154: Always wear your crazy boots - with Ashby Fiser

About Ashby Fiser

Ashby has spent the last 18 years creating useful and engaging digital experiences as a UX leader, visionary, and practitioner working with companies large and small including Amazon, Google, Deloitte, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, and more. Her current chapter includes writing a book on gender bias in corporate America, leading product and technology for the National Democratic Training Committee, and helping other humans evolve as a professional mentor and speaker.


Why are other people critical to your professional growth?

“I think that we are very poor judges of ourselves, of our own performance, and our own you know superpowers. I think we really need other people to hold up a mirror and help us see what we are missing…”


Why did you decide to become a professional mentor?

“I never had a mentor really kind of in my early years of my career and you know I had some bosses who provided some mentorship but a lot that didn’t. and I especially never had a woman who was in a mentoring position…”


How do our unconscious biases impact how we connect to other people?

“so, someone that works in your organization who connected us, and she came to a talk I gave on unconscious bias. And I have given a couple talks on this topic in the last 6 months or so. And bias, everyone has a bias. Most of our biases are unconscious.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“I tend to celebrate personal and professional successes with footwear. My husband makes fun of me for this, so when I left Amazon it was a very momentous change for me and joined this organization, I was very excited about doing more purposeful work…”


How do you stay in front of, or best nurture your network community?

“…I use LinkedIn quite a bit. I would say that’s definitely a great tool for nurturing. I also just text people, you know if I think about somebody, especially if I have a fairly, you know even if I haven’t talked to them in 3-6 months, but if somebody pops up into my head for some reason, I'll send them a text message…”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“I think connections are best made in person. So, growth I think comes best through attending events and you know having coffees with people, attending events, and going to conferences.”


If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“enjoy the ride. Enjoy the journey. Focus on learning and doing what you love, and the rewards will follow. They may not always be financial rewards per se but I think that they will absolutely be satisfying.”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“I would love to connect with Michelle Obama. I’m sure she’s a lot of peoples you know aspirational connection. But I read The Coming a few months ago and it inspired me, but it also really grounded me at the same time…”


What book are you reading right now?

“so, I’m a huge reader, in fact, I probably read podcast transcripts more than I actually listen to them, because I can read faster than I can listen… most recently finished was Brene Brown’s, Dare to Lead.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Be yourself, wear your crazy boots. Talk about that obscure hobby that you have. Those things will connect you to people the best... Be open to all sorts of people.”


You can get in contact with Ashby at:

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