Hi, I’m Christina and I’ve been a manager for 4 years.These 12 things I look for in a boss and I also strive to be.I’m not an expert, but these ideas have been culled from experts and from my own experiences.
Why is it important for you to know what good UX managers say?Maybe you’re someone who’s career is young. You might be seeking that elusive first job. Very early on in your career, you’re going to have to find someone to mentor you, to put yourself in the presence of someone who models what good UX leadership should be.
Maybe you’re an aspiring manager and want to start demonstrating leadership now in preparation for that grand career leap.Why is it important for you to know what good UX managers say?Because it is never too early to develop your own management philosophies.
Maybe you work for yourself: you run your own company or you are a free-lancer.Why is it important for you to know what good UX managers say?There are few good books on being a good manager. Fewer still on managing yourself. It's hard to think of a more essential thing to learn.
Maybe you’ve been around awhile. You’ve seen a lot of managers, and maybe you are one.Why is it important for you to know what good UX managers say?Because it is easy to continue as you always have. Time for self reflection may not be a luxury that your current position offers.
1. In UX it is difficult to strike a balance between being too assertive and not assertive enough. A good manager helps develop both confidence and listening skills within the team.
2One of the best tests of leadership – and of an organization – is “What happens after people make a mistake?”A good manager knows that he and the team are often going to be wrong, and learns from it.A good manager strives to be confident enough to convince people that they are in charge, but humble enough to realize that they are often going to be wrong.
3A good manager’s job is to focus on the small wins that enable the team to make a little progress every day.
4A good manager works at creating good work experiences for the team.
5A good manager is conscious of all the miscommunications and mishaps that can result from personality differences, and tries to account for them.
6Not every company is Google. Good managers help the team deal with idea rejection.
7A good manager shares the responsibility of representing the profession with teammates. Management is a supporting role, not a starring role.
8It is not the job of a UX manager to hire or create rock stars. A good manager doesn’t encourage rock star behaviour.
9This goes for anyone who’s been in the business a while. It is easy to forget the struggles of earlier stages of your career. A good manager remembers the journey.
10A good manager focuses attention on the team’s capacity for understanding need and less on getting their way.
11People tend to focus on the positive. A good manager recognizes the positive, but never takes the easy road by letting the negative slide.
12A good manager worries less about getting the team to the C-level than delivering an awesome experience on the site next week.
So you’ve heard my 12 things and they are heavily based on this article. You should read it.I encountered this article because a team member gave it to me. I printed it and posted it next to my monitor and read it every day. It reminds me of how far I have yet to go.
These are truisms, not just for UX but for many professions. We need to be looking at other fields and other disciplines to see both models of success and failure.I frequently turn to marketing – Seth Godin is my favourite. His blog post about where a manager parks is genius.Managers are part of the team. Each team members behaviour is a reflection of the whole, including the managers. This is why it is important to come up with our own ideas of what good management looks like because everyone carries the weight of responsibility to the profession of representing UX to the rest of the world.
We learn to be good leaders by seeing what other good leaders do.Let’s share these experiences: Tweet about what a good boss of yours has said…Thanks for your 5 minutes of attention!
1. 12 things good UX managers say<br />@UXtina<br />Christina (Xtina) York<br />
2. If your career is young you should be looking for good examples of leadership.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
3. Aspiring managers should start developing philosophies and practices that represent good leadership.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
4. Managing yourself is never as easy as you imagine.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
5. If you’ve been around a while, reflect on your own leadership practices.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
6. I fight as if I am right, and listen as if I am wrong – and I teach the team to do the same.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
7. I foster a culture that embraces the fuck up.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
8. My success – and that of the team– depends largely on being the master of obvious and mundane things, not on magical, obscure, or breakthrough ideas or methods.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
9. My job is to serve as a human shield, to protect the team from external intrusions, distractions, and idiocy of every stripe – and to avoid imposing my own idiocy on them as well.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
10. I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it feels like to work for me.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
11. Innovation is crucial to every team and organization. So my job is to encourage the team to generate and test all kinds of new ideas. But it is also my job to help them kill off all the bad ideas we generate and most of the good ideas, too.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
12. I am not the spokes- model of the team.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
13. My job is to nurture careers and the type of professional behaviour that will impress business and technology people alike.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
14. Because I wield power over others, I am at great risk of acting like an insensitive jerk — and not realizing it. <br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
15. It’s not about being right,<br />it’s about understanding.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
16. Bad is stronger than good. It is more important to eliminate the bad than to accentuate the good.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
17. Aim for excellence in our work, not success. This is the best way to educate about the value of our profession.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
18. 12 Things Good Bosses Believe (May 28, 2010)<br />By Robert Sutton, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
19. Other professions can provide good examples of managerial tactics and leadership strategies.<br />@UXtina #leadingUX<br />
20. What has a good boss said to you?<br />Don’t like to tweet? Send me your quote: firstname.lastname@example.org<br />@Uxtina #leadingUX<br />