Andy coaches ambitious product and design leaders to help them unlock their full potential (and that of their teams).

Andy has helped a wide range of individuals over the years, from design and product execs at major tech companies, to younger designers starting out on their own leadership journey. Find out how he can help you.

Supporting Emerging Managers

Andy loves supporting new and emerging leaders. A typical leader in this category might have recently moved from lead to leader, or be in the second or third leadership role of their career. Often their first leadership role was a bit of a challenge, so they're now looking for external support.

Team sizes tend to be in the 2-20 people range, so you'll mostly be managing Individual Contributors (ICs). There's a good chance you'll be building a new product or design leadership practice from scratch, or professionalising one that's outgrown itself. This often requires the creation of a lot of new processes and practices. Solidifying team culture and values, setting up regular rituals, creating career progression frameworks, and managing team performance. You may have templates for some of these, but there’s a good chance you'll be building a lot of this from scratch.

While it's not always the case, these leaders will often find themselves in organisations with low to moderate design and product maturity. This means not only improving how your team works internally, but how it is perceived and interacts with the wider organisation. This can be especially channeling to navigate if your team perceives a maturity gap which isn't seen or understand by your other business partners. As such, a bit part of your role is going to involve raising your organisations understanding and practice of design.

These are all fairly common challenges. There are often fairly clear and well trodden paths to fixing these issues. However that doesn't necessarily means it's going to be easy. That's where working with an experienced leadership coach like Andy can help. Andy is somebody you can share your thoughts, fears and frustrations with (without it affecting your performance review). He’s something you can throw around ideas with to help expand your thinking. And he’s somebody who can challenge your thinking and hold you to account when needs be. In short great co-pilot for emerging managers looking to solidify their practice and take their leadership to the next level.

Coaching Experienced Leaders

Andy spends about a third of his time coaching experienced Heads, Directors and VPs of Product and Design as they step into a senior executive role. This generally means managing increasingly large budgets, shaping and delivering corporate strategy at a much higher level, managing other managers (sometimes for the first time) and leading significantly larger teams.

As a senior leader you'll still be responsible for product, process and performance. However, operating effectively at this level requires you to develop executive presence, grow your visibility and influence, and develop a "first team" mindset. This often means letting go of many of the things you love, and many of the things that got you to where you are today, in order to properly inhabit your executive role.

While you're clearly good at what you do, you might be struggling in specific areas. Maybe you have some challenging stakeholder relationships you need to figure out? Maybe you've received specific feedback you've been asked to address? Maybe you're starting to feel the toll of leader and need to work on your personal resilience? Or maybe you're starting to explore next steps. Whatever leadership challenges you're facing, Andy is on hand to help.

Mentoring Practitioners

While it's not his core area of practice, Andy enjoys supporting senior ICs. Especially those either considering a move into leadership or needing support with their transition into leadership.

Andy also likes helping more junior designers navigate their way through the industry. He's especially interested in helping designers from under-represented backgrounds — one of the things he likes the most about being a member of the Adobe Design Circle.

Andy has a good understanding what hiring managers are looking for and occasionally helps designers hone their Portfolios and CVs.

What makes a good design leader? Andy shares the five key challenges design leaders face, and the skills necessary to recruit, manage and foster a successful collaborative culture, at Awwwards Conference Amsterdam.