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Leadership at Hypemasters

In this article, I tackle the topic of leadership and what it means for our studio.

A sketch of a Soviet general from World War Commander, by Igor Podmogilnikov

Disclaimer: I am aware that the topic is vast and has a lot of nuances. This is by no means an attempt to present the universal truth about leadership. Also, this is not an academic article, but rather an article about our practice at Hypemasters.

The topic of leadership is always on my mind. I am a leader myself and I lead other leaders in the company. By sharing my thoughts, I am hoping to bring more transparency into what I expect from our current and future leaders.

  • Be a role model — any leader is always looked up to. “Why have they promoted her/his? What do I need to show to do the same?”. Acting is more powerful than talking. Act the way you want others to act, and show them the way with your behaviour. Want everyone to be friendly with each other? Be friendly yourself!
  • Keep company’s priorities in focus — leadership entails a lot of decision-making. It’s the leaders’ duty to understand the company’s priorities, keep them in focus, convey them to others and guard them.
  • Know your people — a leader must know her/his people’s aspirations, needs and desires. This helps tremendously when thinking about career growth & new initiatives. A good leader will be the first one to put her/his people in line for an interesting project.
  • Stay synched — keeping up to date with how people feel, and what they are working on and offering help is paramount to leaders’ success. Weekly catch-ups — a tool that every leader at Hypemasters uses. It has proven indispensable for keeping a great atmosphere, focus and transparency.
  • Be curious — ask more questions to find any hints towards your secret agenda — helping each member of your team grow.
  • Listen — really listen to what one has to say. Active listening always results in more questions, which leads to a greater depth in any conversation. Do not assume that you know what they mean. Ask more!
  • Be transparent — we operate under strict “full transparency” rules. Unless something is explicitly under an NDA, we are obliged to share any info that answers questions or helps another person.
  • Serve — a leader is the one who serves her/his people, making sure that they have all resources that they need to achieve their goals.
  • Help with goals — help others set and achieve goals. I have seen cases where stellar employees get burned out due to the lack of clear goals. It’s important to help people set themselves goals and sync on progress. Celebrate achieved goals and deconstruct any goals that weren’t achieved.
  • Help in taking ownership — instead of giving out tasks and setting goals, let the person do everything her- or himself. Freedom to choose what we do is foundational for our culture.
  • Acknowledge strengths — each leader should know her/his team’s strengths even more so than weaknesses. Helping team members know and foster their strengths is key to leaders’ success.
  • Highlight achievements — highlighting when people excel is the best way to motivate team members and promote further growth. Praise also increases team awareness of what others are doing and what they are good at.
  • Think about team composition — making sure that the right people are doing the right things, playing to everyone’s strength.
  • Hire people who are better than you — a good leader is smart. A great leader is surrounded by smarter people than her/him. Leaders at Hypemasters strive to hire people who make us stronger and are not afraid to hire people who are better.
  • Be decisive — leaders are the ones calling the shots for both hiring and firing. Being decisive around people matters is of paramount importance in keeping teams healthy and growing.
  • Prioritise leadership — leadership is never secondary to other tasks. In fact, I always say that leaders should do nothing else but whatever is needed to be effective leaders.

Being a leader is tough. There are no pre-made solutions. It always requires active participation and thinking. Only through experience does one realize what works for her/him and what doesn’t.

At Hypemasters, we place great importance on hiring the best leaders and, even more so, growing leadership from within. Though we are still in the early stages as a company, I know that our continued investment in leadership is the not-so-secret recipe for our current and future successes.




Hypemasters (est.2019) is a game development studio with a globally distributed team. Our mission is to create legendary gaming experiences. Our first game, World War Commander is in open beta (Android)!

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Boris Kalmykov

Boris Kalmykov

CEO & Co-Founder at Hypemasters

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