To be blunt, when I first started leading a Player Experience team, I was completely out of my depth. I had no experience as a manager and not much guidance on how to be effective as a leader. Most of my career has involved a solid dose of winging it through, so I was excited to take on the new challenge.
When you’re responsible for leading a team, the context of what success looks like shifts dramatically, and making the transition from contributor to leader isn’t without its hurdles. Some of the lessons I learned along the way were completely unexpected, and others were much harder than I could have possibly anticipated.
As I spoke with more team leaders in the Community/CS/CX space, it was clear that this is not an uncommon scenario. Great Individual Contributors are promoted into leadership roles and given little to no training on how to apply their experience to lead a team.
Managing a team is its own skill set, and unfortunately putting a team under someone does not magically instill the characteristics and experience needed to be successful in the role. Nearly every person I talked to in a similar situation wished they’d had more guidance and coaching before and after taking on the role.
Enter our GDC Talk: “The Care and Feeding of Your Player Experience Team(s)”!
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to get some amazing speakers for the talk, each of whom will cover an aspect of team leadership within the Player Experience space.
Together we’ll be covering building, growing, and developing your Player Experience team(s). We’ll be discussing everything from hiring to firing, managing the day to day across time zones, and the struggles that go along with rebuilding your team after a re-org.
The illustrious panel of speakers:
- Richard Kiernan: Head of Customer Care - Wooga
- Stephen Reid: Community Manager, Games – Facebook
And of course, myself!
While we’re not under the delusion that a one-hour talk is going to provide everything needed to be successful as a newly promoted leader, our hope is that we can provide new game industry leaders a good idea of where to start and point out some of the common stumbling blocks so that others might avoid them. Share the love (and knowledge), you know?
Going to GDC and interested in learning more about what it takes to build and lead a great Player Experience team? Add the talk to your schedule now, and we look forward to seeing you in March!
You might also like: