If you are the best designer alive, but work in a place ignorant of design, your lack of credibility in the culture renders your design ability useless.
This very interesting writeup of Scott Berkun’s talk for Puget Sound SIGCHI meeting is interesting for any designer, not just UI/UX specialists. He makes a number of specific points, but they all generally boil down to investing yourself in your work. He addresses the whole issue from the vantage point of a consultant, but I think his points apply to in-house designers as well. Too many times a designer tries to stay above the political fray and just supply the ideas. This helps shield from criticism and other intra-office unpleasantries. Let the accountants figure out if it can make money, let the account manager sell it to the client, let it be somebody else’s problem.
The downfall is by ignoring all these little nitty gritty aspects your designs will suffer. To really build things that are useful you need to get down in the mud a little. Invest yourself in something so that your feelings are a little bit hurt when it gets shot down. If you understand the business implications of what you are creating you can defend it when some conference room sniper tries to take it down from 50 paces. If you aren’t armed with this knowledge you are packing a knife at a gun fight.
They always choose the worst one.
It is tempting to blame the client when they choose the wrong design , but then why did you let them? Stop being some sort of pseudo neutral switzerland and get in there and fight for the good one. We will ignore the fact that the bad ideas should never even waste the client’s time and just focus on selling your good work.
Facebook isn’t the place to get into heated discussions about things you care about, but the office certainly is.