Leadership Lessons from Design Hell

Director, User Research and Usability at Sabre Corporation
Oct. 18, 2015

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Leadership Lessons from Design Hell

  1. “When you are going through Hell, keep going.”
  2. 4 June 1940: Battle of Dunkirk
  3. Operation Dynamo: The Great Evacuation
  4. 338,226 Soldiers Were Rescued
  5. 68,000 British Casualties
  6. 290,000 French Casualties
  7. June 10, 1940: Three Historical Facts
  8. June 14, 1940: Paris Falls
  9. June 23, 1940: Hitler Visits Paris
  10. 28 June 1940: Europe
  11. “The Battle for France is Over.”
  12. “Battle of Britain is About to Begin.”
  13. “When you are going through Hell, keep going.”
  14. How You Can Change the World?
  16. Why Leadership?
  17. Research and Testing Expert
  18. International Speaker
  19. Writer of Books and Articles
  20. Keynote Author on SlideShare
  21. Addison Treehouse Mentor
  22. SMU Instructor for UX
  23. UXPA Dallas President
  24. Coached Boy’s Soccer (104-12)
  25. Conference Organizer
  26. Ethics of Leadership
  27. Ethics is not about: “Do This” and “Don’t Do This”
  28. Ethics answers this profound question: “What makes me happy?”
  29. “When you are going through Life, keep going.”
  30. You are here!
  31. Pride
  32. Pride is believing you are better than someone else. Pride (or hubris) is the most common flaw in Greek tragedies and myths. Dante and Virgil see prideful people must carry heavy rocks that force them to bow down and be more grounded.
  33. How does a design leader account for pride in themselves and their team?
  34. Are You Really Doing These Things? Usability Testing User Research
  35. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.”
  36. Whose Shoes? User Research
  37. “Before you walk a mile in my shoes, you have to take your own shoes off.”
  38. Insights or Ammo? Usability Testing
  39. We talk about: “Know Thy User.” We should also say: “Honor Thy User.”
  40. Envy
  41. Envy is a jealous feeling or a very resentful longing for someone else’s possessions or qualities. It is when you covet what they have. When Dante and Virgil meet envious people, their eyes have been sewn shut. They lose outer sight, but they gain insight.
  42. How does a design leader handle envious people, especially gossiping?
  43. Know the Nuances Grapevine GossipDiscussions
  44. Discussions are Positive Discussions Workplace discussions are usually: • Friendly • Informational • Supportive There are no character assassinations or bullying in these conversations.
  45. Heated Discussions are Positive, Too Discussions Heated discussions are fine, when you: • Use a respectful tone • Listen to other viewpoints • Focus on the problem, not the person A heated discussion probably means you are working on a wicked problem.
  46. “In a heated discussion, ask yourself this question: Is it personal or personality?”
  47. Grapevine = Rumors Grapevine Grapevine rumors usually run amok because of: • Poor communication • Changes in the workplace • Wild guesses by the staff Grapevine rumors can be very damaging and demoralizing. They can spread like wildfire, too.
  48. Gossiping is about Envy Gossipers want attention. They will: • Adopt a confidential tone • Impart details to undermine a person • Do character assassinations • Create a me-versus-them mentality You probably hear more information than you want. Gossiping
  49. 1. Don’t take it to heart. 2. Focus objectively. 3. Deal with it as a task. 4. Arm yourself with facts. 5. Review the context 6. Assess the sources. 7. Be a source of reassurance. 8. Confront the gossipers directly. When You Get Targeted
  50. 1. Don’t participate in the gossip. 2. Ask gossiper about their motivation. 3. Focus on projects, not people. 4. Talk about competitors, not co-workers. 5. Tell gossiper you are prepared to follow-up with the targeted person. 6. Talk about the positive aspects of the person. When Others Get Targeted
  51. “The best revenge is massive success.”
  52. Wrath
  53. Wrath is a vindictive anger, where you seek to destroy a person. Wrath lasts longer than whatever provoked it. In Dante’s Purgatory, smoke fills the eyes of wrathful souls. They find it hard to see and breath.
  54. How does a design leader manage their own anger? And the wrath of others?
  55. “I’m going to destroy Android because it is a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.” --Steve Jobs, 2010
  56. iReally?
  57. “You cannot expect rational thinking from an irrational person.”
  58. Rationalization JustificationBlame
  59. Use Humor Tell a FriendFocus on Solutions
  60. “Some people come into your life as blessings. Other people come into your life as lessons.” -- Mother Teresa
  61. Sloth
  62. Sloth is simply being lazy: mentally and spiritually. On Mount Purgatory, Dante and Virgil encounter: • Lazy people that constantly move. • Other lazy people jog and climb. • The laziest run at top speed forever.
  63. How does a design leader stay motivated? How do they keep their people engaged?
  64. Manifestations of Laziness Apathy Entitlement
  65. Manifestations of Laziness Giving Up Finger Pointing
  66. Live in the Moment
  67. Develop a Mission Driven Mindset
  68. Change Behaviors
  69. Develop Keystone Habits
  70. Keystone Habits for Designers Usability TestingUser Research
  71. Hard Work = Integrity
  72. “Work is not punishment. It’s a reward that gives you strength and pleasure.”
  73. Greed
  74. Greed is an insane desire to acquire (or possess) more than you need. It can lead to bribery, hoarding, and stealing. Dante and Virgil see greedy people lie naked on the ground because they were concentrated on Earthly possessions.
  75. How does a design leader handle greedy or possessive people?
  76. • I design everything $100 • I design, you watch $200 • I design, you advise $300 • I design, you help $500 • You design, I help $750 • You design, I advise $1,500 • You design, I watch $2,500 • You design everything $5,000 Design Joke on Facebook
  77. Typical Sales Funnel
  78. Give Time, Talent, and Treasure
  79. Share Your Tools
  80. Leaders Share Knowledge
  81. “No one have ever become poor from giving.” -- Maya Angelou
  82. Gluttony
  83. Gluttony is an over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. Gluttons consume too much, too fast, too soon, too wildly, and too expensively. On Mount Purgatory, it rains garbage and the gluttons eat what they can find. Only one of them notices Dante and Virgil.
  84. Millions Line Up for the Latest iPhone
  85. 140 Million Trashed Yearly
  86. 1,150,000
  87. 5 Phones Per Second
  88. Enough to Power for Two Years 2016 2017
  89. Are You Reducing?
  90. Are You Reusing?
  91. Are You Recycling?
  92. Are You Restoring?
  93. Are Your Designs Accessible?
  94. “Nothing is a waste of time, if you use the experience wisely.” -- Auguste Rodin
  95. Lust
  96. Lust is an intense desire for fame, sex, money, or power. It is an unnatural craving we use to justify bad choices. In Dante’s Purgatory, lustful souls twist and swirl in a tornado to symbolize their own lack of self-control.
  97. How does a design leader handle temptations and distractions?
  98. People Lust for Fame
  99. We Reject Speakers Yearly
  100. Greedy Spiteful Snob Egotistical Hateful Insipid
  101. “Silence cannot be misquoted.”
  102. “The currency is in the conversations.”
  103. Create Boundaries
  104. Speaker Voting System
  105. Code of Conduct Policy
  106. Green Room Policy
  107. Blacklisted a Few Folks
  108. Kicked Out a Few Folks
  109. Speaker Orientation
  110. Speaker Studio to Critique
  111. Slides to Help You Prepare
  112. Greedy Spiteful SnobIntellectual Egotistical Hateful Insipid
  113. “When you are going to lead, keep leading.”
  114. How to Lead at Work
  115. “You don’t have to be a manager to be a leader.” Rule #1
  116. “Leaders are readers.” Rule #2
  117. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Rule #3
  118. “Follow the ABCs: Always Be Communicating.” Rule #4
  119. “Leaders are learners.” Rule #5
  120. “Don’t mistake silence for acceptance.” Rule #6
  121. “Leaders are listeners.” Rule #7
  122. “Preparation determines success.” Rule #8
  123. “Leaders build other leaders.” Rule #9
  124. “When you are going through Hell, keep going.” Rule #10