There are some moral dilemmas that would cause me to have such a headache, that all I want to do is kill the lights, lay down on my comfortable bed, and lose myself in a barrage of music that forces me to clear my mind, and return to my content state of “Tabula Rasa”. This is one of those times. I am now brought to a new horizon, where behind me lays the recently found freedom I had been so desperately seeking from the bondage of being stuck in a power position, restraining me from finding that sanctuary of seclusion where I may be left alone to walk on my own; a stringless marionette just searching endlessly for the sight of success, or even a glimpse of a future where prosperity could be within arms reach.
However, the more I whimsically displace myself from my respected playpen, the clearer it becomes that my heir apparent is swiftly leading my group down the path to ruin, and inevitably a place of irreversible damage. The negligent attitude, amidst the general disorganization that has been ushered forth in my retirement has not only made the current staff beyond the realm of displeased, but has caused them to lose faith in the idea that the group possesses the strength to march onwards, as they are continuously plagued by an unnervingly low group morale. This has caused them to turn back to where they know reliability rests, by placing an uncomfortably high level of reassurance, and enthusiasm that I should return and assume my position as autarch of the guild. Of course, if you have read my post from not so long ago entitled “Shogun”, you could understand my trepidation in even remotely pondering the idea in a positive manner.
To even begin to ponder the idea of returning to the cruel, often dismal environment of leading my guild, one could argue that something rather disturbing would’ve had to take place first to provoke the thought. I can’t argue this point, as it has been a series of things. Foul whispers and unnerving images drift inwards to my sanctuary, as I attempt to maintain my current carefree mood. However profusely I try to refrain from acknowledging that thing are amiss, I’m swiftly reminded of my standing record that is the frame of reference I believe people now use to gauge quality of leadership.
In my time as the patriarch of my gaming community, I’ve learned through consistent failures how to more effectively lead, and produce better results. Many times it was merely a game of trial and error, and because of my iron will to achieve I never came to dwell on those losses as I moved past them in order to ensure a victory immediately followed. Though the hurdles that they were, we prevailed time, and time again through the efforts of many and sacrifices of a few. One of the things I learned early on, was that sometimes the way to win the battle wasn’t necessarily through the strength of the people you commanded. Sometimes, the key to victory originated through the power of inspiration. More times than I can count, the group pulled itself out of massive recessions after I delivered a speech of some kind, or issued as we called it “guild literature”, which was nothing more than a flag-bearing anecdote of motivational thought. People moved mountains because of this, and it always took me by surprise at the effortless nature it took for me to obtain such results. More shocking were the reactions by my members, at how much reinforced loyalty and purpose had been added to their identities; this newfound patriotism urging them to better themselves for our cause, as well as push me in times where despair would seem the only clear option.
While I was indeed the captain of our crew, I never truly aspired to obtain some sort of celebrity status. My job always seemed like a type of servitude, where the cause was a greater drive to succeed than personal gain, as there is only a vain tribute to prestige in the gaming field. More often than not, this isn’t the case for many generals of armies worldwide. Their goal is simply to maximize profit, and fuel new empires. Being the complete opposite of what I stand for, as the message is always more important than the person delivering it, it was a relatively simple task to focus on making myself known to the rest of my crew as “only human”, rather than sitting on a pedestal of expectations. You see, the good leaders are revered not just as the driver of the ship; they’re distinguished through their actions as the symbol of their group, and for better or worse they maintain a constant image of what it is they represent. As for someone who doesn’t care about their position on the so-called “top” of the ladder; they are quick to be dismissed by cynics, and fall short fairly often on meeting goals, as other people around them undermine their orders in favor of more prominent alternatives.
As a multifarious force of patience and wisdom, I was expected to not only do the job no one else wanted to, but I also had to make the tough calls. More times than I care to remember, I have been faced with options that have left relationships torn, as well as angered a vast many people to assure the continuity of our clan. Unsure sometimes of the outcome, I strode with an air of acceptance the consequences of my actions to myself, and those around me. Someone had to make the difficult choices, and sometimes it was only too clear that people were going to be injured, or something tragic would take place based on my decisions. I’ve lived my entire leadership career under the influence of quotes that I’ve felt carried the most weight in issues of importance, or that provide the most practical answers to difficult questions. Such quotes as “You’re not really a leader until you’ve lost”, and “There always will be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility”, come to mind whenever I think about phrases that have kept things in perspective.
My successor seems to have the majority of our legion concerned for their future. Surprisingly, for having inherited the clan he has taken little time to reflect upon the finer aspects of leadership, as well as fully assess the responsibility necessary in order to maintain a community as well-sized, and structured as ours. In my time leading up to his promotion, the traits I was aware of that he possessed did come to mind, however my overzealous craving for freedom perhaps subverted my usual necessity to provide quality control for the welfare of the group. Recounting multiple cases where he clearly took the lower road by making use of avaricious gain, as well as several instances proving that he is completely oblivious to critical thinking and understanding the “big picture”, he has epitomized the image of someone who should never be allowed into the position of power, and yet at the same time I can’t discredit his past accomplishments. He has led people to victory without a serious use of motivation, but by a prowess for tactical calculations. He is quick to respond to issues, and he has shown me that when he is engaged in an issue there’s an unyielding professionalism to see it through to the end, that makes me admire him as a warlord of numerous fronts. Whether that makes him an idealistic, dedicated glutton for riches and notoriety, or a soldier of fortune, I may never know. I do know however that it has served to his advantage and has made me believe in his capabilities to prove me wrong.
The question yet remains however:
Have I forsaken my group out of a misguided sense of isolationism, leading me to abandon all responsibilities in order to seek what I desire at this moment, pushing me further away from my known role? Should I go back and take what I created in order to safeguard the interests of my clan, as well as prevent possibly a catastrophe from happening that may cripple the group?
…or am I being overly paranoid on a situation I don’t know to be imminent, and should I let my successor experience trial and error failures until he finally learns to govern in the same effective manner that I did? Should I give him the opportunity to step up and wear the mantle, as well as give him the chance to prove that he can surpass me in terms of discipline, and progression?