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Miyamoto on the kind of boss he is, strengths and weaknesses, insuring power doesn’t go to his head

Posted on December 20, 2020 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

As the creator of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, Shigeru Miyamoto holds a lot of power at Nintendo. There’s a lot that comes his way, plenty he gives feedback on, and projects that require his approval. Ultimately, he’s a boss for a lot of employees at Nintendo.

So what kind of boss is Miyamoto? He addressed that very topic during an interview with The New Yorker, stating:

“When people look at me, I think they probably imagine that I’m very nice. But if you asked the people on the front lines, those who actually work with me, they might say that I’m very picky, or that I always comment on their work. I’ve had the pleasure of growing up in an environment where people praised me. But I’m aware that there is a feeling, among people who work with me, that they do not receive adequate praise, that I’m always fastidious about their work.”

Miyamoto went on to comment on his strengths and weaknesses as well:

“In this job, we have to create a product, which requires a certain amount of planning. But it’s also important to talk about those plans in a different register, not just as a product, but as if it were a dream, or vision. I think my strength is that I’m able to paint a compelling picture of what a project can be, while also being concerned with the details of actually realizing that dream. As such, I get the somewhat confused experience of people seeing me as a negative person when I’m dealing with the details, and as a very positive person when I’m talking in terms of broader vision.

I also believe that a shared feeling of success should come only after the players have actually enjoyed a game. Before that point, people might see me as a mean boss, trying to drive us through the rough patches. But I think that’s what dictates whether someone is a good leader or not.”

The New Yorker also brought up how, as of late, there’s been discussion around how it can be easy for some men in positions of importance to abuse their power. Miyamoto commented on insuring that this power doesn’t go to his head, saying:

“When people are trying to create new experiences, there’s always a level of insecurity and worry. But there’s also an appreciation for people who have experience, who can reassure us that things will work out. That’s how I see my role: it’s being a team supporter as much as a creative leader. I’m aware of the vulnerability involved when someone brings me an idea or a concept. I take great care not to shut the person down, and try to take their suggestion on its own terms. The only thing I’m focused on is making sure that people are trying to create new experiences. That kind of focus keeps everyone, including myself, from becoming entrenched. I hope it also contributes to my being considered a good boss.”

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