Leadership Letters
 Game designers write to their past selves
Dear past self,

You are an energetic young woman with her whole career ahead of her. I don't need to tell you to be excitable and collaborative -- you already have that down, and I'm pretty sure you couldn't stop even if you tried. You'll never let yourself become bitter.

But keep in mind that some people are insecure and will never like to be disagreed with, no matter how polite you are (and you were never THAT polite, let's be honest). Rather than simply stating your mind, perhaps it would be wiser to first identify whether the other party is interested in true discussion.

You will take every opportunity offered to you; I wouldn't have it any other way. But keep in mind that Lead Designer isn't always fun, even if you don't have other designers to manage! Look up "managing upwards" and ask yourself if that's really something you can do, when the person you're managing has different values and purposes and doesn't respect you. (Spoiler: I've decided I can't. Not really.)

Most of all, enjoy being in a team with other women for as long as you can, and get back to that situation as soon as you can. And although being the 'cool girl' can be helpful, it will wear on you, day after day. Besides, everyone can tell that you're self-possessed and sensitive enough to be put off by rape jokes, so there's no point pretending otherwise.

Finally, don't let your collaborative spirit hold you back by listening to the naysayers and pessimists. Many other designers might overstep, but your eagerness to impress and desire to be "mature" means you're more likely to be TOO timid, and too afraid to follow what your heart says. Believe me, you have insights to share. Keep dreaming big. Be ambitious. Be true to yourself. It's the only way for disappointments to lose their bitter edge.
Studio Head/Creative Director
December 10, 2019

Year Started: 2008