What does it take to be the leader of a design firm or group? We often assume they have all the answers, but in this rapidly evolving industry they’re forced to find their way like the rest of us. So how do good design leaders manage? If you lead a design group, or want to understand the people who do, this insightful book explores behind-the-scenes strategies and tactics from leaders of top design companies throughout North America.
Based on scores of interviews he conducted over a two-year period—from small companies to massive corporations like ESPN—author Richard Banfield covers a wide range of topics, including:
How design leaders create a healthy company culture
Innovative ways for attracting and nurturing talent
Creating productive workspaces, and handling remote employees
Staying on top of demands while making time for themselves
Consistent patterns among vastly different leadership styles
Techniques and approaches for keeping the work pipeline full
Making strategic and tactical plans for the future
Mistakes that design leaders made—and how they bounced back
It Starts with the People
Laying the Foundation for Culture
Small Teams and Building Out
Developing Talent Is Similar to Developing a Sales Pipeline
The CEO and Co-Founder of Boston-Based User Experience Agency Fresh Tilled Soil, Richard Banfield wears the strategic hat around the office. He's worked his way up the web marketing food chain, starting with online ad sales at MultiChoice, Africa’s largest TV and Internet media business. Richard was in the thick of it during the heady dot-com years, founding Acceleration, an international e-marketing business headquartered in London. He has never met a whiteboard he didn't like.
The animal on the cover of Design Leadership is a short-toed snake eagle (Circaetus gallicus). It is part of the Accipitridae family, which includes hawks and other eagles, and can be found in parts of Russia, the Middle East, Asia, and the Mediterranean. They nest in trees in semi-desert climates.
Male and female short-toed snake eagles are similar in appearance. They have brown coloring on their top plumage (head, neck, and top of the wings), but the shading can vary. The undersides are white at the lower breast and belly with brown spots or blotches. Females are heavier than their male counterparts and have longer tails. They have rounder heads than other raptors, which give them a slight resemblance to an owl.
As the name suggests, the short-toed eagle's diet relies heavily on snakes. Though they are able to eat some venomous snakes, they are not immune to poison and stick mostly to the nonvenomous variety. They are also known to eat frogs and lizards, as well as smaller birds or mammals. They hunt both while in flight or from a perch and have been known to battle prey on the ground until the target is dead and, therefore, more easily consumable.
Breeding for the short-toed snake eagle takes place during the spring months. Females will prepare the nest in trees or on cliffsides while the male provides meals for her to dine on. Females lay only one egg per mating season. Chicks typically leave the nest around two to three months after hatching, but parents will continue to provide food to the fledgling for a few weeks afterward.
Many of the animals on O'Reilly covers are endangered; all of them are important to the world. To learn more about how you can help, go to animals.oreilly.com.
The cover image is an animal illustration by Karen Montgomery, based on an engraving from Lydekker's Royal Natural History. The cover fonts are URW Typewriter and Guardian Sans. The text font is Scala Pro and the heading font is Benton Sans Condensed.