3 tips for creating transparency and engagement in your social media marketing strategy

I get to talk with people every day. Not just colleagues, friends, and family, but also individuals who have read Fierce Founder and CEO Susan Scott's bestselling book "Fierce Conversations" or who have implemented our content in their company's leadership and development training. You'll find me more often than not having these conversations behin...
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Leading Business Problem #3: Lack of Transparency

At Fierce, we often talk about the impact that withholding truths can have on an organization and the people within it. In our latest eBook , we call out lack of transparency as the third leading business problem businesses are facing today. Our founder and CEO Susan Scott spoke at a TedXOverlake event. In her talk titled "The Case for Radical Tran...
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It's Time to Be the REAL You at Work

This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by The Washington Post and explores the benefits of being the “real” you at work. In the article, Bucklan explains the benefits of ditching the “work persona” many people work years to cultivate. She asserts that although people take on this professional persona to enhance their careers, in the long run it damages it more than it helps. “When you feel comfortable in your own skin, you make stronger choices — choices your “professional” self might be afraid to make.” Bucklan explains six easy steps you can take to unleash the real work you. A few of these tips include speaking your mind, staying clear of the water cooler gossip and making yourself vulnerable. Work can be difficult enough when being your true authentic self – don’t make it harder by putting up a façade. Be you. Be fierce. Read the article

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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360 Feedback Questions

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 Annual (and even bi-annual or quarterly) feedback is outdated.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

What effect do you want to have on others when you leave a room or call? This week, you have the opportunity to infinitely inspire others…or do the opposite. At Fierce, one of the concepts is to take responsibility for your emotional wake. An emotional wake is what is remembered after you have left a conversation. It can be an afterglow, aftertaste, or aftermath. Which one do you choose? This week’s tip is to pay attention to your emotional wake, so that you are able to tune in and take responsibility for it.  All in all, what effects do you want to have on others this week?

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...
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3 Tips for Deeper Conversations in Your Team Meetings

If you’re a connected leader, chances are you meet with your team weekly or bi-weekly to touch base and talk shop. While the details of the meeting will vary from leader to leader, the goal is usually the same: share ideas, innovate, and strategize. However, when speaking with our clients, it’s common to hear that hosting meaningful meetings can be tough. Typically the conversations stay surface level. Below are three tips you can apply to make the conversations within your group meetings more robust and deliberate while still having fun along the way. Tip #1: Not All Agendas Are Created Equal While there might be some logistical details that need to be covered in your meetings, they shouldn’t be put to the group in the same way as an idea that needs real creative thought around it. In our Team program, we use an idea prep form that breaks out what the...
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Common Pitfalls for Managers Building Accountability

Daniel, a young manager, frequently finds himself frustrated that his team is not delivering projects on deadline. He doesn’t know how to fix it, and often uses a repertoire of different tactics to try to combat it. However, it seems that every time someone comes to him with a setback, he validates their reasoning. When asked about his approach, Daniel feels that he is being empathetic – a key trait for successful leaders. It wasn’t that long ago that Daniel was standing in their shoes. When Daniel is listening to his team, he understands the reasoning behind their comments.  There’s truth to the excuses . He finds himself saying things like “Oh, I know the budget isn’t where it should be”.  Or “Oh, I understand we do have a lot of projects on the table.”  His frustration lies in the fact that while the excuses keep coming, the results stay...
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12 Different Strategies for Dealing with a Boss Who Plays Favorites

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Muse  and provides twelve strategies for dealing with a boss who consistently plays favorites. Whether you have had a boss that played favorites or have witnessed it in some capacity, those managers are out there, and it is important to know how to deal with them. It is human nature to be drawn towards certain people or personalities, but it is up to the individual leader to act in a professional manner and treat all of their direct reports with the same amount of attention and enthusiasm. If you find yourself in a situation like this, it can be damaging on multiple levels. Perception of lower self-worth swirl around with the knowledge that your journey towards promotion may be significantly harder than some of your peers within the organization. Stacey Gawronski, The Muse, offers some steps you can take to navigate...
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Taking Responsibility Is the Highest Mark of Great Leaders

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by  Forbes and describes why leaders with a track record of taking responsibility – for both individual and team actions – are more likely to be promoted than candidates with similar qualifications. Forbes Contributor, Zack Zenger, believes that a leader’s demonstrated willingness to behave responsibly is one of the most undervalued leadership characteristics. This often overlooked aspect in leadership literature is the driving force for many promotional decisions within organizations. Zenger asserts that responsibility extends far beyond accountability. Being accountable means you are willing to accept the results of a team project or activity as your own. A responsible leader understands that they are the person who must make things happen. They set their own agenda and personal goals aside, and continually pursue goals that benefit the company as a whole. “Responsible behavior includes doing things for which there is no immediate reward,...
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Leadership Tips: Don’t Point Fingers

A fierce leader does not blame others. A fierce leader asks, listens, and describes what has happened – without laying blame (that’s the hard part). I've worked with leaders in my past who would throw the first person they could under the bus when something went awry. Do you work with someone like that? Or more importantly - are you that person pointing the finger? If you are, I understand how tempting it is to share the juicy faults or issues, to share what really happened and lay out all the missteps. It's great gossip fodder. And besides that, it is often REALITY.  It is very hard to take responsibility for results that aren't necessarily completely in your control. There are prices you pay, though. When you blame someone else, people trust you less. And in today’s workplace – trust is a scarce resource. According to a new Edelman “Trust...
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All Successful Leaders Need This Quality: Self-Awareness

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by  Forbes and discusses the quality all successful leaders should possess – self-awareness. According to a study conducted by Green Peak Partners, one of the most important and also undervalued leadership qualities is self-awareness. This has long been regarded as a “soft” skill, however leaders that have developed strong soft skills are performing much better than their peers. This is such a sought after quality amongst leaders because those who continually make time for self-reflection are able to diagnose areas of personal weakness and surround themselves with employees who excel where they lack. Although self-reflection is not discussed as much as communication, charisma and other hard leadership skills, it is just as important.  “The most effective executives I knew had, I believe, realistic assessments of their own abilities – their strengths and weaknesses, their effect on others, the gaps that needed to be...
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Leaders, You Must Scan Your Own Integrity

Many organizations and leaders have integrity as a core value. It is important in order to build trust.  In many ways, having integrity feels really touchy, feely. From an organizational standpoint, having a culture with high levels of integrity means that employees feel leadership is trustworthy and ethical.  The Trust Index Employee Survey (TIES) conducted annually by the Great Place to Work Institute measures a company’s level of integrity by asking questions about management. With this data, the TIES found that the higher measure of integrity, the better performance of the company. Leaders, that does mean that the performance of the indication lies on your shoulders – and ethics. So I ask: Do you feel your behaviors are in alignment with your personal values and your organization’s? Even if your overarching answer is yes , there most likely are areas that could be improved upon.  We recommend leaders to go...
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Leadership Tips: It’s Not About Being Right

How many of you know someone who would rather “be right” than happy? Rather “be right” than loved? Rather “be right” than successful? Leaders often struggle with the idea that their job isn’t always to be right . It is to get it right – for everyone – the company and the results they produce. Early in my career I worked at a commercial real estate company, and one of the brokers often went into meetings and would argue his opinion until his face was blue. People knew that he would defend his position no matter what, so they stopped sharing theirs. Do you know anyone like this? As leaders, everything we say matters and holds weight. And going deeper, our intention in the conversation matters. Check-in with yourself about your intention when you present or share your ideas. This week’s tip is to be aware when you go into...
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A Great Leader Is a Great Executor

This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by the NY Times and features an interview with Adena Friedman, President and Chief Operating Officer at NASDAQ, and explores what it takes to be a great leader. In the article, Friedman dishes out some key tips that have helped her become a successful business woman and leader. Starting as an intern for NASDAQ, Friedman asserts that complacency is the enemy of all great companies – and leaders. “Don’t sit in your office and simply do what you’re told. Be intellectually curious, ask questions, walk around; try to learn as much about the business as you can.” This approach served her well as she rapidly moved up the ranks while still maintaining a healthy work-life balance with her three children. She was able to accomplish this through effective communication and the advent of modern technology. Looking at data and being able to quantify...
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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: Build Trust with Your Team

  Trust is created through persistent identity. Think about the people you trust most in your life. How have they built that trust with you? Most likely, those people have stayed consistent in their conversations and actions with you – they show up similarly time and time again. You know what you are going to get – even if it isn’t all perfect . Although we would love to have a magic button that we could press, the reality is that trust is a complex issue. Many leaders come to Fierce wanting to rebuild trust in their organization. And although it is complex, trust can be destroyed or built one conversation at a time. Destroyed by one failed, one missing, one inauthentic conversation at a time. Or built by one successful, one authentic, one fierce conversation at a time. It is a mindset and a skill set that people can...
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4 Habits of the Most Successful Leaders

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Forbes and discusses four habits the most successful leaders have in common. It is undeniable that the greatest leaders in the world share similar habits to continue their success. Great leaders transform organizations, quickly captivate the audience of a room, and most importantly – they teach others around them how to be great leaders by example. In today’s society there is a leadership gap , resulting in an uninspired workforce lacking the most important facet of business: leadership. So what is the common thread between great leaders? “People are eager to learn from them, and are mobilized by their missions. And great leaders make the impossible happen every day, igniting passion and innovation throughout an organization.” Read the article.

Roselinde Torres - What It Takes to Be a Great Leader

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Ted.com and uncovers the three simple but crucial questions would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future. A recent leadership study conducted by The Conference Board found that 4 of the top 10 challenges that CEOs face are focused on leadership. Yet, many organizations lack a well-developed leadership pipeline. CEOs know their organizations cannot retain highly engaged, high-performing employees without effective leaders who can manage, coach, develop, and inspire them. So I ask: How do we address the every-widening leadership gap? First, we need to start by distilling the characteristics of great leaders.         Read the complete transcript here.

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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3 Don'ts for Leaders Who Want to Grow

If you watched the Grammy’s on Monday night, you probably heard Taylor Swift’s speech where she said: “I want to say to all the young women out there: There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there.” While the Kanye controversy makes that quote extra juicy, there is truth to what she is sharing for leaders. Your job as a leader is to build people up. To give others credit and not worry about the people who are wishing you ill. If you want to grow, here are three things...
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3 Mindset Shifts for Millennial Leaders in 2016

Millennials have recently become the largest generation in the workforce . Because of it, we are seeing a shift that signals more workplace adjustments are on the horizon. The mindsets, expectations, and values of the workforce are changing. And when our external worlds change, we must too. Here are three shifts in mindset that all leaders today should take into consideration. And if you are a new millennial leader, use these to set a fierce foundation for the years to come. Shift #1 “Your job is to be right” to “ Your job is to get it right” As a leader, this is a huge mindset shift with how you show up…every single day and in every conversation. If you go into conversations (whether one-on-ones or meetings) to justify and build the case for your “brilliant” ideas, then it won’t take long for others to pick up on the fact...
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3 Thankless Offices and What to Do

Gratitude is in the air this time of year. While we all want it, the harsh reality is that many work environments can be quite thankless. From “always busy” managers to ever changing agendas, feeling recognized is a scarce commodity at times. With an emphasis on meeting deadlines and hitting revenue or sales goals, especially at the end of the year, the numbers seem to get all the attention. However, that intense focus on numbers rather than the people driving them may be what ultimately costs a company its success. The health of the organization and the bottom line are directly affected by the strength and satisfaction of each individual. In fact, employees that are happy are 10 to 12 percent more productive , so ensuring employee happiness is critical to the long-term success of any organization. Last week during a status update call, we were discussing a client’s employee...
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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 .

The Naked Truth: How to Uncover An Insecure Leader

This week's Fierce resource was published on Inc.com and was written by Lolly Daskal, President & CEO, Lead From Within. The Naked Truth: How to Uncover An Insecure Leader  reveals the damage of working with an insecure leader and the impact it has on teams and organizations. We can all be a little insecure at times, in fact walking into a meeting and discussing marketing tactics when we are on the sales team may seem out of our wheelhouse and the truth is that's OK. If everyone knew everything, organizations wouldn't get very far. The trick? Be comfortable not knowing the answer and allowing someone else to be the expert. In each of our Fierce programs we teach people how to make room for conversations to take place. That is where growth happens. What is the impact of an insecure leader? What happens when no one speaks up? " Insecure leaders are...
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Be a Fierce Leader: 3 Conversations to Share Wins

  Fierce Vice President of Marketing, Stacey Engle, wrote a piece on how to be a fierce leader for the  Human Capital Institute  and we wanted to share it with you.  Published Friday, September 12th. Think about a leader in your life who people deeply commit their time, talents, and hearts to. I’m talking about the kind of leader who draws out the greatness in others – even when people do not believe in their own greatness.  This kind of leader thrives on creating an environment where people are all in. In  Pour Your Heart Into It,  Howard Schultz says, “Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners. The more winners you bring with you – whether they are employees, customers, share-holders, or supporters – the more gratifying the victory.” What can you do to share the wins? 1. ...
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Does Becoming a Leader Make You a Bad Listener?

I once worked for a manager who, when I was first hired, shared that she prided herself on being a great listener and that her door was always open. Early in my training, other managers shared her sentiment, and told me how lucky I was to work for her - she was such a great listener. Then, I spoke with my teammates, and they had a very different opinion. They told stories of rushed meetings and clip responses. They told stories of going to her with an issue, and then she would throw her hands up with frustration. They shared that she always had time for other managers and very little for her own team. It wasn't long after hearing these stories that I experienced firsthand my new manager's "great" listening skills. In our first touch base, she asked me how I was liking my new position and what I...
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3 Reasons to Show Humility as a Leader

In our Fierce Conversations training we talk about older styles of leadership. One older style is the command and control mentality, which would have us believe that it’s better to hold your cards close to the vest and not let those you lead know too much. While this style of leadership may seem antiquated, too often it still creeps into our daily subconscious and limits leaders from showing the powerful quality of humility. The power of being a humble leader goes far beyond being a person that others like. It is actually very strategic. Below are three reasons showing humility as a leader impacts your bottom line. #1: Innovation Leaders who are comfortable with showing humility leave space for more robust conversations because they don’t limit what can or can’t be talked about. Arrogance in its nature makes things smaller. When you limit what is okay or not okay to...
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3 Tips for Deeper Conversations in Your Team Meetings

If you’re a connected leader, chances are you meet with your team weekly or bi-weekly to touch base and talk shop. While the details of the meeting will vary from leader to leader, the goal is usually the same: share ideas, innovate, and strategize. However, when speaking with our clients, it’s common to hear that in actuality making these touch base meetings meaningful can be tough. Typically the conversations stay on the surface. Below are three tips so you can begin to make the conversations within your group meetings more robust and deliberate while still having fun along the way. Tip #1: Not All Agendas Are Created Equal While there might be some logistical details that need to be covered in your meetings, they shouldn’t be put to the group in the same way as an idea that needs real creative thought around it. In our Team module , we...
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Happy National Boss's Day: What Type of Leader Are You?

Today is National Boss's Day, and at Fierce, we know that great leaders are learners. While we hope you receive accolades and maybe a yummy treat from those you lead today, it's also important to take the time to look at areas you can improve your management and solicit feedback from your team. The first step is to know how you lead, so today ask yourself: What type of leader am I? In our experience, while we see many types of bosses there are 4 common styles of leadership. Check out the styles below and get a quick tip on ways you can improve your leadership for a more productive and engaged team. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself! The Dictator – often characterized as someone who gives orders, the Dictator’s behavior may be a factor of more than just personality. Combine lack of time, a...
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Why Is Accountability An Issue?

Fierce Accountability : A desire to take responsibility for results; a bias towards action. An attitude, a personal, private, non-negotiable choice about how to live your life. I would venture to guess that most people, when directly asked, say they wan t to be accountable for their actions, decisions, and commitments within their organization. So why is accountability an issue for organizations? First, accountability can be a messy topic, and so people avoid talking about it. Many organizations' cultures have developed around the idea that it is easier to just not say anything. As a leader, it can seem difficult to approach the topic with those on your team who are not fulfilling their responsibilities. It can often become a blame game. Regardless, it is necessary to have the conversations. Second, too often accountability is something we try to legislate. Accountability is not a process or a tool. It is...
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Long-Term Manipulation is Extremely Difficult

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on Seth Godin's blog . As a thought leader, author, and entrepreneur Seth can always be counted on for a poignant and timely perspective. This week on the Fierce blog we focused on how to connect with your team as a leader , and in that spirit, we wanted to share Seth's blog post: Long-Term Manipulation is Extremely Difficult . "It's easy to fool someone or lie to them or give them what they think they want...Not so easy: to build mutually profitable long-term relationships that lead to satisfaction, trust and work worth doing." To read the full blog click here .

As a Leader, Choose Coaching Over Advice Giving

Imagine a direct report comes to you and needs to discuss a problem they’ve wanted to solve for months, and they ask you for your help. How do you move forward with the conversation? First, be aware as a leader that this is a great opportunity to engage in a coaching conversation that could develop your direct report. Second, realize that there are some pitfalls to keep in mind when moving forward with the conversation. A major one being that there may be a temptation to immediately jump in and start giving advice. Moving straight to giving advice can be very appealing. For one, from your outside position, the path forward seems so obvious. The inclination is to tell your direct report next steps, which allows you to get back to your own task at hand. One of the issues with sharing how to solve their problems is that you...
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Vulnerability is Power in Leadership and Relationships

Each month Fierce will be publishing an exclusive blog post for the Learning Forward blog hosted by Education Week . Director of Fierce in the Schools, Deli Moussavi-Bock's first piece was published today and we wanted to share a portion of the blog with you. I missed some amazing opportunities in my career because I thought I had to figure something out on my own or I wanted to do something perfectly. I now know perfection is counter to growth, risk, innovation and, most importantly, authenticity. The definition of a Fierce Conversation is one in which you come out from behind yourself, into the conversation, and make it real. Authentic, genuine, real— we know it when we see it or hear it. I’ve been witness to the raw power of authenticity in leadership. I’ve learned that if I want to fully embrace authenticity, I need to be willing to make...
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How to Talk to Your Boss

As the CEO of a leadership development firm I am often asked this simple yet profound question: “How do I talk to my boss?” I can almost feel the weight of their world as they drop this question in my lap. It seems many of us have had a run-in with a boss that has left an indelible mark on our psyche ensuring we never forget. Or we’ve heard the stories – the legends – of those that went in only to never return which, unfortunately, has rendered us less than confident in our own approach. Here are a few tips to get you off the sidelines and back on your way. 1) Boss? What Boss? My first suggestion would be to forget that they are “The Boss”. Yes, they do sign your paycheck and hold more decision-making power than you, but they aren’t the King or Queen of England....
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