Leadership Tips: Say What You Really Think

Leadership Tips: Say What You Really Think
Alethophobia is an intense, abnormal or illogical fear of the truth. In Fierce Leadership , Susan Scott asks, “How many times have you told someone – your boss, a colleague, a customer, your spouse – what you thought he or she wanted to hear, rather than what you were really thinking? Painted a false, rosy version of reality, glossing over problems or pretending they simply didn’t exist?” This happens often. The thing is…we have legitimate reasons for why we don’t want to fully disclose. Perhaps it has destroyed a relationship in your past, and you don’t want to do that again. Perhaps you have seen someone lose their job over disclosing more, and you happen to like your job. Maybe you truly don’t believe it is your place to say what you notice or feel (this is a popular one). The kicker is that not sharing the whole truth is...
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3 Conversations To Develop Yourself

3 Conversations To Develop Yourself
“While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship or a life – any single conversation can.” When I was in the entertainment industry, my friends and family loved to tell me about the fresh faced actor who landed in Hollywood, and on their first day, was plucked out of the crowd and put onto the path of stardom. I had to break the bad news to them. 99% of the time this story is not the entire truth, and rather, a glossed over version from a PR team. They pitch it that way, because many of us love the idea of being that one in a million, that person who has a glow and is launched on the path of success and prosperity. The reality? It doesn’t actually happen that way. You’re selling yourself short to buy into it. While someone...
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Leadership Tips: Say It Out Loud

Leadership Tips: Say It Out Loud
An old adage that I heard often growing up was think before you speak . This is a very valuable saying for me, because I am what you would call a classic "external processor." While that phrase has saved me from saying things that could have a negative impact, it has also encouraged me to self-edit and sometimes hesitate to voice opinions or concerns. This week's Fierce tip encourages you to say it out loud . This isn't about indulging in stream of consciousness, rather, it's about not over-analyzing. This week if you're in a meeting and you have an idea that you think could really move the team forward - speak up . Let go of needing to have a perfectly formed thought and allow others to influence and build off your inspiration. If your idea is met with a luke-warm reaction, don't get discouraged. As Albert Einstein said,...
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3 Ways to Take the Scare Out of Your Conversations

3 Ways to Take the Scare Out of Your Conversations
Think of a conversation that you need to have that scares you. 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, perhaps 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 a 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. These are the conversations I am talking about. I do understand the fear. There are legitimate reasons to be scared about having these conversations. Some people do not react well when confronted, regardless of how eloquent and thoughtful you are....
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4 Mistakes Leaders Keep Making

4 Mistakes Leaders Keep Making
This week’s Friday Resource comes from HBR and features four common mistakes that leaders continue to make. Over the last half century, approaches to leadership have shifted and grown dramatically. Regardless, some areas (even with the most progressive and advanced training programs in place) continue to be problematic in organizations. The most seasoned of leaders are prone to fall into certain traps, and these traps are often outside their awareness. The more aware leaders become of these behaviors, the more they will be able to mitigate their impact. blockquote>p { border:none;}/> Per Robert H. Schaffer, HBR, here are the four main behavioral traps to be mindful of: Behavior Trap 1: Failing to Set Proper Expectations Everyone has seen senior managers announce major directional changes or new goals without spelling out credible plans for achieving them or specifying who’s accountable: for instance, “We are going to reduce the use of cash...
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Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility

Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility
When we think of career growth, we tend to think about “moving up” the ladder. However, in today’s workforce, much is changing. Organizational hierarchies are less commonplace, jobs are more mobile and flexible than ever, and individuals are in a position to truly own their careers. Earlier this week, authors Beverly Kaye, Lindy Williams, and Lynn Cowart released their book titled Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility . The book presents an alternative way of looking at our careers and presents tips for navigation that can advance our personal and professional growth and development in somewhat less-traditional (yet equally rewarding) ways. This book guides its readers into thinking about career mobility in a way that can lead to more options, and show how managers, coaches, and employees can partner to determine what's best and what's next. To give you an inside peek, here’s a content preview from...
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Leadership Tips: Know They Can Handle It  

Leadership Tips: Know They Can Handle It  
Excuses, excuses, excuses. People make excuses all the time when it comes to not having the conversations they need to have. We hear this everywhere regardless of one’s title, location, or status. One of the most common justifications to not have the conversation is the other person can’t handle it . Responses look like: They’ll get hurt. They’ll get defensive. They won’t talk about it. The irony of this excuse is that the person saying it is the one who is scared, uncertain, or assumptive about the outcome. Don’t get me wrong, there are absolutely valid reasons for feeling tentative. You may have been burned in the past. Maybe Johnny in the Finance Department spoke up, and he is no longer with your company. Maybe someone in your family continues to show up the same way every time things get tough. So given those realities, there is absolutely skill in...
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Leadership Tips: Don’t Procrastinate with Your Conversations

Leadership Tips: Don’t Procrastinate with Your Conversations
What conversations are you currently stalling? At work? At home?   No one likes to admit it, yet we do often put off tasks and responsibilities. Many studies report that extreme procrastination affects over 20% of the population. Even if you aren’t in this group, the lure of waiting until tomorrow affects us all at times. An online survey by The Procrastination Research Group posed the question, “To what extent is procrastination having a negative impact on your happiness?” Of the 2,700 responses, 46% said “quite a bit” or “very much,” and 18% claimed “extreme negative effect.” And yet, there are real reasons we put off doing things that are important. When it comes to conversations, we often put off the vital ones we need to have for reasons like: It will take too long.   The other person can’t handle it.   It’s not the right time. Those are...
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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...
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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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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 ....
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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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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.

How Your Body Language Impacts Workplace Conversations

How Your Body Language Impacts Workplace Conversations
“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson Whether you’re giving (or receiving) feedback, confronting a colleague, having a collaborative meeting, or just engaging in casual conversation, your body language matters. Body language alone can make or break a conversation. According to Psychologist World , human communication is 20% verbal and 80% non-verbal . Body language that doesn’t coincide with the message we intend to send can therefore lead to relationship ruptures, misunderstandings, and unwanted outcomes. Body language is the primary language of emotion, and how others perceive our emotion influences how our communication lands for them. A study by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at New York University and Princeton revealed that body language is an even more accurate determiner of judging emotion than facial expressions. In short, your body language plays a significant role in how...
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10 Types of Corporate Innovation Programs

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This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Huffington Post and describes the ten types of corporate innovation programs. With technology increasing at an exponential rate and new startups with bigtime financial backing popping up left and right, it is difficult for larger, well-established companies to keep pace. As much as technology helps us work faster and smarter, it can also be very disrupting, requiring companies to either change and adapt quickly or be left behind. To help cope with this ever-changing business environment, companies are looking to invest more in programs that aim to drive innovation and shift traditional business models. Most companies try to install several different types of programs and tactics to accomplish this, and there is not one formula that works for all organizations. Per Jeremiah Owynag, Forbes contributor and Partner at Altimeter Group, a research based advisory firm, some programs being deployed include: 1....
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3 Reasons Why You Should Prioritize Innovation

3 Reasons Why You Should Prioritize Innovation
M. A. Rosanoff: "Mr. Edison, please tell me what laboratory rules you want me to observe." Thomas Edison: "There ain't no rules around here. We're trying to accomplish somep'n!" Motion pictures, rechargeable batteries, electric lighting. Thomas Edison and his research team managed to make a huge impact in the world. How exactly? By prioritizing innovation. Luckily, organizations don’t need to create a modern equivalent of something as pivotal as the incandescent lightbulb to make a positive impact. Innovation can take place in any industry and is present any time there’s a new improvement to a product, service, process, or strategy. When innovation occurs, positive impact is inevitable. Organizations often focus on initiatives and strategies that lead to innovation, such as strengthening leadership skills and promoting diversity of thought. But it's only when innovation is approached as a goal rather than a perk or side-effect that organizations can tap into their...
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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...
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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...
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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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Have Goals for 2017? Here’s Why Planning is Paramount

Have Goals for 2017? Here’s Why Planning is Paramount
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Whether you intend to grow revenue, improve your professional relationships, or gain knowledge in your field, one thing is for sure: planning is paramount. Without it, your desire will exist as nothing more than just that—a desire. Would you chart the Atlantic Ocean on a sailboat without planning your route, equipment and provisions? You wouldn’t if you want to make it across. Individual and collective goals in the workplace are no different. Without a plan, both the vision and the action are without direction. To avoid becoming stranded in the middle of the figurative ocean this year, apply the following tips to help steer the course of your goals. Write it Down Until you write something down, it exists in the cluttered recesses of your mind. And according to research, writing down your goals will make you far...
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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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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...
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How to Create Organization Habits That You Will Actually Stick To

How to Create Organization Habits That You Will Actually Stick To
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fast Company and explains how to create organization habits that will stick. Everyone wants to be more organized. Whether it is a constantly overflowing inbox, or that stack of documents on your desk that never seems to dwindle. The issue is finding organizational practices that you can actually sustain in a business world that can be chaotic. Many leaders and business professionals feel there is never enough time in the day, yet they devote little or no time to the biggest time saver available to them: organization. Leo Babauta, Fast Company, offers some tips for forming habits of organization that can last. There are countless options for tools and software to accomplish these various tips, so it is a matter of finding what works best for you and your needs. A few of the habits are: Create a place for everything. Whether...
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13 Ways Leadership Can Lead Employees to Provide World-Class Customer Service

13 Ways Leadership Can Lead Employees to Provide World-Class Customer Service
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and discusses thirteen ways that great leadership can lead to employees delivering top-notch customer service. Leaders talk a lot about leading by example and, within the service industry, it is no different. Employees can’t deliver exceptional customer service consistently if their leaders don’t practice it is as well. The smallest of actions can resonate with your employees and drive the message of quality customer service. Equally, a leader’s lack of customer service will become the status quo quickly. Much like performance management and feedback, customer service should be reinforced at every available opportunity. Training for high levels of customer service should be an ongoing conversation – not just in the first week’s orientation. Weave the principles into your mission and celebrate the high performers. You will begin to build a culture of customer service that everyone adheres to. As a customer...
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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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Leaders, It Is Time to Be Brave and Be Fierce

Leaders, It Is Time to Be Brave and Be Fierce
Yesterday at the ATD International Conference ,  Brené Brown  shared her perspective on courage in the workplace. She confessed, which many people nodded in agreement, that she thinks leadership is one of the hardest things she has ever pursued, because great leaders are selfless. They give their time and energy to help others. Great leaders tackle tough challenges. They bring up the topics that need to be discussed and go there . They address the elephants in the room and take action on what needs attention, even when it is the last thing they want to do. So yes, leadership isn’t for the faint of heart. Leaders need to build and use their courage. And I love how Brene talks about courage. Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor - the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant "To...
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Leadership Tips: Create Opportunity for Your Support Staff

Leadership Tips: Create Opportunity for Your Support Staff
This week honors Administrative Professionals . According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), there are more than 22 million administrative and office support professionals working in the United States. A recent OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of more than 2,200 administrative workers showcased that only 43% of support staff feel their full range of skills are being used, and only 7% of support staff feel they are completely utilized. That means 50% want more opportunity. One of the easiest ways to create growth opportunities is to delegate. Many people view delegation as a way to get rid of menial tasks (what we call dele-dumping ), instead, think about delegating as a way to grow the skill set of a colleague. Think about what is currently on your plate. A couple years ago, I read a piece by Jim Schleckser, CEO of the Inc. CEO Project, he argues that the...
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Leadership Tips: Walk Your Talk…Now

Leadership Tips: Walk Your Talk…Now
I’m constantly intrigued by what makes leaders the most effective. We talk with leaders constantly. A couple weeks ago, a Harvard Business Review article came out about the most important leadership competencies according to leaders around the world. When 195 global leaders were asked to rate 74 qualities, the number one was strong ethics and safety, meaning a leader has high ethical and moral standards. 67% said this was the most important quality to great leadership. To put it simply: Walk your talk. Don’t do something that you don’t believe in. To quote the piece, “This competency is all about behaving in a way that is consistent with your values. If you find yourself making decisions that feel at odds with your principles or justifying actions in spite of a nagging sense of discomfort, you probably need to reconnect with your core values.” I think about one of my first...
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What Presidential Candidates Could Learn From Pope Francis

What Presidential Candidates Could Learn From Pope Francis
The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.  -Adlai Stevenson With the political primaries in full swing, voters' blood is boiling listening to would-be future leaders of our country. Candidates from both parties have left voters confused, frustrated, disgusted, frightened and angry. An "us vs. them" mentality has created a wider divide than ever before. Who can voters trust? Who can really fix what's broken? What will our country become? While it may sound a bit cheeky, and certain political purists may roll their eyes at the sentiment -- we need Pope Francis. If he were running for president, he'd get my vote, and I'm not Catholic. I love this Pope. In a mere three years, despite serious obstacles, he has accomplished major bureaucratic housecleaning, set new directions and priorities for a global organization not traditionally known for its...
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Leadership Tips: Say “No” More

Leadership Tips: Say “No” More
When you look at your life – at home and at work – what is one thing you do that makes your heart sing? Is it learning to speak a new language? Spending quality time with your partner? Volunteering? Reading more books? It is your job to make time for that thing . No one else will. You can point and say that you are too busy at work, or the kids take that time, or you are too tired. And no one is going to prioritize your time for you except you . It isn’t an easy task to make the time for what is most important. When I think about this internal challenge, I always think of what Iain Thomas said: 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...
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3 Tips to Build an All-Star Team

3 Tips to Build an All-Star Team
As we get closer to Super Bowl Sunday, there is a lot of talk about teams. Who will win? Who will have their head in the game? Just like in athletics, building a high-performing team in your organization requires effort and heart. When you are part of one, you feel it. Some people call it “being in the flow”. All-star teams do not happen by luck. To build them, they take practice, discipline, and the ability to learn from mistakes. The difference between an A team and an A+ team is the difference between a million in revenue and a billion in revenue.” – Paul English, Kayak Say Thank You The reality is that many people do not spend enough time appreciating one another. A great exercise that we have used internally at Fierce requires each individual to sit at the front of the room in a chair for two...
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Leadership Tips: Find the Why

Leadership Tips: Find the Why
When the year first gets ramped up and rolling, the conversations often turn to “what” needs to happen, “who” needs to be there, and “when” does it or that need to get finished. Those are all critical elements of execution and doing the work that we need to do. However, it isn’t the whole piece. We must go deeper than logistics with each other. Even Albert Einstein said, “We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.” To get more, you need to turn to the “why”. I have always loved Simon Sinek’s work, and many members of the Fierce team (and world considering it is one of the most viewed) love his Tedx Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” . The premise is that leaders, who connect and always talk about the why, are the most influential. The...
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The Best Leaders Are Constant Learners

The Best Leaders Are Constant Learners
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and provides a simple learning strategy that enables leaders to successfully meet the challenges ahead. Wherever you look, we are living in an age of constant change. As we move into 2016, organizations need to ensure they have the right leadership development strategy in place to navigate the ever-evolving business landscape. According to a recent Deloitte study , more companies than ever report they are unprepared to meet this challenge. How do we start closing the capabilities gap? It starts by building an organizational culture centered on learning. The article The Best Leaders Are Constant Learners offers a simple method for transforming yourself, your team, or even your organization into a learning organism. Is your organization prepared to offer scalable learning? “Sustainable competitive advantage depends on having people that know how to build relationships, seek information, make sense of...
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A Fierce Chat with Salesforce: Tips for Engaging with Prospects in the Age of Over-Connectivity

A Fierce Chat with Salesforce: Tips for Engaging with Prospects in the Age of Over-Connectivity
  In the very fast-paced and competitive world of sales and marketing, it can be tricky to find solid footing. It can be even trickier to make sure you stand out from your competitors.   Which brings us to our main point: You need to find new ways to connect with prospects and customers. Don’t stress about it, just pick up the phone to connect! That’s the great advice of Stacey Engle, Vice President of Marketing for Fierce, who recently explained why talking can prove to be better than texting. Tell me about your business and the solutions it offers customers?   Fierce is a global leadership training company that transforms the way companies communicate and connect with their employees and customers. We partner with our clients to build conversational skills that create more candor, engagement, and accountability. Our vision is to better the world one conversation at a time....
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To Text or Not to Text: That Is the Question

To Text or Not to Text: That Is the Question
The first text message was sent on December 3, 1992 by a Canadian test engineer. It said Merry Christmas . On the eve of text messaging’s 13 th year anniversary, it is only appropriate to talk about how text messaging has affected our communication. We often get asked so many questions around technology use in companies and how texting should and should not be used. First and foremost, the simple answer is that you must obey your instincts about when and how to use texts. Your "gut" does act as an internal compass that can serve as a powerful guide. The best part is that it happens automatically – you simply have to tune in and listen. Then check your results. If you notoriously do not get the results you want when texting, then you need to reassess. Here are a few pointers on dos and don’ts. And for those...
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3 Ways to Build Employees into Leaders

3 Ways to Build Employees into Leaders
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on TrainingIndustry.com and outlines three tips for developing more leaders within your organization. Organizations need more leaders and less bosses. What do we mean by that? Well an organization’s culture either creates more bosses or more leaders, and this choice has a huge impact on an organization’s bottom line. While bosses just want to get things done, leaders will constantly push themselves to improve. When confronted with an obstacle, a leader will explore avenues outside of the set process to solve the problem at hand. The question simply put is: How do we create more innovators and less followers? Three Ways to Build Employees into Leaders urges organizations to stop coaching and start challenging your employees. If you never challenge a team member, they will never have a reason to tap into their leadership potential. Are you holding your team accountable? “Increase the...
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Leadership Tips: Write Your Q4 Goals, Now.

Leadership Tips: Write Your Q4 Goals, Now.
This week marks the start of the last quarter of 2015. Yes, that means you have three more months to achieve what you set out to do this year. Does that make you feel excited…or overwhelmed? Many leaders I am talking with are overwhelmed with planning for 2016, while working to simultaneously close out this year strong. It is a constant juggling act at this time of year. Throw in the holidays and family obligations, and it is surprising that many of us can achieve what we do! When you are feeling overwhelmed, the biggest Fierce guidance is to lean on our principle: Tackle your toughest challenge today. And yes, that means this moment do what you need to do – not tomorrow, or the next day. It is about having the conversations you need to have right when you know you need to have them. It seems difficult, yet...
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Leadership Tips: Be Inclusive to Solve Problems

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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Leadership Tips: Have a One-on-One

Leadership Tips: Have a One-on-One
September is One-on-One month. Yes, that means intimate conversations with your colleagues, family members, and friends. At Fierce, we start all of our one-on-one conversations with the same question: Given everything on your plate, what is the most important thing you and I should be talking about today? And then we allow the space for the person to reflect and respond. In these conversations, be curious and truly present. Set your tasks aside, close your laptop, and go eyeball-to-eyeball (or phone cheek to phone cheek). This week’s tip is to have a one-on-one with someone in your life – either at work or home. Find a quiet place where you can be with the person for an hour. Who will you have your first conversation with?  

How to Give Tough Feedback That Helps People Grow

How to Give Tough Feedback That Helps People Grow
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and outlines the difference between critical and constructive feedback. For most of us, just thinking about feedback elicits a sense of discomfort, anger, and even contempt. We can be so afraid of it that we either avoid it all together or hide behind anonymous feedback. But as a leader, providing honest, clear feedback is one of the best gifts you can give your team. Approach a feedback conversation as an opportunity to deepen an employee’s self-awareness and propel growth. How to Give Tough Feedback That Helps People Grow recommends creating certain conditions in which the receiver can take in feedback and learn from it. What conversations are you not having? “Managers fall into a number of common traps. We might be angry at an employee and use the feedback conversation to blow off steam rather than to coach. Or...
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Leadership Tips: Talk with Intention

Leadership Tips: Talk with Intention
Yesterday was National Talk in an Elevator Day. Considering it was a Sunday, use this week as an opportunity to talk with someone new in an elevator…or anywhere else for that matter. At Fierce, when we say “talk”, we mean CONNECT. To have an exchange. To walk away from the conversation with new insight. There is a lot at stake for us to truly understand and engage with one another. In Fierce Leadership, Susan Scott shares a poem that highlights the importance: A Ritual to Read Each Other by William Stafford If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star. We don’t want to miss our star. We can’t. This week’s tip is to show up in your...
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Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It

Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and debunks five myths for translating strategy into results. Myth: Communication Equals Understanding Many executives believe that relentless communication is the key to corporate success. But Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It finds that even with the unending stream of emails and team meetings most communication still gets lost in translation. Only 16% of front-line supervisors and team leaders understand an organization's strategic priorities. Myth: Execution should be driven from the top “Concentrating power at the top may boost performance in the short term, but it degrades an organization’s capacity to execute in the long run. Moreover, if top executives insist on making the important calls themselves, they diminish middle managers’ decision-making skills, initiative, and ownership of results.” Is your organization plagued by the “corporate nod”? Read the article.

Leadership Tips: Honor Memorial Day with Meaningful Conversations

Leadership Tips: Honor Memorial Day with Meaningful Conversations
Memorial Day in the United States is upon us, and while many of us enjoy the long weekend with family time and fun barbecues, it is about something bigger. Honor those who have served our country by having conversations that are meaningful and express gratitude for those who have served our country. Outside of the United States, other countries have time dedicated to honor their fallen heroes who have courageously sacrificed their lives. Universally, we share this desire to say thank you. Do not shy away from what this holiday is about. There is real opportunity to engage in conversations with others about sacrifice, courage, and death. If your family has lost a loved one, it is powerful to remember them through conversation. Take the time to fully engage in conversations about sacrifice even if it is difficult. We at Fierce would like to take this moment to say thank you to those...
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In the Name of Admiration: 3 Tips to Share

In the Name of Admiration: 3 Tips to Share
Think about a person you admire in your life. How would you describe him or her? Is it someone who cares deeply about others? Someone who says the brave statements? Someone who acts so beautifully authentic? Someone who really listens? Have you told the person you feel the way you do? If you haven’t, channel some good advice: Sharing is caring, people. Here are three tips to share your admiration with someone: Be ready . Make sure it is a good time for you and the receiver to share your message. Do not rush it, and make sure you are not distracted. This is a time to honor someone else, so your phone and/or computer should not be in between the two of you. Be specific about what you admire. Let them know the impact they have had on your path or thought processes. The goal here is to be...
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Leadership Tips: Recognize Someone

Leadership Tips: Recognize Someone
Recognition is not a fluffy thing. It goes way past getting the gold star or a bunch of smiley faces on a feedback form. In fact, a HealthStream Research study discovered a 3x greater return on equity for companies that effectively recognize excellence. Researcher Karen Endresen said, “This study took recognition results from the soft side of business to a proven business essential.” You can check out more here . We take recognition seriously at Fierce. In fact, we have a culture committee that focuses on how people want to be recognized. After surveys and conversations, the committee launched our program, Fierceling of the Month . The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has exceptionally exhibited the fierce values and the 7 principles of our work. It comes with a sexy orange cape as well. This week’s tip is to recognize someone for how they show up or display...
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Leadership: A Personal Journey of Development

Leadership: A Personal Journey of Development
This week's Fierce resource was published on Ted.com and features Reece Kurtenbach. As soon as you hear the title, Leadership: A Personal Journey of Development, your heads are nodding and your thinking yes- I know this feeling. Maybe you've experienced it several times or maybe you're new to leading. Trust that you will explore this idea often. Take the time to reflect on where you started out in your career, what strides have you made? Are you where you want to be? Why or why not? "Surprises come at us, the email, the phone call, a person will approach us with a crisis, an opportunity. Our beautiful picture is destroyed. The greatest lessons I have learned are in times of stress. In these times I believe the advice we receive and give has the greatest impact on future behavior." Watch the full TedXTalk here .

Courage as a Skill

Courage as a Skill
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on HBR.org  and was written by Kathleen Reardon. An oldie, but a goodie, Courage as a Skill  recognizes the importance of making decisions and having the courage to have the conversations. A timeless skill and a valuable ability, how do you prepare yourself to have the conversations that change your role, your business, or your marriage? Do you wake up with the courage to have the most difficult conversation about your hairiest business challenge? Why or why not? " In business, courageous action is really a special kind of calculated risk taking. People who become good leaders have a greater than average willingness to make bold moves, but they strengthen their chances of success—and avoid career suicide—through careful deliberation and preparation."

Developing Resilience

Developing Resilience
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on MindTools.com . Developing Resilience   looks at what it takes to bounce back from a not so pleasant event, a bad experience, or frankly a conversation that didn't go so well. What is it that allows you to move forward and not dwell on the past? Or are you someone who analyzes and assesses a situation till you've figured out what went wrong? We all know someone who becomes consumed with "figuring it out" and the truth is, sometimes we need to just let it go and move on. Think about one thing you want to change in your life. Now make sure you think about how you will achieve it, instead of what's standing in your way. " Resilient people view a difficulty as a challenge, not as a paralyzing event. They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from,...
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Peer Relationships Are Critical to Real Workplace Recognition

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 .

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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