I've lead complete, top-to bottom product redesigns that have lead to significant capital raises for 3 companies since 2016.
A result of my time as an athlete, and now as a youth coach, I operate around the concept of being a TEAM player. I have always been an outspoken teammate who leads through encouragement. I spent 8 years as a founding team member and Creative Director for a mid-sized design and development agency managing a team of direct reports on my design team and co-managing a development and engineering team. Over the years since, I have managed smaller teams of designers, and been in several roles as a managment level IC responsible for running DesignOps as well as working cross-functionally with other teams.
My personality is open, upbeat and outgoing and I like to bring that energy to my team. I like to stay open and transparent, and share the wins. I have found that building a strong team is achieved through transparency, accountability, teamwork, and ownership. I like to lead by giving my team the tools, guidance, & information they need to succeed, and then I get out of the way.
My leadership strategy is built on these foundations:
Build Personal Relationships
Leadership is about enabling your team to achieve their personal goals and do their best work. I take time to build relationships and understand each team member’s career goals, unique creative process & the signals that will guide them to be successful.
Give Trust and Autonomy
I seek to understand, appreciate, and help team members grow their own creative process. I prefer to give team members problems to solve rather than prescribe solutions to implement. I trust my team members to use their skills and abilities to find the right solution. I provide Air Cover: I support them as they determine the best course of action, but I stay out of the way of the work.
Build a culture of Teamwork
Working together is vital to any successful team culture. From my time previously as an athlete, and now as a youth coach, I carry the mindset of making decisions that are best for the team. This provides a valuable springboard for mentoring my team, and fosters collaboration, which is vital to a strong design team. When we view ourselves as a team working together to achieve goals, we are invested, committed, and hold each other accountable to a standard.
Recognize Everyone as People
My goal as a leader is to always view my team members as people, not employees. Using this mindset, when the need for candid communication arises, whether it’s to provide constructive criticism or realign performance, I can do it in a way that respects a team member as a person. This invites change in a positive way and maintains the positive work culture of candor.
I had the opportunity to work directly under Sean during my time at Blast Advanced Media. Sean is a highly-motivated, extremely creative individual with an unmatched passion for all aspects of design. Under his leadership and mentoring, our team created visually-appealing, user-friendly websites and interactive presentations that were easily integrated into various CMS platforms and utilized the latest and best web standards. Additionally, he is an exceptional project manager; Sean worked diligently to facilitate communicate between the clients and the design team to ensure projects were carried out as smoothly, and efficiently as possible. I would welcome the opportunity to work with him again.
— Kelly Diaz, Useer Experience Designer