A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away, we struck down the role of project manager from our outfit. To lead our young ranks, we needed someone who could really kick our projects into hyperdrive. Our name for this new leadership role — Design Lead, who is the master of design leadership.
Design Leads are way boss because they've got mad skills in more effectively moving a project forward. They've got business savvy and design know-it-all. On the business side, they understand the client's business goals. On the design side, they know what's possible (and maybe impossible) from a design and techie perspective.
They're like old war vets who've been in the trenches under the fire of deadlines. More than once, they've burned the midnight oil wrestling with Photoshop to get through another set of design revisions. They've come out the other end, stronger, wiser, and with a keen sense of what can awesome things can be accomplished in a tight timeframe.
In other words, they've worn designers' shoes.
Design Leads can kick brainstorming and collaboration into high-gear to get speedy consensus. But they're not bulldogs around the office. They take action with a dose of empathy.
Design leadership ain't just two words. It's about seeing the big picture, being proactive and being a heck of a strategist. Folks in design leadership are Jedi Knights with the force to make a project's vision come to fruition, doing what it takes to make it happen. Fearless, determined and action heroes ... these are the synonyms of design leadership.