Let’s Talk Fierce Leadership

There is a bold, compelling line between leadership and fierce leadership.  You will begin to cross the line once you understand and act on the central premise at the heart of all things fierce: If you want to become a great leader, gain the capacity to connect with your colleagues and customers at a deep level ... or lower your aim. We are excited to be partnering with Women in Real Life Leadership Summit (WiRL). WiRL is transforming the way professional development happens through an online, webinar-based conference that features sessions led by world-renowned speakers, authors, and experts. This September, Susan Scott will be talking about Fierce Leadership. She will share how to spot the worst "best" practices in your organizations using a technique she calls “squid" eye. Here are the six practices she will dive into: From 360-Degree Anonymous Feedback to “365” Face-to-Face Feedback   From Hiring for Smarts...
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The Emotional Impulses That Poison Healthy Teams

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and outlines five common mistakes people make when working in a collaborative setting. Whether we like it or not, the days of the individual contributor and working in silos are gone. Think about your last big project. How many people did you rely on? Did you negotiate roles, resources, or timelines? In everything we do, we are increasingly dependent on people. Sadly, most of us cringe at the thought of working on a team. How can we change our experience for the better? The Emotional Impulses That Poison Healthy Teams suggests focusing on our own actions. Ultimately, it is your choice whether or not to take responsibility for the way you show up and what you do. Are you aware of your emotional wake? “If you want to mess with people’s minds and kill a team’s spirit, focus on...
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Register Now: Become a Fierce Coach with Susan Scott

“All coaching conversations are not equal. What gets talked about with a coaching client and how it gets talked about determines what will happen. And what won’t happen.” – Susan Scott, Fierce CEO Are you a coach? With your own practice? Or inside of an organization? We are thrilled to announce an exclusive opportunity for professional coaches. At Fierce, we have deep roots within the coaching community. And we are jumping up and down to spend time with some of you on October 5 th and 6 th . Join an interactive, intimate two day workshop with Susan Scott. You will gain insight and skills that will significantly differentiate your coaching relationships and results from the vast majority of coaches out there in the world. This investment will take your coaching to a new level. Your clients will thank you. Click here to register and learn more.

Leadership Tips: Make Happiness a Habit

The Secret Society of Happy People – yes they are a real group – declared August “Happiness Happens Months” in 1999. What a beautiful concept! So let’s make happiness happen this month. How can you bring more happiness to your team? To your friends? To your home? In this busy, always-on-the-go world, I am continuing to step away from my phone more. And focusing on finding happiness in every moment. In his recent blog , Richard Branson said, “But don’t just seek happiness when you’re down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts.” Well said, Sir Branson. This week’s tip is to make happiness a habit. Find ways  to enjoy the moments every day. Where will you focus?

People Before Strategy - A New Role for the CHRO

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and argues for greater alignment between the executive suite and the chief human resources officer (CHRO). An organization’s success depends on how well individuals work together to overcome obstacles and adapt to an ever changing business landscape. Yet most companies relegate their Human Resource department to a supporting role that is only brought in to implement decisions that have already been made. People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO contends that by bringing the CHRO into the strategic fold, companies can better assign talent towards corporate initiatives to unlock the full potential of an organization’s human capital. Is your organization prepared to bridge the leadership competency gap? “Because a company’s performance depends largely on the fit between people and jobs, the CHRO can be of enormous help by crystallizing what a particular job requires and realistically assessing...
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Fierceling of the Month: Margaret Weeks

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 Margaret Weeks. Why did you come to work here? At the time, I was ready for the next step in my career. Fierce is an amazing company with opportunities to learn and grow professionally. I was excited to do what I do best (detail-oriented tasks and staying organized) for the life-changing work we do here. What are some responsibilities for your role? I make our Client Solutions team look good...
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Leadership Tips: Talk with Intention

Yesterday was National Talk in an Elevator Day. Considering it was a Sunday, use this week as an opportunity to talk with someone new in an elevator…or anywhere else for that matter. At Fierce, when we say “talk”, we mean CONNECT. To have an exchange. To walk away from the conversation with new insight. There is a lot at stake for us to truly understand and engage with one another. In Fierce Leadership, Susan Scott shares a poem that highlights the importance: A Ritual to Read Each Other by William Stafford If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star. We don’t want to miss our star. We can’t. This week’s tip is to show up in your...
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5 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Summer Work Routine

Let’s be honest. Sometimes the summer work routine can drag you down. You are at the office grinding, while you longingly stalk your colleagues on social media - sailing in the Caribbean or camping in Yellowstone. Summer vacation jealousy rears its ugly head. So…how do you deal?   Use the summer as a reason and time to explore different ways you can work. It is a great time to take advantage of more daylight, and other people’s vacation time to get ahead. Here are five routine shifts to try: Change your hours. Experiment with when you work. Perhaps the sunshine in the morning makes it easier for you to wake up. Go to the office early, so you can leave and enjoy more of the afternoon sunshine. If you can’t change your hours, run errands or pay bills early in the morning, so you can play after work. Work somewhere...
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Leaders, Stay Away from 3 Toxic Employee Traps

/trap/ noun: trap; plural noun: traps — an unpleasant situation from which it is hard to escape In a new Fierce Survey released today, we found four out of five employees believe leaders don’t do enough to combat toxic employees. Do your employees think that about you? It’s time to wake up and be aware that the potential for toxicity in your organization is everywhere. And it is your job, leader, to make sure you don’t fall into any of the traps that create negativity. Trap #1 Employees feel undervalued. Employees who feel disposable, commoditized, or who don’t understand their role within an organization often hold on to negative energy. This negative energy can be poisonous when spread amongst other colleagues. Tip: Ask each member of your team how and when they feel most valued. Get curious and learn what matters to the people you work with every day. Make...
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Leadership Tips: Stop Your Excuses

Where in your work life do you make the most excuses? What are the most common ones? Some typical excuses I’ve heard in offices: I don’t have anyone to delegate to.   I’m better than the person that was just promoted.   My workload is too big. The thing about excuses is that they are often grounded in some truth. It can be true that you do not have enough resources to complete something. Or you don’t have the right people on your team. However, excuses become a problem when you dwell on them and don’t do anything about it. So instead of dwelling, at Fierce we recommend you reflect and say: “given x , what am I going to do about it?” So… Given I don’t have anyone to delegate to, I’m going to…   Given I’m better than the person that was just promoted, I’m going to…  ...
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The Why and What of Motivation

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Training Industry and explores the truth behind what really motivates people to achieve success. It’s common knowledge that motivation plays a critical role in employee productivity, quality of work, and execution speed. But many leaders still find it difficult to motivate their employees. What are we missing? The Why and What of Motivation finds that all motivation is driven from within. This means leaders need to shift their focus from exclusively offering extrinsic rewards to uncovering each employee’s intrinsic motivation. Is your team performing to expectations? Are you taking the time to connect with your employees? “Be willing to take the time to meet with and listen to employees, as much as they need or want. Schedule individual meetings to focus on pinpointing what really drives them and the type of recognition they prefer to receive.” Read the article.

We’re a Best Place to Work!

We are absolutely ecstatic to be a Seattle Business Magazine Best Place to Work! We want to thank each person at Fierce for bringing their heads and hearts to the work we do, each and every day. Fierce is a fast-growing, fast-paced learning organization that walks its talk. We teach our clients how to have real conversations that invite differing perspectives, that tackle tough issues, that “rock the boat”, that get to the heart of the matter, that develop the leader within everyone - all while enriching relationships. Our mission is to better the world, one conversation at a time, and we understand that it starts with ourselves. So we are real with one another and involved with our community. On top of that, we have these perks: Happy Hours: Employees are invited to monthly happy hours to help foster the company's value of having fun together. These events have...
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Employee Engagement: Just Do It

Employee engagement and inclusion isn't a cognitive issue. It's an emotional issue. The problem isn't out there. It's in here. We want employees to be engaged and feel included, while we ourselves are detached, distracted, disengaged, focused on our To Do lists and the stock price. We want others to bring that elusive, coveted "discretionary effort" in the door with them every day but we don't have time to engage in the kind of conversations that could enrich our relationships with them. The fact is, not having those conversations will take longer and cost more in the long term. When you disengage from the world, the world disengages too, in equal measure. It's a two-step, you and the world, you and your organization. Your employees lost interest in you because you lost interest in them. Calling them associates or partners is often window dressing. If you want high levels of...
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Leadership Tips: Engage By Doing

“Throw yourself into some work you believe in with all you heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.” – Dale Carnegie How engaged are you feeling this Monday? With your job? With your company? The statistics aren’t looking good for how the majority of people would answer that. A lot of doom and gloom. Very few rainbows. Here are some recent news flashes about engagement: 35% of US Managers are engaged in their jobs  via  Gallup  State of the American Manager 54% of employees were proud of their company’s contributions to society are engaged  via  Dale Carnegie  Employee Engagement Study 60% of employees lack the elements required to be highly engaged  via  Towers Watson 2014 Global Workforce Study To me, it is quite depressing to think more than half of US managers wake up every Monday not engaged....
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Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and debunks five myths for translating strategy into results. Myth: Communication Equals Understanding Many executives believe that relentless communication is the key to corporate success. But Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It finds that even with the unending stream of emails and team meetings most communication still gets lost in translation. Only 16% of front-line supervisors and team leaders understand an organization's strategic priorities. Myth: Execution should be driven from the top “Concentrating power at the top may boost performance in the short term, but it degrades an organization’s capacity to execute in the long run. Moreover, if top executives insist on making the important calls themselves, they diminish middle managers’ decision-making skills, initiative, and ownership of results.” Is your organization plagued by the “corporate nod”? Read the article.

Legislated Optimism: A Worst “Best” Practice

Legislated optimism is the purview of the one-way leader. When optimism is legislated, meetings produce more nothing than something. Ideas die without a funeral or proper burial. Communication is primarily from the leader to everyone else. The reverse is not valued, not welcomed, because the leader and his or her inner circle of advisers know best. And the message is always upbeat . Information is presented with a coat of whitewash and abracadabra laid over it, as if leaders would have us believe they’ve sent all the Death Eaters flying. Naysayers will be sent to Azkaban. In a culture of legislated optimism, leaders know only the sound of one hand clapping . They ask questions not because they want answers, but because they want to hear how they sound asking them or because they are trying to create the illusion of inclusion. In this environment, conclusions are reached at the...
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How I Did It LIVE Featuring Laura Alber, CEO of Williams-Sonoma

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and describes how Williams-Sonoma learned to blend art with science to successfully introduce new brands and products. In the How I Did It LIVE video , Laura Alber describes her journey from a Pottery Barn Senior Buyer to President and CEO of Williams-Sonoma. She credits a combination of gut intuition and big data analysis as the main driver in helping to grow the business into a $4.4 Billion home goods empire. What is your gut telling you? Do you trust it? “If Williams-Sonoma has a ‘secret sauce,’ it is these teams working together in remarkable alignment to develop and execute our strategic and tactical priorities. In my 19 years at the company and four years as CEO, I’ve found that the very best solutions arise from a willingness to blend art with science, ideas with data, and instinct.” Watch the full...
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Fierceling of the Month: Lisa Colvin

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 cater a company-wide lunch. Each month I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Lisa Colvin. Why did you come to work here? I believe in the concepts that Fierce teaches. As a previous Director of Learning & Development, I saw the impact it made on leaders and how they approached their role and relationships differently after attending the fierce workshop. What are some responsibilities for your role? Develop relationships with Global leaders within HR, OD and Talent Management to recommend and assist in...
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The Practice of Courage

A martial arts sensei said, “You are always practicing something.  The question is – What are you practicing?”  Darn good question. Whether we are practicing one-upmanship or cooperation, truth telling or lying, mentoring or self-promotion, fluency in three-letter acronyms or plain speaking, anonymous feedback or face-to-face feedback, our practices have an impact on our careers, our companies, our relationships. In Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, written during his year in a one-room cabin with few possessions, is this quote. “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life that is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” He was talking about the bigger house, and all the stuff we buy that ends up owning us, keeping us awake at night.  Amen to that! Let’s substitute the word “practice” for “thing.” The cost of a practice is the amount of life and,...
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Building a Giant in the Heavy-Equipment Industry

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Gallup.com and highlights how the RDO Equipment Co. grew into a construction and agricultural empire by focusing on employee and customer engagement through radical transparency. Building a Giant in the Heavy-Equipment Industry describes one company’s journey from struggling public corporation to a thriving family-owned business.  Enticed by the prospect of substantial profits in the public sector, RDO soon learned that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. As the pressure mounted, they decided to stop talking about meeting analyst expectations and start talking about the customer and the culture again. How wide is the gap between the “official” truth and the “ground” truth in your organization? “In RDO's modern culture, top leaders at the company say they maintain their success internally and externally by adhering to a set of action-oriented core values for business operation. These values include collaborating with employees,...
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Listen to an Intimate Chat with Fierce Founder, Susan Scott

Susan Scott, CEO & Founder of Fierce, Inc. talks with Andrew Bateman from Human Capital Institute. In this interview, Susan and Andrew discuss: The origin of Fierce   Business trends   Personal inspiration Some direct quotes: “Everybody basically wants real. They want real. They want real in their relationships. They want real in their work. They want real in their organizations. They want real with their leaders. There is not as much of that going around as we would all like to think.” “Nobody teaches us when we are young (to be real). Nobody teaches us that it is important for us to be authentic and what that means. Although a lot of people love the word authenticity, sad to say, wouldn’t know it if it ran over them.”        

Leadership Tips: Honor Memorial Day with Meaningful Conversations

Memorial Day in the United States is upon us, and while many of us enjoy the long weekend with family time and fun barbecues, it is about something bigger. Honor those who have served our country by having conversations that are meaningful and express gratitude for those who have served our country. Outside of the United States, other countries have time dedicated to honor their fallen heroes who have courageously sacrificed their lives. Universally, we share this desire to say thank you. Do not shy away from what this holiday is about. There is real opportunity to engage in conversations with others about sacrifice, courage, and death. If your family has lost a loved one, it is powerful to remember them through conversation. Take the time to fully engage in conversations about sacrifice even if it is difficult. We at Fierce would like to take this moment to say thank you to those...
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Let’s Talk About Toxic Employees: Do You Know Any?

At ATD International Conference & Expo yesterday , Fierce Founder and CEO, Susan Scott, rocked the house in her session Toxic Employees: The Best Techniques for Managing Them . She discussed how we've all worked with toxic employees, and how perhaps, at one point we've even been one. There are key trends that create toxic employees in the workplace. They include when people: Are disengaged.   Feel overworked.   Feel stressed.   Feel undervalued.   Are given anonymous feedback. Which one do you see most in your organization? What do you notice about toxic employees? Take our Toxic Employee survey here . It explores how you and your employer feel about the attitudes of colleagues, positive and negative, and how these attitudes impact workplace relationships, culture, and the bottom line. We’re excited to hear your thoughts. If you attended the ATD session yesterday, what were your takeaways?

Leadership Tips: Bust the Negative Attitude

It happens. Negativity can gradually, then suddenly, creep into your team, your office, even your home. Negativity is often underestimated on an everyday level, however, its impact can be quite large. In fact, a 2012 Fierce survey shared that 78% of the respondents cited a negative attitude as the key trait of a toxic employee. Negativity trumped gossiping, laziness, and passive-aggressiveness. Can you think of someone in your life that is consistently negative? Urban Dictionary defines a Negative Nancy as “someone who commonly whines, complains, or looks at the bad side of things.” A Negative Nancy or Negative Nick does not approach situations with solutions or ideas, but rather, examples of why the situations are so horrible. In short: We don’t need these people in our lives. Why do we put up with it? This week’s tip is to address a negative attitude with someone in your life before it...
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Most Company Wellness Programs Are A Bust

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Gallup.com and identifies time-off as a key contributor for increased productivity, enhanced engagement, and improved well-being. Most Company Wellness Programs Are a Bust found that by creating a culture that encourages general well-being, organizations gain a competitive edge. Managers need to shift their focus to seeing employee well-being as an end in itself, instead of a means to an end. Time-off is something we all talk about, but rarely use. What’s stopping you from taking your dream vacation? “ Managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores  across business units. At your company, do your managers carve out time to take vacation, go to the gym or attend their children's school events? If managers don't do these sorts of things, employees will feel they can't either.” Read the full article.

Fierceling of the Month: Katelyn Sorensen

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 cater a company-wide lunch. Each month I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Katelyn Sorensen. When and why did you join Fierce? I officially joined Fierce two years ago this month. Unofficially though, it was a little bit earlier than that. My dad has been involved with Fierce for a long time and when I was looking for something to do over one summer in college he asked Stacey if she would be interested in an intern. He got my foot in...
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Leadership Tips: Take a Vacation

It is that time of year. Winter has melted away, and the sun is out. Start thinking about a break or a trip you want to take this year. Do you want to spend time in your own town? Sail in the Caribbean? Climb a mountain? Lay on a beach in Hawaii? The opportunities are endless. So I ask: Are you really going to take advantage of your paid time off? Many people don’t. A few months ago, I read a Forbes article that highlights that very fact. More than forty percent of American workers who received paid time off did not take all of their allotted time last year, despite the obvious personal benefits, according to “An Assessment of Paid Time Off in the U.S.” commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group, and completed by Oxford Economics. Why do people not take the time? There is a...
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What's the Temperature of Your Relationships?

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on TrainingIndustry.com and examines the impact our relationships have on our ability to meet our goals, both personally and professionally. What’s the Temperature of Your Relationships , redefines standard leadership roles, moving focus away from what was accomplished to who made it happen . Think of the last time you had a big win at work, did you take full credit? Or did you acknowledge your team? Often the biggest challenge for a new leader is to check their ego at the door and start connecting. As leaders, we should create a culture of open communication and recognition. Are you enriching your relationships at work? Are they authentic? “Everyone likes to hear that they’re doing a good job, but for some reason we often forget to say thank you. Find opportunities to acknowledge the day-to-day efforts of those around you. Remember, people engage...
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In the Name of Admiration: 3 Tips to Share

Think about a person you admire in your life. How would you describe him or her? Is it someone who cares deeply about others? Someone who says the brave statements? Someone who acts so beautifully authentic? Someone who really listens? Have you told the person you feel the way you do? If you haven’t, channel some good advice: Sharing is caring, people. Here are three tips to share your admiration with someone: Be ready . Make sure it is a good time for you and the receiver to share your message. Do not rush it, and make sure you are not distracted. This is a time to honor someone else, so your phone and/or computer should not be in between the two of you. Be specific about what you admire. Let them know the impact they have had on your path or thought processes. The goal here is to be...
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Leadership Tips: Recognize Someone

Recognition is not a fluffy thing. It goes way past getting the gold star or a bunch of smiley faces on a feedback form. In fact, a HealthStream Research study discovered a 3x greater return on equity for companies that effectively recognize excellence. Researcher Karen Endresen said, “This study took recognition results from the soft side of business to a proven business essential.” You can check out more here . We take recognition seriously at Fierce. In fact, we have a culture committee that focuses on how people want to be recognized. After surveys and conversations, the committee launched our program, Fierceling of the Month . The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has exceptionally exhibited the fierce values and the 7 principles of our work. It comes with a sexy orange cape as well. This week’s tip is to recognize someone for how they show up or display...
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Be Yourself, but Carefully

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and explores how to maintain the right balance of “authenticity” in the workplace. Be Yourself, but Carefully   takes a deeper look into what it means to be authentic in the modern workplace. Despite its potential benefits, even the best communicator’s off-hand comments and self-disclosures can backfire at times. Are you misunderstood by your team? How do you balance giving feedback with relationship building? “Authenticity begins with self-awareness: knowing who you are—your values, emotions, and competencies—and how you’re perceived by others. Only then can you know what to reveal and when. Good communication skills are also key to effective self-disclosure; your stories are worthwhile only if you can express them well.” Read the full article.

Differing Work Styles Can Help Team Performance

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and shares a different way to look at helping team performance. Differing Work Styles Can Help Team Performance urges leaders to look at work style diversity as a way to boost their team. Work style is the way one orients with tasks. The first suggestion is to observe your team members to learn more about their work style. Next, it is important to leverage each person’s strength and coach according to their different styles. Have you paid attention to your team members’ work styles? What is the mix in your team? “When members of a team, or leaders of an organization, all have the same style, you’ll quickly run into trouble. For example, if everyone in your group has a big-picture, strategic, intuitive approach to work and chafes against the structure of project plans, you might frequently be over...
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Leaders, Watch for These 3 Collaboration Failures

A few years ago we surveyed over 1,400 executives and employees, and 86% cited lack of collaboration for workplace failures. Does this surprise you? Many of us can cite epic failures and point fingers at people who did not ask us what our perspectives were around an opportunity, challenge, or decision. Then heads were shaking when the “inevitable” outcome became reality. Conversely, many of us have been on the other side of the equation, kicking ourselves for not asking the people that were central to the success of the project or challenge for their opinions, guidance, and help. It could have been an intentional choice or complete oversight. Collaboration is much easier said than done. Many people understand the importance of getting diverse perspectives and including the team, yet it can be difficult to ensure that it actually happens. At fierce, we encourage you to take it one conversation at...
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Any Conversation Can: My Fierce Journey

I enjoy all things “Hobbit” and Middle Earth, even Smaug’s hoarding of the Arkenstone and Gollum’s devastation at losing the ring. The story is about friendship, adventure, courage, and treasure. Finding, stealing, retrieving treasure, at all costs. We all love the notion of finding treasure. Who hasn’t fantasized about what they’d do if they won the lottery. But treasures can be tricky. Joseph Campbell wrote that the hero’s journey is not complete once he finds the treasure – whether it is a chest of jewels or a powerful epiphany. It is not heroic to hoard the prize, my precious. The hero’s journey is completed when he has returned to civilization and found a way to share the treasure he fought so hard to gain. Or she. I am not a hero but in the fall of 2002, I offered what for me was and remains a treasure of inestimable value,...
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Human Connectivity Defined

Years ago in a Fierce newsletter I wrote: “If you want to become a great leader, gain the capacity to connect with colleagues and customers - at a deep level – or lower your aim.” Kent, a reader, asked, “What is the Fierce definition of human connectivity?” I don’t have an official definition for human connectivity, but I know it when I experience it and I imagine you do too. Certainly human connectivity occurs one wonderfully fierce conversation at a time. And we all know what a fierce conversation is, right? It’s one in which you and I come out from behind ourselves, into the conversation, and make it real. You may have noticed that connection occurs most often during moments of honesty and vulnerability. There is something deep within us that responds to those who level with us, who don’t suggest our compromises for us. And it goes both...
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Korn Ferry Global Executive Survey Finds Gaps

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Finances.com and shares the results of a survey conducted by Korn Ferry. Korn Ferry Global Executive Survey Finds Gaps in Leadership Development Opportunities for HR Professionals takes a deeper look into the role of HR professionals and how much time they invest in developing others, verse the development that they are receiving themselves. As HR roles become more aligned with strategy and business objectives, the need for ongoing leadership development will become the expectation. How do you see HR's role evolving in the workplace? "The March 2015 survey of more than 700 executives found that nearly half of respondents (47 percent) say their organizations do not offer leadership development programs specifically for members of the HR function. " Read the full article.

What Managers Can Do When Employees Engage in Conflict

This week’s Fierce resource was published on TLNT.com and was written by Kevin Mason. What Managers Can Do When Employees Engage in Conflict outlines five tips to help resolve conflict in a productive manner. Think of the last time you were angry, how hard was it for you to listen? To be present in the conversation? Often the biggest challenge is to check our egos and emotions at the door to have a more productive and honest conversation. As leaders, we should all be encouraging our teams to have direct conversations to enrich each relationship. Think of a time when you needed to have a difficult conversation, how did you handle it? What would you do differently? Join Fierce and the Human Capital Institute on Wednesday, April 8th at 1 pm for a webcast: Fierce Conversations: How to Address Toxic Employees. “ Focus on listening – It is not necessary...
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Leadership Tips: Confront a Toxic Coworker

It is the gossiper . It is the victim . It is the slacker . Toxic employees show up in many forms. Fierce conducted a survey on toxic employees a little over a year ago. Out of 1,000 executives and employees, 30 percent argue with coworkers once a month, and 55 percent feel that a negative supervisor, peer, and employee are all equally detrimental to the morale of an organization. So what do you do about those troublemakers? Sixty-two percent said they opt to confront toxic coworkers. It is important to have the conversation on the impact of the behavior – not just for the relationship, but also for yourself. This week’s tip is to confront a toxic coworker. If offering constructive feedback has not made the situation improve, it’s time for a direct conversation. It is a skill to confront well. One tip: it is important to name the...
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Leadership: A Personal Journey of Development

This week's Fierce resource was published on Ted.com and features Reece Kurtenbach. As soon as you hear the title, Leadership: A Personal Journey of Development, your heads are nodding and your thinking yes- I know this feeling. Maybe you've experienced it several times or maybe you're new to leading. Trust that you will explore this idea often. Take the time to reflect on where you started out in your career, what strides have you made? Are you where you want to be? Why or why not? "Surprises come at us, the email, the phone call, a person will approach us with a crisis, an opportunity. Our beautiful picture is destroyed. The greatest lessons I have learned are in times of stress. In these times I believe the advice we receive and give has the greatest impact on future behavior." Watch the full TedXTalk here .

Leadership Tips: Have a Conversation with Yourself

This week is the last full week of March. That means that one quarter is in the books for 2015. When you look back at the last three months, what are you most proud of? What are you most embarrassed by? What have you learned? What do you think you should have learned? In order to go where you really want to go, at Fierce, we urge you to have the conversations with yourself. Get very clear about your direction and vision. Be direct. I always start the year with lofty goals. Hence why I write about having grace with yourself in January. And with the hustle of a new year -comes a demanding first quarter. I am sure you can relate to feeling like many of the things you wanted to accomplish are still lingering. After hours of conversations with leaders, I find that this time of year is...
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The Naked Truth: How to Uncover An Insecure Leader

This week's Fierce resource was published on Inc.com and was written by Lolly Daskal, President & CEO, Lead From Within. The Naked Truth: How to Uncover An Insecure Leader  reveals the damage of working with an insecure leader and the impact it has on teams and organizations. We can all be a little insecure at times, in fact walking into a meeting and discussing marketing tactics when we are on the sales team may seem out of our wheelhouse and the truth is that's OK. If everyone knew everything, organizations wouldn't get very far. The trick? Be comfortable not knowing the answer and allowing someone else to be the expert. In each of our Fierce programs we teach people how to make room for conversations to take place. That is where growth happens. What is the impact of an insecure leader? What happens when no one speaks up? " Insecure leaders are...
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Nobody Wins When Developing Employees Isn’t a Priority

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on TLNT.com and was written by John Hollon. Weekly Wrap: Nobody Wins When Developing Employees Isn’t a Priority   talks about what happens when you stop investing in your employees, specifically around leadership development and education. As people, we all have a desire to feel valued for the work we do and one of the best ways for organizations to acknowledge workers is to development and further educate their people. Retain and grow or let them go. What results have you seen in your organization? Whether you've enhanced your training or decreased it, what is the impact? "Instead, a majority of organizations indicate that they have no prevailing policy on recruitment, saying that shifting business needs determine whether to fill a position externally or internally. In addition, 11 percent of those surveyed acknowledge that they make little effort whatsoever to retain workers and instead have...
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3 Easy Steps as a Leader to Challenge the Status Quo

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

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Gallup.com  and was written by Chris Groscurth and Bryant Ott. Maybe you've heard something like this in the halls of your organization, HR Isn't Meeting Global Business Demands   and perhaps you haven't. This article explores what it will take to revolutionize human resource departments and the traditional responsibilities for hr personnel that may need to be a thing of the past . In today's ever-evolving workplace change is taking place in every shape and form so what does that look like for HR? Think about: What are your business initiatives? What changes can you initiate to restructure your HR team to be a strategic business partner? What is your desired outcome? "Leaders and executives tasked with solving complex business problems require development , not training. Rethinking training will require HR to educate managers and leaders on how to foster learning and development through key experiences and real-time coaching,...
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Why Won’t the Yankees Dump A-Rod?

Tampa, Fla. When Alex Rodriguez arrived at his workplace here on Monday, his bosses weren’t happy. As usual, the communication between Rodriguez, the employee, and the New York Yankees, his employer, was nonexistent. Rodriguez hadn’t told his superiors that he was reporting to work two days early, and it led to yet another awkward situation for his company. If this sort of tension existed in almost any other line of work, such an employee might well have been jettisoned long ago. Coming off a season-long suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, which he initially fought, Rodriguez has by his own admission been “a headache.” He isn’t even a high-performing asset anymore, having posted a pedestrian .771 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 2013. So why won’t the Yankees just dump him? The short answer is that Rodriguez is owed at least $61 million over the next three years, whether he is on the Yankees’...
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When to Delegate? Try the 70 Percent Rule

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Inc.com and was written by Jim Schleckser. Do you find yourself wishing someone would take work off your plate? When to Delegate? Try the 70 Percent Rule   identifies a constant challenge in every single organization that exists. Picture this: a bag of 100 rocks in a backpack, each weighing 1 pound and oh yeah, you carry it everywhere you go. Imagine being able to take 30 percent of that away, immediately the load feels lighter and you too feel lighter. You now have mental and physical capacity to tackle a challenge or two that you've had to overlook several times. Doesn't that sound relieving? Think about what is currently on your plate that you can delegate. Who in your organization or on your team is interested in developing?  "Trust is one of the most important factors when it comes to delegation,...
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Difficult Coworker? One Quick Way To Turn The Relationship Around

Do you fight at work? Fist fights are rare but toe-to-toe yelling matches, stonewalling, passive resistance and backbiting are all too common in the workplace. Do you think that if so-and-so weren’t so stubborn or political, your job would be much easier? If so, you aren’t alone. Nearly one-third of executives and employees argue with a co-worker at least once a month , according to a survey of 1,000 workers by Fierce Inc ., a Seattle leadership development and training company specializing in workplace communication. Work warfare, even in the form of passive resistance, wastes energy, lowers morale and reduces productivity. You can be a high performer individually but adversarial relationships with your co-workers can cause loss of trust up and down the management chain, and damage your products and customer relationships. As an executive coach, I’m privy to many of my clients’ struggles with their colleagues. My inbox contains...
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Leadership Tips: Delegate, Don’t Dele-Dump

What does “delegate that” mean in your organization? For most organizations, that statement means get rid of a task you currently own as fast as possible. Often times, this is more of what one of our clients fondly calls “dele-dumping”. This is when you say, “ Let me take all of these tasks that waste my time and throw them on your desk.” This may be accomplished without making eye contact as you run away as fast as you can. It is almost like a drive by. The thing is: Delegation is an often misused or under-utilized form of development – whether in the office or at home. When you look at delegation that way, it may get some juices flowing. What is currently on your plate that if someone else had that responsibility, you would be freed up to take on something else? In that circumstance, both people have...
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Successful Leadership Requires 6 Critical Resources

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Forbes.com and was written by Glenn Llopis. Successful Leadership Requires 6 Critical Resources reflects on the tools that leaders need to make productive decisions that move them and their teams forward. Imagine a day where you had every possible resource available to you, how would you use them? Now think about a traditional workday, many resources are not available, so how do you use your creativity to come up with the best solution? How do you make strategic decisions for your organization? " You don’t have all the answers and if you think you do – you will frequently make bad decisions.  As such, you must build a team that’s made to last. Earn their respect by being transparent enough to share difficult issues, and you will enable a crowdsourcing environment of problem solvers." Read the full article here.

Why Managers are the New Trainers

The adage “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself,” might apply to skill building in the office. Managers and company leaders are taking a more proactive role in training their own teams. “It began with managers using their own budgets and not relying on the formal training budget,” said Halley Bock, CEO of Fierce Inc., a leadership development company. Brock said her company has seen an increase in the number of leaders within organizations looking for tools to advance their teams. That makes sense. A University of Phoenix survey released in 2013 found 68 percent of respondents had worked in dysfunctional teams, which soured their interest and ability to lend their skills to teams in the future. By having managers deliver training, it not only ensures that all team members are competent enough to contribute the way their leader wants them to, but also managers...
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