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April 21, 2021
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What to do if your boss is sick?

by Andre Faure on 10/02/20 01:37:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Well, the inspiration to this blog is that I am ACTUALLY sick and lost circa 90% of my productivity this week. Of course, I have a lovely line of executives to back me up, but still, there is a bunch of things I still need to decide. If the decision maker is down, who makes decisions then?

This answer actually varies upon the level of seniority you have in the company you are working for, the level of accountability, and of course, how much do you want to risk. I´ll tackle these three points of view over the same situation.

Seniority – if you are a C-level or a VP-level answering to the CEO (let´s agree that the sick person is always your DR), you know it is your responsibility to keep things running as well as before. So, you CAN and SHOULD make decisions in despite off. Just don´t sell the company, please. But, if you are senior level, middle level, or, as it is very common in gaming studios, a part of a collective, you make decisions based on accountability and risk.

Accountability – How much are you knowledgeable of the subject? Are you a lead in that vertical? It is something that can´t wait? How much are you accountable for that decision making? If the answer is yes and very much, make decisions. My strong recommendation is that you consult internally and even reach out to someone in the advisor board to make sure you have backup. Do not be afraid. That decision could count on your glory list in the future, unless there is too much risk involved.

Risk – Every single decision involves risk. Living is actually pretty risky, so we are beings that are very acquainted to what risk means – the chance of something going well or flopping, along with all percentages in the middle. If you are to take action on something that is very risky, or, could very much go terribly wrong, I would advise not doing it, and waiting until someone that can afford that risk to tag along and do it. If you feel there´s a middle term to it, then take into consideration that if everything goes well, you will be a hero. If it goes down, you are probably going down as well. Make your own decision and move forward. Live isn´t full without taking risks, and well, is there´s no risk, why are you even thinking?

A last word to leadership – be sure that your DRs are in the know and can make decisions, empower them, make them learn how to evaluate risk and take action (or not). Especially in smaller companies, that could be very important if you get a strong medical leave (like I just did).




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