Leadership Letters
 Game designers write to their past selves
Congrats, you're a Lead Designer. My ADHD lovely, you're gonna worry about organizing. Keep a thick pad of paper on your desk to write only the one thing you are currently supposed to be doing. Watch that like a hawk and you'll survive the myriad interruptions.

The new titles and responsibilities aren't prepackaged with new confidence. You'll be surprised to find a big store of it in good listening. Finishing someone's sentences or "seeing where this is going" and hurrying the discussion along isn't "listening." The people you work with need space to exhibit their talents and gain pride; praise and credit alone doesn't do it, you must listen, even when you know better. People do not frequently give praise ironically, so learn how to accept it. Most people will not offer effectual criticism freely, you have to seek it (it can be scarier, more personal, when it's coming from those that report to you). Listen.

Right now, go look for friends and mentors, outside your workplace. Practice maintaining those relationships. More than ever, you need to externalize your emotional support network to spare your teams friction. And you need guidance outside of the workaday investments and politics of even the best workplace. Listen.

More information, explanation, elaboration, will not always win the day. You are going to have to argue. These are not your friends, but teammates, and they are relying on your best work. Even as a leader, people won't think-about-it-and-come-around-before-it's-too-late, and even in the future, "I told you so" never feels good. Your Big Fear is winning an argument and then being wrong anyways? Practicing test-driven design will help but, ultimately, you're gonna need old fashioned Get Over It. Also: Listen.

Ciao for now!
Principle Designer
January 7, 2020

Year Started: 1997