Nov 27, 2021
3 mins read
A lot has happened since my last update:
I completed my second and third zine! I decided to put the zines straight up on my website (https://www.candicenina.com/zines) instead of the Extras section here.
I am now working on my fourth and fifth ones! Working on two projects concurrently works for me very well; when I get tired of working on one project (you know the feeling when you're looking at your work for too long...) I can switch to the other one so that I have a variety of things to work on.
What are the next two zines about?
The importance of expertise is a concept that I was wrestling with for a long time (and I still am wrestling with it): the notion that you need to be an expert in something to be credible at all. But what defines expertise? Do you need a doctoral degree in the subject? How granular/precise does that need to be? What if the degree was not attained legitimately? What if someone got really close to obtaining their degree and ended up not getting it for life reasons? Does that make them a non-expert? What about subjects where degrees aren't a good measure of expertise, and work experience is a better measure? But what if the experience "on paper" was just actually sitting around? If you're in the same role for 30 years but you're not learning anything new, does that make you an expert compared to people who have been in a role and rapidly learning for 5 years? Do you need to be an expert to be useful? What if you don't know an answer off the top of your head - does that automatically make you an idiot?
My undergraduate degree was multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. If you put it in bad words, it lacked "expertise" in a single subject. This led to self-shaming ("Jack of all trades, master of none." I'm not knowledgeable in a single thing...).
This zine will be my attempt to reconcile all these thoughts I had running around in my head about expertise and mastery.
The manager's guide for non-managers
One of the most influential books I've ever read was the Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams. I liked how the barrier to entry was low - visual design principles clearly articulated for an audience not familiar with visual design. My aspiration is to do something similar with management/leadership.
I think I will use the word "management" instead of "leadership" in this context because the dichotomy of "manager vs. leader" bothers me. Managers do x. Leaders do y. Don't be a manager. Be a leader instead. I look at the things "managers" do vs. the things "leaders" do, and to me it simply is: bad behaviors vs. good behaviors. Attributing the bad behaviors as "management" and the good behaviors as "leadership" just sounds like advertising (e.g. "Use this shampoo, not that one!").
This zine will be for people who are starting management positions for the first time who are freaking out at their job title (maybe because they got promoted into the position): "But I'm a non-manager (or non-leader)! I'm not a 'taking charge' type of person! I don't have a MBA - I didn't even go to business school in the first place! I feel so inadequate!" I was in that situation before nearly 10 years ago, and I hope to share some of the things that helped me start on the right foot.