No more flying by the seat of your pants. I’m now offering one-to-one or small group Design Leadership coaching.
Moving into a design leadership role can be challenging. On the one hand, you become more senior and take on more business and people responsibilities. On the other hand, this often means letting go of some “on the tools” craft skills. The result can be a confidence-jarring dip, where you’re not very good at either one. I can pinpoint the exact moment, 20 years ago, when I finally realised this was happening to me.
I believe leadership has become fetishised — there is a whole heap of books, HBR articles, frameworks and models out there that try to sell a perfect formula. They tend to overplay the importance of the C-Suite and overlook one of the most important roles — leading a team or department. It is there that most designers get their first taste of leading and it’s also the place most people experience the direct impact of good or bad leaders.
There is no set formula. Design Leadership, in particular, is as much about self-reflection and inner work as it is about methods and techniques. You have to understand how people and teams block themselves creatively in order to guide them out of the woods.
I’ve been leading and mentoring designers for many years and have made all sorts of mistakes. I’d like to spare you some of that pain (though experiencing your own mistakes is a necessary part of the process).