effective leadership in architecture

Most architects are enthusiastic about design, but an outstanding design skill does not often come with the skills needed to become progressive, dynamic leader. A leader does more than just manage, they guide the team. They help others reach their full potential. In the architectural field, an effective leader is someone who is creative and knows how to collaborate and solve problems while motivating others to do the same.

Recognizing Creativity

Recognizing creativity is an important part of leadership. This is especially true in the architectural field where leaders must encourage employees to dig deep and find their true creative potential. A good idea can come from anywhere, from anyone. A leader understands this and actively works to pull the very best from those around him or her. As a leader, your job is to create the right environment, allowing your team to feel comfortable bouncing ideas off each other and you. The key is to empower your employees, so they have the confidence to express their vision. Being able to recognize creativity in others is paramount to your success as a leader.


Collaboration is essential in architecture. It is the foundation the industry is built on. Architects have to collaborate with other architects, engineers, designers, and clients. Collaboration is at the heart of the architectural field. Effective leaders understand this. Leaders do not try to do everything themselves or shut down other people’s ideas. Leaders need to be humble and open-minded. A strong leader delegates to those they work with. Leader know the strength of the team and shares work that leverages that strength.

Where does all of this happen? The Charrette!

Managers need to nurture collaboration. They need to interact with the team members to understand the strengths of each person. There needs to be real interaction to pull out the best creativity from each team member. One of the best ways to do this is the charrette. The charrette allows team members to bounce ideas off each other, give each other instant feedback, and feed off each other’s creative energies. It also allows team members to resolve conflict and map solutions. Conflict is a natural part of collaboration; a successful leader will to be able to show their employees how to work together to overcome conflict and other obstacles. No matter how talented your employers are, teamwork is the only way to ensure that the creativity level remains high.

To be a successful leader in the architectural field, you have to do more than direct and supervise. You need to take an active role in building a work environment that encourages the team to collaborate, problem solve, and fulfill their creative potential. Much of this is best done by example. An effective leader gives their employees the confidence they need to express their creativity and come up with forward-thinking designs.


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