Modeling Leadership & Traversing Power Structures
“By its very nature, design is about exploring, about options, about embracing many disciplines and multiple points of view.Within this sometimes confusing and often contradictory diversity, leadership is the ability to discern vistas and pathways.”
This talk started out as a stone in my shoe. I had been reading on the various UX related lists including the IxDA and IA Institutes mailing lists people complaining about the lack of empowerment they felt in their jobs within organizations. Some of these posts bordered on whiny kvetch-fests saying in essence that they had no influence within the organization; their ideas where not considered; engineering had all the power; or they simply had no seat at the table.
This got me thinking about influence and power, because I knew that over the years, the user experience profession had developed a powerful set of tools for understanding problem spaces, and designing innovative solutions to those problems.
Why complain? Not to put too fine a point on it, but why whine like little bitches suffering from Stockholm Syndrome? Why couldn’t we take activities, methods, and processes from UX itself and try to solve for this problem space. This talk presents a history of management theory, and exploration of the philosophy of power, a deep dive into the attributes of successful leaders, and a list of key attributes that designers seeking power can use to become the leaders that have the ability to become.