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Keynote: Back To Your Future40:59 with Kate Matsudaira
Picture yourself in 10 years: you have a career and a life that you love. Now - how did you get there? Real success - the kind that builds unstoppable momentum and gets you more of what you want from life - doesn't just come from chasing your next raise or promotion up the corporate ladder. This talk will give you a brand new roadmap and set of tools so you can start building a future you love. In the tech industry today, you have to take your career growth into your own hands, and the most successful people will be those consistently learning and growing the right skills. If you're ready to truly level up in your career, it's time to start focusing on the things that really move the needle and take you where you want to go.
[MUSIC] 0:01 [APPLAUSE] Hello everybody. I hope you could hear me. 0:14 >> Yep. 0:18 >> Great. 0:19 Thank you for the confirmation. 0:20 Much appreciated. 0:21 I hope everyone has been enjoying the conference. 0:22 So, today my session is going to be a little bit 0:27 different than probably everything else you've heard today. 0:30 Because as you go through all of the different talks and 0:33 things like that you're learning a lot of great skills. 0:36 You're learning about product and strategy and design. 0:38 And today I'm going to talk about something totally different, which is you. 0:41 And so, I want to start my talk with, oops. 0:46 Uh-oh. 0:50 One sec. 0:52 Keynote died, apparently. 0:53 A lot of technical difficulties, all right. 1:01 Okay, trying again. 1:09 So I want you all to close your eyes, like pretend like that just didn't happen. 1:10 No, I really actually do want you to close your eyes. 1:15 I promise I won't change the slides. 1:17 Are you closing them? 1:20 Don't look at anybody, just close them. 1:21 Okay, now I want you to imagine your career and your life in five or ten years. 1:25 And I want you to think about what it is you're doing. 1:31 Where do you work? 1:35 Do you have the same job or same company that you are in now? 1:37 Or are you in totally different field? 1:41 And I want you think about how you spend your time outside of work. 1:44 And as you think about all this, I want you to 1:50 think about the things that you really want and you could open your eyes now. 1:53 And I'm going to change the slide in a second. 1:56 And as you thought about all that stuff, right? 1:59 I want you to think about what it means to be truly successful. 2:03 What does it mean for you to be happy? 2:07 And what does it mean to live a rich life? 2:10 For some people, a regular paycheck, and owning a home, 2:13 that security is really important to them. 2:17 For other people it's they want to run a big team or an organization or 2:19 make a big impact, right? 2:24 Travel the world. 2:25 And other people they just want a family and 2:27 have enough free time to spend with the people that they love. 2:29 And in this way happiness and success mean different things to all of us. 2:34 And so, as we go through this talk, I want you to think about what it means to you. 2:39 Because you need to have a target. 2:45 Imagine if I had a sharp shooter standing up on stage with me, and 2:48 I had him shoot this target and he hit it. 2:53 And then I had him do it again. 2:54 He was going to do it a third time but I put a blindfold on him. 2:57 Do you think he's going to hit it? 3:01 I know we are in Las Vegas so we can make some bets but I would guess probably not. 3:04 Because you can't hit a target that you can't see. 3:08 And this is true with your goals and your life. 3:12 And so how to create a career 3:16 that you love doesn't start with your next promotion or 3:19 a move to a new city or getting that position that you really want. 3:23 Your future, those are all just results, right, they're not causes. 3:28 You are the cause and you are the person who can make these things happen. 3:34 So to be successful at work you have to do more than just get things done. 3:41 And I want to share a little story with you 3:47 about my own experience because I had to learn this lesson in a really painful way. 3:50 When I first started my career, I was working in shrink-wrapped software. 3:55 And we had spent two years on this big launch. 3:58 And when the product finally shipped, the VP got up on stage. 4:02 And I was excited because he called out our team and our accomplishments. 4:06 Out of all these hundreds of people he highlighted two features. 4:10 And one of them was the one I worked on with five other people. 4:14 And the thing is I had done the most work. 4:17 I was the most junior person on the team, but I had something to prove and 4:20 I was ambitious. 4:24 So I worked nights and I worked weekends. 4:24 And in terms of lines of code and the features and all the functionality, 4:27 I had done more than everyone else. 4:32 But, when the VP got up on stage, he said, I'd like to recognize Jeff and his team. 4:35 And, I was like, Jeff? 4:40 How could the VP be so out of touch with what I was doing? 4:44 This was the first time that I really learned 4:49 that recognition isn't just about what you do. 4:52 How many people have ever had this happen? 4:56 Where they worked really hard and didn't get the recognition they deserved? 4:57 I think it happens to a lot of us. 5:02 And it sucks to be overlooked when someone else gets the credit. 5:04 But the thing is now that I have been a manager for 5:08 over ten years I know exactly why this happens. 5:11 I'm going to share with you in a second. 5:14 But first, I want to tell you that the better you are at your job and 5:17 the more autonomy you have, the less anyone knows what you're doing. 5:25 And this is important to understand because if no one knows what you're doing, 5:31 then how are you ever going to be recognized for your accomplishments? 5:35 But it's sort of a good thing, right? 5:41 Because you don't want to be micromanaged. 5:42 You want the freedom to make decisions, to get things done, and to be great. 5:44 But all this freedom, it comes at a cost, right? 5:50 Because when no one knows what you're doing and 5:53 they can't recognize your accomplishments, how are you going to get credit? 5:55 How's anyone going to know that you stay up nights weekends and days and 6:00 all these big contributions? 6:03 And this is something I really want to hit home. 6:06 Because this is something that for me, Jeff knew, and I didn't. 6:09 He knew that he needed to be communicating his status. 6:14 He went to meetings, he talked to leadership, he asked them questions, 6:18 he got feedback. 6:22 And in retrospect I actually think the reason our feature was recognized 6:23 was because of him. 6:28 But at the time I had just been really frustrated because I had done so 6:31 much work and wasn't that superstar. 6:34 So, to be a superstar at work and 6:38 to have your contributions recognized as a superstar, you can't just do the work. 6:41 You have to be seen as a superstar and the value that you add has to be recognized. 6:48 So, as you think about your success and your happiness, I'm going to talk about 6:53 three things that are going to help you be more successful in your career. 6:58 And my goal with this as we go through this, and 7:01 I'd love it if you took notes and you're able to channel this into your 7:03 life when you get back at work, is to help you be better. 7:06 And hopefully you can just learn one thing from everything I'm about to tell you. 7:09 So the three things I'm going to talk about are the flux capacitor, 7:14 got a Back to the Future theme going on here, time travel, and Mr. Doc Brown. 7:18 And so I'm going to go through each of these in turn, so you'll find out what 7:24 this has to do with your career in a minute, but we'll start with one. 7:27 The flux capacitor. 7:30 Well, actually more specifically the design of the Flux Capacitor. 7:32 You need a plan, right? 7:36 It kind of goes with the target that we mentioned, 7:38 that you can't hit a target that you can't see. 7:41 And really successful people; they don't leave their results to chance. 7:44 They think things through and craft a plan to get there. 7:49 And so I want you to think about if you are to rate yourself on your skill one 7:54 to 10, what you would be? 8:00 Right now. Where 10 is this really amazing 8:01 version of your self. 8:03 Maybe it's six, a seven, a five, I don't know. 8:05 But this delta between you and your amazing you? 8:10 Is your greatness gap. 8:13 It's what you need to be great. 8:14 And now I'd love for you to spend just a minute. 8:16 I'm not going to actually spend a whole minute, 8:19 a few seconds and think about what you need to be amazing. 8:20 What are the skills that you need to have? 8:26 What are the things that you need to learn? 8:29 What are the experiences you want to have and accomplish? 8:32 And if you think about things feel free to write them down. 8:38 But now I want you to imagine you go to work on Monday. 8:40 You get back from this conference, you've had a good time, 8:43 hopefully you've won some money. 8:46 And you walk into the office, and you see your boss and 8:48 he's in a conference room talking to someone and you're hey guy's who's that? 8:52 Oh, didn't you hear it's your replacement. 8:55 We decided we found someone better to do your job while you were gone. 8:58 Now I want you to think about this person because there is someone who is better at 9:03 your job then you. 9:06 I guarantee it. 9:07 And I want you to think about what they have that you don't. 9:09 Ask yourself, do they put in more effort? 9:13 Probably not, right? 9:15 Because if you're working and doing 40 hours a week, you're probably, 9:16 there's a limit? 9:19 And if you're not, that's a really easy fix, right? 9:20 So, are they more knowledgeable? 9:23 If you think about your greatness gap, do they have skills, or 9:26 things that you thought that you needed? 9:29 Maybe. 9:32 But, I bet you have something that they don't that's actually way more useful. 9:34 And that is legacy knowledge. 9:37 You know how your job works. 9:39 You've been doing it and you know the people. 9:40 You know the process. 9:42 And you probably have the skills or you never would have got the job. 9:44 So I don't think this it it. 9:47 So what do they have that you don't? 9:50 I don't know what you're thinking, which is probably good. 9:54 If I had ESP I doubt I could do this talk. 9:56 I bet it is something along the lines of how they do their work. 9:59 It's maybe how they come to work. 10:04 How they work with other people. 10:06 Maybe, they don't have burned bridges or communication problems. 10:08 Maybe it's the way they treat other people or how they run meetings and 10:12 bring in new ideas, instead of crushing them. 10:15 I don't know what it is but I guarantee you it's not about the actual work you're 10:18 doing but probably how you're doing the work. 10:22 And this is really important because as you thought about your goals and 10:24 what it took to be amazing, I don't think most of you thought about these things 10:28 that actually would make you even better at your job. 10:32 And so, you've gotta choose the right goals. 10:35 And part of it is thinking about the future that you really want. 10:41 But part of it is also knowing what you need to improve to be really good at 10:43 your job. 10:48 And one of the things that people talk about is always focus on your weaknesses, 10:49 well, I totally just disagree with that advice. 10:52 I think you need to figure out what you can be the very best in the world at and 10:55 do more of that. 11:00 There's a really great book called So Good, 11:01 They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport. 11:03 It's probably one of the best books I've read. 11:05 But he presents a lot of data and stories about why this is the case. 11:07 So I suggest you read it, if you don't believe me. 11:12 And as you think about these things that you wanna do, 11:16 I wanna talk about 4 keys to setting good goals, and 11:17 kind of talk a little bit about each one and why they're important. 11:21 And we'll go through this kinda fast, cuz some of this may be obvious to you guys. 11:23 So the first one is, you've got to think about success. 11:29 You've gotta visualize and know where you want to go. 11:32 You need to write your goals down. 11:37 How many people write their goals down? 11:38 Wow, not that many. 11:42 I was expecting more hands. 11:43 You need to write it down and you need to work backwards. 11:45 You need to think about where you want to be, like your success, 11:47 and work backwards on what you need to get there. 11:50 Then, once you've done that, you need to set up specific big steps. 11:53 So I'm a procrastinator, in the worst way. 11:58 And the problem with that is, 12:03 that it makes it really hard to make progress on your goals, but 12:05 one of the things I've learned to do is to start with the smallest step. 12:09 So literally you'll read my to do list and it says things like, search on Google for 12:12 something [LAUGH] because when you break it down really small, 12:17 it makes it easy to make progress. 12:20 And the thing about goals, 12:23 is that when you have a big goal if you break it into small pieces you can do it. 12:25 I mean think about it, if you want to read some really good business books to help 12:30 you in your career, it can be really daunting to pick up a stack of ten books. 12:35 But if you read just ten pages a day, that's about 12 books in a year. 12:38 And so for the first month you may not be smarter, but I'll be damned, if you read 12:44 those 12 books, that you're not better at your job by the end of the year. 12:48 And so figure out what you can do that's specific and 12:51 small, that you can do every day, or at least every week. 12:54 The second thing, and this is a tip from the book The Power of Habit, 12:59 which is also a really good book, is that, figure out what is gonna go wrong, 13:04 before it goes wrong. 13:08 If you're on a diet, and you're going to a party, eat beforehand or bring a snack. 13:10 Have a plan. 13:15 Make it easy for you to succeed. 13:16 And finally, and this one's sort of hard to read, but it says, careful you're 13:19 extremely hot, which I always thought was really funny because, anyway. 13:24 You've gotta plan to follow up. 13:29 So, if you take the time to write your goals, 13:30 put a reminder on your calendar to actually go and revisit those goals. 13:34 Cuz it doesn't do any good just to write them down if you never look at them. 13:39 The other important part about goals and goal setting is that they're gonna change. 13:44 When I first started my career, I wanted to be a VP at a big company. 13:51 That was my goal. 13:54 And then when I became a director, I realized, 13:55 I always talk about how I was running to the light at the end of the tunnel, and 13:57 when I saw what was on the other side, it wasn't where I wanted to be. 14:00 And then I wanted to be an entrepreneur, so I did that. 14:03 And then I had a child, and that changed my priorities and 14:06 my goals quite a bit too. 14:09 And so, plans are gonna change, and so you have to be flexible and adaptable, 14:10 and constantly be reevaluating, and saying, are these the right goals for me? 14:15 That's what this is all about. 14:20 So this is part two. 14:23 So that's like part one, that's the flux capacitor and 14:24 what it means to your career. 14:26 So now, I wanna talk about time travel, and what that means to your career. 14:27 So in the context of Back to the Future, time travel's about making things happen. 14:32 And, this is a really important part about your work, 14:38 because you need to be able to get things done. 14:41 And, in my very first review that I had, 14:45 I told you about my tendencies of this really ambitious, like driven. 14:50 So, I want to be exceptional. 14:53 And I went into my first review and I was like, I've got this. 14:55 I worked so hard, I did everything I was asked, I didn't screw up. 14:58 And my manager's just like, you're about average. 15:02 And I was like, how am I about average? 15:03 I did everything you asked, it was high quality and it was on time. 15:06 What am I missing? 15:10 He's like, that's not enough. 15:11 That's what you get paid to do. 15:12 He's like if you want to be exceptional you can't just do your job. 15:14 You have to find other places to add value. 15:19 You have to look for opportunities and those extras things that you do, 15:23 the more value that they add that's whats gonna make your career. 15:27 Best piece of advice I ever got. 15:33 Because once I did this, then I was able to be exceptional. 15:36 So think about that in your own career and your job. 15:40 The second thing, as you think about these different things you want to do to add 15:44 value, not all work is created equal. 15:48 And so you've got to do work that matters. 15:51 I do these what I call my Monday ninja planning sessions, 15:54 I always do them every Monday as I start my week, or Sunday nights. 15:58 And, I basically sit there and say what are the top five to ten things 16:03 that I have to get done this week, that will move the needle? 16:07 And I use that time, to also review my monthly and yearly goals. 16:10 And this is really powerful because it makes sure that all the time I spend is 16:15 on the right things, and inevitably I'll come to Thursday and 16:19 I'll have been like so busy because you get email, and email is not work. 16:23 Just so everyone knows email is someone else's agenda. 16:28 I'm notoriously bad a replying to email though so, 16:31 [LAUGH] but don't do email, do real work. 16:33 Carve out your time, plan your week. 16:37 Because on Thursday, 16:39 I find that I have only done one of the six things that I set out to do. 16:40 So it helps me refocus and get those things done. 16:43 Sorry, I hate email [LAUGH]. 16:47 The other important part of all of this is you have to manage your manager. 16:51 So how do you know what work is important? 16:55 How do you know what work will move the needle? 16:58 You're not gonna know unless you ask. 16:59 You're not gonna know unless you really understand what your team's goals, what 17:00 your manager's goals, and what overall, your manager's manager's goals are. 17:07 When you understand that, then you're able to really do important work. 17:12 But the thing is not all bosses are good [LAUGH] bosses. 17:18 How many people have a bad boss? 17:21 Oh you don't have to raise your hand because some people might be 17:23 sitting next to their boss. 17:25 >> [LAUGH] >> Lots of people though. 17:26 But that's okay because you know why, you care most about your career, 17:28 and so you can actually make your manager a good manager, 17:32 by asking them the right questions, and helping them guide you. 17:37 So, the key about this, is you've got to ask for feedback. 17:41 And I don't mean, walk in to their office and be like, hey, how am I doing? 17:45 Because every manager, 17:49 that's a really hard question to ask, especially on the spot. 17:50 You need to ask for specific feedback. 17:54 You need to say, I did this spec, what did you think? 17:57 How could I have made it better? 18:00 I ran this meeting, how could I have done it better, right? 18:02 And you don't just ask your manager, you ask everybody. 18:06 You ask your teammates, the other smart people, people who are doing it right. 18:08 And that's gonna help you be even more successful, right? 18:12 And so, be specific and don't limit feedback to your manager. 18:16 Oh, but one more thing on feedback. 18:19 If you ask for it, just listen to it and say thank you. 18:21 Don't explain it. 18:25 Don't make excuses. 18:26 Nothing. Just thank you and use it and 18:28 figure out how you can be better cuz feedback is a gift. 18:30 So back to my whole thing about no one knows what you do all day, 18:35 including your manager. 18:39 This was really hit home for me because how do you know you're doing a good job? 18:40 I was on the other side of the table, a few years ago I took over a team and 18:47 I had a poor performer, and I was told he was really bad and I need to fire him. 18:51 And, I was like, no, no, no, let me. 18:55 I wanna be objective and actually understand his performance myself. 18:56 So, I went on this mission to figure out how he had done and 19:01 to actually assess it for myself. 19:05 So, I started thinking about, how do I quantify performance? 19:07 So ours is, did he work? 19:10 This is terrible, because who knows, right [LAUGH]? 19:13 And he was remote and I was new, so this didn't work. 19:15 So he's an engineer, so 19:19 lines of codes effective is a metric people often look at around productivity. 19:20 I think this is terrible, cuz as an engineer myself, 19:25 it has taken me once two days to write one line of code that was a really bad bug, 19:28 and you can cut and paste thousands of lines of code in a matter of a minute. 19:32 So this is terrible. 19:36 So, maybe bugs or tests or some other quality metric around his work? 19:39 Does that mean he did a good job? 19:43 Well, this is just one facet of what you do, so I don't think this is good. 19:45 So then he was like how about features right? 19:48 Because that's like the Holy Grail. 19:52 Did he get his work done on time? 19:54 Was it meaningful? 19:56 But then as I tied into this, this was actually really problematic. 19:57 Because I didn't have the context. 20:01 I didn't know if he had to learn something new to build a feature. 20:04 I didn't know if he had to do research or 20:07 there's some example on the internet that made this really easy. 20:10 I didn't have the context, so I couldn't even use this. 20:13 And of course none of these metrics take in all these other things that make 20:16 someone a really great member of an engineering team. 20:19 So, if you can't objectively measure performance then how do you know anyone's 20:24 doing a good job? 20:29 And this is a little crazy because the way you know is how everyone feels about 20:32 the work that you're doing. 20:36 Right? 20:39 How does every one knows you work with think about your performance? 20:39 Because that's how your performance is being judged and this means that 20:43 your trust how you act with people who trust you and then your actual 20:48 integrity which to me means doing the right thing even when no one is watching. 20:52 So, I'm not going to talk much about integrity, but 20:57 I want to talk a lot about trust. 20:59 So, what is trust? 21:02 What is trust at work? 21:03 You know that you want your boss to trust you and their boss. 21:04 Right? You want them to give you responsibility 21:07 and autonomy and all that freedom to do what you want. 21:09 But, trust is actually like a weighted graph. 21:14 And every single person you interact with matters. 21:17 Because it doesn't matter how much I like you, 21:20 if someone else thinks you're really bad and I trust them, 21:23 or I think highly of them, it's going to impact my opinion of you. 21:25 And in this way, all of your relationships at work, 21:29 and everyone you interact with, is important. 21:33 So you've got to build trust. 21:37 And this means that you have to go, you have to be trustworthy. 21:40 So, I'm going to talk about what this means in the context of your career, 21:43 because I think it's very actual to something that you can do. 21:46 So, the very first part of being trustworthy 21:50 is you've got to do a good job, right? 21:53 It goes back to that whole effort thing. 21:54 If you're not putting in the effort that's the first place to start. 21:56 People want to work with other people who are making things happen, 22:00 who are successful, who are getting things done. 22:03 So you've got to be amazing. 22:05 The second thing is you've got to be dependable and reliable. 22:08 So, when I was a kid, I used to make my mom late for work sometimes. 22:12 She was a waitress. 22:17 And she told me once, she said Kitty, 22:19 because that's what I went by as a kid, when you make me late, you're telling 22:21 everyone at my work that your time is more important than their time. 22:25 And this is really important, because I think in a lot of companies 22:30 meetings start five and ten minutes late all the time. 22:33 And people aren't punctual. 22:36 But not being punctual is actually really disrespectful. 22:37 And moreover, I know that as a like new mom and 22:41 stuff, I can do a whole lot with ten minutes. 22:45 So I don't like it when people waste my time. 22:47 So show up and the other part about this is you got to estimate your work right. 22:50 Being dependable isn't just about being and 22:56 showing up where you're supposed to show up. 22:58 It's delivering on your commitments. 23:01 I was really bad at this. 23:05 I think, one of the big difference between junior engineers and 23:07 senior engineers is your ability to hit your deadlines. 23:09 I had a mentor who told me, make a list of all the things that you're going to do, 23:13 even like chores at home like washing the dishes. 23:18 And how long you think you will do it. 23:20 And then, analyze the results and just do it for a week. 23:22 And you'll get really good at estimating your time and 23:25 you'll understand a lot about yourself. 23:27 This was super good advice and it worked really well for me. 23:30 I think the other part about this is always doing the hardest work first. 23:32 I know Agiles' all the rage but back before there was Agile there was 23:37 Rational Rose and that's what they always talked about in projects. 23:40 And I think it's true, it allows you to get the ambiguities out of the way, so 23:43 you can always hit your deadlines. 23:47 Or tell people way ahead of time. 23:49 And if that's not reason enough to be on time for things, and I love this one, when 23:50 you show up on time to something, you're essentially predicting the future right? 23:57 Because you said you were going to be there and you're there. 24:01 No? Come on, it's funny. 24:04 Okay, so with this, with trust, so 24:07 you've got this contribution, obvious, dependability, obvious, but 24:12 the other part is you've got to improve your relationship. 24:17 So we're going to do another little exercise, 24:19 I want you to make two ordered lists. 24:21 [SOUND] And on the first list, I want you to put all of the people 24:23 who are the most important people in your company. 24:28 These are the people who get things done. 24:32 When you have meetings, they're the ones that are called out. 24:34 They're the ones maybe with big titles, or a lot of responsibility. 24:38 And then I want you to make a list of the people you spend time with at work. 24:42 And the interesting thing is if there is not a lot of overlap, 24:49 you are probably doing yourself a disservice. 24:52 Because when you improve your relationships with these people on 24:56 the team It's going to help you in the future. 25:00 And the reason why. 25:02 It's just like standard physics. 25:03 An object in motion tends to stay in motion. 25:05 Successful important people now tend to only be more successful and 25:08 more important as time goes on. 25:12 And so, you want to align with them. 25:14 You want that if they're asked for 25:17 a reference about you in the future that they're going to say really good things. 25:19 And that they know who you are. 25:23 And so this will improve your work happiness and 25:25 help you actually get things done in your office when you have good relationships. 25:28 A great way of thinking about it and I love this analogy is that 25:34 every relationship you have is like a film strip. 25:37 And every time you interact with someone whether it's over email or 25:40 in a meeting, or even right now you're interacting with me. 25:43 It creates a frame in that film strip. 25:48 And the more frames that you have, 25:50 the longer your movie is, the more you feel like you know someone. 25:52 And this is really important because you can use this to your advantage. 25:55 When you have, you know this is also, but before I go into that how to use it. 25:59 This is also why unfair promotions happen. 26:04 Right, think about it. 26:07 Because if you have your choice between two people, 26:08 and one you have a lot of history with and you really know. 26:10 Who're you going to place your bet on? 26:12 Right, just like a new hire. 26:15 If your two candidates interview and they do pretty well. 26:16 And maybe one does slightly better, but one has an employee referral. 26:18 Who are you going to hire? 26:21 Right? You're going to probably hire the referral 26:24 because you want to make a good decision and trust plays a big factor in that. 26:26 Those film strips. 26:30 So, you can use it to your advantage by 26:31 creating more interactions with the people that you want better relationships with. 26:35 So, find common ground. 26:39 Figure out something you can ask them about. 26:42 Figure out something you can do with them. 26:44 Work on a project, take them to lunch, take them to coffee. 26:46 Build that relationship. 26:49 And if you're thinking, okay, 26:52 I have this horrible guy that I burned the bridge, but everyone loves him. 26:54 He's really hard to work with. 26:58 That's okay. 26:59 You can use the Benjamin Franklin effect to fix this. 27:00 So, he, a long time ago, 27:04 there was a Pennsylvania legislator who had this really amazing book collection. 27:07 And he hated Benjamin Franklin and would say all these negative things about him. 27:11 Well Benjamin Franklin asked him to borrow a book. 27:15 And the guy lent it to him, and 27:17 Benjamin Franklin returned it with a nice thank you note. 27:19 And then they actually became friends. 27:20 Because when you do something nice for 27:23 someone it creates a cognitive dissonance and you can't really dislike them. 27:25 So if you have someone you need to build a good relationship with, ask them for help. 27:31 Ask them to help you in your project. 27:36 Or help you flash out an idea, brainstorm or something new. 27:37 And the key with all this stuff always relationship is you got to focus 27:42 on the long term. 27:45 Don't focus on this week or next week so if there's an argument in a meeting, 27:46 it's not about who's right It's about that relationship five to ten years from now. 27:49 Because I'll tell you. 27:54 How many people will remember all the arguments they had last year. 27:55 Most people don't. 27:59 Or disagreements, right? 28:00 So focus on the long-term and let it go. 28:02 And finally, if you have someone really difficult don't give up. 28:06 It just takes time. 28:07 And eventually, hopefully, they'll see it your way, and 28:09 you can actually count them as not just a work friend, but a friend. 28:12 So the other important part about making things happen 28:17 is you've got to be a good communicator. 28:20 I love this slide. 28:23 [LAUGH] It's my favorite [LAUGH]. 28:24 That's because it's so funny, right? 28:26 But you have to be really good about getting your message across. 28:28 Part of that is you don't send the same message to everyone. 28:34 So, as an engineer, we would have outages when we do postmortems, 28:38 I made the mistake of sending the same postmortem to the whole company. 28:41 And this was a big lesson to me because what my team cared about and 28:45 what the execs cared about weren't the same thing. 28:48 Right. People have different. 28:52 So, think about your audience before you send an email. 28:53 Which brings me to my next point. 28:56 You've got to be a good writer. 28:58 You need to write good emails. 29:00 Your emails should be readable on a phone. 29:01 They should be skimmable. 29:03 You should put the punchline at the top. 29:04 They're not jokes, right? 29:06 This is a joke. 29:08 Come on. Okay. 29:11 So, if you want a good book, read the book on writing well. 29:12 It will make you better in your career. 29:17 It will make you a better writer. 29:18 It's a really good book. 29:20 And the other thing with communication is you have to be proactive. 29:22 So, I think we all have the tendency when something bad really happens to want to 29:28 fix it and then you know about it. 29:31 Like for example, you think you might miss your deadline or you having some trouble, 29:34 but you're like, okay, if I just keep working, I'll get through it, 29:37 I'll be able to save this. 29:39 And you keep saying that. 29:40 And this is actually really bad. 29:42 It's much better when you hit a roadblock to say hey I hit a roadblock, and I'm 29:44 really worried about hitting my deadline, when you hit it several days in advance. 29:47 So you might be able to get help or work around it. 29:51 So, be proactive in your communication to people, because it's gonna make you 29:53 more successful, and you're gonna make you more dependable when things don't work. 29:57 All right, part three. 30:02 This is like the third part. 30:05 So, what does Doc Brown have to do with your career? 30:06 So, it's about help. 30:11 You have to enlist people along with you on your journey. 30:13 You need a network. 30:17 Not just at work, but also outside of work. 30:18 Right? These are people you can call on people 30:21 that need help. 30:23 And the reason why. 30:25 I'll just tell you the reason why really fast. 30:26 Everything you get in life is not because of work that you do. 30:31 The jobs you get, the raises you get, everything you get, 30:34 even the projects you get, those are given to you by people. 30:38 And so it's really important to have people in your corner. 30:40 And a big part of that is having influence. 30:42 So I learned a hard lesson about influence. 30:45 When I first became a manager, I am sort of embarrassed to admit this, thought that 30:48 the more people I had working for me, and the more projects I had, the better I was. 30:52 So, I had this little empire, and I thought that made me really important, 30:56 cuz I had like 50 people working for me. 31:00 But then I went to this meeting, and there were all these other important managers, 31:02 with all these people working for them, and we had to wait to start the meeting. 31:06 I'm like, why are we waiting, they're like, well we need Al. 31:10 And Al didn't have any direct reports. 31:13 He was a product manager. 31:16 But he had something that I didn't have, and that was influence. 31:18 He was important, and I wanted to be important. 31:22 And that was the time my little empire came crashing down. 31:24 And I started to realize what really gets things done in a company. 31:27 And what really makes you successful isn't about the amount of responsibility you 31:30 have, but it's about the amount of influence you have. 31:34 And influence comes from power. 31:38 So we're going to do another little exercise, I want everyone to stand up. 31:40 And if someone is not standing up, 31:45 I want you to give them a dirty look until they do stand up. 31:47 And I'm going to wait. 31:49 Come on, you guys need exercise, admit it. 31:53 Okay, sit down. 31:55 That's power. 31:59 >> [LAUGHS] >> I think I'm so funny. 32:01 >> I had to do it. 32:04 But that's formal power, right? 32:06 Like I have power because I'm standing up here in stage and 32:08 you guys are all kind of forced to listen to more for the next 13 more minutes. 32:12 That's formal power, but what you can have, 32:19 whether if you don't have a team or whatever, is informal power. 32:21 And this is actually important because even if you are not granted a fancy title 32:26 or authority, you can actually become a very powerful person in your organization. 32:29 So, there's three types. 32:34 I'm gonna talk about each of them. 32:35 The first one is charisma. 32:37 When you have charisma power, people want to do things because of who you are, 32:40 because they're attracted to your [FOREIGN]. 32:45 This is great, but other than brushing your hair, and taking a shower, and 32:50 being generally well groomed, I don't have a lot of advice for you here. 32:54 And you can also still be just a great leader without charisma. 32:57 I have this quote, Harry Trueman did not have an ounce of charisma, yet he was one 33:00 of the most effective Chief Executives in US history, so clearly very powerful. 33:05 That was from Peter Drucker. 33:09 So I'm not gonna talk about that, cuz you either have it or you don't. 33:11 The power of expertise is really interesting because I bet this is 33:15 the power base that all of you guys work from, for the most part. 33:17 This is where you are the expert in something, right? 33:21 And after this talk, 33:25 you're gonna go be the best in the world at what you do, right? 33:26 So, you're gonna be the expert. 33:28 So, you're probably operating from this place when you have responsibilities, 33:30 things like that. 33:34 But all the other talks and stuff are gonna help you build your expertise, so 33:35 I'm not gonna talk about that either. 33:39 What I want to talk about in the last few minutes in my talk, is the power of 33:40 relationships because this is something that you can actually change and 33:44 have a lot of control over. 33:49 When you have really great relationships and 33:52 people trust you, you can get a lot done. 33:54 And this is all about influencing without authority. 33:57 So how do you do that? 34:02 How do you build these relationships? 34:03 We talked about trust. 34:05 But I think it's also just about being the model teammate, right? 34:07 Being someone people really want to work with. 34:11 You want to be someone that people want to have in their meetings or 34:15 on their team, right? 34:18 It's like baseball. 34:18 You wanna be picked first. 34:20 So, I want you to think about how you're coming to work. 34:23 Flashback in time to the last day you were at the office. 34:27 What was your day like when you came in? 34:31 Were you frazzled? 34:34 Were you relaxed? 34:35 Did you eat breakfast? 34:37 Did you say hello to everyone? 34:39 I want you to think about, 34:42 are you bringing your best self to the office every day? 34:43 Because a lot of the time when we get busy or stressed, we react, 34:47 we're tense we're terse, we're not really nice people to work with. 34:50 And so, you have to make a decision each and 34:53 every day when you walk into your office door, to be the model teammate. 34:56 I think another important part of having great relationships 35:00 is being open to ideas. 35:04 So, as an engineer, I think we're taught to look for bottlenecks. 35:07 We're taught to see problems. 35:11 In fact, doing that makes you really good at your job, 35:12 because you can fix things before they happen. 35:14 But the downside of this is if you carry this on into your relationships with 35:18 people and someone brings you a new idea, and 35:21 you tell them all the things that could go wrong, or why it's risky or 35:25 challenges, people aren't like oh, thanks Kate. 35:28 You saved me. 35:30 They're like, they just don't wanna tell you their ideas. 35:32 And you don't wanna be that person. 35:36 I was that person, and so you've gotta learn to be open. 35:37 Because you never know when an idea will be a good one. 35:39 Like who would've thought? 35:41 I would've told them it was stupid. 35:43 >> [LAUGH] >> Snuggies. 35:44 That's a good name, though. 35:48 As Heaton would say. 35:51 The other important part of being a good teammate is you've got to bring solutions. 35:53 I once had a fellow who worked for me who every time he came into my office, 35:58 I think he thought one-on-ones were like this complaining therapy session. 36:02 And he would just tell me all the things that were wrong with the company, and 36:06 the process, and the leadership, and all these things that he wanted me to fix. 36:09 And I was like, well, how would you fix it? 36:14 And he's like, I don't know, that's your job. 36:16 Well, it's not. 36:18 It's actually your job. 36:18 All of you. 36:20 When you see problems at your work, it's your job to fix it. 36:21 Don't be the person that just complains to your leadership, and 36:25 your manager, or your manager's manager. 36:28 If you get a one-on-one, 36:29 a skip level with your manager's manager, don't waste it complaining. 36:30 Use that as a time to show them how awesome you are. 36:35 Because if you just complain and you don't bring solutions, or 36:38 ideas, they're not gonna want to meet with you. 36:40 No one wants to be around that. 36:43 So be smart. 36:44 I think the other thing about having great relationships at work 36:46 is that you can't commiserate. 36:51 I know misery loves company and it's easy to be like, oh, 36:54 we're doing something so stupid. 36:56 I don't know why we're working on this project. 36:58 This really needs to be like, I know. 37:00 But, how would you feel if your manager said that to you? 37:02 Would you have any confidence in them as a leader? 37:06 No, right? 37:09 You want them to be like, this is the right thing, everything. 37:10 And so don't jump on that bandwagon. 37:13 And I'm just gonna tell you a quick little story about this from me, 37:15 because I once worked at Amazon, and my team ran a large part of the middleware, 37:21 like kind of like underlying piece. 37:26 I once got this edict of like, you have to build this feature. 37:28 And I was like, we have these 20 other teams asking for all these other features 37:33 and you want us to build this one feature for this one team? 37:37 I don't want to do it. 37:39 And I pushed back and I pushed back and my manager was like, look, you have to do it. 37:40 Your team has to do it. 37:43 So I had a disagree and commit. 37:44 And then a year late, and it was a full year, 37:47 I found out what that feature was for. 37:49 And it was for the Kindle team when they were first starting. 37:52 Which obviously, was a big bet for Amazon, but I didn't have that context and 37:55 that information. 37:58 So, it's really important before you critique or you just think things 37:59 are really bad, that you actually take the time to think about the larger picture and 38:03 the context in which you're operating. 38:08 And you can always use my story as an example. 38:11 And if someone is doing this and talking to you, help them re-frame it, right? 38:12 Help them think about the other person's point-of-view. 38:17 Help them think about the situation differently, right? 38:20 Like long term. 38:22 Like I said, these arguments that you have really won't matter. 38:23 And the other thing, if all else fails, think about it as a learning opportunity. 38:27 Because successful people make the most of learning opportunities. 38:32 Just think for a minute all the things that you learned last year. 38:35 Everything you've learned in the whole year. 38:39 The things that really matter. 38:41 The big lessons. 38:43 I don't know how many you come up with, but 38:45 most people say three, maybe as high as ten. 38:47 Think about it, if you only learn ten things every year, and let's say you have 38:49 a 30 year career to make the math easy, that's 300 things you've learned. 38:53 In your whole career, 300. 38:57 So make every one of them count. 39:00 Because that's what successful people do. 39:03 They maximize their learning opportunities. 39:05 And most importantly, when you talk to other people, 39:09 at this conference, if someone comes up to your desk and 39:13 asks you for a problem, give them your full attention. 39:16 Be present. 39:19 Don't interrupt. 39:21 And imagine that everyone is walking around with a sign hanging around their 39:23 neck that says, I want to feel important. 39:26 And if you do all these things, 39:28 maybe a little bit more, you'll have infinite power. 39:31 I just love this slide. 39:35 [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] 39:37 >> So in summary, 39:41 if you want to be really successful, you've got to have a plan. 39:42 You've got to make things happen. 39:46 And you've gotta enlist help and have great relationships. 39:50 And so I'm gonna leave you with two final thoughts. 39:54 The first one is be prepared. 39:56 Come on, it's funny. 40:00 That's what speed they time travel at, for 40:02 those who haven't seen Back to the Future, and aren't from this planet. 40:04 So come up with a plan, and be really thoughtful. 40:10 Write it down. 40:13 Make progress on it. 40:14 And finally, as you think about the amazing version of yourself, 40:17 this ten that you're trying to achieve, the interesting thing is once you hit that 40:23 ten, you're gonna realize that it was never a ten at all. 40:28 That really, it's like a two or three because this is a journey and 40:32 there's always a chance to be better. 40:35 I love geeking out on this stuff. 40:39 If there's any way that I can help you, you can email me or 40:41 tweet me or whatever and I'll be there. 40:44 Thank you all for coming. 40:47 [MUSIC] 40:48 >> [APPLAUSE] 40:49 [MUSIC] 40:52
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