I view leadership as a verb, not a position. It’s the actions we take as we lead ourselves, our colleagues, our teams, and our organizations — you, my friend, are a leader. And as a leader, I never found the chaos playbook, a guide to leading in 2020.
I can attest that it was a brutal year, both professionally and personally. The chaos of the global pandemic, anti-racism protests, and political turmoil riddled the months with relentless compounding challenges. What worked in 2019 did not, no-way-no-how, work in 2020.
As we enter 2021, I want to call out that we’re in the last mile. …
With the constant stressors and uncertainty impacting all of us, it is important to normalize mental health conversations. Especially now. I share my story — neither as an expert nor to diminish the success of those who are masterfully managing their mental health. I am sharing my story to start the conversation for others newly experiencing the effects of nine months of unrelenting stress. To give context and language to the situation we all find ourselves in. Trigger Warning: This article contains information about mental health and thoughts of suicide, which may be upsetting for some.
In March, when we retreated to our homes due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, I pretended that I could just continue doing my job just as well as the month before. I denied the weight of the stress I was feeling. I would tell myself, “Snap out of it. Buck up. Keep it together. You’re being overly dramatic. It isn’t that bad.” In reality, I have a job I can do remotely. A living space large enough to set up multiple work areas. And on my morning runs in the subdivision, I would pass at most, three people. Yes, the global pandemic, systemic racism, and a divided political landscape were ever-present anxiety stressors. Comparatively, I assessed my situation to be pretty lucky. …
The front line between you and your manager is your weekly one-on-one. It’s the meeting to connect on project work, review updates, and share what you’re focusing on. This meeting will fall into a status quo. Not by desire or intention, it’s human nature to get comfortable doing things the same way. As a manager, my status quo question is, “What’s on your mind?” It’s a decent question, but not always the best use of your time. As an employee, you want to get the most value out of the time with your manager.
I’ll share a simple tool to create effective and efficient one-on-ones. I’ve developed this tool from the methods I use as an experience designer and design thinking facilitator. Design Thinking projects start with organizing (messy) information, taking into consideration all roles, viewpoints, and systems to discover otherwise hidden insights and efficiencies. Before we dive into the details, a little more context is needed. After all, one can use a butter knife as a screwdriver — effective yes, efficient no. …
Once a year, those who are obsessed with customer experiences make their way to San Francisco to learn from another, inspire each other, and renew their passion for experience design at LX. The single track + workshops conference has officially graduated from MX Managing Experience to LX Leading Experience, and for it’s inaugural year LX 2017 DELIVERED!
As our practice evolves so must we, so get ready to level-up to Leader.