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Professional Growth: Growing You, Not Just Your Skills

Bernard Yee  (Executive Producer, Oculus)

Location: Room 2010, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 23

Time: 11:30 am - 12:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

This is a session about working not on specific production skills, but the personal *traits*: grit, resilience, humility, kindness and discipline that we bring to bear every time we learn and apply any new skill on a team. There aren't many talks about trait work; skill development is more straightforward to teach and promises immediate, concrete payoff. But while skills are important, the journey from junior line producer to seasoned executive producer is really a journey of deeper transformation and personal growth.

I'll use my experience in this talk as a (not particularly good) bike racer as a metaphor for this journey, but you can apply this framework to many different practices. I'll provide the structures to make that practice /deliberate/. We know that thriving in ambiguous problem spaces requires growth; growth requires that we learn to function with a level of discomfort. Attendees will learn to embrace that discomfort, rather than avoid it.


We're often exhorted to get outside of our comfort zone, adopt a growth, not a fixed, mindset. But growth is uncomfortable in the best of circumstances, and even more so if your manager is breathing down your neck for results. We are often most rewarded for competence, even mastery - and /not/ growth. Growth is often the most challenging idea to bring back to your work – and also the most rewarding, for personal satisfaction and career development. How do you put growth into practice? By drawing on non-game development examples, taken from the speaker's personal experience as a mediocre bike racer – this session will show you how to apply his example to your own unique interests, so you'll have a concrete set of exercises and structures to use to start your own journey of growth.

Intended Audience

Intermediate to advanced producers, and product leaders who are expected to own their professional growth. For leaders who are charged with ambiguous problems, and are expected to steer their own growth even while there aren't obvious paths to find rubrics on how to grow.