I recently joined a team of designers to lead. One of the patterns I noticed was a lack of ownership over the product areas some of the designers were working in. This came about in a few ways, but the biggest and most common sign was how someone approached a problem. Some designers propose aContinue reading “Proposing instead of asking”
Starting a project when you don’t have a full time Project Manager.
I recently had a conversation with a design manager that started something like this: “I want to start having my team to do daily standups.”“Why?” “Just so I can easily see what everyone is doing.” This sort of scenario is pretty common and I’ve actually done this myself in the past. (Standups on their ownContinue reading “Not turning my problems into yours”
Note to self: You have expectations. Don’t make people guess what they are. Write them down. Share them openly. Refer to them regularly. Put them in context of the work. Let everyone know where they stand on each. Alter the expectations as things change. Repeat.
Today my coworker Brie asked me, “What do you value most in a design leader?” I think a good design director/boss/manager/leader is someone who: Leads by example. Sets and upholds a high bar of design quality. Has an efficient & high performing team. Actively works on growing each designer. Knows the strengths & weaknesses ofContinue reading “A good design lead”
Last year, I read and listened to 20 books. This was way more than usual. I think its because I didn’t work for three months and because I discovered Libby, an app that I hooked up to my (okay, my sister’s) library card and it just made it super easy to find and download audiobooksContinue reading “2019 in books”
Soon after I started managing managers, I promoted a few designers to a Design Director role, meaning they went from designing to managing designers. I had a few conversations with some who were very eager to get started and “make their mark”. One particular high achiever wanted to “do” something in their first few weeksContinue reading “Don’t do anything”
When I took on a new role, it was in addition to running a product design team. In order to do both jobs well, I decided to take a good look at what I was currently doing on my product design team. Turns out, there were things that had crept into my routine that wereContinue reading “It’s about the work”
I said yes to a big job opportunity this week without asking a single question. I had plenty of them, I just knew my own answer regardless. I also believe that when someone asks you to step into a new leadership role, there is going to be some ambiguity and part of your job willContinue reading “No question”
Recently, the design team I lead was going through a period of low morale. I noticed this through conversations in 1-1s, our team Slack channel, and most notably in our team meetings. The designers were all working on some very big product problems and while the work was really challenging, the rewarding aspect seemed toContinue reading “🌶Spicy topics”