3 Delegation Best Practices for First Time Managers

Sometimes we avoid certain conversations not because we don't want or need to have them, but because we don't know how to. As a new manager, a conversation about development is one you need to be having with your direct reports. The people you lead are now looking at you to help them get to their next step. If you’re a first-time manager, it’s time to develop your delegation muscle. When carried out effectively, delegation allows leaders and their teams to expand professionally and develop a greater sense of accountability. It also allows you to free up some of your time and energy so that you can focus on the areas where you’re needed most. A common misunderstanding among leaders is that delegating is about giving away tasks you don't want to do and increasing everyone else’s workload. We often refer to this as “dele-dumping.” Instead, the delegation conversation is...
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3 Easy Steps as a Leader to Challenge the Status Quo

As a leader, give yourself permission to question the status quo of your organization and invite your team to join in. Organizations develop a status quo for many reasons. Those reasons range from leaders feeling pressured for time and the need to prioritize, all the way to a culture that has a “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality. What we mean by status quo is the current state of affairs. It’s how things are, and depending on the topic at hand, perhaps it’s how they’ve always been. Status quo is also a bias. It’s a preference that things stay the same. In a sense, it’s an aversion to change. Adhering to this bias is problematic, especially in business, because growth requires change. Companies and their cultures are living and breathing entities that change with the people who inhabit them. Policies that worked for one generation might fall on...
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4 ESSENTIAL STEPS FOR LEADERS WHEN ADDRESSING A TEAM PERFORMANCE ISSUE

As a leader, you’ve ideally built a relationship with each of your team members. You’ve likely swapped stories about your families, collaborated on successful work projects, and built the emotional capital necessary to have a successful team. However, being a leader means that sometimes you are confronted with the challenge of how to best handle delicate situations, such as addressing a performance issue among your team. Even great teams, for one reason or another, don’t perform to the expected standard. You may try to avoid the situation and hope it goes away on its own. The reality, though, is that the problem does exist, and the longer it goes on without being talked about, the worse it will get. On a company level, the performance of each individual team impacts the organization’s overall production and revenue goals. As a leader, you are accountable for your team’s performance, and it’s critical...
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Conversation Chaos: The Hidden Villain in Your Workplace

There's a villain in your organization. It's a Darth Vader, Wicked Witch, Sauron, or Lord Voldemort—and it's the reason why many of your most common workplace problems persist, including disengagement and poor performance. All issues in your organization have one thing in common: conversation chaos . Unproductive, unfocused, and ineffective communi...
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Leadership Tips: Face Your Leadership Fears

As a leader, it can be alluring to let fear dictate your decisions. No risk = no failure, and in the short term, that type of thinking might seem easier. However, the nature of fear can be debilitating and oftentimes can leave you stuck in the same place.  As a savvy leader you know that in order to progress, innovate, and accomplish your goals – forward movement is necessary. This week’s tip encourages you to look at what your leadership fears are and to ask yourself: What scares me to my core about being a leader? About achieving my goals? Take this opportunity to begin to have conversations around those fears. If you think your fear has inhibited your and your team's progress in any way, go to your team and call that out. Then ask them how they might move forward . You may have someone ready to solve that...
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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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Lack of Clarity in the Workplace is Costing Your Organization

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

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

5 Things Managers Say That Leaders Don't

"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be." –Ralph Waldo Emerson The terms “management” and “leadership” are used interchangeably. But there’s a definite distinction between what it means to manage and what it means to lead. Managers are known to operate with authority, tend to have a fixed mindset, and focus on tasks, whereas leaders see themselves as partners with their teammates in a shared mission, tend to focus more on outcomes, and feel a sense of duty to inspire and motivate their teams. Leaders have a growth mindset and support autonomy. Obviously, people want to be led, not managed. And if you’re not sure why that’s so important, here’s an eye-opener: a Gallup poll of over 7,000 people revealed that 50% of employees “left their job to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point...
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Benchmarking Human Capital Metrics

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by SHRM and explains how organizations can benchmark human capital metrics. There are dozens of reasons why organizations use benchmarking. With sales roles that deal exclusively with numbers, it can seem a lot easier to benchmark progress and use the data to support business strategy and goals. The Human Resources function at companies is no different and benefits from the same ability to align their human capital metrics to support overall business strategy. Benchmarking is quickly becoming a necessary tool that all HR professionals must equip their departments with to accurately measure processes, practices, and results within their industry. When used correctly, benchmarking can show how an organization’s HR strategies can influence and shape organizational performance and company culture. When a company decides to roll out a new human capital initiative, it is important to understand the expectations of what that program should...
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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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Leadership Tips: Build Your Leaders Up

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

In today’s uncertain environment, it is certain that balance is hard to achieve. Balance is often thought of as being equal in distribution in terms of time spent in areas such as our commitments, workload, and personal well-being. Having a routine and a plan for the week is a good start, until unpredictable external forces find their way in and cause undue stress. As part of the Fierce interview process, we ask, “how would we know if you are stressed?” The intention of this question is to get an idea of the candidate’s self-awareness and ability to manage a stressful situation with a healthy action to move them through it. An extension to that question is, “what elements do you find stress you out”? The question comes from the lens of knowing the natural pressures that emerge in a fast-paced environment where balance and consistency in day-to-day responsibilities are almost...
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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

“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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10 Ways to Start 2017 Off Right

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Inc.com and shares ten practical New Year’s resolutions that you can actually accomplish in 2017.  It can be very tempting to start the New Year off with grandiose plans that include overly ambitious resolutions. The reason that most people cannot fulfill their New Year resolutions is simply because they set the bar too high. It is always a great idea to get healthy and save money, but be practical. Start with a 10K instead of diving right into that marathon you want to run. Per Rhett Power, Inc., try to improve your 2017 by setting resolutions and goals that can be accomplished and add real value to your life. A few of these modest resolutions include: Reconnect.  Try to call up someone you have been missing and would like to catch up with. It doesn’t have to be an all-day extravaganza. Simply...
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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: Make Your Conversation Resolution

Congratulations for arriving to the new year! You are in this exact place as a result of all of your conversations in 2016. Yes all of them. The successful and the failed ones. The clean and the messy ones. The ones with tears and the ones with laughs. The ones you had to redo. Each conversation brought you one step closer to this very moment, these exact results. So I ask:When you look back, are you happy with the results this past year? What relationships are the most fulfilling? What achievements are you most proud of? What do you wish you would have approached differently? Who deserved more of your time? When we take it seriously that we are navigating our lives one conversation at a time, it makes it less daunting to take on change because we know our job is to just show up, present and awake, for...
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5 Hacks for Growing Your Team's Capacity

In times of constant change, we, as leaders, are often challenged with doing more with less . It can often be a reality – less resources, less people, and more ambitious goals. You can look at this from a negative lens. Or you can see the opportunity. Below are five ways to generate learning opportunities, and in turn, build your team’s capacity. 1. Conduct quarterly growth conversations. It is interesting how so many companies focus on growth and development within the first sixty days of a person’s role, and then it quickly turns to quotas and KPIs. Where did the development go? Be intentional about growth and have conversations on a regular basis about it. 2. Create stretch assignments. Look at projects in new ways. While you may worry about someone getting “off task”, it is often the opposite when someone is doing something different that interests them. It often...
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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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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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Going Deeper with Accountability

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

As we say at Fierce, no plan survives its collision with reality. And to make it even more complex, reality is constantly changing. What may be YOUR reality may not be MY reality at all – they could actually be directly competing. We might not even remotely understand each other’s key responsibilities in the business. Last year, Deloitte published one of its most popular articles in the Global Human Capital Trends , which was the chapter on “the overwhelmed employee”. Deloitte, and many human capital firms, saw this as a sign that the complexity and feeling of overload was hitting organizations even faster and harder than expected. And hence, there is a massive need for leaders to be able to describe what they think, what they believe, and what they observe in a way that moves the business forward – in a richer and deeper way. Successful leaders are able...
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The Power of Context in Performance Management

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

This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by The Muse and explores common pitfalls of the first-time manager. The days of relying solely on yourself to get the job done are gone – as a manager you need to ensure you are providing your team with the resources they need to complete their jobs . Success is now measured by what your team can accomplish and requires consistent coaching, supervising, and guidance. Oftentimes, one of the hardest habits to break is to get out of the weeds and look at the big picture. As a manager, you are in charge of guiding your team or department towards long-term goals. Part of that is letting go of the tiny details and trusting your team to accomplish their individual goals (don’t become a micromanager – no one likes that). Getting into the cadence of a managerial role can take some time to...
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Why Businesses Should Rethink the Annual Performance Review

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

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

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

This week Fierce is in Denver, Colorado at the Association for Talent Development's annual international conference . We are gathered to meet with learning leaders, trainers, and people invested in the human capital space. We are gathered to question. To explore. To learn. To have fun. ( Follow us at #befierceatd .) Today, esteemed thought leader Simon Sinek is speaking about how the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact are the ones who are able to inspire – they challenge the status quo and act in very specific patterns. One of my favorite Sinek quotes is, “We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us.” It is a leader’s responsibility to have a...
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Try Something New for 30 Days to Achieve Your Goals

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

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

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

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and explores different ways to improve employee development programs. It’s no surprise that employee development programs are a critical part to the growth and progress of any organization. A 2014 report published by Training Magazine found that over $100 billion dollars is spent annually on learning and development programs, yet many survey respondents felt there is considerable room for improvement within these programs. In his article, Ferrazzi highlights seven challenges that companies must tackle to create truly effective development programs. A few of these include: Providing flexible learning options. One of the greatest issues with development programs is finding the time to actually do them. Companies must cater to the busy schedules of their employees by offering on-demand and mobile solutions. Provide different programs for diverse learning styles. In a multigenerational workforce, it is paramount for organizations to cater...
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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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New Survey: Business & Political Leaders – What Do You Expect?

With caucuses and primaries in full-swing in the United States, there is a lot of talk about political leadership in our country. At Fierce, we are very interested to explore the traits and characteristics for ideal leaders, in both business and politics. There is so much commentary for what makes great leaders like this and this and this . And the question is: What do you think? AND Does your view on leadership change depending on the position – for the boardroom and Capitol Hill? Please take our brief survey today, by clicking here.

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.

Spearheading Employee Recognition: Welcome to the Age of Being Seen

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

A Feedback Genius: Someone who is strong in both giving and receiving feedback. This person gives feedback frequently and chances are that has made them pretty good at it. This person welcomes feedback and receives it with interest and gratitude (most of the time). Would you consider yourself a feedback genius? Feedback is something that everyone craves, yet many people do not give enough of it. When we talk about Fierce Feedback, we define it as a conversation in which we have the opportunity to see what we may not see. And in order for people to feel engaged, they need to be learning about their discipline, their role, and most importantly, about themselves. According to a 2013 Zinger Folkman study of 22,719 leaders, leaders who ranked at the bottom 10% in their ability to give honest feedback to direct reports received engagement scores from their subordinates that averaged 25...
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There’s a Proven Link Between Effective Leadership and Getting Enough Sleep

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on the Harvard Business Review and explores the link between sleep and leadership. Being an effective leader requires a lot of skills, including an ability to be present, communicate effectively, and a strong emotional intelligence. But before we can do all that, we first have to take care of ourselves. That means getting some much needed shut eye. And many of us aren’t getting enough of it. According to the article There’s a Proven Link Between Effective Leadership and Getting Enough Sleep , sleep deficiencies can undermine important forms of leadership behavior and eventually hurt financial performance. What is sleep loss costing you? “Sleep deprivation impairs the ability to focus attention selectively: Research shows that after roughly 17 to 19 hours of wakefulness (say, at 11 PM or 1 AM for someone who got up at 6 AM), individual performance on a range...
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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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Lessons of Leadership from Fast Company's Innovation Festival

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Fast Company and shares the insights of today’s top entrepreneurs and innovators. Good leaders are contagious. They enable us to forge our own paths, but are also there to coach us when we stumble. They inspire us to dream big and act on the possible. They also have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line. A recent study by a Fortune 500 bank revealed that great leadership is proven to double an organization’s bottom line. But what separates the extraordinary leaders from the rest? “Look at the things that everyone else believes to be a bad idea. If you’re chasing something that everybody else believes to be a good idea, there are probably a hell of a lot of other people chasing that same thing.” Read the article

Let’s Get Flexible: 1 Tip to Create What You Want at Work

It is the end of the era of pushing the “one size fits all” experience in the workplace. Employees expect a degree of flexibility and customization, whether that entails setting their own hours, working remotely, job sharing, or some other out of the box solution. While Boomers may be stereotyped to think this is an “entitled” approach to work, Boomers want the flexibility too. Hey, who could blame them? Blending life and work is more attainable than ever. And, change is hard. At Fierce, I talk with HR leaders who are working every day to give their employees what they want and need, while still upholding their organization’s responsibilities and goals. It is not an easy task. Yet, they must evolve their thinking to solve pressing work-life issues for their best and brightest. For example, take employees who seek to work fewer hours, whether for personal leave reasons or just...
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Leadership Tips: Create Positive Change

One of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. is, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” In our modern world, this isn’t just about allocating hours to volunteering. This means focusing on the overall, big picture – finding something specific outside of your individual interest. So I ask: What are you doing for others? For your team? For your overall company? For your family? For strangers? I recently hosted a vision board party, and many people shared that their goal for 2016 was to focus on giving their time and skills for the benefit of others. One couple mentioned wanting to focus on the homelessness issue in Seattle. And I know they will. Mainly because they not only identified it as a goal, but they are creating a plan to do it. Oftentimes, developing more of the plan is what is missing...
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The Important Question Every Employee Should Be Able to Answer

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Fortune and delves into the relationship between profit and purpose. For the past few years, organizations has been focusing on how millennials aren’t motivated by money, but rather by purpose. This has sent shockwaves through corporate America. How can organizations attract the top millennial talent, while working to improve their bottom line? But as the article The Important Question Every Employee Should Be Able to Answer points out, profit and purpose don’t have to be mutually exclusive focuses. In fact, many organizations have discovered that profit exists so we can fulfill our purpose. It starts with holding your employees able to achieve sustainable results and empowering them to work towards their purpose. Where does purpose lie in your organization’s value list? “One way we have resolved this in the companies in which I am involved is through a document called Prosperity Principles...
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