4 Behaviors for Empathic Leadership

3danimation leadership tips Sep 18, 2023

Have you ever questioned what leadership means in our industry?


 I did. As a young leader, I once believed that "cracking the whip," being brutal and unrelenting, was the epitome of leadership. My journey, however, took an unexpected turn, and today, I want to share with you how it changed not only my perspective but also my career.

Hello, Happy Producers Community; this is LP. I started as an artist in the animation industry 25 years ago before becoming a team lead and producer. Like many of us, I started on the wrong foot, convinced that leadership meant wearing a heavy frown and a stern demeanor. But one day, a colleague's question changed everything: "Why do you always look grumpy?" It made me realize that leadership didn't have to mean suppressing one's true self.

This wake-up call inspired me to embark on a quest to become the best leader possible. I grew as a leader through mentorship, learning by example, gaining more responsibilities, and leading larger teams. The journey revealed a crucial insight: True leadership isn't about "cracking the whip" from the back; it's about leading from the front.

But here's the catch—I wish that back then, I had access to more resources to navigate the complexities of leadership. It would have helped me avoid sleepless nights and quantum leap my professional growth. Leadership isn't a one-size-fits-all approach; it requires guidance, support, and a clear path for growth.

Imagine a leadership course that empowers you to be the leader you want to be, a transformative experience designed for artists who aspire to become team leads and leaders aiming to strengthen their skills. A blueprint for cultivating positive, inclusive team cultures that help you lead without compromising your team's well-being or the project's success. It's the opportunity to have your cake and eat it too!

My journey from a grumpy leader to a respected and empathetic one is a testament to what's possible. I've been in your shoes, facing the unique challenges of the animation and visual effects industry, and developed a leadership methodology rooted in real-world experiences and practical strategies that deliver results.

I've witnessed firsthand how prioritizing the project and the people can lead to on-time deliveries and exceeded expectations.

Let me share 4 simple skills I would have loved to learn earlier in my journey. These leadership skills promote positive, empathetic, inclusive leadership and directly impact retention and productivity:

1. Practicing Active Listening:

We have two ears and one mouth; we should listen twice as much as we speak! Don't rush in to provide advice; listen, ask questions, and make your team feel heard. When people feel heard, they're more engaged and committed to their work.

2. Celebrating Achievements:

Recognize and celebrate both individual and team achievements regularly. Acknowledging hard work and success fosters a positive work environment and motivates your team to excel. Our jobs are complex; let us celebrate every step forward!

3. Embracing Flexibility:

Understand that creative work can be unpredictable! Be open to adjustments in processes or approaches when necessary. Flexibility promotes a low-stress work environment, which improves retention. You will never be able to predict every outcome, so be prepared and open to the unpredictable!

4. Encouraging Mentorship and Training:

Invest in your team's professional growth. When team members see you care about their development, they are more motivated, productive, and empowered. People have a tremendous potential for growth!

While we all have a hectic schedule, carving time for training is a small investment with priceless positive impacts on the team's performance and mental health!

In our following blog post, we're unwrapping the transformative power of leadership training within the animation and visual effects industries. Discover how unlocking your leadership potential can elevate your and your studio's productivity and well-being!

Stay tuned!


To your success,


LP & The Happy Producers

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