Simple Leadership Tips Part 1

I have two kids ages 2.5 & 4, lead a team of designers at Google, and have practiced design for many years now. What do I know? The following is a short collection of things learned during the course of my life. The contents of this list will change and grow, I hope, as life progresses.

  • Be concise. Say more with less.
  • Learn from your mistakes. The only failure is to make the same mistake twice.
  • Be authentic. If you feel fake, it’s because you don’t trust yourself.
  • Find a mentor. Find someone better than you, who you admire. Observe them in context, ask questions, do what they say, then question them.
  • Be a mentor. Through the process of advising others you will codify your practice.
  • Be humble and appreciative. Let your actions speak louder than words. Otherwise, you’ll be defined as a braggart. Not an effective leadership technique.
  • Be open to learning. The minute you stop learning, you grow crufty, old and outdated. Not good in tech.
  • Challenge yourself. Related to learning. Put yourself in new situations that require you to swim.
  • Make decisions. Seems obvious. Too many people let others decide for them.
  • Empathize. Think about the world from the perspective of those around you. Read Jung. Understand archetypes. You will develop a sixth sense.
  • Network. It’s easy, and it pays off. If you too are shy, get over it.
  • Collaborate. Power in numbers. But be sure to pick your team wisely.
  • Set goals. Three months, one year, five years, and retirement. Even when the horizon is too far to realistically visualize, you will at least define a path.
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