The challenges of leading change

What does it mean to be a leader?

The challenges of leading change

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This past week I picked up a book a mentee launched on Amazon, The Minimalist Career Changer. Reading about his story of changing career from architecture to product design is inspiring me to think "minimally". I had a dream that one day in the future, all of these learnings will go into a book of my own. But hey, maybe that day can be sooner than the infinite time in the future.

I wrote the first part of this story in May, about getting agreement to enhance strategy to a new framework from UX from leadership. In the last 2 months, I have achieved consensus on creating user outcomes in a ranking of importance across the organization. By ranking outcomes, it enhances the organization's decision-making ability to discuss user vs business needs.

The hardest part of the climb has been achieved, instead of feeling triumphant, I feel a sense of loneliness. On this journey, I was detached from all high-visibility tasks for the quarter. I find myself having to focus on educating everybody, building relationships, and sharing knowledge in a way that is accessible and engaging.

Standing for your beliefs firmly is Sisyphean effort, draining emotionally with little appreciation. It's a thankless effort because the work is the iceberg under the sea of change.

This week, there were a couple of Linkedin discussions that came up on my feed that discuss UX maturity in companies and people feeling the pressure to deliver the same amount of work with fewer resources.

"Even if this org doesn't appreciate your work yet, know that our org does. You did the work of 3 principals."

What I have learned from this invaluable opportunity is that the world doesn't need another sheep. We require designers that can critically think, adaptable to new ideas, synthesize old truths, and show us the future they have envisioned that others can't see.

The lesson I am learning is that to inspire others to believe in themselves, I must relentlessly believe in myself and my abilities with hardening confidence. I look to my mentors to help bring in different perspectives I have yet to consider. How much does the needle need to move to show change has happened? How do we agree to the yardstick on the impossible measurements of culture and maturity?

Some questions I am thinking about.

  • What does it mean to be a leader?
  • How does a leader inspire others to believe in themselves
  • What principles do I exemplify?
  • What story do I tell about challenges and mistakes I've met as a leader?
  • What are some good stories of strong leadership?

A good story:

Untold narrative as a Head of Design
Journey of navigating magnitude and solitude