Redesigning Leadershipby John Maeda
Pub. Date: 04/25/2011
Publisher: MIT Press
When designer and computer scientist John Maeda was tapped to be president of the celebrated Rhode Island School of Design in 2008, he had to learn how to be a leader quickly. He had to transform himself from a tenured professor with a love of argument for argument's sake and the freedom to experiment into the head of a hierarchical organization. The… See more details below
When designer and computer scientist John Maeda was tapped to be president of the celebrated Rhode Island School of Design in 2008, he had to learn how to be a leader quickly. He had to transform himself from a tenured professor with a love of argument for argument's sake and the freedom to experiment into the head of a hierarchical organization. The professor is free to speak his mind against "the man." The college president is "the man." Maeda has had to teach himself, through trial and error, about leadership. In Redesigning Leadership, he shares his learning process.
Maeda, writing as an artist and designer, a technologist, and a professor, discusses intuition and risk-taking, "transparency," and all the things that a conversation can do that an email can't. In his transition from MIT to RISD he finds that the most effective way to pull people together is not social networking but free food. Leading a team? The best way for a leader to leverage the collective power of a team is to reveal his or her own humanity.
Asked if he has stopped designing, Maeda replied (via Twitter) "I'm designing how to talk about/with/for our #RISD community." Maeda's creative nature makes him a different sort of leader one who prizes experimentation, honest critique, and learning as you go. With Redesigning Leadership, he uses his experience to reveal a new model of leadership for the next generation of leaders.
Table of Contents
1 Start Here 1
2 Creative as Leader 9
3 Technologist as Leader 27
4 Professor as Leader 43
5 Human as Leader 57
6 Thank You 73
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Designer, artist, writer, engineer, scientist, academic and computer scientist John Maeda is a thought leader and Renaissance man who has lectured at the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference. His elegant and insightful book, "Laws of Simplicity", is an influential bestseller, and Esquire magazine named him one of the 21st century's most important people. He is a National Design Award winner and president of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Maeda is an unconventional thinker who looks at matters differently - and acts accordingly. getAbstract recommends this enjoyable, provocative read to anyone who wants a refreshing take on, and insightful perceptions into, the demanding universe of leadership.
This book is as much about leadership as it is about the author: direct, ego-less, modern and innovative. I find the topic and the lessons shared within it the hallmark of the way leadership needs to go: abandoning boardrooms for coffee shops, suits for shirt and slacks, conformity for collaboration. I plan to buy a copy as a hardcover (I bought it as an e-book) to share.