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Be The Leader You Need - Megan Byrd Sanicki

Megan Sanicki
Sr. Program Manager, Open Source Strategy at Google
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FOSSASIA Summit 2020
March 19, 2020, Online, Online
FOSSASIA Summit 2020
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About speaker

Megan Sanicki
Sr. Program Manager, Open Source Strategy at Google

I turn dreams into reality and deliver impact by blending business strategy, creativity, analysis, problem solving and team work. My main strength is to take organizations to the next level.Key strengths:- Business strategy transformation and change management- Solving hard problems with analytics and creative solutions- Delivering results with strategic planning and strong execution- Financial turnaround- Strong emotional leadership of board, staff, community, and customers- Scaling businesses through customer and partner centric approach- Creating impact by building and leading diverse teams- Cross trained in business development, sales, marketing, communications, operations

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About the talk

(Apologies for the poor video capture)

Open source crossed the chasm into mainstream with users in all industries. Maintaining the users’ trust and sustaining innovation is key to open source’s success.

However, in a world where communities are passionate, multicultural, and primarily use online communication, it is challenging to move communities towards a shared vision in a frictionless, sustainable way. Community challenges can impact innovation, putting user adoption at risk and even more importantly, hurting community members.

Stronger open source leadership can address these challenges and there is a call for more leaders in every project. Good news! Every contributor is a leader either through self leadership, leading others, or leading the community, yet most people have never been trained on how to lead.

This talk provides the leadership the training you need and covers:

- Why strengthen community leadership

- Key leadership and emotional intelligence principles

- Practical ways to lead as a contributor

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All right. I'm going to be handing you over to the audience will all waiting very eagerly for the presentation. So everyone presenting Megan bird sneaky from the Google offices programs office. Thank you that my intro to take over. Okay, great. I'm I can't see anyone. So let me just start by saying how grateful I am to be included in today's program and be able to dial in Berkeley and I'm wishing everyone great health and happiness and hopefully I will be with you all at your next event. And today I want to spend some time and talk about leadership and open

source, and there is no better time than now to learn how we can all be leader. Russia during these times of ambiguity. So let me just dive in since we don't have a lot of time and it's like my question is how many of you have thought I wish someone would just lead just pick a direction or just fix something get people working Better Together. I know I have I've definitely had those thoughts in this feeling before and it can be really frustrating but

I wanted to use the time to let you know that you should be the leader that we all need and today. I like to hear some of Google's leadership resources so that you can learn a little bit about what leadership is. But before I go too far, I guess first Mustang everyone for making time today to learn about leadership skills because when we become stronger leaders are communities become more healthy and our products become more sustainable. So what does talked I want to cover three things? What is leadership how you can strengthen

your leadership skills, and I want to provide some tips that you can take away today start applying in your project. Did you work with others? Help me. That sounds good. And I would assume it is and just keep going and I want to buy illustrating it through a story that I picked up along the way in my last 10 years working and open store. I was helping a project improve their contributor experience and we did it by interviewing a lot of contributors Network someone who was a new contributor and they really

wanted to participate in the project but they were looking around in the forms of the issues and he felt really overwhelmed. They felt that it was a good brand new language. They felt at the interactions, especially with newcomers were challenging and they they get nervous they were intimidated and just stayed away and they watch from afar for an entire year. I don't they realize this is not working and I really want to do this. So they made a decision to get help and it reached out to a mentor and said hit I

really would like to contribute I had this vision for myself that I can be part of this project, but would you walk me through the steps and this person was inspired the person who could finally go from being cheerful actually making their first contribution, which is great, but it also You know is unfortunately had to take an entire year. This person though as they work with the mentor. They have a real great learning mindset and they really think should be understood that first time it is again and again and again

today this person is a top contributor project terminal storage and depressing really persevered in order to accomplish this It's really unfortunate that this person has a heart experiences beginning and I wonder how many contributions were lost because higher year. next year I also wonder how many contributions were lost because people did not push through it walked away like a contributor bounce rate and the answer is just too many. You don't know but it's just tonight.

It doesn't matter what this project is. It's really so many projects that I talk to you. They have this challenge. And it's a real shame because the story didn't have to be this way. Because you know open source is all about giving and helping people want to do the right thing. And she said sometimes when we step into hell, we are actually stepping up and deleter and we don't know it we don't realize it and we don't realize that were in those roles that we're having an impact on people the way we talk model the

culture that we're seeing the project should have and how we should treat each other and we might have an impact in someone just do our own interaction and it's unfortunate because it open source. We don't have training you might have mentors that teaches how to contribute but we don't actually have training on core skills like leadership, which is really unfortunate. And it's also one of the reasons why I like to get this talk to doctor shine a light on that we need to focus on the core skill as well as the technical skills who are working in open source. So

I'd like to just start to use the story to unpack what leadership is and let's start with who were the leaders in this story. There were quite a few leaders one was the for moderator of people in the issue cues. There were interacting with others in those different channels and they may not have done the best. They might have a fast intentions, but it may not have been the best leadership skill seniors there, which is what me that person feel intimidated to begin. The mentor

was a leader. They heard someone say will you help me and they said I have expertise and I will take time and I will help you with your wonderful and then there was another leader in this which might be a little surprising but that's the contributor. The individual who was able to lead them self to get from Fear into Action Impact and I want to talk a little bit more about what that means to be a leader in open source as an individual contributor. Let's start by asking what is

leadership definition 12.2 but this one happens to be my favorite your ship is a process of social influence which maximizes the efforts of others traditions of a goal. Identify Kevin Cruz is leadership expert because it is a bad influence. You can lead from anywhere. It's not about Authority in the role or position that you have and it's about working with others and influencing others towards a common goal that you both wanted. She's together. And sometimes to understand what something has it's good to see what it is. Not so as I said, it's not a title. It's not a

role. It's also not a specific personality type. It's not all the extra birds out there. You can be an introvert and also be a leader. It's also important to note that leadership is not management and it's not about making sure people do things on time and on budget that's management. And Leadership is not about power. It is not about commanding that people do things. It is about influencing. That's where real transformational change happen. And there are three types of leadership.

There's the kind that we know the most leading organization whether it's a CEO or a bdsl of a community or maybe it's the board in the executive director of an open-source Foundation. Another type of leadership is leading other. So this might be a product manager in a company that's working. Across many functions marketing and sales engineering lots of different functions to create and push a product out to Market. And always the worst it might be managing a

bunch of mentors. Working in a group of checkwriters cetera. Excetera is leading yourself. And this is what that contributor did the story that I told love them so they were able to manage their emotions. And work with others to create an outcome that they wanted to create. And what's important about the three level is that you can't lead others until you can leave yourself. and that's because the higher up you go the more people you start leading the more responsibilities you take on with your leadership the more direct you take on in the more responsibility and

you have to stay calm and centered and be able to make decisions in a hard time. So that people feel confident and can follow you want to follow you and you know where to send them, you know how to point them in the right direction and get them working and focus. And that takes self-leadership to do that really know how to control his emotion. I'm going to spend a lot of time on this level the leading yourself asked that today. So what do leaders do? Well, you

feel very much Illustrated in the story the shape of vision translate that Vision in the strategy. They get others to help them work towards that Vision. You have measurable results. We know what success looks like. I need focus on that and as of working in Foster innovation in learning. And they believe themselves while they do all of this and that's exactly what the individual contributor did my story. I want to contribute and they came up with the strategy. I'm going to ask a

mentor to help me. I'm going to get out of this whole Frozen state that I'm in and they recruited and then to her and that meant or said, yeah, I will help you. I will be part of your team and they had a very measurable results one contribution and Best contributor had that learning mindset. You learn how to make that one contribution and then he did it again and again and again to make him now, it's hot project eating himself. He was scared and he did he manage those emotions and came up with a

strategy discussion. What they do they have to and these are some leadership skills that are identified from research from the Harvard Business Review answer you'll see a lot of it is Inspire and motivate play integrity and honesty Drive results communicate collaborate build relationship a lot more in what I find interesting about this list if it's not about the technical skills that you have and it's about your fill your ability to work with others. And additional research looked into that they found that

two-thirds of leadership is dependent on emotional intelligence. Really interesting. We don't talk about emotional intelligence very much an open sore. We actually don't even talk about it much in society as a whole which is a whole other problem. What we focus on a lot or are cognitive abilities and that's because we are really good at solving problems. We even celebrate it. But if we want to be leaders in open store at any level we clearly need to focus on emotional intelligence if we want to be

better leaders and open source. And clearly we want good emotional intelligence. Because according to Dan goleman wrote the book on emotional intelligence. He said that it's emotional intelligence that makes its top performers and it makes our contribution stronger torproject intelligent. It's actually the difference between what makes you a good contributor and a break contributor like 90% of that difference is emotional intelligence and the best way to find messages if there

were two people in the audience that had the same cognitive abilities. But the person on the right. Intelligence they're going to make a stronger impact in the project and that's because they're going to know how to work with others and set that they can influence. Where is to Rally around that vision and make it happen and when you work with others you make a stronger impacted when you work alone. So while our cognitive abilities are great and open source

installed so many hard problems with them. We need to focus on emotional intelligence are cognitive skills will only get us so far but our emotional intelligence can grow and that's the great thing is that we actually can grow our emotional intelligence pills by practicing it. I want to dive in a little bit into what what is this emotional intelligence that makes us better leaders? instantly plant is being able to understand your motion and the effect on others as well as your ability to understand and influence the emotions of others. And this is all

comes from Dan goleman emotional intelligence. Can you freeze emotional intelligence and into the Five Pillars self-regulation motivation which are all related to managing your emotions about you pillars by unforeseen and having social skills. And this is about influencing the emotions of other and you really need to have strength to be really strong emotional intelligence, but we don't have enough time to get into all of this. I'm just going to focus on self awareness and self regulation ARB side to the same. What research

shows is that? When you drink somebody's two pillars, you pray the foundation to unlock and strength in the others. Do you have to start here? Anyhow? The self-awareness is the ability to recognize your feelings on others more confidence. Moralistic assessment of themselves and probably for that reason people with more self-awareness what they're good at what they're not good at. And that is a element of self-awareness to focus on we're still free chelation

is the ability to control and shift your version. We even have a positive interaction with someone else. And people who can help regulate are more comfortable with ambiguity and change they can definitely see that there's something happening and they can control those emotions and they can figure out how to respond vs. React, which will get into it. Later. Did you give yourself regulation that goes to work hand-in-hand and the contributor was definitely self-aware enough to realize he was stuck. He was

emotionally abused self-regulation to work and ask for help and convince someone or influence someone to donate a few hours of their time to help. But that is areas. We really want to focus on if you want to grow or emotional intelligence. The before we talked about how to do that. I just want to I want to see you. So we'll just kind of how would you rate your self-awareness think about that a bit. Maybe you want to raise your hand. If you have if you think you rate high with self-awareness like if you think you have

strong stuff awareness, Well, I can't see what the room is doing. But if you don't have a lot of people raising their hands, that's okay because according to dangle is research only 36% a people identify as having strong self awareness The bat is curious and explains a lot about interactions in general why we sometimes have conflict with humans. The nice thing is that number to practice. And interesting laying the best way to improve self-awareness self-regulation and therefore emotional intelligence. Which I was

rather surprised with when I started doing this research myself and told me to practice mindfulness meditating. Yoga is I had a really hard time with this concept. And I tried talking a little bit more and Boo Boo has done a lot of research in this area and they had actually embraced mindfulness because they have found impacts from a neuro neuro scientific perspective and how calming the limbic gets done with my phone has allows you to control your emotions much better and

therefore be a better leader and Times of chaos and change and ambiguity. And as I was looking into this research and not thinking I don't know, but this isn't for me. I know that's a lot harder and I needed to have a stronger why to get me to change and I wanted to share that with you. In case that just Hannah code it do some yoga. You'll be a better leader. Is it resonating with you either don't let me share a little bit about Dan Siegel. So he is a psychiatrist and a leader and interpersonal neurobiology and he has a whole way of

explaining how the brain works how mindfulness works and how it can make you a better leader and he does it with a simple hand demonstration. So I'll I'll do this. I also have the picture available in case you can't see me very well. So he illustrates the brain using a hand and the arm and the rest is your spinal cord going into the base of your skull. What's the base of your skull and your thumb is your limbic system and that's your fight flight freeze and your hand in the four fingers that is your cortex. And then the

Where are the fingers are touching the sound faster prefrontal cortex and limbic system at the downstairs brain. And when you had this integrated brain you have a system. That's really working well and give you emotional intelligence because when the prefrontal cortex is connected to the limbic system, you have positive feedback loop so all day long you were getting And things are going into your free all the logic. and it knows how to soothe itself. And when you have this connection,

it is purple wearing answer self-regulation empathy instead of a reactive way. Can you ask people? It might be that working from home. It might be that you. Really hard, it could be. eventually and I put my LED take a break and it can take up to 20 minutes for your body. an integrated bring and so and that would be kind of a doctor and we can regain my social intelligence and be able would be more self-aware self-regulated the time because so often and open source. We really need to know how to keep an integrated brain

and a boy flipping the lid because we work and an asynchronous online environment and unfortunately that when you make more because there's a lot of things that happen to our brain when we are interacting with someone in person. The weather we're working on getting divorced or Twitter or emailing all these online channels. We're really at a disadvantage because we are suffering from online affect our brain. Cortex is always looking for cues. Social cues when were talking to people so that we can self-regulate so someone looks a little upset or

brain is constantly looking for and we get that video which is good, but we are on email and Twitter what not. We don't have it in our brain really hard time to function and we try emoticon, but that is not what the brain he's stayed integrated brain. What's the wild things that happened as we're working asynchronously and online in a few out from The Wizard of Oz? Lack of eye contact reduces our empathy for the person that were engaging with. And so because of that we are already

engaging with people with less. Understanding of where they're coming from where little bit more worried about our response and what working out of communications and what they're saying we have is lowered and we were engaging with each other. I don't think this is weird thing we do about we project a voice onto others. So if someone is emailing you or there's a tree research shows that 9 out of 10 times. We are striving avoid negative voice to that message than they intended. We're not

empathetic and we don't really have cold Trust of their intention. And then this is something headwinds to work with with online communication. And then there's a third thing that happened which is as we're working with each other and going back and forth the tickets Twitter. There's something to happen Mary the brain with the lid and you are just run by your emotions instead of laying your argument on Twitter is really about survival in terms of how the brain functions the sink

and so survival means winning the argument at all, And you seen this is a very strange and unfortunate. Really hard to stop that and that is when we get to the worst. directions to each other and this is where we need a mindfulness practice. This is where we really need to be self-aware. Each other we have all these headwinds around empathy and and touching people's intentions no communication, and we need to make sure we're not certain, We need to set up a practice to keep that integrated bring out here working together.

It's so my tone ethnic self is a good practice and we don't have a lifetime to go into that I had. mindfulness What senior prom? people on Project. You also need to try to G's for how to how to collaborate. Wow. We don't need a lot of training on and so are that you want to Reset if something's triggered you if something has triggered you. is there a ways to calm down so that you can have that integrated brain and some simple ones are counted 10 another

one is Need some cheap brass and is a lot of science coming out around how breathing can really help you take a shorter breath and a long and sometimes things that just make you flip your lid are so great. You need more than 10 seconds and you should maybe take a walk around the block. And then my favorite is the potty in the reason for this is that when you have hot tea you are so focused on the moment of not burning your mouth that you slow or everything down and just focus on that and you try to forget for a minute, but

you have another issue you taking that break you reset then you want to make sure you respond logically. You're not reacting. Like this idea. I liked it. I wish. week Another practice that I like to use online and burglaries active listening skill. So when I think right and then how can you make sure we have a shared understanding before I make a suggestion? And I'm finally it's really important. but there is talking about strategy or its impact now, when's the right time to take a what structure?

I'm covered a lot of stuff and I know that was all covered in a short amount of time. So I want to just do a quick recap hit the car that the main points that I went through today and that is Now more than ever. We need everyone to be leaders and opens doors and you absolutely can you can lead from any position and you can't lead others until you can leave yourself. So it's important to start there and leaving yourself means that you need to grow your emotional intelligence. And the first season to start building emotional

intelligence is self-awareness and self-regulation. And you can roll these areas do a mindfulness practice. Because it's going to change the Neuroscience of your brain. You're not always being led by emotions and reacting. And it's also important to not just be mindful and he needs to let you know how to respond. And so I recommend you practice ways to reset when you think you're being triggered and use some of their communication strategies to help you respond. And so that you know.

I'm happy to be available for questions afterwards or behind this because there's a lot to that and it's not a topic open for but I do hope that you will start using these techniques today. Because it matters remember new contributors are watching you. You're watching how you choose to interact with each other. you're watching how you treat people because that's setting the tone in the culture of the project and they are going to mimic that you're going to model

that and you should be making the difference between gaming the next top or losing someone completely. So I hope you choose to lead and beautiful eater. We all need. Thank you very much for your time today. We can get questions from anyone. I will send the telephone has a very long question and I from Mario. Oh. Can you give me a little bit so I can hear you a question is about? The role of leadership and open source in dealing with the Coronavirus. It has a different character to multiple people

are doing is there so we can do the video to develop a capacity. Is there any Robinson on covid-19 in Google contact with the lead on responses to cook it? Yeah, absolutely. It's I've been very impressed with our CEOs. Communication internally helping us understand that giving us clear Direction and helping us understand how to navigate this as humans and employees and in terms of the outside world, there are many initiatives going on and we've been putting out a lot of

messaging around this then I am actually not properly briefed to tell you all the details and I wouldn't want to do it, you know. It wouldn't I wouldn't do it justice by going into all the ways that were healthy. I know that there's a lot of resources a lot of collaboration that we're doing and we're offering our services for free such as Enterprise cheese sweet now, it's been offered. So everyone can connect during this time and from where I sit easier for me to speak to this where I stay in the open-source program to office.

We've fully believe that open stores needs to be sustainable. And we need to be the best citizens. We can be expecially during times like this. We are reaching out to the projects that we use. foundations that support them we're reaching out to the end of screen organization, like open-source initiative. Outreachy it worth finding out what Annie's are. So that we can make sure that were there to support them. As you know, what the vet cancellation a lot of these groups have Reliance on event revenue

and that use that Revenue to support their projects and we want to make sure that we and in partnership with lots of other organizations that want to be helped make sure that they get through that. And we are also participating and something that starting up right now called Foss responders. apartment finders. Org and what we want to do with this group is Creed a central page to aggregate people sneeze project needs an amplify those needs so that others other companies individuals can see how they can help other people in open source.

It's going to be a lot of fundraising going on in one of the weight and there's a lot of ways to contribute to these people in need and these projects in need both financially and in kind of Challenge and other contributions. One of the things at Fox refiners doing is starting a run. Used to support those that are kind of falling between the cracks that may not be part of a project getting money or may not be a maintainer that's well-known that has been impacted get lot

of people that fall through the cracks of some traditional funding that happens it open store. So we want to make sure we have a way to help them choose with Christmas fun. So those are the things that Google open-source programs office is working on currently. Oh, that's brilliant. Thank you very much.

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