My Design Leadership Values & Approach →
My leadership philosophy is to find the magic intersection of bringing impactful design to the business while personally caring about my reports and helping them grow and excel in their career paths.
As a leader, I value collaboration across the Product org and within our design practice, aligning on a shared sense of purpose, and holding the team accountable and motivated through a culture of empathy, trust, and open feedback. My default management mode is leading through coaching—guiding and empowering reports by asking questions rather than leading them to the answer.
My leadership and management approach can be broken down into what I see as the key pieces of management: purpose, people, and process. Below is a look at my beliefs and how I tend to operate in these 3 spheres.
- A successful team will be aligned on a shared purpose. Why does its work matter? What outcomes are we looking to drive? How do we get there together?
- Purpose at the beginning: It's critical to align across the org on the purpose and desired outcomes of a particular project, feature, etc. *prior* to beginning any deep work on it.
- Motivating reports means setting the right context, providing the right resources, and getting them excited about our overall mission, while helping them the work to their career growth trajectory.
- A successful team will set design principles from the outset to help guide the process and inform difficult decision-making.
- To thrive, employees and direct reports need safety, structure, and growth.
- Fostering a psychologically safe environment where teammates can be happy and bring their whole selves to work, without fear of retribution, leads to a successful and impactful team.
- Developing trust on a team is foundational, especially building trust between managers and their reports. I want to care deeply about my reports as humans, while pushing them to grow professionally.
- A great team begins with great hiring. Diversity and inclusion on teams is important to me, and I do this through fostering this through intentional and equitable hiring practices, inclusive onboarding, and developing effective retention strategies.
- Feedback is critical for growth. I like to share and receive feedback in 1:1's and in the moment for tactical design feedback, and typically set up 360-degree style feedback loops for the whole team.
- Developing and growing reports is only possible when you're both aligned on clear expectations for what success looks like. This includes having transparent leveling practices that evaluate not only the outcome of their work, but the impact and "how" of their work.
- A team that has fun together is a happy and healthy team — culture matters!
- Empathy and understanding users' needs is the key to building successful products.
- A healthy process is iterative and collaborative from the start, not a waterfall style process where final designs are "thrown over a wall" to engineers.
- I value teams where there exists close collaboration across Product, Design, and Engineering, and where each of these practices has a seat at the leadership table.
- Successful problem definition gets you 50% of the way to the answer.
- Good ideas can come from anywhere. I like to invite cross-functional peers into the Design process when we can, particularly towards the beginning and end of a project
- Design leaders should stay close to the design and the work.
- Data can be a useful tool for problem-solving, but it's not always the answer.
- A healthy team celebrates wins together...and learns together! I like to encourage acknowledging peers for their work in public forums like Slack (if they're comfortable), as well as hosting regular retrospectives on projects and completed quarters.