A Tipping Point?

Last night was day two in Tiger’s fantastic journey of leading the lemmings raiders.

First lesson, when you’ve been beating your head against Razorscale all night, and try to end on a humorous high-note, tackling the trash to XT-002 is NOT the way to do it.

The trash… the trash… oh god the trash…

it haunts my dreams.

That part’s easy though. It’s little more than doing research, finding out what they do and formulating a strategy. The most difficult parts of last night laid entirely with me.

It was brought to my attention that I still need to work on being more assertive. Mr Hunter-man (NOT mel 😉 ) tried to explain that it’s possible to phrase commands as questions and still have them come out as commands. Yes, I already knew this. I know exactly what he’s talking about, I’ve seen it in practice many a time.

The trick will be learning to master this myself. The way I see it there’s a number of ways I could look at the issue.

I’ve been an on-stage actor before, back in High School. Personality-wise I tend to be more low key, comfortable sitting back and taking a support position, uncomfortable in leadership and prone to doubting myself, and being terribly afraid of the scorn of others. However, I’ve been able to put that all aside before in the past. I’ve been able to pull the shroud of the other up around my shoulders, the hood over my head and present myself, confidently, as someone I am not. I was able to storm around onstage, lashing insults and commands at the school’s more charismatic students, people who intimidated me, frightened me. People for whom, when met in the hallway, I would avert my eyes and get out of the way.

Why was this? On stage I was given the authority over them by our roles in the play. I was also given a shroud of the other to pull around me. They couldn’t get mad at me, it wasn’t me up there, I was being someone else.

I thought about applying these principals in raid leading. The Guild leader and other officers have chosen me for this position, thereby giving me the authority over the other raiders.

Turning into another person for the sake of raiding, however, isn’t an option. I don’t want to have to pretend to be someone else. I like who I am, and I want to help the guild as myself. At the root of everything, these people are my friends. They’re not some kind of socially superior people to be feared and deferred to.

So, when previous experiences fail to give me the piece that clicks this whole ‘confidence’ thing into place I have another recourse: Put myself in their shoes.

If I were still one of the normal raiders, what would I want from myself as a new leader? If I saw her stuttering, uncertain, frustrated, I would begin to feel beaten, and after many wipes discouragement would begin to set in. As a raider I WANT the leader to succeed. If she succeeds it bleeds confidence into the raid, eliminates indecision, and can even inspire greatness.

It was when I realised this that I came to my tipping point.

These are my friends that I’m leading, and they not only want me to do a good job, they want me to be good at it, and to enjoy doing it. They may not think in exactly those terms, but I believe it’s a fundamental desire. People want a strong leader, and they want that leader to do well because then, by proxy, they will be able to do well.

The most important thing for me to remember is I’m not attempting to shoehorn unwilling people into positions they don’t like, I’m not trying to cajole people who hate me into doing what I say.

I’m providing the guiding voice for people who enjoy each others’ company and do not want chaos.

When I look at it in this light it all seems to click for me. There is no reason to be afraid. These people are my friends, they’re not searching for weakness. They’re sensitive to it, yes, but they’re not searching for it. They want me to tell them what to do. I don’t have to persuade and cajole when giving a command, they are ready and willing to take direction.

We want order, and from order will come success.

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  • Comments (7)
  1. I always feel like I have to be more of an asshole when I’m raiding. It’s just the “get things done” attitude in me. I don’t feel bad about it though because if my friends didn’t like it, they wouldn’t want me to raid lead. I don’t neccessarily *want* to raid lead. Ideally I’d sit back and let someone more knowledgeable do all the fussing. The problem is, I’m apparently good at it. If I stop being good at it, or someone better shows up, I’ll let them step in.

    The point being, the best leaders are usually not those who crave leadership, but those that just want what’s best for the group as a whole, even if that means them.

    You say it exactly correct when you’re not “cajoling” anyone. If anything, you were cajoled into leading. They’ve put their confidence in you and you are going to do your best.

    To put it in humorous words from a famous movie: “Supreme authoritative power should be handed down by a mandate from the masses, not some farsical aquatic ceremony. Why, if I went around saying I was sultan just because some watery tart lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!”

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 22nd, 2009

    I’ll make sure to keep an ear out for cries of “Help help I’m being repressed!”

  2. Ah hahaha. Last night we killed Razorscale, but it took more time than we wanted it to take, and the mood in the raid was not awesome.

    I, being the sage raid leader I am, figured with 20 minutes left we would just go pop in for one friendly shot at XT-200 so new folks can have a look at him before Thursday, and everyone can have a giggle at the voice. Oh, hey, I guess they enabled the trash. Eh, no problem. Let’s just pull that and.. oh.. oh no.. oh my.. RUN! *splat*.

    Some nights being a raid leader is better than others. 😉

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 22nd, 2009

    Liore – we totally stomped the trash tonight, it was messy but easy and made me feel very dirty, I’ll spill the beans in a post tomorrow >:3

    • Guinesa
    • April 23rd, 2009

    Are there any elemental shamans out there who can help me with some things? I don’t think they exist. Only a legend. A myth.

    • Guinesa
    • April 23rd, 2009

    Sorry, that was quite random, but if I am going to be a part of the core group as elemental, well I need some help. I loved being elemental at one time and well, I would love to be that way again.

    • Copernicus
    • April 24th, 2009

    As a somewhat reluctant raid leader, I felt as if you were describing me there. Apparently I’m a good raid leader, as I get compliments from all different skill levels of raider, however I find I do much better with 10 mans than 25. The extra people make me uneasy. I don’t know if it’s too many variables for me to keep track of or what, but it makes me want to log off Vent and type everything.

    My proudest achievement til now is taking 6 “first time clearing” guildies into naxx(10) and one shotting KT. ::beams:: I was so proud of them all.

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