Generosity: The quality of being willing to share
In an effort towards constant self-improvement, I’ve been reading about what makes a successful design leader. I know one of my weaknesses as a leader is willingly delegating tasks rather than just ‘doing it all myself’. In doing it all I protect my sense of control, but as I continue to learn, this approach is not on the road to success. A common theme in my study on leadership is generosity. Generosity in ideas, time, and praise (source).
Thinking back to the influential leaders in my career journey, they have always been gracious with their time, present with their listening, and astute with their feedback. A leader is a mentor. They set an example in their day-to-day work, and make time to actively check in with their team. A design leader facilitates communication, allowing the team to feed off of each other, resulting in a sense of a ‘collective effort’. Team building through constant communication.
In this talk by Adam Grant, he talks about how success almost always is preceded with failure. Well sure, this makes sense, because if it is not success then one would assume it is failure, BUT what he emphasized was the rate at which one fails. Failing is a result of an effort. Trying. Being afraid of failure is what keeps us standing still. The fear of asking for help, or asking for feedback can seem paralyzing.
It is when we recognize that our fear and desire for control is only holding us back that we can pave the way for ourselves and eventually for others. Embracing the uncertainty. Embracing failure in hopes for progress towards something. Design leaders lead by example, by failing often and learning from their failures. They communicate that this is part of the process, and encourage their team members to contribute.