Design

How servant leadership can help unlock your creative potential

4 min read
Eli Woolery
  •  Jan 13, 2021
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Designer and entrepreneur Jason Mayden wants to shake up misperceptions surrounding leadership. The epitome of leadership isn’t the image of Washington on the Potomac, he says. Rather, think of a lion leading the pride from the back, protecting others.

“That’s my form of servant leadership,” Jason, the VP of the elite performer offense and partner liminal collective at Logitech, says. “I’m the dude in the back, cheering everybody on, getting excited for everybody, keeping everybody motivated to keep moving forward. That’s how I lead.”

The current advisor, d.fellow, and media designer at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design was our guest on the most recent episode of The Design Better Podcast. He spoke on a wide range of topics, like how a near-death experience in childhood has shaped his outlook. (A hint: It has to do with consistently racking up small wins to compound momentum.)

As a guiding principle in work and life, the previous senior global design director for Nike explains that he never wants anyone to feel left out. It’s a value stemming from growing up in the city and being into Japanese anime and manga before it became cool.

Often, design-led companies fall short when it comes to making everyone outside the team feel valued. That’s why he made it a point at Nike to get to know team members in finance, work in a distribution center, and eat lunch with people at the factory.

“If I can be a bridge and build meaningful relationships with people who have felt overlooked, then that’s the type of leader I want to be,” Jason says.

Want to hear more of Jason’s unique perspective on design?

Learn what drove Jason to create his company SuperHeroic, and what he took away from the process, as well as how he designs his life using tools like creative direction and brand strategy on the Design Better Podcast.

Listen to the full episode here