Who is an industry leader?
What makes one qualified to use this title? Is there a certain amount of time someone needs to be professionally active in a field to call themselves one? Is it others’ perception that matters? How are these concepts tied to gender, class, race, geography? Why do structures exist to perpetuate the use of the term and why do we think this is acceptable?
I’ll be sitting here thinking about these questions while sipping my tea.
When we talk about being an “industry leader,” it means something different to everyone, depending on where you’re from and what you do.
As leadership changes hands, we have the power to choose: either resist and hold onto resentment, or support and welcome new leaders. Claiming the title takes courage, and its legitimacy is only confirmed with time. It’s a form of praise, not an inevitability.
Empowering those around us is a beautiful gift to give. Who are we to hinder anyone’s progress when we can help them thrive? xx
It’s one of those things that anyone in the free world can claim to be, and others are free to take it seriously or not. It’s like putting “Thought Leader” in your résumé or Twitter description.
Monotype is arguably an “industry leader” in terms of library size, prominent acquisitions and in terms of how many people complain about their practices. Elsewhere someone else is probably an “industry leader” in the number of glyphs in their fonts, nodes in their glyphs, what have you. Let us all congratulate ourselves.