Leading design leaders

You hop out of bed, charged with the energy that comes from doing what you love; being a design leader.
 
You bound across the bedroom, on your way to the shower and as the water temperature dials in, it hits you.
 
Today is the day you have that meeting, with that person.
 
You’re supposed to be the boss.
 
They’re supposed to be a leader too.
 
But they’re just so…

  • Capable
  • Competent
  • Intelligent
  • Experienced
  • Dominant
  • Competitive
  • Stronger

In many ways,they’re better than you. Way better.
 
You sigh, drag on your clothes, reminding yourself that one of your personal design leadership tenets is to recruit people who are insanely, frighteningly better than you. They lift your game.
 
But you didn’t hire them – not all of them anyway. They’re more like an inheritance. There’s the odd stray and you could send them on their way again, but that seems like more trouble than it’s worth.And the odds are, as soon as you’ve done that, there’ll be another.
 
Back to the point.  They lift your game but how do you lift theirs?
 
This talk is about the challenges that every design leader faces; dealing with the people you lead, including those who don’t ‘report’ to you in any hierarchical sense. Working with them might be rewarding but it’s often challenging.
 
I’ll explore the reasons (and debunk) some myths about leading people in the design game.
 
You’ll walk away with a better sense of the underlying causes that lead to challenges in your working relationships with some principles and strategies to enable you to respond to them with more confidence, less stress. You’ll also be better placed to get more from your people; energy, commitment, engagement and ultimately – great design outcomes.

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