Leaders in the Making: A Look Behind the Curtain

Declare. Define. Decide. Create. Commit. Complete.

These are the steps to the path to get you where you want to go. Last week, the FUSION OF IDEAS leadership team set out on a two-day retreat to learn about what it takes to be game changers, difference makers and better leaders.

Led by two influential executive coaches, Setema Gali and Nate Bailey, the retreat kicked off with the FUSION OF IDEAS team meeting at the beach for a two-hour physical training to push ourselves beyond our physical and mental limits. We dunked ourselves in the ocean (multiple times), raced in teams, immersed ourselves with sand, squatted with sandbags, did planks, burpees, and jumping jacks, all in the name of learning to be vulnerable and working together as leaders.

Mike, our business development manager of applications, reflected back on the training and said, “You can always do more than you think you can.”

Back in the classroom, we set big goals and discovered practical ways to reach them. Together as leaders, we made a commitment to learn from one another, teach each other and confront obstacles. And together, we set out to define the company’s vision, build a culture where our teams can grow and thrive, and set standards for achievement.

Here are a few other takeaways:

  • “Embracing and welcoming uncomfortable situations tend to be the opportunities when we grow the most.” – Julia, business manager
  • “I was proud to see everyone’s efforts on the beach and pushing themselves to limits that we didn’t know were possible. We worked well as a team, and I loved seeing us work together in an extreme circumstance like this.”
    – Chandran, shipping and fulfillment manager
  • We all have to work together. Regardless of who is at fault, if one of us goes down, we all go down.” – Bryan, creative manager
  • “Being a leader means being bold, stepping up under any circumstance and having integrity. You do not need to have the title or role in your job to be a leader. Anyone can be a leader.” – Heather, director of communications.

Fusion 2018 Softball Season Comes To A Close

By Jennifer Fujimori

If there’s one thing that unites all of us here at Fusion of Ideas, it’s good, healthy competition. Over the years, we’ve held countless games and competitions at our office in Lake Forest, and occasionally offsite. To name just a few: Mario Kart, foosball, Guitar Hero, golf, scavenger hunts, escape rooms, ping pong, Pogs (remember Pogs?), and our annual Office Olympics, which consists of seven separate competitive events. Take any activity, pit teams or individuals against each other, and you have a successful Fusion event.

So it should come as no surprise that a few years ago, many of our team members were hungry for more. Waivers were signed, a roster was assembled, and in 2014, the Fusion of Ideas team played its debut season of softball with the Irvine Athletic Department. To put it mildly, the competition was a bit tougher than anticipated. But our team soldiered on, savoring even the faintest taste of victory each time we reached a base, scored a run, or fielded a hard-hit grounder. “It’s rough out there,” said Director of Operations and starting pitcher Andrew Nielson. “Somehow, our opponents have been able to hit right through the gaps in our defense. We’ve been working on finding the right configuration of outfielders, tightening up our infield, making the easy outs on defense in general, and having more productive at-bats on offense.” When asked whether he’s optimistic for improvement in future seasons, Nielson said he was still hopeful.

You probably can’t help but think of the obvious parallels between this scrappy team and the 2002 Oakland Athletics in the movie Moneyball. Piecing together runs using a sabermetrics approach, as illustrated in the movie, has proven much more successful for Fusion than swinging for the fences. It takes patience and experience to recognize that bases on balls, smart base-running and well placed soft hits can be highly effective at manufacturing runs and creating momentum. But even this approach takes time to cultivate. The Fusion of Ideas softball team recently completed its fifth season. There were highs and lows, great games and not-so-great games, but never an absence of good sportsmanship and fun (for the most part). Everyone loves an underdog, and our team plays that role to a T. Here’s hoping the 2019 season is our best one yet.

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