Starting in Industrial Design in your 30's......

That brings up an interesting point… Managing.

While a fundamental piece of society, there are many people who haven’t honed their managerial skills.

I think there are number of reasons for this- but one is fundamental in the ideology of the design process. As you work for years getting to be an established designer, you have to work under soooo many people for sooooo long. Then you get to move up a little, then move up again… but if you have been disconnected from a true leadership/ development/ guidance position- stepping into having a few people underneath you is very difficult.

Some people are just better leaders/ managers. The ones that really succeed are always looking for ways to better help guide their employees.

I’ve seen a lot of design guys throw in the towel and go into management, but you can tell they aren’t happy about it. It’s where most good designers go to pay for the new Land Rover.

This makes me think of a conversation I had with Sorhab Voussoughi (President of Ziba) a couple years back. I was on the verge of getting laid off and starting my own company and was concerned about not getting to design as much as I would like. His comment was along the lines of:

I found what he said to be so simple but it struck the right chord with me. Designing isn’t just about the creation of physical objects. Management doesn’t have to be purgatory.

I tend to think its the company, not the position that makes management resemble a warm seat in hell.

That’s a great quote and very spot-on.

So many oppurtunities in life are only as good as you make them.