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Don't Stand in Fire: Leadership Lessons from WoW

#sxsw #wowlead

When we're born, we start learning how the world works by playing. The Tarahumara running tribe in Mexico play a game as a kids that teaches them how to run as a pack, an essential part of their survival.

Often the most memorable lessons are when we fail. In the real world, (especially in business), that can be costly. So why, in something as crucial as leadership, do we not play games to learn this skill where the costs are low? With massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft we have an opportunity to start learning leadership and make mistakes. Without destroying a thing.

In this talk, I'll share eight leadership lessons I learned by playing WoW and give examples of times, both in-game and in real life, where I applied the lessons (or where I had a pretty epic fail because I didn't).

I didn't set out to learn how to lead in World of Warcraft, but I did. It has paid off in my professional career more than any other training -- and I had one hell of a good time.


Brian Hawkins Communications Officer Indiana University

Runner, gamer, and nerd. I co-lead the IT Communications Office at Indiana University.