We all know that one person whom embodies what we look for within being a great leader. Respect, Honesty, Trustworthiness, and Responsible are just a few of many traits you can use to describe them. One such person I had the opportunity to interview is KSI Barb 7, the Division Leader of Eternal Souls.
Getting to know and understand a great leader can help you learn what it takes to be one. KSI Barb 7 wouldn’t be where she was if she wasn’t just that. She didn’t get here without her fair share of knowledge gathering. I hope that you, the reader, will grasp something from KSI Barb 7’s wisdom.
“I am not big on quotes because life and people are complex, and rolling everything in a neat sentence is ignoring nuance, and life is all about nuance” – KSI Barb 7
With ES rebuilding right now, are you more hands-on now then before?
I think I have always been hands-on. When I was first promoted to a Division Leader, I was more hands-on with the other Co-Founders and Generals. Now, I am getting more hands-on with the lower-level officers and members.
How important is it to have strong officers for rebuilding? What is a good strength for them to have?
Strong officers are always important. A division needs to grow and adapt, even if they are doing well. Doing so requires strong officers. I think a strong officer is a person who is willing to learn, adapt, and stretch themselves. An officer needs to be able to do normal duties such as recruiting, game nights, promotions, etc. They also need to be friendly and well-liked in the squad. Also, a lot of the time, officers have different strengths such as: recruiting, organization, or inspiring members to be more involved. In a division that is rebuilding, the officers play all of these roles while often having to work outside of their comfort zone. This is the type of strength needed for ES right now.
With you being a teacher in real life, how are those skills useful for KSI?
A big help for me is doing workshops. I generally, “teach-by-outline“, which is also how I run workshops. The material gives me an outline so that I know what I have to cover, while still allowing me to give personal examples and make it more interactive. Since I teach college, there really aren’t any disciplinary issues, so that doesn’t carry over.
What are some big challenges you have faced while moving up the ranks? Are some of those still present?
When I became a General the first time, I was asked to step down. I struggled with anger, the feeling I was being treated unfairly, and the jealousy of others being promoted when I couldn’t keep my rank. I was actually considering leaving KSI, but I knew myself well enough to know I shouldn’t make that big of a decision while having all of those emotions. So, I took a one-week LOA and spent that time thinking about what I thought was wrong with the decision and came to the conclusion that it might not have been the worst thing. I was lucky that I stepped down to what is still my favorite position, Captain. Here I got a chance to prove I could learn and do things differently. Even though it was one of the hardest times I have had in KSI, it was one that gave me compassion. It gave me compassion for officers having to step down, and I think that makes me a better leader.
Is there anything you would like to see as a project for your division?
I can’t think of a project for the division, other than one I have already implemented. It is no longer in widespread use, but the project was the ES activity attendance “app”. It was an easy form an officer used to take attendance, creating the forums post and sending it to the officer’s email. This way, the officer can click on gamertags, instead of writing them down. It also gave me the extra functionality of being able to easily monitor activity.
What rank did you love the most? Was there a rank you liked the least?
As I said before, Captain was my favorite rank and Co-Founder was the second. I think this is because I am most comfortable in the support role. The hardest ranks for me were General, and my current rank of Division Leader. You wouldn’t think that the ranks right next to each other would be opposite ends. Although I can work in the lead role, I find the responsibility daunting because all of the people in the squad and/or division are depending on you and the decisions you make.
Are there times where you needed to get really hands-on? What did you do?
I get the most hands-on when I see a need for something such as communication. Then I go directly to those involved and talk to them about whatever is needed. I did this when we were implementing the OCP, and I have done it when I see outages of communication in squad leadership.
It seems that no matter what KSI Community life throws in KSI Barb 7’s way, she will overcome it in the end! As JFK once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”, and Barb continues to show this with her love and dedication. Thank you for everything you have, and continue, to do for Eternal Souls, and KSI as a whole!