Got any design leadership tips?

almost 5 years ago from Jordan Little, Design/Dev

  • Peter DeltondoPeter Deltondo, over 4 years ago
    1. Pass on everything you know. Your team will not just respect you, but love you for investing so heavily in them. People want to learn and grow, don't get wrapped up in all the admin work you need to do, continue to invest with them.
    2. Have both team and 1 on 1 lunches. I work remote now, but I still get together with my team members regularly. When I was in an agency office, I took a team member to lunch every Monday. We just hung out and got to know each other better, and I'd ask them how I can help them improve, what they want to improve on, and then I asked them how I could be better. Mentorship goes two ways.
    3. Protect your team. If your team gets stuck with a crappy assignment, or a need to work late, or on the weekend. You better be there in the trenches with them.
    4. See above again. You're gunna have to take bullets for your team, and they'll probably never know how many times you got hit for them. Always have their back.
    5. Partner people up. Have a project that plays to someone's strength and is completely out of someone else's comfort zone? Put the two of them on the project together. They'll bond together as teammates and both their skills will improve. One will be mentoring and teachings, the other learning new talents.
    6. Remember what got you here. Chances are you are a great designer, management takes you out of that roll. Try to stay in it somewhat to stay in the mix, relevant and passionate. Don't get bogged down doing nothing but admin work, sitting in meetings, and losing face time with your team. When you need help, get an AD or DL to assist with some of these responsibilities so you can lead and be a part of your team, rather than the task master.
    7. Never stop learning. This goes with #6, but it's vital you are always up to date on trends, techniques, programs, and new ideas. Keep time for yourself to always be improving.
    8. Give your team time to flex their muscles. At Mossio, we take Friday's for personal development. We work on a fun project to flex our skills, read books & articles about design, take Skillshare classes, learn new coding languages, design programs, etc. It has us always improving and growing. It also recharges our batteries and avoids burnout. A lot of employers can't seem to grasp this, so if you can't sell it to the owners, set up a night a month with your team to meet up outside of work and do a "dine and draw" or "personal case study" potluck. Anything to get people to do some rad stuff together.

    Hope all that helps!

    1 point
    • Jordan Little, over 4 years ago

      It absolutely does, thanks!

      0 points
      • Peter DeltondoPeter Deltondo, over 4 years ago

        One more thing and I think another person touched on this. Figure out the right way to talk to each person on your team. Each person has their own "language" you have to use. There are some people you can be direct and tell them what to do, or to simply change something. Others you have to guide them to the answer, things like "I like this, but did you think of trying something like "X", mock that up and then let's compare the two and decide together which works best". Some folks are thick skinned and wanna get down to brass tax and get things done, others may be a bit emotional or perhaps unexperienced in their work, and you have to speak to them differently to both build them up and get the desired end result you want.

        1 point