Advice, news, debate
and discussion
all in one place

How to be a Successful Leader – Ladies that UX November 2016

I was lucky to nab myself a ticket to the highly coveted Ladies that UX Finding Your Leadership Style event last night at the Digitas LBi offices off Brick Lane.



With a full-house, Sophie Mitchell (@smitchio) kicked off the night, thanking Foolproof for organising the event and Digitas LBi for hosting.

The panel included Caroline Austen, Head of Digital Experience at Aldermore Bank (@caz841), Rakhi Rajani, Global Director, Customer Experience and Design at Travelex (@rakhi) and Hayley Sudbury, Founder & CEO of WERKIN (@hayleysudbury).

Amy Shore, UX Consultant at Foolproof (@ishoream) was a fantastic panel organiser, asking really interesting and considered questions to delve into the ladies’ leadership journeys so far.


Here are the top tips shared by Caroline, Rakhi and Hayley on their experience of being a leader.


  • You have to fundamentally believe in what you’re designing / working on.
  • To be a good leader you need to find strengths in people that should be nurtured.
  • Listen to people in the team to better understand their motivations.
  • There will always be times of uncertainty, but if you can absorb that feeling of uncertainty on to provide structure for the team it will make you a better leader.
  • It’s as much about the physical space you create to help people develop in the team.
  • Deal with ambiguity and influence people.
  • It’s ok to say ‘I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know’.
  • Be in a work environment that is healthy for you; surround yourself with mentors and work to your passion.
  • Know when you can change a situation, and when you are better off leaving it.
  • Know you have the power to leave the situation.
  • Nothing is ever perfect.
  • Surround yourself with a network of entrepreneurs and business advisors, take on their feedback and keep the network alive.
  • Pressure keeps you alive.
  • Your should never lose your sense of responsibility.
  • You need to be up for the challenge of being a leader.
  • Treat people how you would like to be treated.
  • The way you approach and handle difficult situations says a lot about you.
  • You don’t have to be in charge of people to be a leader.
  • A leader is not necessarily the person who shouts the loudest in the room.
  • Find the right way to tell your story to get people onboard.
  • It’s all about relationships and connecting with people.
  • How to deal with challenges? Stand yourself up, dust yourself off and learn from them.
  • Focus on creating the right environment, culture and relationships before you start delivering anything.
  • Be clear and confident in who you are.
  • Have difficult conversations and learn to give feedback more regularly.
  • It is so important to build rapport in first 90 days of a new role.
  • Listen, learn and absorb.


Thanks again to all of those involved in the organisation of another thoroughly enjoyable Ladies that UX event. We will be collaborating with the group to run the annual January careers event – look forward to seeing you all there!

If you want to get ahead of the curve and start your job search before the rush in January – feel free to get in touch for advice or to discuss our current opportunities –

Leave a reply

Leave a Reply

Latest views

It’s October. Things are going okay, but could be better. 2019 is fast approaching. New year, new you? That thought will probably run through your mind at some point soon. Maybe you’ll act on it, maybe you won’t. If you do, first thing you might do is post your CV online. At this point you […]

This year Zebra are proud to be sponsors of UX Live 2018! We’re all super excited to be supporting this fantastic opportunity for designers and researchers to come together and gain further insight into the growing world of digital design. UX Live is an annual conference aimed at training and development within UX Design and […]

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a pretty good portfolio; 3 case studies, end to end with ‘what’ and ‘why’ covered perfectly. Amazing 👍 But don’t forget to “UX” your CV either. It might be why your application was rejected. While you get started, here’s some things I’ve noticed recently you should definitely […]

If you want the best UX-ers then provide the best CX (customer experience) within your hiring process, else you risk ending up with who’s left over and damaging your brand experience at the same time… UX as we all know, has boomed and with that boom has come an influx of newly reformed UX candidates […]

Here at Zebra People we pride ourselves at being experts in the digital sector. We love people and relationships, pairing the right candidates with clients and vice versa. We’re super excited to be partnering UX Live 2018! Two days of fantastic speakers and workshops showcasing thought leadership from the world of experience design. Zebra People […]

Zebra People are proud to be Media Partners with Mobile UX London 2018! Come and see us here on 20th November 1 Park Crescent, Marylebone, London W1B 1SH.

Ok, I admit the title is a little bit like ‘click bait’…but unfortunately, it’s not far from the truth. On a daily basis, the one topic that consistently comes up when I speak to candidates is job titles. There seems to be a lot of confusion in the digital design sector where job titles are […]

Zebra People welcomes Nick Grantham.  Nick joins from Source and will be a Principle Consultant in our dedicated UX team, covering both Permanent and Freelance positions. Nick Cochrane, Director and Founder of Zebra People said ‘ We have admired Nick for a number of years and are delighted he has joined Zebra People. He is a seasoned recruiter who has taken the […]