Liftoff Cover


Practical Design Leadership to Elevate Your Team, Your Organization, and You

By Chris Avore & Russ Unger

To be published: July 2020

Are you ready to take the leap from practicing design to managing designers? If you’re an up-and-coming designer–or even if you’ve been managing for awhile–this book is here to help you learn practical, hands-on approaches to leading people. Designing and managing are different skills, and Russ and Chris have made the mistakes they want to help you avoid while you grow as a design manager.

Paperback + Ebooks i All of our Paperbacks come with a FREE ebook in 4 common formats.


Ebooks only i All ebooks come in DRM-free Kindle (MOBI), PDF, ePub, and DAISY formats.


More about Liftoff

Table of Contents

Section 1: Dipping Your Toe in the Leadership Pool

Chapter 1: Transition – From Designer to Design Leader
Chapter 2: Managing vs. Leading
Chapter 3: Advice from the Field – What to do with your seat at the table

Section 2: Leading with a Plan

Chapter 4: Team / Skill Assessment
Chapter 5: Planning for Team Growth
Chapter 6: Team Diversity & You
Chapter 7: Planning for Team Reduction
Chapter 8: How to: Write Job Descriptions
Chapter 9: How to: Interview & Hire for Roles
Chapter 10: How to: On-board New Team Members (and Other Non-Designers)
Chapter 11: 1:1 Meetings with Team
Chapter 12: Difficult Situations with Teams
Chapter 13: Performance Reviews

Section 3: Leading the Design Practice

Chapter 14: Team Charter
Chapter 15: (Hacking the) Org Chart
Chapter 16: Empowering Your Team
Chapter 17: Side Projects
Chapter 18: Budgeting for Failure
Chapter 19: Team Decision-Making
Chapter 20: How to Work with Distributed Colleagues
Chapter 21: Critique in Teams
Chapter 22: Collaboration
Chapter 23: Creating Patterns, Standards, etc. for Re-Use
Chapter 24: Project Estimations
Chapter 25: Presenting Work

Section 4: Leading Everyone Else

Chapter 26: Getting Everyone on the Design Team
Chapter 27: Managing Up & Across
Chapter 28: Dealing with Organizational Politics
Chapter 29: How to Say No and Not Feel Like a Jerk About It

Section 5: Now What?

Book Blog