It was hard not to quote this entire excerpt from Mike Monteiro’s new book, You’re My Favorite Client. I narrowed it down to two, but you should go read the whole excerpt. Then you should read it a second time like I did. It’s that good. I’m currently debating how many copies to buy because I feel this should be required reading for every designer or business leader I meet.
When a colleague runs into your office and says, “The designer is changing things!” a well-placed “That’s exactly what I’m paying the designer to do” sets the perfect tone.
Amen! Halleluiah! Can I get a what-what? Change is hard for a lot of people, but often necessary to keep making progress. Shoot, just staying current and on par these days requires a healthy amount of change and flexibility. Designers are adept at making changes because of our problem solving skills. Given the right authority and support, we can make groundbreaking contributions to a business.
A designer with backbone and experience won’t have any problem carving out the room they need to work, but they can’t do so if you don’t grant them the authority. Otherwise, you run the risk of bringing someone in to follow the whims of those around them. That’s not a full member of the team. That’s a glorified Xerox machine, an asset used by the rest of the company whenever they need some pixels pushed around.
That’s how someone who’s supposed to work on your website’s UI ends up making Lost Cat flyers for Betty in HR.
And the second reason I love Mike Monteiro is because of this 2011 Creative Mornings talk titled F*ck You. Pay Me. Again, required watching for anybody in the freelance business. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it just as a little pick me up, morale boost.
And if a third is required, the guy has a pretty sweet beard.