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My learnings on leadership

I am thinking on my past with the lens of “why that thing didn’t worked out?” those days. It is an useful exercise to do at times. I have a diary and I like to take old entries and read them with my new point of view.

Finding a good leader is a gift from God. Very often we have to deal with creative leaders that are not creative at all, managers that repeat your job and in general people that want to impose their (often wrong) views.

Enabling others

A great leader almost never says “no”. Best leaders you can find out there, in fact, are capable of taking any of the proposals and discussions from the team and use it as an opportunity for the growth of the entire team. Let’s say I am working on Super Mario Bros 4 and I have the “brilliant” idea of putting long dialogues between level and level. That’s clearly wrong, right? Why is it? A good leader can reason with me simply making me describing well the idea. Then is myself that can realize “ok, not a great one”. The same is valid for very tiny questions.

A bad leader believes that the job is “know when to say no”. When you meet someone like this, believe me: this person will probably make the whole project fail. No one knows when to say no, in fact. The no from a leader is a way of shut down a communication and gives no opportunities to grow. What are the best assets for a company? Teams are! Do not cut them off with a NO. Never.

Being honest

A good leader recognizes when the house is on fire and try to put the focus of the whole team on the problem. The team or part of it must extinguish the fire. Otherwise the house will. It’s very important maintain the calm but being honest at the same time. In case of fire, every member should participate or at least stay aware of it. Try to burn the smallest number of people.

A bad leader shows that everything is great at any meeting. The important thing for them is to stay positive. That person is not interested in the team and the product at all. That “leader” is just interested in taking the salary each month and having the title on the resume. Saying that is all good, until everything falls down. Then they will have the perfect excuse: the project was great, but the company shut down. Not my fault. New companies will see their resumes and see that they were in a leadership position for a while. Someone will hire them again, probably.

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