Austin is an experience design leader and product design specialist.
Over the length of my career in design, I've worked with multi-disciplined design teams of varying sizes, interviewed thousands of designers, and studied how design operates and matures within companies worldwide. During this time, I've noticed the need for more education supporting design storytelling, nurturing individual growth, and modernising design recruitment.
My role as a servant leader, mentor, and design practitioner is to balance thoughtful guidance with diverse levels of empowerment to support individual decision-making. Working with me means working transparently and inclusively, sharing in-progress work early and often, and framing problems as opportunities within yet-to-be-understood contexts. I prioritise collaboration over independence. The best way to deliver meaningful outcomes is through shared responsibilities.
I focus my leadership style on supporting unique ideas with proactive action by seeking authentic relationships that encourage deliberate measurable outcomes. If a team I'm working with fails, I don't see such situations as finite or defining but, instead, see failure as a chance for us to learn and achieve future growth.
I strive to build a respectful yet playful culture determined to discover patterns and trends, push for lean processes that nurture ideas to blossom into innovative opportunities and praise curious questions about how something fits into the big picture. Support comes from helping connect ideas, projects, and individuals or providing nudges on varied or alternative outcomes. I align myself with company values by routinely using them as tie-breakers or evaluation methods.
My strengths are primarily in having and encouraging a growth mindset based on self-awareness, creating a work-life balance where ideas can incubate and thrive, encouraging creative thinking, and acting authentically in every interaction. These strengths are my own, and I work to incorporate them into my teams. I lean into transformational leadership by holding my team big while supporting them ruthlessly to achieve success.
I've championed the coexistence of product, design, and engineering throughout my career, using lean processes and UX methodologies. Through partnerships and clear, concise communication with executive-level stakeholders, I have matured design practices within companies and delivered value in unlocking innovation through design.