How to Be a Leader People Want to Follow

This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Business Insider and lists seven ways you can become a more inspiring leader. Being in a position of leadership does not automatically qualify someone as a leader whom others trust or feel inspired by to produce their best work. The key to becoming a great leader is to first learn what makes a great leader and then carry out these qualities through actions. Per Jason DeMers, Business Insider contributor and founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, here are ways to effectively become a “follow-worthy” leader. 1. Show respect to those around you (even when you don’t feel like it). “True respect doesn’t depend on the other person doing something (or not doing something). It means recognizing that all people are inherently worthy of respect; even people who drive you crazy or who haven’t done a single thing to earn it. It means treating...
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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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Leadership Tips: Take It Personally

In Fierce Conversations, we believe the phrases “Don’t take this personally” and “Don’t take yourself so seriously” are misguided suggestions. Do take it personally; do take yourself seriously. Work is deeply personal. And so is leading others. Leading anything in your life, for that matter. Instead of turning the other direction when your idea is rejected or something doesn’t go your way, stick with it. It is important to lean into those situations. Don’t shut yourself down or brush it off. For example, when one of my team’s marketing concepts is scrutinized, it is impossible to not feel some emotion or level of disappointment. Instead of becoming apathetic, acknowledge that the work is personal. And that we want to get it right, because we all care. (If we didn’t care, there wouldn’t be emotions.) And then the next step is to get curious and ask questions. This week’s tip is...
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3 Ways to Clear Barriers to Development for Women Leaders

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

"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." - Harvey S. Firestone, Founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Here at Fierce, we’re in the business of helping others grow. And our clients are on all different paths in supporting their people’s development, from offering very sophisticated development programs to just starting on the path of giving options. Regardless, the leaders we work with realize that developing their people is a critical piece for success. This isn’t just a “check the box” – employees crave it. According to EdenRed, 68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy, followed by working hours flexibility (74%), then promotion of health at work (72%). I’d argue it goes beyond the policy, because people truly want growth opportunities. So you must ask yourself: If this perk is highly desired, how do I help aid others’ development?...
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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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An Event for All Fierce Fans: 3 Reasons to Attend

The Fierce community has spoken, and the resounding advice to us was: bring us together! Tell us what you are thinking. Take a stand on how our organizations and world can become more fierce together. Given that, we are very excited to announce the launch of the Fierce Summit, a learning event for the fierce community and fans. It will be in Seattle, WA on September 13th and 14th. Here is the official site with more details. If you are a Fierce facilitator, please join us September 12th for a special day to take your facilitation to the next level. It is an investment of time and money, and it will be worth it. Here are three reasons to attend: 1. Network with a worldwide Fierce Community. The Fierce Summit is a rare opportunity to network with new and long-time Fierce community members from around the globe. You will make...
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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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5 Steps to Finding Your Focus

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fast Company and details five steps to help find your focus in a chaotic work environment. Today’s workforce is becoming more decentralized as teams commonly work together remotely, across different cities, states, and countries. Much of the time, technology, the very thing that connects these remote teams and coworkers, can also be the excuse for becoming increasingly distracted at work. Although the buzzing of a phone, chime of a computer, or that chatty coworker on your company messenger can seem like the perfect excuse to delay that project you are working on, these distractions are now commonplace and can no longer be validated. Things will not get easier as technology continues to advance, and the ability to focus and continue to produce great work amidst the clutter will be vital for employees everywhere. Jones Loflin, coauthor of Getting to It , offers...
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5 Tips for Finding Fierce Focus in Your Life

“When the WHY is clear, the HOW is easy.” –Unknown Read the news and you're probably aware of what could be referred to as chaos in our fast-paced, increasingly complex world. And all that news doesn’t even touch on the happenings in our personal lives, such as little Jimmy’s sore throat, your check engine light turning on during your morning commute, or Uncle Jeff’s open-heart surgery that’s scheduled this week. To focus is to put all our attention on the task at hand, and it isn’t always easy. And when focus is absent, it can jeopardize intended results within our organizations, seep into our time management efforts , and pull our attention away during important conversations. We’ve all had moments or even lengthy amounts of time when trying to focus felt like trying to move a massive boulder uphill. You may not be a body builder, but fortunately, you do...
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Leadership Tips: Decide What is Important

Arianna Huffington’s book  Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder , makes a compelling case to redefine what success means in today’s world. The book gave me some tips and tricks to personally redefine success for myself. Success means different things for different people. And at the end of the day, we only have so many hours to focus on what we think is important. One of my favorite quotes that Huffington included in Thrive is: "And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, 'This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!' "And each day, it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, "No. This is what's important.'" -  Iain Thomas So I ask you: What...
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5 Steps for Giving Productive Feedback

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Entrepreneur and shares five steps for giving productive feedback that helps employees grow. Providing open and honest feedback to colleagues and employees is the most important element of growth and professional development. However, providing this feedback consistently is not always easy for both manager and employee. Many people cringe at the words, “Can I give you some feedback?” It is dependent on the manager to create enough trust and rapport with their reports to alleviate the fear and anxiety that is associated with a feedback conversation. By managing feedback in a positive way that helps the employee understand that feedback is meant to improve their performance and develop their skills, the individual receiving the feedback can approach the conversation calm and ready to listen. Per Scott Halford, there are five tips managers can exercise to create productive feedback that sticks: 1. Create...
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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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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: Check-In Now

Step back and reflect on all of the people you will interact with this week - inside and outside of work. Do you have a gut feeling about something that needs to be talked about? Now is the time to do something about it. I'm not saying that your instinct about a situation is necessarily correct.   Many times our instincts are fueled by our own fears or thoughts around a certain situation. What you may perceive as an issue, may be something entirely unrelated. However...what if it isn't? Is it worth glazing over? This week's tip is to connect with the person you most need to check-in with.   Be specific and share what you sense. The worst that can happen is you are wrong. Just be prepared to be.

When Giving Critical Feedback, Focus on Your Nonverbal Cues

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and shares tips for focusing on nonverbal cues and body language when having feedback conversations. One of the most difficult things to do, from novice managers to tenured leaders, is give feedback. Especially when the feedback is critical and not easy to deliver. There is always a balancing act between delivering honest and open feedback and not discouraging the employee, causing them to retreat further inward. The ability to give this feedback successfully starts with the culture of the workplace. If employees are engaged and part of an inclusive environment where their voice is heard, chances are they are more likely to respond well to feedback. Per Emma Seppala, Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion, using a positive, open, and supportive style of feedback where employees feel safe can lead to incredible outcomes. “Leaders and managers in...
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How Your Body Language Impacts Workplace Conversations

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

At the core of Fierce, and really at the core of relationship, are Fierce conversations. This idea originated years ago with our founder and CEO, Susan Scott, whose now famous statement launched an entire organization: While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation absolutely can. In addition to launching Fierce, a company helping thousands of business leaders directly, Susan also published Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time which has sold a half a million copies to date. Today, we are excited to announce an extensively revised and updated version is now available . The updated version offers guidance for navigating changes that are happening in the workplace, including the shifting expectations of employees. Some key additions to the book include: • Insight into how and when to...
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Leadership Tips: Ask for Feedback as a Leader

“Asking others for input increases their expectation that you will change in a positive way.” – Joseph Folkman, The Power of Feedback The world is constantly changing around you. An important employee leaves your team. A key client shifted the whole program for their upcoming session. A new company launches to compete with your core product. Your computer crashes. All before noon. Big or small fluctuations happen every minute of the day. Leaders must be able to track the trends with their teams and organizations. Feedback is important data in our daily lives, so we need to solicit input. So I ask: How much feedback are you receiving from your employees? My guess would be not enough. And if that is true, you need to ask. The higher up you are in the organization, the more removed you may be from how you are really doing from others’ perspectives. This...
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American Workplace: Changing at a Dizzying Pace

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Gallup and shares data from workplace studies on the rapid pace of change in the workplace. Change has always been a constant and prevalent force within the business world. It is woven into the very nature of business. Yet, something feels different about the torrid pace in which change is occurring now. Technology and shifts in organizational structure have required businesses to reconsider how they manage their people and their work. With flexible work hours, the traditional 9-5 is no longer the norm as virtual teams interact via email or video conferencing. Ed O'Boyle and Annamarie Mann, Gallup, attribute much of this change to Millennials assuming the majority of today’s workforce. “They want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to use their talents and strengths to do what they do best every day. They want their jobs to fit...
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6 Tips for Dealing with Unwanted Change in the Workplace

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving—we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr Change in the workplace can create a ripple effect of distress throughout an entire organization. Unwanted transitions may include big budget cuts, sudden layoffs, company relocations, or the introduction of different programs or processes that come with undesirable drawbacks. These types of changes are necessary at times, but depending on the circumstances, they can weigh heavily on employee morale and even affect an organization’s reputation. As unsettling as it can be at first, change is often positive. But on occasion, an organization may begin heading in a direction that compromises its values or mission. While the hope is that leadership will make decisions that...
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Leadership Tips: Use the Power of Change

Last year, I was in New York at the Conference Board’s Annual Change and Transformation Conference. Although it was almost a year ago, the core themes discussed have proved to be true in the workplace: Constant change is the new normal. We have many beliefs about change, and at the end of the day, we as humans don’t particularly like change. It’s uncomfortable. The issue is that we don’t truly understand change and how we react. Warren Parry, Managing Director at Accenture Strategy, shared research that was completed over the last 15 years about 250 change initiatives in more than 150 organizations. What struck me was two particular myths that he debunked about change. The first myth is that too much change, too fast, is destructive . According to their research, the highest-performing organizations really excel in change. Typically, high-performing companies have more frequent change taking place. The second myth is...
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7 Habits of People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fast Company and shares seven habits of people who have achieved work-life balance. Achieving work-life balance in a world in which we are constantly connected through technology can seem more like a fairytale than a reality. According to the American Sociological Review , 70% of American workers struggle with finding enough time to devote to their lives outside of work. Although most Americans have not found the correct balance, there are some tools that can help. Harvey Deutschendorf, Fast Company Contributor, shares tools utilized by the 30% that have achieved this elusive balance. A few include: 1. Making deliberate choices about what they want in life. Instead of rolling with the punches and letting life unfurl, people who have achieved work-life balance make deliberate choices about what they want from life and how they want to spend their time. Once these parameters...
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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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Leadership Tips: Perhaps We Don't Need Work/Life Balance

In business there is a lot of talk around work/life balance. To me, this topic is always too broad. I think for many, life is more fluid than that. In a world of constant connection, many of us work when we could be playing and play when we could be working. This week’s tip is about moving the conversation beyond looking at work/life balance as vacation and time at work. Rather than keeping those pieces apart, what would happen if we combined them more? Often people believe that you have to be really lucky to love what you do enough to not need a vacation from it. Perhaps in our current state of business, where 70% of Americans are disengaged at work, this is true. However, if your organization and your employees came to work each day as excited as they are to leave on Friday - what results could...
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10 Types of Corporate Innovation Programs

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

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

Imagine for a second that you are in a meeting where the goal is to solve a challenge. An idea immediately comes to mind, however you skip over it, with the hope that an even more brilliant idea might pop into your head. Why do we do this? Why do we discount our immediate instinct? This week’s Fierce tip encourages you to vocalize all the first ideas you have, and to trust the instinct that told you that this is a problem, solution, challenge, or whatever it may be. If you’re a leader, this week when you are in a meeting, ask everyone to say their first ideas. You may be surprised as to what is being left unsaid due to self-editing. No matter what your initial idea may be it may look different once others collaborate and innovate on it, or it might be the perfect solution right off...
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5 Easy Ways to Handle Conflict at Work

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Inc and explores five ways to handle conflict at work. Conflict isn’t always a bad thing. Challenging a colleague’s opinion and “interrogating their reality,” as Fierce CEO Susan Scott would say, can produce amazing business results. It is important to know how to have these conversations tactfully to avoid a full-blown argument that accomplishes little. Great leaders know how to facilitate these conversations and set aside ego while practicing patience and self-awareness. Per Geoffrey James, Inc, some tips for handling conflict at the office are: 1. Pick your battles carefully. Although no one should be exempt from these difficult conversations, from the intern to the CEO, it is always best to choose them carefully. It is devastating to the individual and their colleagues if everything turns into a conflict. 2. Admit when you’re wrong. A common mistake for new managers is the...
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When Heads Collide: 5 Tips for Managing Conflict

"If we aren't going to be afraid of conflict, we have to see it as thinking, and then we have to get really good at it." –Margaret Heffernan Since January, we’ve focused our content heavily on creating more robust inclusion in the workplace. The main idea is this: inclusive cultures require collaboration and diversity of thought, where each team member has an equal opportunity to share their perspective. But what can you do as a leader when perspectives collide, causing friction between team members? Starkly opposing views can potentially stagnate timelines and cause friction—especially when one or more people hold particularly passionate views about a topic or high-stakes decision. Conflict can be productive, but in its midst, we want to assure we're making decisions effectively, maintaining (or reestablishing) a sense of team unity during the decision-making process, and patching any tension that may arise during and after heads have collided....
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Leadership Tips: Bust Generation Stereotypes

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

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

The relationship between Fierce and GAMA International has been built on a common vision: to support and develop field leaders in the insurance and financial services industry. In this industry, recruiting, maintaining, and sustaining relationships between employees is one of the biggest challenges—keeping the lines of communication open between the field offices and the corporate office can be difficult. This challenge is where Fierce conversations can play a transformative role. The financial industry is also shifting, and organizations are coming together as a community to tackle the tough challenges that accompany change. Fierce attended GAMA’s 2017 LAMP , themed “Ignite Change.” During the four-day event that included general session speakers and conversations with field leaders, we learned a great deal about how the financial industry is changing. Here are our five biggest takeaways that financial and insurance organizations should keep in mind, with highlights from event speakers. 1. Culture is...
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Leadership Tips: Prepare for Change

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

The current political and global climate has led to an increase in conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends , the number of executives who cited inclusion as a top priority has risen 32% in the last three years, and over two-thirds of executives rate diversity and inclusion as an important issue. We surveyed over a thousand individuals nationwide to gain a better understanding of how people perceive the benefits of workplace diversity. We also explored issues relating to discrimination and safety in the workplace. We thought it was interesting that over 40% of survey respondents believe their organization would benefit from greater diversity. This number increased to 55% amongst those 18-29, however, decreased to just 30% of those 60+. A clear disconnect exists here between generations, as younger individuals seemingly place a greater value on diversity than those older. This...
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Leadership Tips: Reflect on Your Generation

I am proud to be a millennial. And this is despite the many demoralizing stereotypes. It may be weird, but yes, I do prefer face-to-face conversations when I have a difficult topic to talk about with someone. I also am not a serial job hopper; I can actually be loyal to a fault. I also don’t expect to get something unless I work very hard, and then if I achieve it, I work more to share gratitude for all the people who inevitably helped along the way. Yes, I am not the stereotypical millennial. However, I do not believe the publicized generalizations apply to most of my millennial peers. That’s the thing - it is an amazing time to be in business. Sometimes it seems easiest to just keep bucketing people in a way that “makes sense” and allows us to feel more comfortable. The landscape is constantly changing, and...
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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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Are Your Collaborative Efforts Falling Flat? Here Are 3 Rules for Success

As leaders, we like the idea of collaboration, we just don’t like to actually do it. Especially at the highest levels. We tend to feel the pressure of ‘the buck stops here.’ We’re unwilling to bring others into tough decisions. We confuse collaboration with consensus. We like the allure of thinking our decisions are the best for our organizations. The list unfortunately goes on and includes lack of trust, not wanting our opinions to be ignored, not wanting to share critical information, not having enough time...we convince ourselves that for all these reasons and more, collaboration may not be the best decision. And there is some support for this thinking. In his book Tipping Sacred Cows: Kick the Bad Work Habits That Masquerade as Virtues , Jake Breeden identifies automatic collaboration as one of these bad work habits. One example he gives is, “there is no greater danger to productivity...
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Leadership Tips: Ask Your Team

"Unity is strength . . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved." -Mattie Stepanek Think about a time that a leader in your organization has made a decision without consulting the people it affected. How was the decision received? Was there resistance? Most of the time, when there is an issue with a decision, it is because people’s opinions and concerns were not addressed in the first place. People ultimately want to know that their perspectives matter. The engagement piece is more important than the final outcome. At Fierce, we have a culture committee – composed of cross department members – that is focused on bringing our core values to life. They explore and recommend opportunities from recognition programs to mentorship to coordinating our company-wide fantasy draft team. Why do we have this group? Because it is critical for our team members to help steer how...
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Why Women Entrepreneurs will be the Economic Force to Reckon with in 2017

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by CNBC and explains why women entrepreneurs will be an economic force to be reckoned with in 2017 and moving forward. This past Wednesday we celebrated International Women’s Day across the globe and celebrated the ever-growing success of women in business. CNBC’s inaugural Upstart 25 List , featuring promising young start-ups, included 10 women-owned businesses. This only looks to increase as female-owned companies are growing at a rate of five times the national average and increased a whopping 45 percent over the last decade, eclipsing over $1.6 trillion in revenue. This trend is not exclusive to the United States either, as rates of women’s entrepreneurship have grown 10 percent over the last two years compared to only 5 percent for men across 51 different global economies. Per Elaine Pofeldt, CNBC, as the gender gap continues to decrease, women can look to other female...
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Women Leadership: A Reason, a Caution, and a Bottom Line

On this International Women's Day, I want to celebrate women all around the world. This day makes me reflect on the strong women leaders in my life who have propelled my career and have forever changed me—for the better. I am so grateful to you. You know who you are. Based on recent articles that struck me, I want to offer some considerations for propelling women into leadership roles. Let’s start with the current February 2017 stats. According to Catalyst, of the S&P 500 companies, 5.4% of CEOs are women, 9.5% of top earners are women, 19.9% of board seats are women, 25.1% of executive officers are women, and 36.4% of middle management are women. Given that the total employee base is 44.3% women, there is continual opportunity for women to rise to the higher managerial and leadership levels. These numbers have increased significantly in the last few years. This...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Woman in Your Life

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

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

“Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.” –Seth Godin We often hear about the need for transparency in personal and business relationships via TED Talks, articles, and gurus. But what exactly makes it so important? Can you recall a time in your personal or professional life when you discovered crucial information that wasn’t disclosed to you when you feel it should’ve been? Was your trust and loyalty for the person or people jeopardized as a result? Most of us have been there at some point. According to Tolero Solutions, 45% of employees say lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue impacting their work performance. That’s huge. Lies and secrets break trust. On the contrary, honesty and transparency build trust. And when trust is created, it leads to a heightened sense of security and better employee performance . Although timing can be an...
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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.

How the Best Companies Do Diversity Right

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

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

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