Courage as a Skill

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on HBR.org  and was written by Kathleen Reardon. An oldie, but a goodie, Courage as a Skill  recognizes the importance of making decisions and having the courage to have the conversations. A timeless skill and a valuable ability, how do you prepare yourself to have the conversations that change your role, your business, or your marriage? Do you wake up with the courage to have the most difficult conversation about your hairiest business challenge? Why or why not? " In business, courageous action is really a special kind of calculated risk taking. People who become good leaders have a greater than average willingness to make bold moves, but they strengthen their chances of success—and avoid career suicide—through careful deliberation and preparation."

Love in the Air: Let’s Talk About Assumptions

Office Romance.  Whether this term conjures up thoughts of fondness, anxiety or dread, it is an unavoidable reality in today’s workplace. This Valentine’s Day, here at Fierce, Inc. we have decided to set the record straight on the reality of inter-office dating. There’s a need to question the assumptions many of us have with the idea of dating a colleague—and to take the negative notions out of the equation. Assumption: We have to keep this a secret; we’ll both get fired if anyone finds out. Reality:  In this day and age of social media and a need to overshare, chances are, people will find out. And you don’t want your boss or colleagues to find out via a tweet or Facebook post that you are dating their officemate. Even if you aren’t officially “friends”, news gets around (as do retweets). Instead, schedule a meeting early in the relationship, and come...
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Developing Resilience

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on MindTools.com . Developing Resilience   looks at what it takes to bounce back from a not so pleasant event, a bad experience, or frankly a conversation that didn't go so well. What is it that allows you to move forward and not dwell on the past? Or are you someone who analyzes and assesses a situation till you've figured out what went wrong? We all know someone who becomes consumed with "figuring it out" and the truth is, sometimes we need to just let it go and move on. Think about one thing you want to change in your life. Now make sure you think about how you will achieve it, instead of what's standing in your way. " Resilient people view a difficulty as a challenge, not as a paralyzing event. They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from,...
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No Excuses: Have the Conversation

How many times do you find an excuse not to have an important conversation? What excuses do we give ourselves? As a principal I had conversations all day. Conversations about student learning and achievement. “All conversations are with myself and sometimes they involve other people.” – Susan Scott A lot of the conversations I wasn’t having with others, I was having with myself. They kept me up at night. I thought about how the other person would react, then what I would say.  During my morning commute to work, I would think about the conversation I needed to have with a teacher and how it was going to play out, it never ended well. I gave myself the excuse that I had too much to accomplish that day , so I pushed it out another day. We all have these conversations with ourselves. I had them all the time at...
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Peer Relationships Are Critical to Real Workplace Recognition

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on TLNT.com and was written by Derek Irvine. Peer Relationships Are Critical to Real Workplace Recognition highlights the importance of relationships among employees in the workplace. What we know here at Fierce is you can't leave your "personal" self at home and bring your "business" self to work. There is only one you and whether you're celebrating or sad, it's important to be able to show up authentically. So I ask, do you have authentic relationships in your workplace? What can you do to develop the relationships? "Clearly, our peers are fundamental to how we get the work done. Yet all too often, peers and their observations are ignored or lessened in an employee recognition experience." Read the full article .

The Generational Divide: Recruiting Millennials and Boomers

In this current landscape, the talent war is on. So we ask you: What are you pretending not to know about recruitment? We often hear from clients and partners about assumptions they have about talent. So Chris and Stacey came together to debunk four myths about recruiting millennials and boomers. Two common recruiting myths about millennials – debunked by a millennial. 1. Millennials want to only work with other millennials. I often hear people make comments about how millennials only want to work at places like Google, Facebook, and Uber, where the average employee age is below 30 aka millennial mecca. While it may be attractive in the way that it is for any other generation to work together, it is a gross exaggeration to think millennials only want to work with millennials. As a matter of fact, one of the core desires in most generational research is millennials’ desire...
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Forget SMART Goals, Set CLEAR Goals Instead

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on 99u.com  and was written by Hamza Khan. Forget SMART Goals, Set CLEAR Goals Instead  highlights a new way of setting goals and achieving them. Farkas shares that SMART goal setting is static yet, CLEAR goal setting allows for the individual to refine goals in an ever changing and fast-paced environment. What's the most important thing you should be working on? How often do you check in with yourself to determine if your goals are still relevant? "No matter where you’re setting a goal (in your personal life, or in the workplace), Economy says that it must be a “clear and compelling” one. One that can be realized, embraced, and acted upon by every member of the team. Safe to say, clear is the new smart. " Read the full article.

Be Fierce: Find Relaxation in your Efforts

In a recent class, my yoga teacher asked us to “find the relaxation in the effort,” letting go of stress and tension even in the midst of our hardest work.   I needed to hear this. As the new year started, excited about new projects at work and at home, I’ve been eager to do my best and work hard. With this effort, though, I noticed over the past week my shoulders creeping up to my ears and staying there, holding in that internal tension. Even now as you read this, you can check in. Where are you holding tension? Where do you hold tension in your body, mind, and relationships? Then, consider pausing. Take a moment to breathe and relax in the midst of your work. At Fierce, one of Susan Scott’s transformational ideas is, “All conversations are with myself, and sometimes they involve other people.” What conversations are...
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7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on FastCompany.com and was written by Faisal Hoque. Fifteen days into the year and we are all thinking about the same thing. How we are going to achieve our goals and quotas for the year, right? 7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity shares ideas on how to do just that. Don't let your stretch goals overwhelm you, take it day by day and set yourself up for success. Many people don't believe they need a plan for reaching their goals, and my thought is, those people are pushing their luck. One day it won't be as easy. Think about: What you can focus on that will really support your goals. What is it? Create SMART goals to help you get there. "If we want to be productive with our time and manage it well, we need to spend our time working toward achieving smaller goals...
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Leadership Tips: Have a Performance Conversation 

As you come into work this Monday, do you have curiosity around your performance? Do you know where you stand with yourself, your leader, and your colleagues in relation to your efforts? Don't wait until something formal is scheduled to have the conversation. If you had one recently, have another with a different lens. With any goal, getting feedback and refining what is working and not working is critical for growth and success.  Each member on my team gives me one area of focus/feedback every quarter, so that I can continue to improve my leadership and support their efforts. It is very helpful for me to track those trends and regularly check in on how I am doing. This makes me a stronger leader for my team and together we become a more unified group. This week's fierce tip is to have a conversation with your boss or colleague about specifics...
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Getting Results From the Flexible Work Force

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on  Inc.com Getting Results From the Flexible Work Force  reveals the benefits of having a remote workforce. One of the most important aspects? Culture. Flexible offices require a high degree of trust and that means a strong culture. Culture committees are a great way to get a pulse on your organization, develop your people as leaders and create unity among your office. Regardless if your office is flexible or traditional, what will your team or organization do to develop your culture in 2015? "Build a sense of team. Allow time for socializing, encourage people to share what is happening in their lives, and celebrate both their professional milestones and their personal ones." Read the full article . Looking for more tips on how to create an open office? Read this blog.

2015 Workplace Predictions: Out With the Old, In with the New

Organizations will replace outdated best practices in the coming year; results will include increased flexibility, a higher importance put on training, and an increased willingness to lead. SEATTLE (January 7, 2015) – The workplace underwent significant changes in 2014, with a shift towards eliminating “old school” management practices, embracing more open work environments and increasing in flexibility on the job.  As predicted at the start of the year by Fierce, Inc. , leadership development and training experts, these changes have included less hierarchical titles across organizations, more flexibility beyond the standard 8-5 work hours, and a drop in the traditional performance review process. As trainers and consultants to organizations ranging from Fortune-level business to startups and non-profits around the globe, Fierce, Inc. has seen their clients, CEOs and company leaders, take an inherent focus on people much more than in previous years. While significant changes occurred in 2014, Fierce predicts 2015 will prove...
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Leadership Tips: Have Grace with Yourself

It is the first full week of 2015. So I ask: How much pressure have you put on yourself for this week, this month, this year? It is the season. This time of year tends to be packed full of new goals, resolutions, and desires to be different. Are you trying to be healthier? Be more on time? Do what you say you will? Go see more of the world? Be happier with the everyday moments? Whatever it is, you aren’t alone. Whatever your goal is, treasure it. And ask yourself: How realistic is it? What will get in my way? Break it down, so that you can see progress and have small wins. We shouldn’t expect things to change overnight, so why do you expect yourself to? This week’s tip is to have grace with yourself and make your goals realistic. Having grace is not easy. When you start...
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The Puzzle of Motivation

This week's fierce resource was originally posted on Ted.com and the talk was delivered by Dan Pink. The Puzzle of Motivation  addresses the idea of incentives and what motivates each of us on an individual basis. As we begin a new year, think about what motivates you. What motivates your team, spouse, children, peers, or friends? If you know the answer, how will you put it to action? If you don't, think about what you will do to create movement. What is it that gets you from thinking to taking action? " There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does . And here is what science knows. One: Those 20th century rewards, those motivators that we think are a natural part of business do work, but only in a surprisingly narrow band of circumstances." Click here to watch the full TEDTalk . 

2014 Year End: Kaleidoscopes. Magical. Fireworks In a Tube.

Do you remember the first time you looked into a kaleidoscope as a child? What a pretty picture. And then you turned it and the magic happened, one piece shifted, an explosion of color. Complete transformation. And it’s impossible to return to the picture you saw before. The epiphany that launched Fierce occurred when I was reading Hemingway’s  The Sun Also Rises , in which a man is asked, “How did you go bankrupt?” He replies, “Gradually, then suddenly.” My epiphany, having had over ten thousand hours of conversations with leaders, was that our careers, our companies, our relationships, and indeed, our very lives succeed or fail, gradually then suddenly, one conversation at a time. Business is fundamentally an extended conversation -- with employees, customers and the unknown future emerging around us. What gets talked about in a company, how it gets talked about, and who gets invited to the...
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Tapping the Potential of Boardroom Diversity

This week's Fierce Resource was originally posted on Huffingtonpost.com and was written by Debra Walton. Tapping the Potential of Boardroom Diversity highlights the need for acquiring diversity among leadership teams and boardroom members. Although a simple idea, the complexity of finding the right mix can be a challenge. While this article focuses on gender, the idea is to gather multiple realities. Think: millennial, boomer, new hire, or tenured employee... you get the picture. So, how does your team or organization gather multiple perspectives or diversity of thought? What could you do differently to gain variety? "Businesses should no longer see equal opportunity as a matter of choice, but as a matter of good governance. The female perspective is not necessarily better or more insightful than the male perspective, but it is different." Read the full article.

Holding Back? 3 Tips to Foster More Feedback

As we close out 2014, here's one of our top blogs of all time. It serves as a great reminder to stay present and give feedback, even if it's just a quick gesture of appreciation. Feedback. We all want it, and we rarely get enough of it. Feedback taps into our emotional desire to be seen. We crave it. When I feel like I am not giving or receiving enough feedback, I check in. Sometimes I am scared – about what the end result will be. However, I know if I don’t hear or say what I need to – I am missing an opportunity. And sometimes it truly surprises me. During one of my regular one-on-one meetings with a team member, I asked for feedback. She immediately responded with, “ I want more feedback.” My response, “ Perfect – let’s talk about that.” We then had a conversation about what feedback...
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8 Ways to Be a Courageous Leader

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Inc.com and was written by Steve Tobak. "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." - Winston Churchill What does courage look like to you? 8 Ways to Be a Courageous Leader   identifies attributes of leaders who step outside the boundaries and look at what is real and what needs to be said. We all struggle with bringing up an issue that may cause our company time and money, and it's important to raise the issue. More times than not, you will be saving your company in the long run. So, I ask: What does courage look like to you? What will you do that is more courageous in 2015? " Follow your gut when everyone tells you you're crazy .  Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin...
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Leadership Tips: Say Sorry First

We all do it. We say something we don't exactly mean . Or we do something in the heat of the moment. We are human - it happens. What really matters is what you do after. Do you hold onto it and want the other person to come to his or her 'senses'? Or do you lean in and open the conversation to make it right? This week's tip is to say sorry first when something has not gone the way you intended. If you can't in the heat of the moment, go back to it when you are ready. In the spirit of the holidays and bringing 2014 to a close, let forgiveness and compassion be the gifts you give. It sounds cliché. However, we all know these gifts can be the hardest to give. The bonus? It is a gift to yourself too. You can travel light.

The 4 Most Common Relationship Problems - And How to Fix Them

This week's Fierce resource comes from the blog, Barking Up The Wrong Tree by Eric Barker. The 4 Most Common Relationship Problems - And How to Fix Them  reviews research done by Dr. John Gottman at the University of Washington, on the topic of interpersonal conversations. Specifically, in relationships. Gottman explores what makes relationships successful and what happens when there is a breakdown in communication, resulting in an unsatisfactory relationship. Although this blog talks about intimate relationships, the way we form relationships at home, at work, with new friends and old is characteristic to how we show up as individuals. So what does that mean for the expectations we have for ourselves and others? Think about: How are you showing up in your relationships? Would you want to hang out with you? What are you really good at and what could you work on to be a better partner, colleague...
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Bring Conversations Back to Your School

As leaders in schools, we have conversations all day long.  We choose what conversations we engage in.  We choose the relationships we want to invest time and energy.  We consider the impact of the conversations on staff morale, on student achievement, and on how it impacts us as individuals. What if we chose to get curious when entering a conversation?  What if we challenged ourselves to have tough conversations, today, in a compassionate way ? What would we see? How would our relationships change? When I became a principal, I made conversations the priority.  As I talked with my staff, I noticed a shift.  I would check in with them, their families, their successes with students and their challenges with students.  When my gut told me I messed up, I went back, apologized, and had the conversation.  I noticed tighter, more cohesive relationships were forming.  Gradually then suddenly, the results...
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Teach Teachers How to Create Magic

This talk was originally shared on Ted.com and was created by Christopher Emdin. What happens when there is lack of inspiration in a classroom?   Teach Teachers How to Create Magic shares insight for how to engage students through the use of what many think is magic- the ability to create collaborative, courageous environments where students are leaning in to the conversation and listening with intent for what's to come. Classrooms where students are learning and teachers feel good about the difference they are making.  Does this sound like your classroom? Who do you know who has a classroom like this? Look for those who inspire you. " What do rap shows, barbershop banter, and Sunday services have in common?  They all hold the secret magic to enthrall and teach at the same time — and it’s a skill we often don't teach to educators." Watch the 7 minute Tedtalk...
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3 Gratitude Exercises for Leaders To Embrace

The holiday season is a time to reflect, a time to stop and think about all that we have to be grateful for. For many individuals, thankfulness is directed towards friends, family, and all the delicious food!  Not many, however, are sitting down at the table and sharing how grateful they are for their employees or colleagues. A study by OfficeTeam revealed that more than half of workers would likely leave their position if they didn't feel appreciated by their manager, and this number increased for those 35 and younger. This seems surprising in many ways, as so much of our time and energy are invested in our job —so why is it that we have such a hard time expressing gratitude in our day to day interactions? Often we move so fast that we don't stop to acknowledge one another and share our appreciation with others. Here are some...
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Leadership Tips: Give Positive Feedback

Thanksgiving is this week in the United States. Many of us take time off work and share meals with family and friends. We often pause on this holiday to express our gratitude ( here is a conversation my family has). So, how can you focus on gratitude in your workplace this week? An easy way is to give positive feedback. Positive feedback is essential for creating a healthy working environment. Everyone is responsible for giving it – not just designated leaders. This week’s tip is to share positive feedback with at least three people in your organization.  Think about it. Has your colleague gone out of his or her way to help with a project? Are you grateful for how someone is showing up? Has your team hit it out of the park? Share that. When giving positive feedback, make sure to describe the actions with plenty of details. Then...
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5 Incredibly Easy Ways to Spread Kindness, Every Day

This week's Fierce Resource was originally published on Huffingtonpost.com and was written by Catherine Pearson. 5 Incredibly Easy Ways to Spread Kindness, Every Day  highlights simple ways to not only show kindness to others, but to show kindness to yourself. Sometimes forgiving someone for how they talked to you or apologizing for not being the best friend, colleague, or partner can be the one thing that makes your entire day better and strengthens the relationships that surround you. How will you spread kindness throughout your week? Month? Year? "Fortunately, research has shown that smaller acts can have serious payoffs as well, both on the giving and receiving end. Everyday kindness has been linked to everything from  improved happiness to decreased inflammation in the body,  as David Hamilton, author of  Why Kindness Is Good For You  has explained." Read the full article here . 

The Open Office: Making the Concept Work

According to the International Facility Management Association, more than 70 percent of employees work in an open office environment, yet many are dissatisfied due to a number of challenges this concept creates. From distractions and lack of privacy to the one-size-fits-all cubicle approach, there is a lot to consider when ripping out the walls in favor of sharing one space. Whether or not you have already gone this route, here are some powerful considerations for ensuring your open plan workplace is, indeed, a place that supports getting work done, not just one that looks cool. 1)      Cut the cord and go untethered.  One of the largest benefits of an open office is the ability to maximize space. Given the wide popularity of telecommuting, flex-hours, and more generous PTO policies, it is extremely rare that all employees are in the office, occupying the same space on a daily basis. In fact,...
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Leadership Tips: Make a New Connection

In your busy week ahead, think about the many people you will interact with – on the phone, via email, in your neighborhood, and in elevators. When you talk with them, will you ask questions and truly listen for the response? Or will you merely wait for your turn to talk? As Susan Scott, Fierce Founder, states, “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 can spot from a mile away if someone is being genuine and cares. This week’s tip is to make a new connection with someone in your life – inside or outside of the office. Schedule the time in your calendar for this effort. Make it a habit. Some tried and true ways to connect: Ask-questions and really listen.   Have a good laugh.   Share chocolate or...
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Want to Make Your Employees Happy? Ask Them to Do Something Hard

This week's Fierce Resource was originally published on Inc.com and written by Rebecca Borison. Want to Make Your Employees Happy? Ask Them to Do Something Hard  reveals a difficult, and not so simple challenge: How do you keep your employees engaged? The answer... more complex assignments where your people are actively solving a problem. It isn't rocket science and when they find the solution and share it, they can end the day with a sense of accomplishment. What assignments can you delegate to your team to promote development? What will this do for morale? " As a leader, you should look out for the following signs to determine when employees are ready for a new challenge : Everything they manage has run smoothly for a while; when they encounter a problem they quickly find a solution; they try to fix other problems at the office from different departments; and they've become inexplicably negative. If...
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Become a More Effective Leader by Using Space

“Theater is essentially a relationship between performer, spectator, and the space in which both come together.” Gay McAuley, Honorary Professor, Department of Performance Studies, University of Sydney If you have ever attended a concert, play or any artistic performance, you know that the stage space and how it is used is a critical component to the outcome of the act. There is a connection between how the performer(s) use the space and the overall experience for the audience members. This begs the question: Is it the same in business for any meeting or presentation? I contend the answer is yes. In fact, I believe you can even rewrite the quote above to read: “The meeting is essentially a relationship between leader, participant and the space in which both come together.” If we believe this to be true, then space becomes one of our greatest tools as leaders. The effective use...
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Teacher Spends Two Days as a Student and is Shocked at What She Learns

This week's Fierce Resource was originally published on The Washington Post and was written by Valerie Strauss. Do you ever reminisce about what things could have been like...what you might do if you had the chance to do it all over again? Teacher Spends Two Days as a Student and is Shocked at What She Learns explores what the classroom is like for high school students and perhaps what may just be in the way of learning. As society shifts, workplaces are becoming more modernized, so shouldn't the classroom as well? Imagine a classroom that functioned like Google. What would happen if students were expected to show up and work say, 75% of the time and the other 25% was focused on creativity, development, or connecting? What could you change in your classroom or school to make learning more engaging?  "I waited 14 years to do something that I should...
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Our Relationships Succeed or Fail, One Conversation at a Time

“You can’t be a world changer until you serve.  And you can’t serve until you break free of your comfort zone.” –Ann Voskamp I think back to the daily conversations I had as a principal. In the first few months, I would go home sick to my stomach worrying about the impact of an interaction I had with a teacher, or fretting over a conversation I needed to have with an underperforming staff member.  I knew what was at stake- the students and their learning. And then I had to ask myself - where did my priorities lie? Was this about taking the right steps, being perfect (or so I thought) in my communication? Or were my priorities to lead a school and provide staff and students with a safe environment to make mistakes, learn, and grow together? I made the decision to have the conversations that I knew I...
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Leadership Tips: Thank a Teacher

My ninth grade English teacher, Mr. Tuttle, made me learn grammar rules inside and out. He made me rewrite stories over and over again. On top of that, after giving me my first "D" ever in school, he responded with "you are better than this". Ouch. After my anger subsided, I acknowledged that he was right. He held me to higher standards, so I made my bar even higher. He never made compromises for me of what I was capable of handling or doing. And I am eternally grateful for that. It was a huge gift that has continued to serve me well.. Do you have a teacher like this in your life? Someone who impacted how you viewed your own capacity? This week's tip is to thank a teacher in your life. Be specific and share how he or she influenced you.

7 Leadership Actions that Support Staff Members

This week's Fierce Resources comes from Edweek.org and was written by Stephanie Hirsh, Executive Director, Learning Forward . 7 Leadership Actions that Support Staff Members provides tips on how to develop relationships by being supportive and willing to connect on topics that may be uncomfortable, and need to be addressed. Instead of asking closed-ended questions, get curious about what the other person has experienced. What might you learn? Think about asking a question that you've always been curious about... you never know what the result could be. " Schedule time for regular conversations focused on the individual's goals, successes, and struggles.  Setting aside time sends the message that you are truly interested in others' work and knowing how you can be most supportive of their success." To read the full article, click here .

The Forgotten Generation: Reflections from a Gen Xer

Uh, hello? Remember us? The ones commonly referred to as “latch key kids”? {ahem} Okay, sure. Even though we like to come off as tough, we may feel forgotten and voiceless in this battle between generations. And, yes, we can come off as self-absorbed as our desire for change occasionally trumps relationships. But “slackers”, we are not. We hunger for diversity, for changing the system, for achieving some sense of balance in a lop-sided world. We have utmost respect and gratitude for our parents who worked themselves to the bone so we could enjoy a richer life. And we appreciate the younger set as they continue to push the momentum for a more connected world forward. We want to work with both of you, Boomers and Millennials, to help bridge any gaps of skillset and mindset so we can all come out on top. We found our way, Millennials, so...
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How to Manage Different Generations

This article was originally published on The Wall Street Journal  can be found here . How to Manage Different Generations is still a common theme throughout the leadership and development space and has been for several years. The question still exists, how do you manage a multigenerational workforce? Well, the answer may be more simple than it appears. How about a spoonful of communication, prompted with a big question: how do we connect and what should we be talking about? Start with the question- what knowledge do we need to retain for our company to exist? Think: history of the company, strategic decisions, and what the future holds. " Facilitate mentoring between different aged employees to encourage more cross-generational interaction . Younger employees should learn to seek the experience and wisdom offered by senior employees. Older employees should learn to be open to the fresh perspectives offered by younger employees."...
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The Art of Balance: Cultivating a Sustainable Workplace

With the three key ingredients of trust, conversation, and flexibility, organizations can take meaningful steps toward easing the work/life issues plaguing the American workforce. Work/life balance discussions have taken on a new urgency lately, thanks in large part to Arianna Huffington’s bestselling book, “Thrive.” The book begins with her personal “wake-up call.” She found herself lying in a pool of blood after collapsing from exhaustion and lack of sleep. Her demanding and lucrative career overpowered her—the weight eventually crushing her ability to keep up. While this is a dramatic and high-profile example, this same scenario plays out day after day with average Joes and Janes. We may not crumple to our knees like Arianna, but the upward spike of stress reported by employees is sobering. And slowly, but surely, it’s taking a toll. The third annual 2013  Work Stress Survey , conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College,...
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Millennials: Creating a New Workforce

Generation Y isn’t working to survive or to bring home a paycheck. They seek fulfillment and active participation in a bigger, more important organizational vision. They’ll pay their dues, put in their time and even take less pay as long as they feel they are contributing to an organization’s big-picture goals. But when they feel marginalized, millennials walk out the door without hesitation. The impact of this attitudinal shift is being reflected in the ways Gen Y leaders are beginning to create a new workplace culture. Here are three changes they’re inspiring: Connectivity: The workplace is becoming a social organism. Call it the Facebook effect. Gen Y employees and their leaders are building cultures that foster stimulation and creativity through constant contact with others. Co-workers no longer connect at the annual office party. They connect professionally and socially every minute of every day.   Collaboration : The old maxim that...
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6 Crucial Lessons That School Can Never Teach

This week's Fierce Resource was originally published on Entrepreneur.com and was written by the Leading Authority for Young Entrepreneurs, Peter Voogd. To Excel You Must Learn These 6 Crucial Lessons That School Can Never Teach  provokes thought and encourages you to evaluate yourself today. What do you know? What are you really good at and what do you enjoy? What don't you like to do, but know doing it will propel you forward? Sometimes the things we enjoy doing, aren't always what will lead us to growth AND it's important to have a balance of both. Take the time to evaluate your responsibilities and think about what you could do differently, what would happen? "A powerful “why.” Realize that no matter where you are right now, you can always take it up a notch. Are you really giving your all daily? Your possibilities are endless when you find compelling reasons. The goal...
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The Generational Divide: Who Will Win?

Lately the generational divide has been a topic front and center, in conferences, the press, blogs... We are surprised, and a little concerned with the assumptions about millennials that are being offered up as the “capital T” truth. If you look at the press and commentary you’d think that Millennials (insert zombies) are coming in mass to get us. They will soon take over business as we know it, booting out boomers, trampling Gen Xers, and demanding every entitlement under the sun. So we thought we’d add to the chatter a different perspective, from both sides of the generational divide. From Stacey, the Millennial: Sure some millennials can be needy at times - wanting feedback on a weekly basis. And yes, some millennials think they deserve their promotions before they have shown impact in their roles. Others not so much. As a generation, we do love our technology and continually improving our devices and toys. The thing is - there are...
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What Companies Are Getting Wrong About Every Generation

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on FastCompany.com and was written by Stephen R. Fussell. What Companies Are Getting Wrong About Every Generation  addresses the idea of multiple generations that make up today's organizations. Over the past year we've seen a fifth generation enter the workforce and now more than ever companies are challenged with how to manage this diverse workforce.  Instead of thinking about each generation as different, change the way you look at generations by asking yourself- what makes us the same? Have a conversation, you may be surprised what you find. What commonalities do you share with those in your workplace? "But in the actual workforce, the picture is more nuanced, and honestly, more important than one single workforce generation. Successful companies are woven from individuals working together in teams whose makeup spans the generations. They don’t revolve around one employee subgroup, despite what the headlines...
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Leadership Tips: Tap Into Your Inner Child

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  – Albert Einstein Being around children has a way of reminding you that the world is pretty amazing. Whether discovering a new bug or tying shoes for the first time, children oftentimes are in awe of how great it feels to be alive. Along the way, we adults, start to take it for granted. We love leaders and people who bring out our inner child. They unlock joy for us. Who in your life reminds you that you can do the ”impossible”? Who helps you cultivate your creativity? This week’s tip is to take a moment to be in awe of someone or something around you. Practice the art of living in the moment.

12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans

This week's Fierce resource comes from Marc and Angel Hack Life  and was written by Angel Chernoff.  12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans  shares habits of those who have reached great success in their lives; self-made leaders like Bill Gates, Oprah, and J.K. Rowling. While it's often impossible to complete multiple rituals in a day, there are certainly habits, practices, and actions that are in fact our own personalized rituals. Even the cup of coffee you have each morning when you arrive to your office. So, what rituals do you practice that are healthy and productive? How about unhealthy rituals that you can change today? "The result of enormous success is often pretty noisy – lots of people talking, writing and sharing stories about it.  The actual process of achieving enormous success, on the other hand, is far more discreet.  But it’s this process that happens quietly, behind-the-scenes, that...
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The C-Level's Recipe for Work-Life Balance

Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this eZanga.com  article by Megan Ingenbrandt. It was originally posted here . Add a dash of relaxation, and a pinch of hard work, and that should be the perfect recipe for balancing work and home, right? Wrong! With a growing family, a social life, and a full-time job, it can be hard for anyone to find the perfect balance between work and home. But when you’re running the business, it can be even tougher. C-levels and entrepreneurs need breaks too, but how do they find the time? Do they let the two worlds cross over, or leave them separate? Is there a perfect recipe to balancing work and home life? eZanga’s owners, Rich and Beth Kahn, try to keep the business out of their home, while others take a quite different approach – they turn the business into a family affair! Add a...
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Build a High Performing Team in 30 Minutes

This week's Fierce Resource comes from Forbes.com  and was written by Kristi Hedges. As strategy planning sessions are on the horizon for 2015, here are some tips to Build a High Performing Team in 30 Minutes . When is the last time you brought your team together to evaluate what processes are working or not? If you can't remember the last time you had open conversations about how your team is functioning, you may be in the dark on what is positively or negatively impacting your team. What is the most important conversation you will have with your team in the next month? How often do you check in with the whole team to measure satisfaction? "Changing team behavior, once ingrained, is no small feat. A lot of social nuance goes into creating the culture of any group, and once it’s established, can be hard to affect . Cultures rest on spoken...
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Be a Fierce Leader: 3 Conversations to Share Wins

  Fierce Vice President of Marketing, Stacey Engle, wrote a piece on how to be a fierce leader for the  Human Capital Institute  and we wanted to share it with you.  Published Friday, September 12th. Think about a leader in your life who people deeply commit their time, talents, and hearts to. I’m talking about the kind of leader who draws out the greatness in others – even when people do not believe in their own greatness.  This kind of leader thrives on creating an environment where people are all in. In  Pour Your Heart Into It,  Howard Schultz says, “Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners. The more winners you bring with you – whether they are employees, customers, share-holders, or supporters – the more gratifying the victory.” What can you do to share the wins? 1. ...
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Leadership Tips: Identify Your Needs in Negotiation

Every day we negotiate. We negotiate at work, in relationships, and in our community. Where in your life would you like to improve your negotiations?  At work? At home? Wherever it is, negotiations are a very powerful way to enrich relationships. They are opportunities for all parties to be in a better place than before the conversation. What often gets in the way during negotiation conversations is when one or both parties get stuck on a fixed outcome. In Fierce Negotiations , we define a position as a fixed idea of the tangible results you want. On the other hand, a need is a tangible plus intangible result. Need involves the motivation supporting the desire to make the deal. In their very nature, needs will always outweigh positions, because they are attached to emotions. For a simple example, if we are negotiating a location for an annual retreat – it...
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6 R.E.A.L Questions Every Leader Should Be Asking

This week's Fierce Resources comes from Inc.com and was written by Lolly Daskal, Founder of Lead From Within.  The 6 R.E.A.L Questions Every Leader Should Be Asking  highlights questions leaders can ask themselves to improve the quality of the relationships that surround them. Conversations may be taking place regularly and the reality is, often we aren't having real, direct, feedback rich conversations that move our relationships forward.  Take a moment to reflect on your communication style.  Do you listen to what others are saying? How do you show up to lead? "Listening is imperative to success: If you're not listening, you can't truly connect with your employees , customers, suppliers, vendors, and creditors. Listening gives you input and information, so think about speaking less and listening more." To read the full article, click here .

More Women Give Up on "Having It All"

Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this article by Brian O'Connell and was originally posted on  TheStreet.com . NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) — Can working woman "have it all" in the workplace and home? Maybe not. Many women have given up thinking it's an option. Exhibit "A" for that case is a  study  from Seattle-based  Fierce  saying that 70% of U.S. working woman call trying to achieve a satisfying work/life balance "a major cause of stress." For decades ads have said women in the workplace  could  have it all ,  and that it was all a matter of having the right clothes, car or cup of yogurt. Maybe working women were buying that pitch 20 years ago, but today the majority seem to see "having it all" as a false promise and a goal destined to go unfulfilled. To think otherwise risks "taking a serious toll" on women's...
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A Message From the Mountaintop on the Value of Work-Life Balance

This week's Fierce Resource comes from TLNT.com  and was written by Ron Thomas. A Message From the Mountaintop on the Value of Work-Life Balance explores the ongoing debate of work-life balance and provides tips for evaluating what is important to you. Balancing our lives, much like balancing a scale is not an easy task, it takes effort to get it close to right. Where do you need balance in your life? What are you overlooking that is important to you? "With work-life balance on everyone’s agenda today, I wonder sometimes how we got to this current level of insanity . I have friends who quit certain industries because  the industry MO  was to pull all-nighters, or close to it." To read the full article, click here .

Motivating the Negative Nancy on Your Team

Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this Entrepreneur  article by Zeynep Ilgaz. It was originally posted here . At my previous job, I worked with a team on an important project. Our group was cohesive, except for one teammate. Nothing was good enough for her. Had the members of the team thought things through before setting the project's timeline? Why was he in on our meetings? How did we think we could do this better than dozens of others who had tried before? Her bad attitude left us feeling like we were running on a hamster wheel, drained from trying to please someone who couldn't be pleased -- with no end in sight. As the motivation waned, the work suffered. Finally the issue had to be addressed for the team's productivity. That was the first time I experienced how contagious negativity can be in the workplace. It can spread like wildfire and affect...
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