The blog ofJonathan Pepin

What it means to be fierce


At Uber, one of the most important values we always push and that took a big part in making Uber as successful as it is today, is being fierce.

Being fierce is very important for teams to work together, move fast, give continuous feedback and grow together.

It’s also an often mis-understood term, so I wanted to lay out what being fierce really means.

Be honest to yourself.

It is important not to be delusional. If you are not being honest with your own self about something not working or not being great, you are not giving yourself the opportunity to learn and do something about it.

Help others out of delusion

Ability to give negative feedback

Giving positive feedback is easy and feels good. It’s almost selfish, because it actually generates more good to yourself than the person you are giving feedback to.
Being fierce is all about giving negative (but constructive!) feedback. It’s hard because of the fear of hurting people and you want to avoid awkward conversations.
Negative feedback is crucial to allow others to be aware of what they do wrong and need to improve.

General advice to make those conversations easier (“OFER”)

This allows the conversation to be neutral and non-judgemental. Objective observation and discussion about a problem is easier and brings less confrontation. It feels less personal.

Usually, asking yourself “what are you not saying, that needs to be said?” is a good start to figure out when you are being delusional and avoiding (to tell) the truth.