Leo's user guide

👋 Hi there, I’m very excited to be working with you and can’t wait to learn from each other!

I’m writing this user guide to share my traits, what’s important to me, my strengths, and growth areas, so that you get to know a bit more about me and we can develop a strong relationship.

How I view success
Delivering meaningful and delightful experiences to our users is the ultimate indication of success to me. Improving people’s lives by solving real people’s problems is extremely rewarding and gives me a strong sense of purpose.
Seeing my team growing and thriving is an indication I’m doing a good job. In my opinion, an impactful team is happy, fully empowered, and aligned. I care a lot about creating a safe space. If there isn’t a safe space in my team for people to share work and learn from each other then I’m not doing a good job.
Success means also increasing the level of design maturity in the organisation. If we can establish a design process that is understood, inclusive, and trusted by everyone at all levels in the company it means that we are doing a good job, and I’m doing a good job at increasing designers’ impact.
Constant learning is a signal of success. Failure is part of the equation, it means that we are producing a good number of ideas to tackle problems we want to address.
Having a strategic impact on the business direction and vision means that the company has reached a good level of user-centricity.

How I communicate
My favorite way of communicating is in writing. I’m an introvert and need time to think about what I want to express and how. I’m usually not very vocal in meetings, I don’t often react on the spot, because I need time to process information before expressing what I think.
I can be very direct in 1:1s. I like to be transparent and honest and build trust. I really appreciate it when people are also direct with me. I prepare when I have to provide feedback or face important conversations, and I’m clear at communicating my message. Sometimes I need time to debrief and get back to you in case you have questions for me.
If we are having an in-person conversation and you ask my opinion about something new to me, I might give you my unfiltered thoughts. I’m usually spontaneous, and my ideas might not come across as very precise and well structured. If you need me to clarify something, tell me. I will go and structure my thoughts and communicate them back to you.
I don’t check emails very often, but I’m quite responsive on Slack. If you need me, message me, I try to be always available.

Things I do that may annoy you or be misunderstood
I try new things and iterate on processes quickly, and I’ll bring people in my team along the journey. This can feel unsettling to someone. My intention is to always try and make things better together, and I love trying new tools and products. If you see me doing this, note that I’m not trying to be disruptive. If you think I’m being disruptive, tell me.
I’m candid at providing feedback, and it can sometimes feel like I’m questioning your approach. I’m always just interested in knowing the rationale behind the decisions taken. Bear in mind that I’m always on your side, and my goals align with yours.
Sometimes I look into the future too much. I love to work on visualising how something can look like in the future, and I’m quite good at creating a road to get there. This means that sometimes I struggle to enjoy the present moment and celebrate achievements. If you see that I’m overlooking something, point that out to me.
I’m generally very focused. This means that sometimes I tend to be very absorbed in something and might be slow to respond to others’ immediate needs. I’m aware that sometimes I need to stop and respond to important events. Please make me notice if you think I’m not prioritising an important event, it will help me a lot.

What gains and loses my trust
You will gain my trust by demonstrating that you care about the job you are doing and what you are responsible for. I like people who are passionate about what they do, they seek feedback to improve themselves and the work they do. I admire people who fight for the users, are not afraid to challenge directions and decisions and can focus on what’s important.
I admire honesty and transparency. You gain my trust when I see you are not afraid of telling me anything. Hearing that you are facing problems or not happy about something not first from you will diminish my trust in you.
I appreciate you giving me feedback. Both positive and negative. That tells me you want me to improve and you understand what I need help with.
I admire people who love asking for feedback, both on their work and on themselves. It makes me understand that they are seeking to improve themselves and their craft, and they care about producing strong work. I love when people share their work often and are not afraid to rethink things to improve the quality of what they produce. Working in isolation, not sharing, and not seeking or ignoring feedback will diminish my trust in you. I value when I see you are acting on the feedback you receive. You will start losing my trust if I give you feedback and see over time that you ignore it and you are not doing anything to improve. That said, I recognise sometimes life gets in the way, and you might be facing challenges I’m not aware of. I’ll always support you in those circumstances, and I’ll try to go deeper to understand.
Ask for forgiveness, not for permission. I admire people who take initiative and are not afraid to fail. That means you care about the work we are doing, you want to make it better, and learn more. I appreciate if you admit you’ve done something wrong and you tell me how you're going to make it better. I always assume positive intent, and I will never blame you for trying and failing, I’ll celebrate you instead. Sitting back and not being proactive shows me you want to be comfortable and don’t really want to improve things for your team, and this will make me lose the trust in you.
I appreciate people who commit and stick to it. Communicate to me to keep me posted, even if that means that you can’t commit anymore due to priorities changes or over-stretching. I appreciate people who get things done or ask for help to get something done. You’ll lose my trust if you don’t stick to what you committed to, and I can’t see progress without being informed.
I value creating a safe space and a respectful workplace. I don’t tolerate disrespectful behaviours, discriminations, bad intentions, favoritisms, political tactics for a personal return.
I value people who build relationships on a human level.

My strengths
I love to solve problems and I have a good ability analysing situations.
I love to develop relationships, I love to get to know you, learn what’s important to you, and help you progress. I like to create opportunities for my team, and help everyone to reach their potential.
I’m a good listener and I’m open to all kinds of ideas.
I’m curious and open-minded. I love learning about things I don’t know and hearing about different perspectives.
I’m quite organised and can stay on top of different projects at the same time.
I love to give structure to projects and work on processes.

My growth areas
Public speaking. It stresses me at the moment. I prefer live interactive sessions, panel discussions, 1:1 coaching or mentoring conversations, recording podcasts, or recording videos. I’m working on improving my public speaking skills, and podcasting is definitely helping me.
Business understanding. I’m currently learning more about strategy, scaling teams, administrating budgets, taking structural decisions.
Expanding my network. I’d like to establish more relationships with people outside my team, and outside my organisation to share ideas, understand their challenges, and learn more.

A few extras about me
🐶 I love animals and I’m a proud Golden Retriever and Siberian cat pawrent.
🌱 I’m a (bad) vegan.
🌈 I care deeply about equity and human rights.
🍕 I get very passionate about pizza.
🧗 I love bouldering, feel free to join me!

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