Let’s Be Fierce Leaders in 2015

tiger photo-1417722009592-65fa261f5632In 2015, I want us to be fierce leaders.

I don’t mean Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce. And I don’t mean fierce in the dictionary sense: savage, vicious, ferocious. More like Seth Godin fierce.

Wait, let me back up…

You see, for the past several years I’ve chosen a one-word focus for the year. This word gets written at the top of the white board in my office and serves as a reminder of what I believe God is calling me to in the year to come. This prayerfully chosen word inspires focus and determination in my personal and professional life.

For 2013, my word was Courage. For 2014, I had two words in Dare Greatly. And as the clock was ticking down towards 2015, I was still wondering what my word would be.

And then I started reading Seth Godin’s phenomenal new book, What to Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn)*. And there it was, on page 78, a word I would never in a million years pick was jumping off the page as I thought about my life and leadership in the coming year.

Fierce.

On page 78, Seth explains how furious is not the same as fierce. How being furious and getting yourself all worked up, fighting and striving, letting your ego lead, never works. But listen to what he says about the person who displays fierceness:

He cares so much about the work and the community and the opportunity to make a difference that he’s able to be rational when everyone else winds themselves into a knot being furious.

Fierceness takes honesty and commitment. Fierceness means telling yourself the truth about what’s at stake and what’s possible, without expending a drop of energy on trying to make everything okay…

Fierce means living with the simultaneous certainty that this is vitally important and this might not work.

You see?

Oh Leader Friend. Your leadership is vitally important to your team, your organization. Your words, your efforts, your planning and prayers all matter. And if you’re exploring and learning and growing and innovating you will constantly be aware that this version of the product, this attempt at meeting a need, it just might not work.

But it might.

And isn’t that just what God is asking of us in our leadership? To have faith and to put our whole selves out there for the work He has called us to without 100% guarantee that everything will be okay in the end.**

Which means we have to lean on Him. Rely on Him. Run to Him for strength, direction, provision, and peace.

And is there really any other way to lead?

Leader Friend, let’s be fierce leaders: this year and every year.

*I can’t begin to tell you how highly I recommend this book. Like go right now and buy several copies to share with your friends and read it all together and make a difference.

**Our pastor, John Stickl shared a great message along these lines last Sunday. He shared how he wants to really “go for it” this year and not hold back with worry of what others will think or what the outcomes might be – just all out obedience. Yes and yes.

4 Ways Leaders Can Share the Love

ValentinesWith Valentine’s Day approaching, grand gestures of affection are at every turn. In the Pierce house, we’ve picked out cards, purchased the requisite conversation hearts, and planned sweet treats to share the love with those around us.

Love is in the air.

But what about in your leadership? How can you share the love with those in your leadership circles?

The following are 4 Ways Leaders Can Share the Love any time of year:

  1. With Your Customers: Extravagant service. As leaders, we can show our unwavering commitment to our customers through an above-and-beyond service experience. Empower your teams to take a step beyond their wonderful “Whatever it takes!” approach to the “What would absolutely make their day?” You will be surprised by the creativity of your employees and the loyalty from your clients.
  2. With Your Team: Investment in their potential. As leaders, we can share our care for our team members by expressing the potential we see in them. Some of the most meaningful conversations have started with, “I see something in you…” But what matters even more than just identifying the potential is investing the time to mentor, train and develop the potential you see.
  3. With Your Team’s Family: Memory-making moments. As leaders, we can extend our appreciation beyond our teams to the loved ones who support them. My husband’s team recently wrapped up a grueling 11-month project. In addition to the accolades they received in the office, Brian also planned a special dinner with their spouses to thank their spouses for their support during this difficult season. The spouses each came to me afterward to express how much the dinner meant to them and how special it made them feel.
  4. With Your Peers, Service Providers or Non-Profits: Recommendations and endorsements. As leaders, we can leverage our influence in order to help others succeed. Simple ways to give a shout-out to those around you doing something special are a mention on social media, an endorsement on LinkedIn, or a recommendation to use in their marketing efforts. You can take it a step further by making a virtual introduction to a prospective client or donor via email or inviting two like-minded connections to lunch.

How do you share the love with those in your leadership circles? Share them with us in the comments below!

 

 

How will you invest in your leadership this year?

stockvault-money149270 investMaybe you have a leadership development plan for your team this year. You’ve got the funds allocated in your budget, the retreat days planned, the seminars and coaches secured. Good work, Leader Friend! Intentionally investing in your team’s growth will not only benefit the individual leadership but your organization, as well.

But what about your growth? What’s your plan for you? How will you invest in your leadership this year?

Spend some time today creating your plan for growth. Just follow these 3 steps to get started:

  1. Identify your need: What areas do you need to grow or strengthen? What expertise do you need for the next season? What skills do you need to master?
  2. Create a plan: What resources will help meet the need you identified for this year? What associations, books, conferences or skilled professionals will fit best? I will be trying out a couple of new membership communities this year.
  3. Add the plan to your calendar: Go ahead and register for events or classes. Join the associations. Contact the coach or mentor. Purchase the books, and plan when you will read them. And then put every last bit of it on your calendar. I just added a new conference to my calendar this morning!

Needing a little help creating your plan? Each Friday, I share with my subscribers my favorite leadership resources of the week. (You can subscribe here.) For even more ideas, the following posts include resources I recommend over and over:

How will you invest in your leadership this year? Encourage the community by sharing your plan below!