Design leadership is a crucial role in any organisation that’s serious about building great experiences. In recent years, I have hired Design leaders as well as personally mentored a few to leadership roles. In this article, I want to share 7 traits that make one a great Design Leader.
A Design Leader must have a clear vision for the future of design within their organisation. They must be able to articulate this vision to others and inspire them to follow.
A Design Leader must be an effective communicator. They must be able to communicate their vision to others, as well as the rationale behind their decisions. They must also be able to listen to and understand the input of others.
A Design Leader must be empathetic. They must be able to understand the needs of their team and their stakeholders. They must also be able to understand and deal with the challenges that their team members are facing.
A Design Leader must be a active collaborator. They must be able to work effectively with others, both within their own team and across different departments.
A Design Leader must be able to make and take decisions. They must be able to weigh the pros and cons of different options and make the best decision for the team and eventually the organisation.
A Design Leader must have a strong understanding of design principles and practices. They must also be able to do the work themselves, which often means getting their hands dirty.
A Design Leader must be passionate about design. They must be able to inspire others with their passion for the field.
I believe these 7 qualities are essential for success. If you are aspiring to be a Design Leader, I encourage you to reflect on these qualities and to strive to develop them in yourself. If you are already a Design Leader, then you know what I’m talking about.
Together, let’s redefine your organisation’s product experience strategy.
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