One of the best pieces of advice I was given early in my career -- and advice I continue to give to early-career creatives -- isn't about the craft. It's not to "make" every day. It's not to curate with care the work that you let pull your heartstrings. It's not even to work in a "handshake" mindset vs. a "handoff" one with your development partners. All of that is all excellent advice I encourage designers to heed, just not the best, IMO.

The best advice is about unlocking your left-brain analytical thinking to become a metrics-guided creative.

A measurement mindset allows you to look beyond your immediate or near-term solution. It forces you to challenge even your best design sensibilities, and make you comfortable with the idea of putting your solutions up against quantitative evaluation. 

As a hard-headed designer with strong points of view often fueled by gut instinct, this was a problematic notion for me. However, after 20 years or so as a professional creative, I now believe I'm at my best when the work I lead (or craft myself) is validated through testing. 

Ego can be useful. Agency in how you work will drive innovation. But it can only get you so far in this arena. Trust yourself to recognize and work through the humps and bumps in your professional path. But trust in data and customer-backed rationale to help you grow into a design leader.
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