The Director

Let’s just get this out of the way and let me state that I adore my current team. Just this past weekend I attended one of my co-worker’s vow renewal with his wife of fifteen years and next to me sat my boss’ boss, The Director. Our team is like family, we joke with each other far more than we fight a 2400 x 3 ratio and that’s just within the last 6 months that I’ve been working with them.

The Director immediately stood out to me when he interviewed me. He used the word “family” and since then I’ve paid close attention to the way he directs the team, himself, and our role as a department within the company.

Our department’s name doesn’t explain what it is we do but we are a group of graphic designers, video producers, compositors, Ux designers, front-end developers, project managers, photographers, videographers, copywriters, animators, print designers, screenwriters, digital designers, and camera operators. We are a team of twelve, we each wear multiple hats, complimenting each other very well. At least two of us share a skill set: allowing us at least one other person to bounce ideas off of; at least one other person who knows, lives, and breathes our struggle; and at least one other person to be pinned up against you at some point in time to create a better design/project/etc. It is a collaborative and competitive environment and those we serve benefit from it.

Iron sharpens iron.

Let me reel it back in, I believe in the family approach when it comes to building a team and this is the first person that I’ve worked under that has built a team in this manner. I asked them how they do it, they say they go with their gut and then they hand them off to the rest of the family to get their take. This family can be intimidating. I know because I remember meeting them for the first time. So many people really comfortable with each other, like a family, that gets along with one another.

So how did the Director do it? I have no clue but I can speak to the way they have carried themselves and the way I believe anyone leading a team/department should carry themselves: Continue reading →

Work Culture | Ground Zero

As a contractor I have had the opportunity to work with some pretty cool teams. The work culture, was inclusive, family like and supportive. I wanted to know how to create this type of environment for my team. I hosted three ScriptEd high school interns this Summer and I wanted them to have similar experiences.

I decided to look at the very people in charge of putting these teams together

Who are these people? Who are they to the team? What are their similarities? I looked at three people who have created teams that I really enjoyed working with:

Continue reading →

2015 ScriptEd interns for OGiDesigns

A Leader is a Servant

…But whoever would be great among you must be your servant – Matthew 30:26

Managing is hard

Yet my interns make it easier. The first couple of weeks I would check-in on the more often, help them with code. Made sure they stayed on top of things so that they could make the deadline.

They delivered two days before the deadline.

After the first project I could relax more. Focus on my own work and trust them to do what I had given them to do. I had fallen behind on three projects I was working on the first two weeks. I stayed later than normal to make up the time to not miss my own deadlines.

Managing is rewarding

At one point my interns were juggling two projects at a time and considering how to tackle on the third project. Not wanting to miss the deadline I had given them they stayed late without me asking. I actually have to tell them to go home most days. Yet to watch them stay 49min past the time they were supposed to leave made me so proud. They were passionate about what they were doing. They were proud of it and fought like siblings to get everything working as it should.

I stopped babying them and started to leave them to their own devices until they asked me for help

I had not set any expectations for them. I only wanted them to come out of this internship with a preview of what it is like to interface with clients, work as a team, learn about an agile environment, learn about all the steps that come into developing a site, etc. I wanted to add to their education, encourage them and hopefully one of them if not all three will move to pursue this profession.

Occasionally people would come into the office and inquire what it is that they were working on and I never felt the need to jump in and explain. To hear how they explained things, and talk about the project brought me so much joy. For other to see how bright and smart they are.

To Manage is to serve

I had to anticipate what they would need and when they would need it at first. Yet after the first project they were able to figure out and find what they need and received more responsibility as time passed. Leaders create other leaders.

A team of leaders is a team of servants. Ready and willing to step in and help each other out.

While I am tickled at how Zeus and Adham fight like brothers. I felt like I successfully created “the team is your family” work culture when I got a message from Adham that said “If you need help with any of your work, let us know”. This OG has a few more gang members.

Managing requires humility

I count my interns and their goals more important than my own. This is my first time managing and all I could aim for was to be the type of mentor/manager I would want to work with. If you’re skeptical about bringing on high school students as interns consider this latest blog post from Zeus, who a week ago knew not a thing about animation, let along animating with css and well…I’ll let you read below:

So far my internship has been going great. I enjoy the project i’m currently working on. As for my goals: I want to actually finish the project I’m working on before our internship ends, while also improving my css skills; which includes learning about animation delays, transform, translate, scale, keyframes and more. I am currently working on a microsite containing a ton of animation, something I’ve never worked with before. So far it seems fairly simple but that’s probably because I have just started but I am confident that my co-intern and I can accomplish the task given to us. This microsite we’re working on is pretty much our only focus as of now. Another task I have is to update my resume and include this internship with the proper information. -Zeus Ramirez

Managers should offer up praise

My gang is awesome. Wouldn’t trade them for another crew. I am blessed to have them with me these past few weeks and I will miss them and wish them the best!