How to Be Accountable for Your Emotional Wake as a Leader

What's the impact of a Fierce conversation before it's even happened? How often do you have a conversation with yourself before a team meeting, an interview, or prior to delivering feedback or confronting a problem? Consider it an essential part of your prep time, integrated into the normal routine of preparing for a meeting. And depending on the s...
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Leading Business Problem #4: No Purpose

In our latest eBook, we call out no purpose as a leading problem in business. The reality is that nearly every organization is inherently purposeful. The intention of the company, or the reason why it exists, is its purpose. But internal communication around this "reason for being," why it matters, and how it can be made an integral part of daily o...
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Social Change and Employee Empowerment: Why Leaders Need to Embrace the Times

Our recent Fierce survey revealed that conversations around current social movements, including #blacklivesmatter, #metoo, and #TimesUp, are happening. Unfortunately, most of these conversations are not happening at work. The survey also revealed that while employees still experience and witness discrimination, there has been a shift the past year ...
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Leaders, Identify Your Weakest Employee Tie

"Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike." – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix When we form a relationship, we form a tie between ourselves and another person. Our relationships generally begin with a point of connection through something we share in common, and these ties gradually strengthen ...
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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...
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Why Your Traditional Diversity Training Program is Not Working

Each year, organizations invest a lot of time and millions of dollars into diversity programs. I hate to break it to you, but the return on both the investment and expectations of traditional diversity efforts is falling terribly short. As a baby boomer, my career followed the new path of diversity. It wasn’t about inclusion at all. It was about numbers. The intent was good. The thinking was that if you change the numbers you would change the culture. Fortunately, we have learned so much and still have so far to go. Traditional programs are still not touching on some of the most critical issues that need to be addressed. In 2016, in a speech to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar, diversity consultant Verna Myers said, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being invited to dance.” Traditional programs are just an invitation to the party. They become hollow...
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3 Ways Leaders Can Increase Empathy

This week’s Friday resource comes from Forbes and lists ways leaders can grow in empathy. Research reveals that today’s most successful leaders all have a trait in common: empathy. Empathy allows a person to step into another person’s shoes and understand their perspective. This trait is beneficial because it allows whomever is in the position of leadership to approach the needs of their team members with genuine concern, which creates trust and strengthens relationships within teams and organizations. In conversation, empathy shifts how a leader will guide and respond to the discussion. A conversation with an empathic leader often leaves people feeling seen, heard, and cared for. Per Teri Citterman, CEO of Talonn and Forbes contributor, here are some ways you can increase empathy as a leader. 1. Know more. “Do you know what’s most important to each of your team members? Not what you think is, but what actually...
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Attention, Leaders: Strengthen Empathy by Dropping These 4 Words from Your Vocabulary

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” –Rudyard Kipling Humble, empathic leaders have been found to be the most successful . Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence , defines empathy as “having the ability to sense others’ feelings and how they see things.” Words, in conjunction with our behaviors, create empathy. When a leader uses words to label others, especially harsh or negative labels, it can be damaging to those on the receiving end on a deep, visceral level, not to mention damaging to any goal an organization is trying to achieve. To be a successful, empathic leader, it’s necessary to drop damaging labels from your vocabulary. Management Research Group reports that empathy is widely considered “the most important (out of 22) leadership behaviors.” When a leader embodies empathy and kindness, it allows employees to build trust, feel safe enough psychologically to contribute, and tap into...
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Leadership Tips: Be Kind

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ― Henry James Showing kindness in the workplace can get a bad rap. It can be mistaken as a weakness. Some believe it is an emotion we should not show. Don’t let this old school way of thinking misguide you. Being kind is the greatest gift we can give one another. It is an attribute that encompasses empathy and sympathy, while simultaneously building trust and respect. Kindness goes a long way and often takes very little energy on our parts. This week take every opportunity to be kindhearted to those you spend your days with. No act is too small and if the week provides you the chance to show your humanity in a large way – seize it!

3 Ways to Clear Barriers to Development for Women Leaders

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The International Public Management Association for Human Resources and shares three ways to clear barriers to development for women leaders. As women assume more leadership and management roles in today’s workforce it becomes increasingly obvious that they bring with them different experiences, perspectives, and competencies that their male coworkers have not historically provided. And while providing specific leadership programs for women to continue their professional growth meets diversity initiatives, it is also a smart business move. While many workplaces have begun women-specific professional development and leadership programs, many barriers still remain, especially in male-dominated industries. According to Marcie Mueller, three ways to remove barriers and develop women leaders include: 1. Initiate Ways for Women to Gain Corporate Exposure . The old adage of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” can be applied to corporate development and professional advancement within...
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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...
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Leadership Tips: Bust Generation Stereotypes

The media is buzzing every day with news of the latest epidemic of generational conflict. Millennials are flipping things completely upside down while the boomers stand sternly, clenching status quo. Well, how much is this really happening? I've traveled to several conferences and corporate events, and during that time, I had several conversations about generations in the workforce. Most people say the generational gap is a real one but admitted to knowing people who don't fall into their generations' stereotypes. So I ask you: When have you defied your generation's stereotypes? When have others around you?  I am an “older” millennial, yet I hold some very “boomer” values and tendencies. In our Fierce Generations workshop, we do a values exercise in which participants choose values most important to them. The beauty is that most people walk away from the training acknowledging that they have values from all the different generations. There...
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How to Prepare for Workplace Changes Brought on by Millennials and Gen Z

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Business Journals and examines how companies can prepare for changes brought on by Millennials in the workplace. Much has been said about Millennials in the workplace for better or worse. One thing is certain—with a new wave of workers claiming most jobs in the United States, changes are sure to occur. As the older generations of managers begin to retire, Millennials are stepping into leadership roles and filling the void. The biggest question being asked by companies and leaders that are transferring their knowledge to the next generation is, are they prepared? “According to a recent Randstad global study, one of the top things that millennials feel their educations did not prepare them for is managing other people.” Although a lack of experience and training may be prevalent, the desire to become leaders and earn the respect of their peers within...
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Leadership Tips: Prepare for Change

A survey from Deloitte on change reports that 68% of participants agree that “change is continuous and embraces all areas of life and activities.” If you fall into the other 32% of people who either partially agree or don’t agree, we have news for you— you can’t escape change, and it’s an unavoidable part of life. You can’t change change. It's also a big part of what you may want for yourself, including growth and progress. In the workplace, much is changing, particularly around diversity and how we approach our careers. Millennials have replaced baby boomers as the most prevalent generation in the workforce, and women are earning higher salaries and holding positions in leadership now more than ever before. Technology will continue to evolve and play a larger role in our daily lives, and collaboration is becoming a bigger part of decision-making processes. Read some interesting predictions on the...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Woman in Your Life

International Women’s Day is March 8th. As a women-owned business, Fierce wants to thank all of the women-owned businesses that make an impact in our community – from Seattle to around the globe. I want to shout out to Women in Real Life and PACE Staffing as some of our women-owned business partners who grow their businesses with brilliance and strength. In the United States, there continues to be a surge of women-owned businesses. According to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Business Report, there are nearly 11.3 million women-owned enterprises (up from 9.1 million in 2014), employing nearly 9 million workers and generating over $1.6 trillion in revenues. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms grew 45%. So I ask you: Do you have women entrepreneurs in your life? What have you learned from them? This week’s tip is to celebrate a woman in your life. Find a...
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Employee Appreciation Day: 4 Tips to Make a Sincere Impact

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and shares four simple tips to make sure this year’s Employee Appreciation Day celebration has a genuine impact. Humans are hardwired to crave appreciation. Year after year, appreciation is identified as one of the top motivators for employees to go above and beyond. Whether big or small, celebrating achievements feels good and acknowledging these wins can be the difference between employees delivering something that meets expectations or exceeds them. Appreciation leads to engagement, which results in higher performance. Employees are yearning for this more than pay raises and title changes. That says a lot. The good thing is, it is not too late to show the love! Start this year at your Employee Appreciation Day. Per Forbes Contributors David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom, a few things to help the celebration turn into an impactful event are: 1. Communicate. A lot of...
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How the Best Companies Do Diversity Right

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fortune.com and explains how the best companies are getting diversity and inclusion done the right way. The benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workforce are no longer a mystery. It can increase revenue, it breeds innovation and encourages people to work harder. Yet, so many companies have muted efforts to grow their programs and reach the positive results that are attainable. Or even worse, they invest the bare minimum into diversity and inclusion for fear of criticism if they don't and to improve public perception. These are not the reasons to invest in diversity and inclusion. When people feel like they are included, they are more willing to approach leaders with new ideas and strategies, or simply feel comfortable enough to have a candid conversation. “At a time when our national social fabric has frayed, workplaces that are great for all...
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Different Perspectives Lead to the Best Ideas. Here’s Why.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” -Marcus Aurelius You’ve probably heard any of the given advice before: seek input, welcome perspectives, collaborate with others. But why? Where does the premise come from that inclusion is beneficial for individuals, teams, or organizations? An article from Scientific American entitled “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter” states that “decades of research by organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers show that socially diverse groups (that is, those with a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation) are more innovative than homogeneous groups.” Although the focus should be geared toward diverse thought regardless of social group, this finding illustrates that when individuals from different walks of life come together and share unique viewpoints, positive results increase. Our Fierce Team model uses the term “beach ball” to describe how perspectives occur within organizations....
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Leadership Tips: Create Diversity of Thought

All you have to do is turn on the news to see that there is a lack of diversity of thought around us, from our grid-locked Congress to our arguments about anything under the sun.  There is never one simple solution to the challenges we face, and we need, more than ever, diversity of thought. In order to get there, we need to focus on two things: getting curious and expanding our thinking. To dig a little deeper, I want to share a relevant excerpt from our white paper:  A Perspective on Diversity, Building a Culture of Curiosity : The metaphorical phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” has endured as long as it has for a reason.  In a similar vein, an employee should not be judged by the generation they represent, the religion they practice, or the socioeconomic status they were raised in. Because the combination of experiences and...
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Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by HBR.org and explains why diverse teams work smarter and more efficiently. Organizations must stop seeing workplace diversity and inclusion as a box to check off and instead truly understand the business impact that a diverse workplace can have on a business. “A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean.” Per David Rock and Heidi Grant, HBR, a few key reasons diverse teams perform better than homogenous team are: They Focus on Facts. The idea of diverse perspectives creating innovative ideas is nothing new. Working with colleagues that have different backgrounds and think differently tasks our brains to think of challenges and obstacles in a different light. With diverse views come constant revisiting of facts that allow...
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Leadership Tips: Be Inclusive

One of our Fierce predictions this year is that diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs will continue to grow. With the current global and political climate, it is becoming known that the convergence of competing views can be volatile when the skills are absent and the expectations are not set. The goal is to foster inclusion in the workplace, and furthermore, to ensure individual workers do not feel marginalized, unsupported, or unwanted. In addition to the cultural and emotional benefits of inclusion, there are bottom line implications. McKinsey research Diversity Matters examined proprietary data sets for 366 public companies in various countries. They found: Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.   Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective...
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Fierce 2017 Workplace Predictions

It’s that time again. Each year, top leaders within organizations are forced to address issues that take place both internally with the world as a whole. 2016 was no exception. From political climate shifts to new industry disruptors, change is continuing to be the new “normal” in the workplace. When we look into 2017, we see: Diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs will be expanded:  Whatever your political views entail, there is no denying the great divide that has taken over much of our country due to this year's presidential election. This confluence of beliefs can create issues in the workplace if individual workers feel marginalized, unsupported, or even fearful.  Taking control of this conversation is key for organizations to not only maintain the well-being of their employees, but to ensure that their workplace is one of acceptance across the board. Fierce anticipates that in the coming year there will...
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Why Work-Life Balance Isn't Just a Women's Issue Anymore

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Forbes and explores how men and women have similar priorities when it comes to valuing work-life balance. Work-life balance has been a hot-button topic for years and conventional wisdom tells us that women struggle the most with juggling work and personal responsibilities. But a recent national study by Bain & Company is bringing new issues to light. Researchers found that nearly equal numbers of women and men want to prioritize family and life outside of work over career progression. How successful is your organization at integrating work and life? Source: http://www.forbes.com

Advice to Young Women

We’re a women-owned business. And proud of it. As part of our work, we focus on developing, training, and investing in young women and girls around the world through corporations, non-profits, and education systems. When we look at issues for young women today, bullying comes to the top of the list. We are not neutral about how to solve for this. We believe that children and young adults need to learn the skills to navigate their lives – with advocates and adversaries to their success. So what does our staff want to share with young women today? Fellow Fierceling, Ashley Wolf, has interviewed some of our staff about advice they have for young women, and two major themes arose. Speak Your Truth. At Fierce, speaking your truth is about being authentic. With media and many other influences pushing against them, it is especially important for young women today to learn...
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4 Ways Smart Leaders Are Shaking up Their Culture

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on The Huffington Post and outlines four ways to revamp your work culture to help retain and attract new talent. A 2015 study by Deloitte found that more than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good. This shift has made company culture one of the most important factors in attracting top talent to a business. The challenge is how you maintain a balance between satisfying new talent and keeping your current employees happy. 4 Ways Smart Leaders Are Shaking up Their Culture recommends creating a collaborative learning environment where employees can engage with leaders at all levels of the company, at their own pace. This will ensure organizations’ talent delivers on business outcomes today and in the future, while also creating a more inclusive...
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Leadership Tips: Be Inclusive to Solve Problems

The answers are in the room. - Susan Scott Last week, I was in Chicago at the Human Capital Institute's Learning and Leadership Development Conference. A resounding theme from Fortune 500 leaders was the need to engage on a deep level with employees, to include them , when solving the most important issues for the business. They encouraged companies to invite others outside of the usual suspects. There were many examples of how 'best' practices ended up not being what worked for their companies, and what really worked was listening to their people. This mentality of engaging with others to solve problems applies on an organizational level along with the individual. So I ask you: What do you currently have on your plate that would benefit from other perspectives? From where I sit, the marketing team at Fierce is innovating on some processes we use with our Salesforce system. It...
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Employee Engagement: Just Do It

Employee engagement and inclusion isn't a cognitive issue. It's an emotional issue. The problem isn't out there. It's in here. We want employees to be engaged and feel included, while we ourselves are detached, distracted, disengaged, focused on our To Do lists and the stock price. We want others to bring that elusive, coveted "discretionary effort" in the door with them every day but we don't have time to engage in the kind of conversations that could enrich our relationships with them. The fact is, not having those conversations will take longer and cost more in the long term. When you disengage from the world, the world disengages too, in equal measure. It's a two-step, you and the world, you and your organization. Your employees lost interest in you because you lost interest in them. Calling them associates or partners is often window dressing. If you want high levels of...
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Leaders, Watch for These 3 Collaboration Failures

A few years ago we surveyed over 1,400 executives and employees, and 86% cited lack of collaboration for workplace failures. Does this surprise you? Many of us can cite epic failures and point fingers at people who did not ask us what our perspectives were around an opportunity, challenge, or decision. Then heads were shaking when the “inevitable” outcome became reality. Conversely, many of us have been on the other side of the equation, kicking ourselves for not asking the people that were central to the success of the project or challenge for their opinions, guidance, and help. It could have been an intentional choice or complete oversight. Collaboration is much easier said than done. Many people understand the importance of getting diverse perspectives and including the team, yet it can be difficult to ensure that it actually happens. At fierce, we encourage you to take it one conversation at...
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Human Connectivity Defined

Years ago in a Fierce newsletter I wrote: “If you want to become a great leader, gain the capacity to connect with colleagues and customers - at a deep level – or lower your aim.” Kent, a reader, asked, “What is the Fierce definition of human connectivity?” I don’t have an official definition for human connectivity, but I know it when I experience it and I imagine you do too. Certainly human connectivity occurs one wonderfully fierce conversation at a time. And we all know what a fierce conversation is, right? It’s one in which you and I come out from behind ourselves, into the conversation, and make it real. You may have noticed that connection occurs most often during moments of honesty and vulnerability. There is something deep within us that responds to those who level with us, who don’t suggest our compromises for us. And it goes both...
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Peer Relationships Are Critical to Real Workplace Recognition

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on TLNT.com and was written by Derek Irvine. Peer Relationships Are Critical to Real Workplace Recognition highlights the importance of relationships among employees in the workplace. What we know here at Fierce is you can't leave your "personal" self at home and bring your "business" self to work. There is only one you and whether you're celebrating or sad, it's important to be able to show up authentically. So I ask, do you have authentic relationships in your workplace? What can you do to develop the relationships? "Clearly, our peers are fundamental to how we get the work done. Yet all too often, peers and their observations are ignored or lessened in an employee recognition experience." Read the full article .

Tapping the Potential of Boardroom Diversity

This week's Fierce Resource was originally posted on Huffingtonpost.com and was written by Debra Walton. Tapping the Potential of Boardroom Diversity highlights the need for acquiring diversity among leadership teams and boardroom members. Although a simple idea, the complexity of finding the right mix can be a challenge. While this article focuses on gender, the idea is to gather multiple realities. Think: millennial, boomer, new hire, or tenured employee... you get the picture. So, how does your team or organization gather multiple perspectives or diversity of thought? What could you do differently to gain variety? "Businesses should no longer see equal opportunity as a matter of choice, but as a matter of good governance. The female perspective is not necessarily better or more insightful than the male perspective, but it is different." Read the full article.

Millennials: Creating a New Workforce

Generation Y isn’t working to survive or to bring home a paycheck. They seek fulfillment and active participation in a bigger, more important organizational vision. They’ll pay their dues, put in their time and even take less pay as long as they feel they are contributing to an organization’s big-picture goals. But when they feel marginalized, millennials walk out the door without hesitation. The impact of this attitudinal shift is being reflected in the ways Gen Y leaders are beginning to create a new workplace culture. Here are three changes they’re inspiring: Connectivity: The workplace is becoming a social organism. Call it the Facebook effect. Gen Y employees and their leaders are building cultures that foster stimulation and creativity through constant contact with others. Co-workers no longer connect at the annual office party. They connect professionally and socially every minute of every day.   Collaboration : The old maxim that...
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The Generational Divide: Who Will Win?

Lately the generational divide has been a topic front and center, in conferences, the press, blogs... We are surprised, and a little concerned with the assumptions about millennials that are being offered up as the “capital T” truth. If you look at the press and commentary you’d think that Millennials (insert zombies) are coming in mass to get us. They will soon take over business as we know it, booting out boomers, trampling Gen Xers, and demanding every entitlement under the sun. So we thought we’d add to the chatter a different perspective, from both sides of the generational divide. From Stacey, the Millennial: Sure some millennials can be needy at times - wanting feedback on a weekly basis. And yes, some millennials think they deserve their promotions before they have shown impact in their roles. Others not so much. As a generation, we do love our technology and continually improving our devices and toys. The thing is - there are...
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What Companies Are Getting Wrong About Every Generation

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on FastCompany.com and was written by Stephen R. Fussell. What Companies Are Getting Wrong About Every Generation  addresses the idea of multiple generations that make up today's organizations. Over the past year we've seen a fifth generation enter the workforce and now more than ever companies are challenged with how to manage this diverse workforce.  Instead of thinking about each generation as different, change the way you look at generations by asking yourself- what makes us the same? Have a conversation, you may be surprised what you find. What commonalities do you share with those in your workplace? "But in the actual workforce, the picture is more nuanced, and honestly, more important than one single workforce generation. Successful companies are woven from individuals working together in teams whose makeup spans the generations. They don’t revolve around one employee subgroup, despite what the headlines...
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Good Managers Look Beyond Their Usual Suspects

This week’s Fierce Resource comes from HBR.org and was written by Ron Ashkenas.   Good Managers Look Beyond Their “Usual Suspects” challenges leaders and managers to redirect the conversations most commonly had with the “usual suspects” or the people they turn to most and to instead, approach a different individual who may have new insights to share. This week the marketing team at Fierce came together to discuss Tribes by Seth Godin . One of the big takeaways for our team, regardless of where you sit in the organization, is that you can lead. You may not be leading as the CEO, and you can lead projects that impact the organization in big ways. How will you look beyond the usual suspects? What tools do you have in your toolbox to establish yourself as a leader? “ Take a step back and think about how to expand your talent pool...
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Collaboration is Key

The key is to collaborate. This is what we heard yesterday from Kelly Paine, Costco Manager, Organizational Change Management, at our Fierce session at  2014 Training Magazine Conference and Expo  in San Diego. In the session, Kelly Paine shared how Costco set the expectations for implementing company-wide communication training programs.  Specifically, Kelly shared the success of the Cosmos project (read more  here ) and how the Costco culture of teaching has been critical for its success. At Costco, leaders are expected to spend the majority of their time teaching and collaborating with their teams. In the Cosmos project, collaboration with new teams was created by taking different people out of the business and creating co-location, so people could really solicit the perspectives that they needed to have. To bring more collaboration to your organization, here are three tips to immediately apply. Tip #1: Extend the Invitation  Ask a leader if he or...
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Leadership Tips: Listen Fiercely

To kick off the New Year, please join us in being intentional with the skill of listening. The Ask: Think of a time when someone’s listening impacted your life. In 2014, how will you pay it forward and listen like never before for someone else? We want to hear from you! Share your stories on on Social; we can be found on Facebook , Twitter , and LinkedIn . Comment here on the blog. Five people will win a copy of Fierce Conversations signed by author, Susan Scott. Use the hash tag: #listenfiercely

Leadership Tips: What is the Next Step in Your Succession Planning?

If someone within your company, who holds a top leadership role, left tomorrow, do you know what skills and strengths you’d need to look for in order to replace him or her? Perhaps more strategic, do you have someone internal you’re grooming to take the job? When you talk about succession planning, it can create some negative feelings from current leaders. Who wants to feel like the next generation is nipping at their heels to replace them? However, this week’s tip is about helping to reshape that perspective. An easy thing you can do right away is to have conversations about the tangible and intangible issues that cause succession planning to be ignored. Run a beach ball meeting to gather perspectives and find out how to make the process the best for everyone involved.

Leadership Tips: Speak to the Unspoken

Part of having conversations that go deep is the ability to identify when, in a conversation, there is something that is being unsaid. This is about obeying your instincts . Some of the time, you may have a physical reaction. Whether it is the hair on the back of your neck or goose bumps on your arm, it is a hint that something is off. Being aware of what is happening to you both physically and mentally in a conversation is where real richness can lie if you pay attention . That awareness is the first step. The second step is this week’s Fierce tip. This week, speak to what is being left unspoken in a conversation, even if it is minor, and resist the temptation to skip over it. Instead, dig deeper with those you are speaking with, get curious, and ask questions. The goal is to surface what...
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Leadership Tips: Embrace Multiple Points of View

As the 2012 year comes to a close we begin to start planning for the year ahead. Budgets, strategy plans, changes in policy- now is when we take the time to reflect on where we’ve been to determine where we’re going. This week’s Fierce Tip is for leaders to enter this process with an open head and heart and to embrace as many different points of view as possible. While it’s necessary to have the decision making process stay with a smaller subset of leaders, it is critical that they collect the information necessary to make informed and thoughtful determinations for the upcoming year. This can’t happen if only leadership is consulted. For example, want to cut spending next year? Then take the time to speak with your administrative staff about wasteful spends within your organization. Support roles might be able to help the organization find a way to cut...
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Leadership Tips: Say Thanks!

In the United States this week, many of us will gather around a dinner table with our friends and families to celebrate Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday, even as a little girl, has always been Thanksgiving. First, I truly enjoy every single dish that the traditional turkey dinner has to offer and, more importantly, I love that its main purpose is to be with the ones you love and say thanks. This week’s Fierce tip is about having many conversations this week expressing your thanks out loud! This thanksgiving I will say thanks to my newly born daughter, my husband, and our families who have supported us through this new time in our lives. I’ll say thanks to Fierce and my family here at work, who make coming into the office each day a true joy. I’ll say thanks to our clients who work so hard to make their organizations places...
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Leadership Tips: Show Appreciation

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” - Willie Nelson This week’s Fierce tip is to focus on showing gratitude to the people on your team. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to achieve outstanding results. It’s easy to have tunnel vision about where you need to be going and not take the time to step back and pay close attention to the journey...or who is helping you get there. For example, have you thanked a member of your team who pulled an all-nighter to deliver something you needed? Have you shared how impressed you were with someone’s contribution in a meeting? Have you given credit where credit is due? Do you acknowledge the everyday achievements? This week, be specific when you share what you appreciate about someone. Give a concrete example and explain how it has impacted you. The amazing part about expressing gratitude is...
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Why it’s Important as a Leader to Create a Development-Rich Zone

“Employees aren’t interested in being treated as cogs in the machine. Employees want to have their hands on the steering wheel and have a clear understanding of their role in the big picture.” -Fierce CEO, Halley Bock We’ve all heard the horror stories. The tales of employees who go to work each day, who log their time, keep their heads down, and are expected to be happy because at least they have a job. I wish I could say that this scenario is something that is in the past. Unfortunately, even today, there are still leaders who choose to run their organizations based on this archaic leadership mindset. In our most recent Fierce white paper, What Employees Really Think About Best Practices: Survey Uncovers 3 Things Employees Crave ,   we discovered that nearly 50% of those surveyed identified the most beneficial practices as ones that encourage accountability, development, and...
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Collaboration Killer: The Illusion of Inclusion

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." -Voltaire If you're a leader, you've heard a version of this quote a million times. And it has been (properly) drilled into your head that working cross-boundary is essential to the development and growth of a successful business . It’s all true. There is great reason that this quote, or some version therein, is tossed around on twitter like the latest diagnosis of Charlie Sheen's epic plunge into absurdity . However, there is a key element to this that is too often overlooked. And that is, if you want true collaboration and you want to wholly embody mindful leadership, then when you ask those questions, you must REALLY ask. And then REALLY listen . Too often, leaders play the role by going through the motions – they hold meetings to gather feedback or confer one on one – yet...
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