Some people are loyal to others. I’m loyal to an idea.
The first corporation I ever joined in EVE, The Southern Legion, it had something there. A will, a will to strive further, reach higher, to achieve great deeds! A desire to win against the greatest odds. The underdogs, fighting their way to the top. When it more or less fell apart due to inactive leadership, people melted away. I helped with the process of disintegrating the corporation, and whilst I am not ashamed of doing so, I still do not fully stand by my decisions at that time. Most players followed the previous leader. I did not. They left for another group who had already established a foothold in the universe, and already had a name, resources.
But as great a guy and leader he was, I was not there to follow him. I was there for that belief, so slight that it was more of a hope, that we could climb together, from the stinking pits of insignificance, to the fabled halls where all the other great corporations/alliances were remembered eternally.
So when I was approached by a friend with the prospect of creating a new alliance, I grabbed it eagerly. I don’t know why I seek to make life harder for myself by undertaking tasks of immense difficulty. In real life, too, I occasionally take the harder route to perform and complete tasks, simply because I feel proving to myself that I can do it. It stems from an uncertain understanding of myself, I think. Because I do not yet know who I am, I have to push the limits of what I can achieve to find out.
The alliance is going… well. In my eyes, anyway. I’ve had my mind on other things. Finished writing up my EVEDownUnder speech and PowerPoint yesterday. Been worrying about whether it makes sense, whether people will enjoy it. Tonight I sat down, ran over it, and I feel like whether they enjoy it or not, I think I will manage to get my point across.
Whilst I was fretting over that, half my attention was on the alliance. That half saw progress. Having never done all this alliance leader stuff before, I think the rate at which we’re progressing is reasonable. Things are happening, members are joining, skills are training, all is well.Behind the scenes though, our leaders seem to be pushing agendas and all of those other words in this post’s title. Creating fun for your members, it seems, generally means you are excluding yourself from the fun, unless you enjoy the leadership stuff.
Spending all my time sending and receiving mails, chatting in chat boxes, talking to people in-game and out, doesn’t sound remotely entertaining. Doing it in measured doses, and having fun in between, that’s a different story. We are volunteers working to create fun, not a board of directors making fortunes in obscene remuneration. So why are we pretending we are the latter?
First, it manifested in the desire for me to seek to become one of the greatest solo PvPers in New Eden. Now, it is a desire to see an alliance moulded in part by my hands and voice rise amongst the ranks to take its place side-by-side the greatest of its kind. One day, I want to be able to step back and be able to say The Black Sails is one of the great pirate alliances.
In addition to consistent work from the leadership, this kind of vision takes time to develop. Time is not something I am good at managing. I wait until deadlines are in my face before I start working on them, and I hate it, but I have never truly gotten rid of the habit.
So I wonder, as I sit back and listen to the others argue about the next steps, about the action plans, the agendas, the goals, and I wonder whether they’re champing at the bit and trying to zoom ahead a little too quickly, or whether I’m the one being a little too laid back and content with slow, but sure, progress. Where do you draw the line and say, on one side there is the alliance making its way to reaching those long-term goals, and on the other side we’re burning ourselves out and heading down a path to destruction? Why can’t leaders play the game their members play too? Why does so much time have to be consumed leading? Many who have previously written articles on leadership in EVE have said the same thing. “If you plan on playing EVE as a leader, you better enjoy it, because that’s all you’re going to be doing.” It’s as if… the leadership is exclusive to the membership.
And that’s exactly it, I think. I see leadership differently. Many separate leader and follower. I am one to argue that they’re more intertwined than you’d initially think.
Anyway. This week I’m taking off to head to EDU might let me clear my head a little bit and refocus, hopefully. Also interested to see how the alliance will fare without me for a little while.