Liz Danzico | Creative Director at NPR

Liz is creative director for NPR, overseeing and guiding both the visual and user experience across NPR-branded digital platforms and content. She is chair and co-founder of the MFA in Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts. She is advisor to start-ups, non-profits, global companies, and lecturer.

Liz-Danzico_P1My Definition Of Success | To me, success is balance and equity—to respect all time and effort and people equally. Days when I spend equal parts time on personal and professional pursuits feel deeply successful.

I Am Driven By | I’m energized that there is interestingness in everyone and everything.

A Key Talent | When you’re learning a piece of music, you can hear the final piece in your head, even though the reality of what you’re playing sounds raw and unfinished. But that you can hear its final version keeps you going long after others have left the room or shut the lights out. This is true for any discipline. Over time you learn that sometimes it’s only you who can see and hear the vision, even though everyone around you takes a while to see it while it’s being formed. If you stay honest to your ideology, your confidence in the horizon strengthens, as does the confidence of those around you.

Principles I Live By | I do my best to strike the word “busy” from my thinking and vocabulary. If everyone is “busy” then our focus and topic of our conversation becomes dominated by busy-related chatter. If busy people compare notes about being busy instead of talking about what truly matters, then we’ve wasted the valuable time we wanted in the first place.

Liz-Danzico_P2Lessons I Have Learnt | When lost, look back on the thing you were doing when you were seven years old. It is probably the thing you should be doing for the rest of your life.

Performing At My Peak | I am happy to say I am not always performing at my peak. The secret to performing at one’s peak, I suspect, is to admit that you won’t always, or even often, do so (and to be alright with that). But assuming every bit helps, I get a good night’s sleep, a bit of exercise before breakfast, and a daily dose of sunshine.

My Future Dreams And Ambitions | To be surprised by the expanses of my own love and generosity. And to see that continue to show up in my relationships and my work.

The Meaning Of Life | Presence. Whatever you do, no matter what it is—give that thing your full attention. Do that, and everything else falls into place.

The Best Advice I’ve Received | It’s <easy to say> no if you love something.

Liz-Danzico_P3The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | To have been trusted and deeply helpful.