Weeknote #030

— 16 minute read

My latest #weeknote was published three weeks ago. So much stuff happened! I am just back from a holiday trip and the week was busy and chaotic. Post-holiday blues also not helping me to focus, so I will be succinct.

How do we find new ways to make sense of Organisational Culture is the blog post I selected this week. Some very interesting points about how to surface cultural norms using artefacts.

Good things permalink

roadmap review, again permalink

This week I am onboarding the new product manager in the Design Systems team. We hired internally, but I can’t be happier with the choice we made.

Nathan Djangoly it’s an incredible human being. In one week he already did some great work on understanding our messy, crazy backlog. We also had a great session using a design system assessment tool.

Learned things permalink

The power of community permalink

This week our team attended a few conferences. Dr. Webster attended one about Behaviour Design in Health and shared some cool notes. There was also Config, Figma’s annual conference. Mr Jack Roles, Nathan and a few others attended. I still have to catch-up on it, but the traditional product release looks great.

But the conference of the week for me was Inclusive Design 24. I had great conversations with Fred Warbz about it, and he recommended a few talks that I watched already.

The first one is by Billy Gregory. It’s about the pains and lessons of working with accessibility and design. His instance of adhering to “good enough” design is intriguing.

I also watched Bruce Lawson’s funny and revealing talk about web standards. I not gonna spoil this one, you should go and watch it now.

And finally, it was refreshing to see a fellow design ops person (and also Brazilian) doing great work explaining the WCAG standards for designers using a toolkit.

There are many other great talks on my list, and I can’t wait to see the blog posts about the conference as well. One thing that I am enchanted with is the caring, energetic vibe of the inclusive design community. It’s nice to be part of something great.

Heuristics for good leadership permalink

There is one sure thing I learned in regards to what makes a good leader. In my experience is a mix of situational awareness and the ability to enable others.

Leaders with this behaviour empower their people to make their own discoveries and they help them to learn and apply new heuristics, along with those that are already known to the team.

In plain language, they get out of the way at the same time they are closer to you enough to make you feel supported — and many times their insights or questions lead you to unexpected greatness.

It’s a very, very hard balancing act. I am learning with my incredible lady-boss, Jane Austin. She knows it all and is a fantastic manager who is always challenging me gently.

Things that bring me joy permalink

Sun and real tomatoes permalink

Sea landscape: mountains, blue sky. There are two montains in the background

It was like Russian roulette, but we escaped for a few days to get some sun in Greece. It was terrifying to jump in a plane, and I was freaking out. I am shielding since March, and I’ve left my flat only for a few days during this period. It was taking a toll on my health.

The food was splendid. And how nice and simple the greeks are. I am impressed with how they are following all the rules. They are so thoughtful about the pandemic and so careful. Everyone uses masks. I felt safe, and it was the first time I could glance at this new reality with some positive outlook.

We found terrific restaurants, a beach club that was empty all the time and deserted and sunny places.

I have learned to paint landscapes. Tried to stop smoking. Spent quality time with Leili and we had great conversations about everything. Great times, indeed.

The joy of books permalink

I’ve spent a week without computers and with reduced phone usage—an opportunity to catch-up with my reading. Like many people, I am reading 3 to 4 books at the same time. And during this week I finished 3 fiction books.

Two of the books are from Nick Spalding. His first book, Life with no breaks is hilarious—great use of the fourth wall. I also finished Logging off, which is a modern tale about someone addicted to his phone. Both are amazingly well written and enjoyable. Nick is becoming one of my favourite authors.

The third one is It’s a fascinating book about psychology and philosophy. The title is a bit lame: “The Courage To Be Disliked: How to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness”. I never judge a book by its cover or price — 2 pounds on Kindle — and I am enjoying this one a lot.

It’s the story of a young person who engages in a series of conversations with a hermit philosopher. They become friends and decode together the theories of Alfred Adler.

Adler’s Individual Psychology school is remarkable divergent of the prevalent Freudian theories. He talks a lot about inferiority, social interest and community feeling. His work influenced Abraham Maslow and many others.

I am enjoying the book a lot and finding inspiration and even some relief. It touches on praise and how it might have ruined our entire educational system. Here is a quote:

Even if you do derive joy from being praised, it is the same as being dependent on vertical relationships, and acknowledging that you have no ability. Because giving praise is a judgement that is passed by a person of ability onto a person without ability.

Reading this book is bringing great memories of the conversations I had with my Helenas.

One is my therapist, Elena. A lovely and competent professional who took good care of me and introduced me to ACT - Acceptance And Commitment Therapy.

The other one is Helena Araújo Vieira, my aunt. She is a philosopher and one of the smartest person in the world. And I can’t wait to discuss philosophy with her again and argue why Karl Popper is bonkers.

Healthcheck permalink

All is well, and I do have a few weeks ahead of hard work in regards to my health. It’s time for the yearly diabetes review. I am also trying my best to stop smoking, which is very hard.

My sleep isn’t right - a bit of anxiety of coming back to London and work-related things - and I need more focus on changing my diet.

Weight: 99.6 kg Food: Some delivery food, including the infamous “Don’t go bacon my heart” sandwich and some good ol’ ribs Drinks: Nome Smoking: 10 Juul pods.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink - Proverb.