Episode #322: Julie Zhuo – What To Do When Everyone Looks To You

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Julie Zhuo is the VP of Product Design for Facebook.  She was the first-ever intern for the company.  She leads the team responsible for the Facebook App.  Julie is known as one of Silicon Valley’s top product design executives, she leads the teams behind some of the most popular web and mobile services used by billions of people around the world. Julie writes about technology, great user experiences, and leadership on her popular blog “The Year of the Looking Glass” as well as publications like the New York Times and Fast Company.  She is the best-selling author of, The Making Of A Manager.

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“The biggest difference between good management and great management is the output of the team.”

Show Notes:

  • Leaders who sustain excellence =
    • Have a mindset of growth
      • They assume they have so much to learn
  • How does the process of writing help you learn?
    • “Writing structures your thoughts into something organized”
    • The practice of thinking in a structured manner
    • It is one way to make sense of things
  • Working at Facebook as VP of Design
    • Work is only part of self — They support hobbies (like writing a blog and a book)
    • Must find your own voice
    • It’s important to write while you’re working  Document your thoughts
  • Joined Facebook in 2006 when it was a college site as their first ever intern.  Julie remembers when the entire company fit inside a backyard BBQ
    • After three years, a manager pulled her aside and asked her to manage a growing team, “You get along with everyone, what do you think?”
      • There was a big sense of Imposter Syndrome initially
  • How to earn respect as a new manager?
    • Don’t pretend like you know everything.  It’s hard to connect if you do this.
  • Understand your levers:
    • 1) People — The talent you hire and develop
    • 2) Process — How to work together effectively
    • 3) Purpose — Does everyone have the same view of success?
  • Managing:
    • Do at least 30 minutes 1 on 1 with each direct report per week
  • What is your dream team?
    • Values, skills, diversity of perspective
    • Create a north star to work towards together
  • Exercise:  At the end of the year, what does your team look like?  What qualities do they possess?  Are they?
    • Self aware
    • Growth oriented mindset
    • Values jive with what they want and what they team is doing
    • A team player
  • “The biggest difference between great management and average management is the output of the team.”
  • Must develop high levels of self-awareness — “Get to the level of brutal honesty with self.  Get feedback from others.”
    • “The picture others have of you needs to be accurate”
  • Meetings:
    • Imagine this meeting was wildly successful — What was the outcome?  Define that ahead of time.  Be clear of intention.  Understand the outcome.  Get feedback, ask the members of the meeting.
  • “Feedback is a gift.  Say thank you for the feedback.”
  • “Find a way to reward feedback.”
  • “I want other young managers to see themselves in me.”
  • Broad advice:
    • “Have you taken stock of what having a great life means?  Define it for you.  What do you value?
  • Work with a coach — Take a step back.  When you’re 80, what will you have wished it would look like?

“Writing structures your thought into something organized.”

More Resources:

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303:  General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership

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