and no one ever...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Create Self-Directed Learning Opportunities

Leadership Tips: Create Self-Directed Learning Opportunities
Learning has always been a lifeline for me. Like many others in our digital age, I’m constantly looking for ways to learn throughout my day. When I ask my friend for a new workout at the gym, I’m learning something that will help me with my fitness goals. On my commute in, I watch videos and read articles on how to “up” my game in the latest digital marketing innovation. While thinking about what to cook for dinner, I search the web for a new recipe and watch short tutorials on how to prep. Throughout my day, the opportunity for micro-learning—small, bite-sized learning—shows up. This micro-learning trend is showing up in the workplace too. We see a continued emphasis in the workplace for employees to drive their own learning, and more than ever in 2017. Some of this is due to technology and ease of access, while some is a...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Celebrate Your Team

Leadership Tips: Celebrate Your Team
We are in the 2016 home stretch. Now is a fantastic time to rally your team together and celebrate this year’s successes. As a leader, when you think about this year’s accomplishments, you probably go straight to the major business outcomes, from excellent talent acquisition to product launches to client retention. Those all should definitely be celebrated. And here I am encouraging you to go deeper on the individual level with your team members. Understand what they like celebrating and give them the attention they deserve. Here are three exercises to explore. Choose one or do all. Perhaps let each of your team members choose their own activity. The main point is to focus, learn, and celebrate. Reflect in a month-to-month format. Have your team member list their major accomplishments in each month of 2016. Encourage them to look back on calendars, emails, and notes. Oftentimes we are moving so...
Continue reading

Change is the New Normal

Change is the New Normal
Change is the new “normal” for organizations and leaders alike, from structural change to leadership change to industry disruption. And yet, data shows that 70% of organizational change initiatives fail. Why? Because we order people to change rather than engage them through conversation. We engage their heads and not their hearts. So how can leaders today not simply “manage” change, but rather excel through it – and lead their teams to do the same? Join Beth Wagner, Master Facilitator, as she unlocks 3 Fierce strategies that will help you, your team, and your organization thrive in times of change. Register here.

Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Leader in Your Life

Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Leader in Your Life
Woodrow Wilson said, "You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." Think of the leaders in your life. The ones that push you and stretch you in new ways. Who do you have in your life that enables you to live with greater vision? Have you said thank you to any of them lately? With our go-go culture, it can be difficult to take the time to celebrate. On top of that, it can be easy to think that the acknowledgment is not needed, or that the person already knows what you would say. But trust me, it is always a good time to pause and share appreciation. When...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Stop Stalling, It’s Time to Give Back

Leadership Tips: Stop Stalling, It’s Time to Give Back
When I talk with people in my network, they often say they want to give back more – give their time, their money, their expertise. But…they aren’t organized around it. Or…other things come up. Or…there are just too many options. And then, nothing happens. Well, now is the time to put some process around it and give back! Tomorrow is National Philanthropy Day . The day is meant to be a celebration of philanthropy—giving, volunteering and charitable engagement—that highlights the accomplishments, large and small, that philanthropy—and all those involved in the philanthropic process—makes to our society and our world. So, I ask: Are you giving back to your community at your desired capacity?   This week’s tip is to create a plan, if you aren’t. It doesn’t have to be in the form of dollars. There are so many ways to give back: Mentor a young person at your company...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Have a Scary Conversation

Leadership Tips: Have a Scary Conversation
In the vein of Halloween’s ghosts, gremlins, and other frightening characters, think of something that is equally scary: a conversation you are avoiding. Perhaps it is a conversation with your boss about something she is doing that is not helpful. Or a conversation with a peer about what you are noticing that is not working for him. Or taking it home, maybe it is a conversation with your spouse or family member to discuss something that you do not feel the other is willing to talk about. Ok, do you have that conversation in mind? Does the thought of this conversation make you want to evaporate? Or run out the door? Or go on vacation? If so, that's a good sign. This week’s tip is to stop stalling and have the scary conversation now. Why? Because you own the fear, and the cost of not having the conversation is much...
Continue reading

How to Design a Corporate Wellness Plan That Actually Works

How to Design a Corporate Wellness Plan That Actually Works
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and discusses why so many corporate wellness programs fail, and explains how to create ones that stick. There is a lot of discussion around “wellness programs,” also known as workplace health promotion programs and their effectiveness. A wellness program, like any other company-wide initiative, can only be successful if it is designed and executed properly. Many times, organizations try to pass off a single effort or one-time event as a complete wellness program – these are destined for failure. Employees need follow-up and structure to continue making smart decisions about their health. To figure out what is working, and what isn’t, HBR prepared a report, “From Evidence to Practice: Workplace Wellness that Works.” Hector De La Torre and Ron Goetzel, Ph.D., Harvard Business Review, identified certain trends that led to successful and failed programs. Per Torre and Goetzel, a...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Take Time to Talk with Your Boss

Leadership Tips: Take Time to Talk with Your Boss
Today is National Boss’s Day, and whether you loathe or admire yours, it’s a good time to reflect on the role this individual plays in your life. There are identified areas that contribute to a healthier employee-boss relationship, and one of them is continuously giving and acting on feedback. A few years ago, we conducted a Fierce Survey exploring employee-supervisor relationships . Eighty percent of respondents who reported a good employee-supervisor relationship claim that the most important thing a boss can do to create a positive working relationship is to both solicit and value their input. Among respondents who claimed to have a poor relationship with their boss, 42 percent stated that one of the top reasons the relationship was strained was due to their boss’ failure to listen or take their input into account. If you do not feel your boss listens or takes your input seriously, it is...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Time to Get Uncomfortable

Leadership Tips: Time to Get Uncomfortable
Careful conversations are often failed conversations, because they postpone what wants and needs to be talked about. So I ask: How many careful conversations do you typically have in a week? And to add on to that. How many superficial ones? The “How are you?” – “I’m fine” ones. Or the “Have a great weekend – You too” ones. And of course, the “I’ll reach back out to you on that – Okay, talk then” ones. I don’t know about you, but the people in my life who really level with the me, who share their deepest thoughts, feelings, and opinions of me, of the world, of anything really, are the ones I crave the time with the most. This involves leaders in my life too. In Brené Brown’s recent book Rising Strong , she shares, “The most transformative and resilient leaders that I’ve worked with over the course of my...
Continue reading

Be Awake. Be intentional.

Be Awake. Be intentional.
On a scale from one to ten, how awake do you feel in your life? Are you paying attention to the most important things right now? As summer comes to an end, think about these questions during this transitional time. I was recently talking with a retail executive, and she shared with me that her team stepped away from their phones and computers for a whole strategy session. Everyone noted that they were present with one another in a new way. One of the comments was:  I actually felt like I was paying attention to what I needed to, instead of the 10 distractions that come up every hour . I am sure you can relate to the feeling of distractions running your life. And every day, whether we want to admit it or not, we pay a price for not being awake to this. Our actions and inactions have...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Kick the Post-Summer Blues through Reflecting

Leadership Tips: Kick the Post-Summer Blues through Reflecting
With the seasons changing and school starting, many workers can have the “post-summer blues.” You yourself may be mourning the end of the hot, sunny days. And if thoughts of the Greek isles or a summer camping trip are often coming to mind, it can be hard to focus on what is ahead. The one thing you should do to focus? Reflect. Reflecting sounds counterproductive when we have a lot to do, because our inclination may be to focus and grind away, to push past the feelings and thoughts. However, Master Facilitator, Beth Wagner, mentioned in a Fierce webinar at the beginning of the year, reflection is a very important and often overlooked activity for leaders.  Many  studies  have shown the critical role that reflection plays in performance and learning.  Leaders and employees alike who take time to reflect on their successes and their mistakes at work, perform 20-25% better than those...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Restore Your Energy

Leadership Tips: Restore Your Energy
I recently heard Tony Schwartz, President & CEO of The Energy Project, speak at an employee engagement conference. His company focuses on helping organizations fuel sustainable high performance by better meeting the core needs of their employees. Schwartz’s recent book, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working , makes the case that we’re neglecting the four key needs that energize great performance: physical (renewal), emotional (value), mental (boundaries), and spiritual (purpose). His background in working with athletes is quite analogous to employees. We need to feel healthy and strong to perform at our best. And yet, we often do not focus on our physical needs. Even worse, for many leaders, their health and energy ( how they actually feel) is something that they “deal with” as opposed to focusing on and improving.   So my plea to you: Pay attention to how you act during the week when demand is high....
Continue reading

Great Managers Can Fix Broken Performance Management Systems

Great Managers Can Fix Broken Performance Management Systems
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Gallup.com and discusses how high performing managers can fix broken performance management systems. A Gallup study on The State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders revealed that companies hiring managers based on their talents and fit for the role see “a 48% increase in profitability, a 22% increase in productivity, a 30% increase in employee engagement scores, a 17% increase in customer engagement scores and a 19% decrease in turnover.” So what are these high performing managers getting right? They focus on building engagement and employee growth through developing their strengths – not correcting weaknesses. When an employee’s strengths are leveraged, they are more engaged because they are contributing at a higher level. This leads to higher retention rates and happier employees. Additionally, great managers understand the human element, and how to motivate by building genuine relationships with their...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Create Time for a New Relationship

Leadership Tips: Create Time for a New Relationship
Looking ahead at your eventful week, think about the many people you will interact with – on the phone, via email, in your community, and in the office. When you talk with these people, will you ask engaging questions and really listen for the answers? Or will you simply wait until it is your turn and talk at somebody? As Susan Scott, Fierce Founder, states, “If you want to become a great leader, gain the capacity to connect with your colleagues and customers at a deep level…or lower your aim.” [tweetable text="Being genuine and authentic is easily identifiable through conversation." tweet="“Being genuine and authentic is easily identifiable through conversation.” via @fierce_inc"] Conversely, being unauthentic and fake can be even more obvious. This week’s tip is to make time to rekindle a fading relationship or create a new one with someone in your life.  Schedule the time in your calendar to build this new relationship. Create a...
Continue reading

When a Vacation Reduces Stress — And When It Doesn’t

When a Vacation Reduces Stress — And When It Doesn’t
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and discusses why employees have varying levels of happiness after returning from vacation. To put it simply – all vacations are not created equally. There is no doubt that a positive vacation creates a significant increase in happiness and energy levels while reducing stress. However, a poorly planned stressful trip can leave you more burnt out than before. According to the research, the post-vacation blues are more a result of the type of vacation you take than taking the vacation itself. So is it easy to just have a great, stress free vacation? According to the research, apparently not. Luckily there are some steps you can take to help plan your stress free vacation. Go far away. We all know the benefits of a staycation – lowering your carbon footprint, saving money and being a tourist in your own...
Continue reading

3 Tips for Curing the Post-Vacation Blues

3 Tips for Curing the Post-Vacation Blues
If you took a vacation and this post is relevant to you, congratulations! Taking time off is important. However, coming back from vacation and hitting the ground running can be quite jarring. In fact, the whole notion of “post vacation blues” is actually a top excuse used to not take vacations by many Americans, and consequently, the American workforce leaves approximately 429 million paid vacation days on the table every single year. Wow. At the end of the day, [tweetable text=" as a leader, it is your choice – no one else’s – to take or not take your provided vacation days. " tweet="“ as a leader, it is your choice – no one else’s – to take or not take your provided vacation days. ” via @fierce_inc"] In an effort to not contribute to that astronomical number, I recently took some time off for a vacation to France. It...
Continue reading