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Leadership Skills

October 2022


Article credits
Spotify Design Team

Spotify Design is full of strong leaders steering the product vision. Want to know their secrets for success? We asked three design leads to share the skills that have helped them guide the way.

What skills have helped you lead a design team successfully?

Leonardo De La Rocha

Head of Design, Spotify Ads

Data fluency. The most effective customer solutions are crafted using accurate assumptions about the people using your product or service. Data helps us with this and ultimately helps leaders be more decisive while staying connected to customer needs. “Diagnose with data. Treat with design.” - Julie Zhuo

Yaprak Gultay

Design Director

Understanding group dynamics. As a leader, it’s very useful to know how a group develops and matures over time and what kind of behavior and actions promote a constructive environment for its development. Increasing self-insight, identifying and handling conflict, and understanding the need for different leadership styles are all handy tools for creating an open and trusting team culture.

Giles Peyton-Nicoll

Design Director

Embracing change. There is only one true constant and that’s change. As a design leader, it’s sometimes scary how fast our industry changes — however, change brings exciting new challenges, opportunities for innovation, growth, and the endless pursuit of mastery. “Be water, my friend.” — Bruce Lee


Spotify Design Team

We're a cross-disciplinary team of people who love to create great experiences and make meaningful connections between listeners and creators.

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