Who are your leadership role models?


Next month our theme is Leadership and Strategy. I’m getting organised early and in order to do that, I’d like to pick your brains.

Who are some inspirational leaders in the design/UX/product space?

Strategy and leadership : What are your pain points?

hey @HAWK
that’s a great topic.

My personal wall of fame:

  1. Sergio Pininfarina - http://www.pininfarina.com/en/sergio/
    Should I explain who is this guy? Really?
  2. Don Norman - https://www.nngroup.com/
    I am always inspired by reading his point of view in terms of product design and relationship between product and users
  3. Luke Wroblewski - http://www.lukew.com/
    I did a workshop with him and I was fascinated by his way to simplify processes and interfaces. His approach to highlight the main user tasks help me a lot during the design process
  4. Philippe Stark - http://www.starck.com/en
    I am fan of this guy since the my boyhood, when I saw for the first time his squeezer I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up
  5. Alice Awsthorn - http://www.alicerawsthorn.com/
    I do love her way to handle the public speaking. I strongly suggest to search for her talks
  6. Jeffrey Zeldman - http://www.zeldman.com/
    When I started to approach the responsive design I discovered a list apart and since then it is on the top of my bookmark list

  1. Jenny Arden : https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennyarden
    She was the UX Lead for Google’s self driving car, and now works at Airbnb.

  2. Pratik Gadde: https://www.linkedin.com/in/prathikgadde
    He studied the same course as me, in my university - so my senior. He went on to start his own firm in India after that.

  1. Leah Buley http://leahbuley.com

  2. Christina Wodtke http://eleganthack.com

  3. Luke Wroblewski http://www.lukew.com

  4. Nathan Barry, founder of Convertkit http://nathanbarry.com

  5. Jared Spool, founder of UIE https://www.uie.com


THIS. I chose industrial design after seeing that magnificent object!


I’m really excited about this one because it’s something I really care about! My UXNZ15 talk was on leadership.

I’m loving the lists so far- it’s good to see a few people I hadn’t heard of mixed in with the usual suspects so I’ve learned something new today :slight_smile:

My List in no particular order:

Steve Krug
Whitney Hess
Patrick Neeman
Abby Covert

Why I like them? They know their stuff but also from reading their books and talking to them, I’ve noticed that they’re really down to earth.


I did the same path!
And with one of my first salary I bought it!


I fully agree her approach to build the information architecture is great!


She’s also an incredible leader- I spoke at WIAD last year in Canberra (Australia) and even with events happening all over the world at the exact same time, Abby sent me a twitter DM within minutes of my talk ending saying “Well done, it looks like people enjoyed your talk”. We’d never met and she’s halfway around the world but she was watching Twitter and cared enough to reach out. I thought that was incredible! :grinning:


Love it!!


Hi Great topic,

My recent studies covered a large part of Leaderships & Management. Below are some of the people we looked.

Anything I’ve read, or watched by John Meada, has always been on the money.

These guys are no necessary Design/UX related but their well worth a bit of time. Great insights

Daniel Goleman
Great insights into developing emotional intelligence

Seth Godin
Sign up to his blog, little gems of advice arrive every day.

Tony Hsieh (Zappos)
Amazing attitude to customer focus, and how to engage emloyees.

Jack Welch
Legendary CEO of General Electric, look up some of the stories around this guy, amazing stuff.


I didn’t know her…thanks!


These are both top of my list too! Luke Wroblewski’s web form book has been invaluable to me!

Also a great shout!!

The book that should be on every designers desk!