Hi Onion, I am trying to be as concise as I can with what I have learned over the last 3.5 playa builds (the half is the ship we are currently building).
1. Delegate. Do your best to delegate as much as you can. Get people to take responsibility for implementing their ideas, and give them the opportunity to make it amazing.
2. Don't micro manage. Give people tasks and good guidelines and leave them to do it. If it doesn't get done right, encourage them and help them do it better the next time.
3. Praise your volunteers and try to encourage the whole team to accept that everyone will offer something different. Some volunteers will work one hour and hang out, others every day for the entire build full time. Find ways to encourage both people as they are still offering something they didn't need to give to the project.
4. Expect about 40% of what people promise. Everyone is a volunteer again. Expect less and you will be ready to be surprised by what they deliver.
5. Have fun, and don't take it too seriously. At the end of the day, its a structure for a festival in the desert. So remember to have fun.
6. Get used to politics and rumors. This is a funny one, especially the rumors. In my experience on all the projects I have been on there have always been funny rumors, don't worry about them. I haven't found a way to control any of them. Politics is a tricky one, just try your best not to take sides. I have done that and it was a huge mistake.
7. This really should be number 1. BUILDING ON PLAYA IS HARD. Like, no matter who you are you need to pace yourself. Don't let your crew come out on day one and work 16 hours (unless of course you only want 1 day of work from them). Try to take a break in the afternoon and plan to work mornings and nights. Have plenty of water, encourage people to drink more then they think they need and bring snacks (dried fruits like cherries are amazing, nuts are good too).
8. Clean-up is even harder. Crew will mysteriously bail, suddenly needing to be off playa a day or 2 early. Just be ready for it and accept it. Save some comfort food, supplies that you can look forward to eating/using toward the end of the event.
9. Find your happy place. Last year was my first year camping in a hexayurt, and it saved my ass. When you are tired, and broken from a build, clean-up, that gnarly dust storm it really sucks if you can't escape it. I seriously suggest something a bit more elegant then a tent on the ground for extended stays on playa.
Ok, thats all I can thin of now