All my best mentors, my heroes (design and otherwise) and my mom and dad impressed upon me the need to give back to my community. I’ve always taken this to heart and have attempted to do that where I live, where I work and within the design community.
In keeping with my commitment to support in-house designers, I often am compelled to invite my colleagues in the in-house community to do the same. This is especially true now that AIGA has launched an ambitious in-house program and has extended the opportunity to me to curate the in-house affinity sessions that are a part of the upcoming AIGA Design Conference being held in Phoenix this fall.
At the risk of being labeled a finger-wagging Pollyanna, I have to say that I’m underwhelmed at the willingness of many of the in-house design community’s best and brightest to respond to requests to support their peers. I completely understand that many of these potential thought leaders have extremely full professional and personal lives (that’s how they achieved their success) and may have commitments regarding serious matters that understandably must be their priority. But the consistency that I’ve experienced either no response at all or a quick brush-off to my invitations to support our profession underscores a larger lack of commitment on the part of potential community leaders. Without this group’s insights, perspectives and general leadership we all lose out on powerful opportunities to grow and flourish in our professional and personal lives.
If you’re operating at a high level in your organization, are articulate and possess strong leadership skills, I hope you’ll consider giving back to our community. If you know of potential leaders who have been standing on the sidelines, I hope you’ll send them this post. Great things can happen when great people take the stage.