Anna Huerta | ASCEND Leadership Summit Spotlight | 2018

This is a series of spotlight interviews with some of the incredible guests we'll see at the ASCEND Leadership Summit 2018


Name: Anna Huerta
Company: Zynga
Title: Lead Game Designer

Follow Anna online at: 

What problem would you like solved? 

I want to solve “us versus them” thinking. Too many of our interpersonal and global issues surround this idea that we are so divisive as a people that problems need to be solved through a single lens rather than looking at the entire system. I believe in architectural and systematic approaches that benefit more than one segment of populations and have long-term impact.

Advice you'd wished you'd had or had followed?  

I wish I took more risks. As a young person, you’re always advised to use your freedom to be more adventurous in the companies you work for and the projects you take on. As a woman, making my voice heard meant (to me) that I need to readily have examples of success and be right more often than men – this was advice given to me as I got mentored to find my voice within the company. Although that advice had great outcomes, it also gave me the feeling that I didn’t have time to take on more risks in my job or personal life. I over-indexed and my creativity became rigid. Through our internal group, Woman at Zynga, I was able to spend some time with an executive coach who helped me to let go and care a little less in order to allow more flexibility.

What does success look like for you?  

Success to me is simple – am I happy with what I am doing, am I surrounded by people who make me better every day, and/or can I learn from this? Improvement and achieving milestones that become identifiable markers for success are bound to follow when those things are in place. Right now I feel am in a state of success. But, in places where I am not happy or feel surrounded by supportive people, I make sure I am still learning new things and working towards moving away from those projects, people, or situations if the imbalance is too drastic.

What is your best discovery? 

Caring less doesn’t mean not caring. I had to learn to be objective, and maintain a healthy amount of emotional intelligence to be a better partner and leader.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Focus on what you value and use that as an objective measure of whether or not you are on the right path. If not, you’ll spend too much energy surrounded by the wrong people, doing the wrong job, and not setting yourself up for success.

Anything else we should know about (product launch, crowdfunding or marketing campaign, recent interview, job openings, etc.)? 

It's important to use the resources available to you. Through Women at Zynga, I've had the opportunity to attend networking events, participate in mentoring partnerships, take advantage of speaking opportunities, and access leadership coaching. It's a great place where I am supported while finding my voice. Zynga is a great place to work!

Register today to attend the ASCEND Leadership Summit on May 30, 2018 at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. We hope to see you there!