This paper aims to explore leadership styles in relation to the management of design. The paper is based on the analysis of data collected during a multiple-case study of the role of design in business. The study involved interviews with senior managers in six case companies. The paper proposes a typology of design leadership, which defines some characteristics of different leadership styles. Design can make an important contribution to the commercial success of firms (Black and Baker, 1987, Rothwell, 1992, Walsh et al., 1992, Sentance and Clark, 1997, Hertenstein et al., 2005). For many managers, however an excessively narrow view of design hinders a broader, more strategic approach towards its management (Schneider, 1989). There are arguments that design is misunderstood (von Stamm, 2004) or neglected by design illiterate managers (Kotler and Rath, 1984). In some companies, however, design is valued by managers and is key to the success of the business. Verganti (2008) cited examples of successful, design-intensive firms such as Alessi, whose management style nurtures the creativity of designers.