The Bear + The Bolt.

Beckie ManleyFierce Excerpts, Fierce Strategy + Creative, From the CEO

Reading up on our industry and on all the fun and fascinating stories we come across every day is one of our favorite things to do at Fierce. We learn so many new and interesting things and this blog is the place where we like to share them with you. We have put together “Fierce Excerpts” which are short parts and pieces of longer articles that allow you to skim the highlights quickly with the option to read the entire article at another time. Some of our favorite places to find inspiration are Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Adweek, Brain Pickings, NPR, TED Radio Hour, Fast Company and many more. We are … Read More

Build pockets of stillness into your life. (

Beckie ManleyFierce Strategy + Creative, From the CEO, People + things that inspire us

*Image is one of Maurice Sendak’s vintage posters celebrating the job of reading, featured in Maria Popova’s post. Now Reading | One of my favorite sources of inspiration comes from Maria Popova who writes She started her blog seven years ago and today it has millions of readers and has been included in the Library of Congress digital archive of “materials of historical importance.” Pretty amazing. In her latest post, she takes a moment to reflect on the past seven years and all the things she has learned from her research, writing, reading—and living. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live … Read More

The answer is no. But yes.

Beckie ManleyCreative Process, Fierce Strategy + Creative, From the CEO

(A guest blog post written by Beckie Manley, Founder + Idea Chief of Fierce Strategy +Creative, for Black Sheep Agency, Houston, Texas.) The answer is no. But yes.  One of the questions new clients always love to ask in that first meeting is: “Do you have any prior experience in our particular field?” In the early days of my career, this question would easily intimidate me, especially if my answer was no. It doesn’t any more, because after 20+ years of experience, I know with confidence the secret to success with great brands, products, services and ideas: a highly strategic creative process. One of my favorite things about the … Read More

Findings from one of the longest running studies on happiness.

Beckie ManleyFierce Strategy + Creative, From the CEO, People + things that inspire us

*Image from Pintrest Today I took some time to listen to the TED talk by Robert Waldinger on what makes a good life. He pulls his three main lessons from one of the longest running studies on happiness that was started back at Harvard over 75 years ago. The Harvard Study of Adult Development has tracked the lives of 268 men, year after year, asking about their work, their home lives, their health, and of course asking all along the way without knowing how their life stories were going to turn out. Robert is the fourth director of this research study. Ultimately what they have learned to date is that the good … Read More

Fierce Excerpts: Closing the strategy-to-execution gap. (HBR)

Beckie ManleyFierce Excerpts, Fierce Strategy + Creative, From the CEO

*Image and graph below from HBR. Now Reading | Only 8% of Leaders are Good at Both Strategy and Execution. (HBR) According to HBR, a 2013 survey of nearly 700 executives across a variety of industries asked respondents to rate the effectiveness of the top leaders of their companies. Only 16% of top leaders were rated very effective at either strategy or execution. Only 8% were very effective at both, while 63% were rated neutral or worse on at least one dimension. We believe so strongly in strategy, both business strategy and even more specifically, brand strategy, that we put the word in the name of our company—and led with it over … Read More

Fierce Excerpts: On why compassion is necessary for the survival of the human race.

Beckie ManleyFierce Excerpts, Fierce Strategy + Creative, From the CEO

Now Listening | Just a Little Nicer, the TED Radio Hour. Whenever I travel, I try to catch up on podcasts from NPR’s This American Life or Planet Money or from my new favorite series, the TED Radio Hour. The latest episode I listened to was all about compassion titled, “Just a Little Nicer.” The title drew my attention because kindness is a core value at Fierce—we strive to keep it at the center of everything we do because we believe it’s a corporate difference maker. We’re always in search of new insights and understanding on how kindness can make a difference both in our personal lives and in business. Each … Read More

On romanticizing stress.

Beckie ManleyFierce Strategy + Creative, From the CEO

I have worked with business partners in the past who started each conversation reciting all the meetings they had endured so far that day and all the meetings they still had to fit in before claiming a modest 4 hours of sleep and starting the self-imposed madness all over again the next day. Their busy schedule was a badge of honor.

What is your curiosity profile? (HBR)

Beckie ManleyFrom the CEO

I always struggle when people ask me what my hobbies are. As a mother, an entrepreneur, and a business owner for the past 15 years, I haven’t had time to develop hobbies outside of growing the company. But I just read an article from HBR that allows you to take a curiosity profile and this is what it said about me:

How choosing to be thankful makes you happier.

Beckie ManleyFierce Strategy + Creative, From the CEO

I find myself feeling overwhelmingly grateful often these days. I lose count how many times a day I say a little prayer of thanks for the bounty I am surrounded with and for the ability to be running Fierce. As I have studied gratefulness, I have learned that evidence suggests that we can actively choose to practice gratitude—and that doing so raises our happiness. According to the NYT article, “Choose To Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier,”  this is what they found:  Researchers in one 2003 study randomly assigned one group of study participants to keep a short weekly list of the things they were grateful for, while other … Read More

Leading with confidence and humility: A balancing act.

Beckie ManleyEntrepreneurship, Fierce Strategy + Creative, From the CEO

*Image from You cannot be one without the other. Confidence here does not mean ego, it is belief and care for yourself. Humility comes from that—and the heart. —from Quora I am in the middle of an interesting conversation with a client about leading with confidence and humility. It has been a fascinating topic to study. I pulled some articles together for the two of us to discuss and I have personally learned a lot along the way. One of my favorite quotes that I discovered was, “When you realize your value to others, confidence is no longer about self-promotion. In fact, confidence is no longer the right word. It’s about purpose.” This was … Read More