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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3 Tips to Recruit with Purpose

In 2016, we at Fierce predict that job candidates will want to ensure a potential company’s purpose and mission align with values they hold near and dear to their hearts. While this seems complicated, it really isn’t. There are simple ways to stay connected and really recruit while engaging the heart and mind. Ask job seekers about their values. The next time people come to you complaining about their current job (or if they have come to the conclusion that they need a new one), ask what their values are. This is not about perks and culture as much as answering the questions: What do you stand for? What matters to you? Have them write their values down and really talk about them. This relates to finding the why .   To bring new people onboard, make sure their values align with the company’s. Values and purpose, over tangible items...
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Leadership Tips: Find the Why

When the year first gets ramped up and rolling, the conversations often turn to “what” needs to happen, “who” needs to be there, and “when” does it or that need to get finished. Those are all critical elements of execution and doing the work that we need to do. However, it isn’t the whole piece. We must go deeper than logistics with each other. Even Albert Einstein said, “We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.” To get more, you need to turn to the “why”. I have always loved Simon Sinek’s work, and many members of the Fierce team (and world considering it is one of the most viewed) love his Tedx Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” . The premise is that leaders, who connect and always talk about the why, are the most influential. The...
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5 Changes Millennials Will Make in the Corporate World in 2016

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Business 2 Community and explores the influence of millennials on workplace culture. 2015 marked the official passing of the torch, as millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. So I ask: How will the millennial dominated workplace affect company culture? According to 5 Changes Millennials Will Make in the Corporate World in 2016 , we should expect to see them fully exert their generational influence by continuing to shift company values around purpose and work-life integration. Leaders will be pressured to adopt real workplace flexibility programs, because unlike previous generations, millennials don’t feel guilty embracing work-life balance. Where else will this generation lead us? “Thanks to the increased mobility and option to work remotely that Millennials have demanded, employees will have less personal space in the workplace during 2016. In fact, because some offices may turn to using only...
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5 Fierce Predictions for 2016

There are few things that jazz me more than the ever-evolving workplace (yes, I did just say that). As we embark on 2016, at Fierce, we see a heightened desire for employees to be engaged and connected on the deepest of levels. Below are the five Fierce predictions for 2016. Recruiting Talent - Job Candidates Motivated by Purpose, Not Money In 2016, job candidates will want to ensure a potential company’s purpose and mission align with values they hold near and dear to their hearts. Values and purpose, over tangible items such as salary, will become an increasingly important factor in the decision-making process in the competitive job market. In fact, a high salary is the least important aspect of a job to both men and women, whereas holding a job they enjoy is the most important aspect, according to Pew Research Center. With the rise of social media and...
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Leadership Tips: Life is Curly – Go with It

“Life is curly. Don’t try to straighten it out.” – Susan Scott This year will not go as you have it planned right now on January 4, 2016. In 2016, you will have triumphs you didn’t expect, setbacks you didn’t anticipate, and new people enter your life. You may have the same challenges, and you may not. You may have the same job responsibilities, and you may not. When things are out of your control this year, you will choose how you feel about what happens. And, more importantly, you will choose what you do after. For stability seekers, the notion of the unexpected and changing can be disconcerting. For the thrill seekers, it can be exciting. Regardless of what side of the spectrum you live on, you are responsible for the outcomes. This week’s tip is to accept that your plans will change and go with it. “Going with...
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The 1 Thing You Can Do Right Now to Be More Successful

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Fortune and offers advice on the one thing you need to do to foster future success in the workplace. As we jump into the New Year, we hope you have spent some quality time reflecting. But before you commit to your 10 step self-improvement strategy for 2016, we caution you not to focus on your shortcomings too much. As Shawn Archer pointed out in his 2012 TED Talk, as a society we have developed an illogical formula for determining happiness – “If [we] work harder, [we'll] be more successful. And if [were] more successful, then [we’ll] be happier.” Instead we need to flip the formula for success. According to The One Thing You Can Do Right Now to Be More Successful , the first step is to focus on developing your unique superpowers . By building on your strengths, you will not only...
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2015 Year End: Life is curly

It’s snowing at Goat Leap, my tree house on Orcas Island. That’s where I am now, as I write to you. My dogs Dobby, Tallulah, and Hamish – two labradoodles and a Cairn terrier - and I are cozy. The fire is toasty, I’ve enjoyed my coffee with whipped cream and there’s a roast in the oven. It smells heavenly. I read somewhere, “I’m not anti-social.  I’m pro-solitude.” Amen to that! I’m in my favorite place for solitude. Each December, I think about what to share with you. I wrote in Fierce Conversations: “Life is curly. Don’t try to straighten it out.” 2015 has been a decidedly curly year and is in no danger of straightening out in 2016. So let’s talk about curls and how to navigate them. Those we welcome and those we don’t. Curls can be wonderful. An unexpected romance, a financial windfall, a promotion. For me,...
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The Best Leaders Are Constant Learners

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

“You influence more by your actions than your words. You operate as the message, not the messenger, with an alignment between your words and actions.” - Nan Russell This time of year can be so busy that there is barely any time to think about what is next, let alone spend time alone with your thoughts. And guess what? It is too costly to skip reflection time, despite all of the legitimate excuses you have. As Master Facilitator, Beth Wagner, mentioned last week in our Fierce webinar , reflection is very important and often overlooked. Many studies have shown the critical role that reflection plays in performance and learning. Leaders and employees alike who take time to reflect on their successes and their mistakes at work, perform 20-25% better than those who do not. So, if that’s really the case, it is your responsibility to find the time to reflect. What’s...
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How Successful People Take Advantage Of The Holiday Season

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Forbes and uncovers six ways to get the most out of the holiday season rush. For most of us, December is a mad dash to the New Year filled with performance reviews, holiday parties, and year-end strategy meetings. It’s easy to get swept up into the madness and forget about setting up our new year on the right foot. Make sure you set aside some time to focus on enriching your workplace relationships. The article How Successful People Take Advantage Of The Holiday Season provides a simple guide for getting the most out of your holiday season. Are you struggling to make that personal connection? It might be time to put away the keyboard. “ Pick Up the Phone . In our digital world, we are all pre-programmed to shoot over a quick email or text message when reaching out to someone....
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Leadership Tips: ‘Tis the Season to Delegate

It is common this time of year to have less employees (and focus) in the office. With holiday trips, family visits, and general festivities, people have their time and priorities stretched very thin. So now is the time to get creative about who and how projects get completed. Consider this: We are rounding out a new year, and when we interview leaders, people often want to take on new things at this time of year. That perfectly aligns with the opportunity to take on new tasks when people are away. This week’s tip is to use delegation as a way to get more things accomplished during the holiday season. Well in advance of your departure, identify team members or colleagues who either have experience with similar opportunities or who have shown aptitude in other areas and an interest in yours. Clearly outline the level of decisions they can make around...
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Engaging Your Employees is Good, but Don’t Stop There

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and explores how to not only engage but also inspire your employees. Recent studies by Bain & Company found that inspired employees are 125% more productive than satisfied employees and 56% more productive than engaged employees. So I ask: How do we take employees from satisfied to truly inspired? It starts by looking at the top. Managers and leaders are often the ones who decide where an organization’s resources and efforts get invested. Too often they focus solely on monetary incentives, which can lead to a purely transactional relationship. According to the article Engaging Your Employees is Good, but Don’t Stop There , real inspiration starts by connecting your team’s or the individuals’ mission to the company’s overall purpose. Are you meeting each individual’s pyramid of needs? “The foundational elements—call them employee satisfaction—are fundamentals such as having a safe...
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A Fierce Chat with Salesforce: Tips for Engaging with Prospects in the Age of Over-Connectivity

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

Madeline Albright once said, “What matters anywhere, matters everywhere.” That statement is especially relevant in our increasingly divisive American and global landscape. In those five words, she says: Don’t act like something doesn’t apply to you. Don’t brush off an issue thinking it isn’t yours. We are connected. Yes, that matters. And yes, those people matter. We can’t run away from that. So let’s assume you support that idea. Then we, as humans, have an obligation to recognize people, even in far reaching corners and places, who make our world better. Their efforts may not immediately affect us; however, we are connected. Their setbacks are our setbacks. Their progress fuels our progress. Oftentimes our acknowledgement as a collective is shown in the form of an award. Nobel Prize Day is this Thursday, December 10. The Nobel Prize exists to award those who have done their best to benefit the world...
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How Technology and Work Culture Drive Each Other

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Huffington Post and explores the link between employee engagement and the future of workplace technology. The need to keep up with ever changing technology can sometimes leave your head spinning. But if used in the proper way it can also lead to higher productivity and happier, more engaged employees. The trick is not to bring in a new solution expecting it to be one-size-fits-all. According to How Technology and Work Culture Drive Each Other , gamification, intra-company social networks, and external applications all pay a role when it comes to maintaining the health and well-being of employees. Each solution also brings its own set of problems, which if left unchecked can make it less effective. Is technology making life for your team easier or harder? “While cash prizes are nice, they are not as rewarding as simple recognition. People want to be...
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To Text or Not to Text: That Is the Question

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

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard According to a recent mobileinsurance.com survey, the average person spends up to 23 days a year staring at their phone screens. Almost a month per year! That's a big deal. So I ask: Does the time on your screen each day add more value to your life? Or does it detract from it? This week’s tip is simple – make your screen time worthwhile. Use technology to enhance your relationships and your work. If you feel yourself wasting time on it, practice shutting down. Oftentimes we get caught up in our emails and social media. We let time slip away, although we know time it is a valuable asset. We are not alone. If you are desperate, use technology to help your technology issue - yes, it sounds counterintuitive. Yet, there are many apps that track...
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3 Thankless Offices and What to Do

Gratitude is in the air this time of year. While we all want it, the harsh reality is that many work environments can be quite thankless. From “always busy” managers to ever changing agendas, feeling recognized is a scarce commodity at times. With an emphasis on meeting deadlines and hitting revenue or sales goals, especially at the end of the year, the numbers seem to get all the attention. However, that intense focus on numbers rather than the people driving them may be what ultimately costs a company its success. The health of the organization and the bottom line are directly affected by the strength and satisfaction of each individual. In fact, employees that are happy are 10 to 12 percent more productive , so ensuring employee happiness is critical to the long-term success of any organization. Last week during a status update call, we were discussing a client’s employee...
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Leadership Tips: Don’t Be Shy, Show Gratitude in Your Workplace

During the Thanksgiving holidays in the United States, we often focus on giving thanks to family and friends. We eat and celebrate during our days off and have much needed relaxation time. Some of us travel to the other side of the country to reconnect. Others curl up at home. Before you leave the office (mentally or physically) to enjoy the holiday, this week’s tip is to show gratitude and encourage its expression in your workplace. Think about your colleagues and teammates. You most likely spend more time with them than your family and friends. What stands out to you? What will you do to show appreciation? How can you help your team show it? One idea is to supply cards for team members to write notes to one another expressing appreciation. The goal is to make each note very specific and share why it is significant to the team...
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How Google and Others Help Employees Burn Off Stress in Unique Ways

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Fast Company and explores how leading companies combat workplace stress. Countless studies show that stress not only affects our mood and general outlook on life, it can also adversely affect our health. According to the Behavioral Science and Policy Association , overwhelming work-related demands up the odds of having an illness by 35% and long work hours have shown to increase mortality by nearly 20%. No one wants to live their life in a constant state of unhappiness. Yet, when we search for ways to eliminate our stress, we are typically offered the useless advice we have heard time and time again. “Focus on the positive.” “Eliminate the stress in your life." Let’s be honest, these options are either impossible or are completely intangible. In How Google and Others Help Employees Burn Off Stress in Unique Ways , companies are adopting unconventional...
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A Note to Retailers: 3 Tips to Make Black Friday Better for Your Employees and Customers

Black Friday is approaching us. For some, this day may create pure joy with visions of scoring the perfect holiday gift…for half the price. For others, the stress of angry, aggressive customers can overwhelm you. As a retailer, it is critical for you to take care of both your employees and customers on this significant shopping day. With the increased appeal to sit on couches (or at desks) and shop online, it is up to you to make the effort of driving or walking to your store worthwhile. Yes, more than ever you need to earn patronage. And for employees, make them proud to work for you and truly show up. There are many companies they can choose to work for. Here at Fierce, we work with many global retailers who intertwine the fierce principles and ideas to customer service and their store environment. Here are three tips to make...
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Leadership Tips: Squash the Stress

You are starting a week that is historically full of high expectations. With Thanksgiving looming in the United States, many businesses are pushing hard for deliverables. This often creates overtime and extra hours. So if you look at your employees, I ask: Do you say you want them to take time off and then email them with expectations? Or do you withhold and create white space for them to produce and exceed expectations? Are you doing it for them, or do you do it for yourself as a leader? These are serious questions. We commonly hear from clients that there are never enough hours, never enough resources, and that there is definitely not enough recognition for what they do. This is a reality for many. So what do we do? I encourage everyone to keep this in mind. Just stay aware. This week’s tip is to squash the stress ....
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3 Tips to Connect Your Team with Purpose

I have always admired the rituals and connection that people in the United States military share. I had a unique experience as a child, because my father was in the military and my birthday is Veterans Day (and no, that wasn’t planned). That means most birthdays I spent at Veterans Day ceremonies and taking pictures with fighter jets and submarines. Despite those glitzy elements, hearing the Veterans’ stories was my favorite part. Every time I asked Veterans about their service, despite the hardships and sacrifices, their eyes often lit up. They would tell stories about their purpose, and their comrades, and their experiences. I’ve reflected a lot on that over the years – especially going into the human capital/people strategy field. So I have to ask: How many of your employees’ eyes would light up talking about being on your team? Are your employees connected to the purpose? Are they...
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Leadership Tips: Don’t Hesitate - Become Fiercely Dedicated Now

When people first hear the word fierce , there are varying reactions. Some think that fierce means scary. Others think brutal or harsh. For some, they think of Beyoncé…as in “Sasha Fierce”. To help explain what we mean in our workshop, we ask: What do you think about the word fierce when someone is fiercely dedicated to you? When I first facilitated that question with a group, I loved the “ah ha’s” in the room. Let’s be honest. We all crave having and being associated with fierce dedication. It infers depth and devotion. Those two things can be hard to come by in this ever-changing, moving world. So I ask: What are you fiercely dedicated to? Your partner? Your parents? A cause? Can you say that you are fiercely dedicated to your work? I hope so. You deserve to love what you do. Whenever I think about dedication, I think...
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Be Your Own Best Advocate

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and explores why it is so difficult for people to negotiate on their own behalf. As a leader in your organization, you spend countless hours negotiating contracts with clients, wrangling outside vendors, and advocating for your department. But when was the last time you capitalized on an opportunity for yourself? Advocating for your own needs is just as important as closing a big deal. It not only drives career fulfillment, but also has the potential to spark positive organizational change. Regardless of how strongly we feel about an opportunity, negotiating on our own behalf feels much less comfortable than negotiating on behalf of an organization. Be Your Own Best Advocate recommends building a strategy for everyday negotiations that focuses on four steps: recognize, prepare, initiate, and navigate. How do you recognize negotiation opportunities? “The issue should be important to...
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Advice to Young Women

We’re a women-owned business. And proud of it. As part of our work, we focus on developing, training, and investing in young women and girls around the world through corporations, non-profits, and education systems. When we look at issues for young women today, bullying comes to the top of the list. We are not neutral about how to solve for this. We believe that children and young adults need to learn the skills to navigate their lives – with advocates and adversaries to their success. So what does our staff want to share with young women today? Fellow Fierceling, Ashley Wolf, has interviewed some of our staff about advice they have for young women, and two major themes arose. Speak Your Truth. At Fierce, speaking your truth is about being authentic. With media and many other influences pushing against them, it is especially important for young women today to learn...
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The Best Tools for Improving Employee Engagement

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Tech.Co and explores techniques aimed at boosting employee enthusiasm. Employee engagement isn’t just this “touchy-feely” abstract concept it seems to be, it’s also about an organization’s productivity level. A Gallup study found that the annual cost of lost production in the United States is over $450 billion. If you want to earn back some of that lost revenue, you have to find a way to inspire and engage your team. The Best Tools for Improving Employee Engagement recommends creating a sense of unity by adopting a culture of constant communication. When employees feel like there are kept in the loop, they build a sense of accountability and are willing to go the extra mile. How transparent is you organization? “While some workers function better independently, having constant communication between the managers, the employees, and between colleagues will create a sense of unity....
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Leadership Tips: Engage with Halloween Spirit

In the United States this week, Halloween will be celebrated with activities like pumpkin carving and dressing up in costumes. And for many (including myself), eating more candy this week than I do all year. Yes, those things may seem juvenile or trivial. So, why should we celebrate Halloween at work? Well it can be great to be pushed in new ways, to act silly, and to not take ourselves so seriously. Doing new activities together as a team allows everyone to learn new things about each other. If you buy into that notion at all, regardless of your role, suggest participating in festive activities with your colleagues. It is not just management’s responsibility to engage. It lives with all of us . In fact, a group of Fiercelings created time for pumpkin carving a couple years ago, and it was an absolute blast mixed with brand pride (hence our...
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The 4 Pillars of Better Leadership

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Entrepreneur and outlines concrete steps leaders can take to improve their leadership skills. Whether you are an aspiring leader or currently managing a high performing team, you should constantly be reflecting and improving on your leadership skills. The 4 Pillars of Better Leadership recommends starting with taking care of your employees. As a leader, your most important asset is your employees. Great leaders understand that happy and productive employees need more than just their intrinsic needs meet. Employees need to feel they are supported on an emotional level as well. This means taking the time to enrich your relationship on a personal level with each of your team members. When was the last time you asked how your employees were doing? “A good leader doesn’t lead from behind a desk or an email account. A good leader leads from the front, interacting...
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Fierceling of the Month: Katy Dozier

Here at Fierce, we honor a person once a month with the coveted title of Fierceling of the Month. The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has been nominated by peers for exceptionally exhibiting the fierce values and the 7 principles of our work. There are some great internal perks including choosing your favorite restaurant to catering a company-wide lunch. Each month, I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Katy Dozier. Why did you come to work here? It seemed like a fun atmosphere to join and grow in. What are some responsibilities for your role? Everything from contracts, billing, workshop logistics, printing and inventory management and vendor accounts payable. What’s the coolest thing you are currently working on? Getting a new hire up to speed in my department. What is your favorite thing about working at Fierce? The...
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A Simple Formula for Changing Our Behavior

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and identifies the common communication mistakes that are holding your team back. Think back to the last time you tried to give a team member constructive feedback. How did it go? For most of us, it usually ends with someone walking away frustrated, angry, or disappointed. With such a predictable outcome, it’s no wonder some managers throw in the towel and relegate feedback to a dreaded yearly event. Yet, studies consistently show that employees want and value feedback. So, where is the disconnect happening? It starts with the way we approach the feedback conversation. Instead of letting our emotions rule the conversation, A Simple Formula for Changing Our Behavior recommends delivering constructive feedback in three steps. Identify the problem. State what needs to happen. Offer Help. Why is change so hard? “Learning — by definition — will always feel...
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Leadership Tips: Deal with Your Frustrations…Now

Today is International Moment of Frustration Day. I had never heard of this day before, but what a great opportunity for us all to kick our frustrations out the door. Admit it… we all need a little nudging about this at times. When I worked in commercial real estate, I once had a team member who continually described his frustrations – from our sales strategy to the quality of our office coffee. Our whole team knew many of his frustrations; actually, they jokingly recited them at times. Until one day our team leader told him to quit his complaining or leave (there were a few more expletives in there). Much to our surprise, my teammate apologized to all of us. He said he appreciated the wakeup call. He didn’t really even understand the effects it was having on his team...let alone him. Could this be you? Or someone around you?...
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How Women Can Show Passion at Work Without Seeming 'Emotional'

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and explores why women are often labeled “too emotional” in the workplace. Even with gender equality initiatives, women are still underrepresented in most senior leadership positions across corporate America. Women account for less than 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs, less than 15% of executive officers at those companies, and only 6% of partners in venture capital firms. Why does gender imbalance still exist? It’s partially due to the way women are misinterpreted at work. According to How Women Can Show Passion at Work Without Seeming “Emotional” , certain gender biases lead to women being labeled “too emotional” in the workplace. Studies have shown that when women passionately argue against the consensus, their male colleagues view them as “emotional” rather than credible. How do we make sure communication isn’t lost in translation? “Combining passion with logic, specificity, creativity, and experience...
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Advice to Young Girls

While thinking about this blog, I turned to the best source for advice to young girls – other young girls who are happy and thriving - so I asked my granddaughters and the daughters of one of our leaders here at Fierce what advice they would give a freshman girl in high school. Clara, 15 : “Do not judge someone until you know them well enough, talk to as many people as possible, wear things that make you love your body and make you feel beautiful, attend as many sports games as you can, join clubs or sports, go to homecoming because there are only 4 in your life! Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers questions if you are confused, be nice to everyone.” Maizy, 17: “Be nice. To everyone. People aren’t as scary as you imagine and making someone’s day is so worth it. I would agree with...
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3 Ways to Build Employees into Leaders

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

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

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on The Huffington Post and outlines four ways to revamp your work culture to help retain and attract new talent. A 2015 study by Deloitte found that more than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good. This shift has made company culture one of the most important factors in attracting top talent to a business. The challenge is how you maintain a balance between satisfying new talent and keeping your current employees happy. 4 Ways Smart Leaders Are Shaking up Their Culture recommends creating a collaborative learning environment where employees can engage with leaders at all levels of the company, at their own pace. This will ensure organizations’ talent delivers on business outcomes today and in the future, while also creating a more inclusive...
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Don’t Lie to Yourself: 3 Myths about Toxic Workplace Cultures

Toxic workplace cultures can make or break a company. It can be the difference between innovation or routine. Happiness or disappointment. Growth or decay. There’s some significant bottom line impact to boot. Low-level engagement within companies results in a 33 percent decrease in operating income and an 11 percent decrease in earnings growth, as stated in this Entrepreneur article . If we are not addressing the issues around low engagement and unhealthy behaviors, we are making costly mistakes. And sometimes, our mistakes may not be as obvious as they seem. Here are three of the top myths that leaders we work with say: There will be a spontaneous change. In the depths of our hearts, we, leaders, sometimes wish that one day we could walk into our offices and the negative behaviors/people would just be gone. And then, it is affirmed once more, that they still exist. They may have...
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Leadership Tips: Be Inclusive to Solve Problems

The answers are in the room. - Susan Scott Last week, I was in Chicago at the Human Capital Institute's Learning and Leadership Development Conference. A resounding theme from Fortune 500 leaders was the need to engage on a deep level with employees, to include them , when solving the most important issues for the business. They encouraged companies to invite others outside of the usual suspects. There were many examples of how 'best' practices ended up not being what worked for their companies, and what really worked was listening to their people. This mentality of engaging with others to solve problems applies on an organizational level along with the individual. So I ask you: What do you currently have on your plate that would benefit from other perspectives? From where I sit, the marketing team at Fierce is innovating on some processes we use with our Salesforce system. It...
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Fierceling of the Month: Matt Dunn

Here at Fierce, we honor a person once a month with the coveted title of Fierceling of the Month. The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has been nominated by peers for exceptionally exhibiting the fierce values and the 7 principles of our work. There are some great internal perks including choosing your favorite restaurant to catering a company-wide lunch. Each month, I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Matt Dunn. Why did you come to work here? I came to Fierce for the opportunity to be a part of a mission that makes a difference in the world and to develop professionally/personally. What are some responsibilities of your role? Some responsibilities in my role include: Being a Brand Ambassador   Making sure clients’ feedback is being relayed to our marketing and Senior Leadership team   Helping clients make...
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Jack Welch’s Approach to Breaking Down Silos Still Works

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and examines why many organizations continue to operate in fragmented silos, instead of focusing on improving cross-departmental collaboration. In theory, technology has sped up the way we communicate and has allowed us to make real-time decisions. New productivity tools like video conferencing, instant messaging, and virtual workspaces promise to create a hyper-connected global workforce. In reality, it just adds to the confusion and most communication continues to get lost in translation. That’s why we need to go back to the basics. Jack Welch’s Approach to Breaking Down Silos Still Works advocates adopting the “Work-Out” process - a series of structured and facilitated forums, bringing people together across levels, functions, and geographies to solve problems and make decisions in real time. The key is physically getting people in the same room, at the same time, and focusing on solving the...
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3 Tips to Use Fantasy Football as a Culture Enhancer – Not Distractor

It’s that time of year. The air is turning crisper, and football is creeping into conversations. Many managers and leaders worry that football is a workplace distraction. And it’s a natural concern. When you see people’s phones and computers loaded up with NFL information instead of the most pressing business projects, it can be alarming. However, if you are worried about your employees doing their jobs, that is the problem – not football. When used effectively, fantasy football can be a uniting activity that creates more positive energy and commitment than without. Try these three ways to use fantasy football as a culture enhancer: Support a company-wide fantasy football league. Don’t fight the football frenzy. It is a large force out there. Cited in a   Forbes  article from last year , around 33 million people participate annually in fantasy football. It can be a fun activity for anyone in...
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Declaring War on the Wrong Thing

I offer the following true story as an opportunity to practice squid eye. If you’ve read  Fierce Leadership , you know all about squid eye – the ability to spot the “tells” that indicate something is wrong, something isn’t working. If you’re good at squid eye, you are able to see what doesn’t want to be seen, what is hiding, often right under our noses. It’s like having sight in the presence of the blind. “Tells” are all around us and come in many forms. Strongly held beliefs that make everyone weep, winning us nothing to write home about. Organizations that declare war on the wrong things. Even so-called “best” practices, when we consider the results they produce, can in fact, turn out to be worst practices.  I will picture you shouting Eureka! Or found the squid! Or some such celebratory exclamation when you recognize the “tell” in this story that indicates something...
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Leadership Tips: Have a One-on-One

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

5 Work Stresses You Can Alleviate with Tech

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and outlines five ways to tackle the most common work-related stressors. If you are like me, your phone is constantly buzzing throughout the day with urgent e-mails, meeting invites, social updates, and event reminders. The list could go on forever. We are stuck in a state of constant fear - the fear of missing out. But your phone doesn’t have to be a constant purveyor of stress, it can help you rein in all the online distractions and save your mental health. 5 Work Stresses You Can Alleviate with Tech offers ways to reduce your tech-induced workplace stress. Are you a slave to your phone? “Whether it’s a constant stream of colleagues knocking on your door with a quick question, or your own tendency to fall into a Buzzfeed quiz hole when you should be working on a PowerPoint...
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Fierceling of the Month: Beth Wagner

Here at Fierce, we honor a person once a month with the coveted title of Fierceling of the Month. The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has been nominated by peers for exceptionally exhibiting the fierce values and the 7 principles of our work. There are some great internal perks including choosing your favorite restaurant to catering a company-wide lunch. Each month, I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Beth Wagner. Why did you come to work here? Fierce has been a huge part of my life since I was first introduced to the curriculum and the company over 8 years ago. Back then, I was working for a global retail organization and I had the chance to get certified as a Fierce facilitator. That experience changed my life. Not only did it test my competence and courage as...
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3 Tips for a Happier Team

Are you happy? Is your team happy? Happy can sometimes feel like a soft word. Or something that feels pretty abstract. James Key Lim, chief executive of Delivering Happiness at Work, has shared the findings from a large meta-analysis study that happy employees have on average 31% higher productivity, their sales are 37% higher, and their creativity is some three times higher than less-happy workers. Those are some pretty impressive stats. Given that, below are three ways that we at Fierce work with leaders to create happier teams. Solicit your team’s input and get curious. According to 80 percent of respondents from a Fierce survey on characteristics of good bosses, taking action to request input around ideas and strategies is one of the most vital things managers can do to create great relationships.   Tip: Have an hour one-on-one conversation with every person who reports to you. Use some of...
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How to Give Tough Feedback That Helps People Grow

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