The Importance of Personal Integrity in Leadership: 4 Ways to Follow Through

At Fierce, we define integrity as when your inner world — your truth, your beliefs, your ethics, your commitments, your values, and your desires — align with your actions and behaviors in the outer world.  While what it looks like to live with integrity may vary from one person to the next, there are clear behaviors that te...
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Part Two: How to "Fix" Accountability on Your Team

I want to go back to our original quote included in Part 1 of the Accountability blogs: " Our careers, our companies, our personal relationships, our very lives, succeed or fail, gradually then suddenly, one conversation at a time." If you'll notice, it says succeeds one conversation at a time. So just as we found that accountability can disappear ...
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The State of Accountability, and Why It Fails

In this highly competitive, ever-changing business climate, accountability continues to be a critical challenge for leaders and organizations alike. As leaders, we aspire to build teams where people are invested in their own growth and development and are advancing the initiatives that are critical to organizational success. And yet, finger-pointin...
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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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Getting to the Root Cause: Performance Problems in Revenue-Producing Roles

A widespread belief exists in the world of performance management that the assessment of revenue-generating roles should be pretty cut and dry. You are either hitting your targets or you aren’t. And if you miss them too many times, you are out. I agree this perception is true, and , often leaders aren’t digging deeper to understand the root cause of the performance issues within teams. I am not advocating that we stop holding the bar high, nor am I suggesting we keep poor performers beyond the appropriate period of their performance assessment. I am suggesting there are common pitfalls that front-line leaders, especially those newer in their roles, can succumb to when evaluating revenue-producing roles. Failing to reach this deeper level of understanding can become costly, resulting in everything from excessive turnover to missed conversations. Traditionally, revenue-producing roles have been associated with the sales function. However, as business models...
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Leadership Tips: Transparency - the Chicken or the Egg?

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

9 Habits That Destroy Workplace Relationships

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Entrepreneur and shares nine habits that can destroy workplace relationships and how to avoid these slip-ups. It is well known that if you work a full-time job, chances are you’re spending more time with your “work family” than your immediate family. Due to the sheer amount of time spent with your colleagues, it is important to the individual employees and the business to have amicable relationships. There are countless reasons for forging strong bonds with coworkers. It boosts office morale, increases productivity, and most importantly – builds trust. If the reasons for creating these bonds at work are clear, what can get in the way of them? Per John Rampton, Entrepreneur, some nasty habits that can lead to strained relationships include: 1. Gossiping – Although the watercooler chat can be tempting sometimes, it’s best to avoid topics that include other colleagues. Gossip...
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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: 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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The Business Logic of Sustainability

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on  and explains the business logic behind sustainability. In 1973, Ray Anderson read “The Ecology of Commerce” and it changed the trajectory of his business. As the CEO of a carpet manufacturer with petroleum intensive processes, he was in a unique position to make a difference and challenge the status quo of the “take/make/waste” industrial system. He decided to embrace technology to improve sustainability efforts and found that there was also a compelling business case behind this approach. Anderson died in 2011, but his legacy and sustainable impact lives on through the Ray C. Anderson Foundation . Through Anderson’s efforts, his carpet company has doubled profits while decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions by over 82%. Anderson’s achievements indicate a few things: If a petroleum intensive company can make dramatic environmental strides, while simultaneously increasing profits – any business can do the same....
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Roselinde Torres - What It Takes to Be a Great Leader

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on 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.

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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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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Leadership Tips: Engagement is Everything

On the eve of marrying my husband, my grandmother, who had been married to my grandfather for 50 plus years, gave me some advice. I don't know what I was expecting, and I was struck by the simplicity of her words. She told me that as long as we both want it, we'll be fine. She said trouble begins to brew when both parties aren't engaged. And most importantly, the key to never having this happen is to never stop communicating. The truth is that this sage advice has served me beyond my relationship with my husband; this rule can be applied to almost all relationships. Engagement is everything; both parties have to want to be there, showing up, working at it, and building towards something. To do that, you have to be authentic, make time, expel the energy, and have the conversations. This week, Fierce is at the 2014...
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How Much Does It Cost You to Avoid the Feeling of Risk?

This week's Fierce Resource was first published yesterday on thought leader and entrepreneur, Seth Godin's blog . How Much Does It Cost You to Avoid the Feeling of Risk? asks us to examine how often and to what lengths we go to in order to not feel risk. This week on the Fierce blog we focused on listening fiercely , sometimes that can be a risky thing. "How many experiences are you missing out on because the (very unlikely) downsides are too frightening to contemplate?Are you avoiding leading, connecting or creating because to do so feels risky?...It's easy to pretend that indulging in the avoidance of the feeling of risk is free and unavoidable. It's neither." What listening opportunities are you missing if you avoid the feeling of risk? To read the full blog, click here .  

3 Benefits for Leaders Who Say Yes

Effective leaders say yes! They understand that a leader's focus should be to encourage innovation and maximize the wisdom in the room. In order to do this, you need to provide individuals the space to come up with ways they can reach their goals and build opportunity, not only for themselves but the organization as a whole. It can be scary to take a risk on your employees and say yes. It might not always seem like a career enhancing move, and yet the alternative, being a leader that allows no room for employees to drive their own success or innovate, is not the safer choice. It is the quickest way to have unengaged workers and middle of the road results. So to help make the process of saying yes easier, below you will find three benefits for leaders who say yes. #1 A Team That Isn’t Afraid to Fail...
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Why Building Trust is the Most Important Job for Managers

Companies spend a lot of time and money training managers on their day-to-day responsibilities, with the focus being on the end result and the goals they need to hit. In turn, they believe that this type of development supports managers to build the trust necessary to accomplish their goals. Unfortunately, trust is not built by just crossing your “T’s” and dotting your “I’s”. Successful organizations know they need their managers to cultivate relationships on behalf of the company by building trust with the employees, other colleagues, and the customers. So how do your managers build that necessary level of trust so that those relationships become the workhorses for your organization? By having conversations that are open, authentic, and keep the health of the relationship in mind. Managers have to remember every interaction matters. There is no such thing as a trivial comment. If a company isn’t experiencing the overall success...
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Leadership Tips: Hold Each Other Able

In Fierce Accountability , we talk about the difference between holding someone accountable and holding someone able. Often we talk about accountability in a legislative matter. Something we can impose on others. Many of us associate accountability with blame. At Fierce, we prefer to view accountability not as a process or a tool, and instead view it as a context that makes every tool and process more effective. When you hold someone able, you choose to recognize the capacity each person you are connecting with has to achieve the goals you agree upon. It 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. Shifting the mentality away from holding others accountable to holding each other able builds a culture of engagement, trust, and creativity versus disengagement,...
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The Danger of an “It’s not me, It’s you” Attitude

Have you ever said to yourself, "If they were different, my life would be better"? Even if there is truth to the statement, where does it leave you? When the power for change is outside of yourself, it doesn't leave you with many productive options. You could waste your whole life imagining how different things could be if a certain person changed the way he or she acted. However, when all is said and done, the only thing that you can change is you . In Fierce Accountability , we explore the idea of falling into the victim cycle. We all dip our toe into the water of victimhood, it’s normal. However, immersing yourself in it can be destructive. Having an “It’s not me, it’s you” attitude is how many people get stuck living in victim . When we place all of the blame and ownership outside of ourselves, it...
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3 Keys to Achieving Commitment Over Compliance

“Compliance is withdrawn at the first opportunity.  Commitment is withdrawn as a last resort.” For any leader, understanding the distinction between compliance and commitment is key . Knowing when your employees are giving you one over the other is essential. And no matter how regulated your industry or how many compliance policies abound, a committed workforce should always have the majority. Unless, of course, you enjoy micro-managing, watching your back, conducting overly hyped-up “rah rah” sessions, and living in a general state of paranoia. For the sake of this article, let's assume you don’t and take a look at 3 keys to ensure your employees are really WITH you . 1)  Have a clear vision . Seems obvious, right? It’s mentioned in every leadership blog on the planet yet it is so often overlooked or, shall I say, assumed to be in place. Don’t assume it’s there. Rather, ensure it exists...
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