First Captains & Generals
I’m gonna be real with you. We started out wanting to write about being a General. It’s one of THE most enjoyable ranks to hold in the community. It’s the highest rank on a squad-based level. In a lot of ways, a General has the most freedom of anyone in Clan Ops. You run your squad, plan your gamenights, mentor your officers, choose what kind of members to recruit. It’s a blast. You’re the “Tip of the Spear”, so to speak. Your rank is the most active, functional and high profile part of Clan Operations.
We realized that most of the things we wanted to talk about really needed to have an origin somewhere else. Somewhere other than the General rank. These qualities and characteristics needed to begin one rank below General.
If a First Captain can do everything in his power to BE a good General BEFORE he actually has the rank, he’ll be in an optimal position to succeed when he eventually does have it. Or when she has it. Whoever it is. If a First Captain waits til they’re a General to start acting like a General, it’s too late. Plain and simple. The maturity needs to already be there. The knowledge needs to already be there. The respect and dedication needs to already be there. The First Captain needs to be just as much the “Tip of the Spear” as the General does. Working together. Making decisions. Counseling. Leading by example.
This article isn’t mean to be the “Comprehensive Guide on how to be a successful First Captain or General in KSI”. This is simply some heartfelt insight from people who’ve been around the block.
We’ve all heard it before. All the qualities a leader should possess. Resilience, confidence, commitment, honesty, optimism, decisiveness, the ability to inspire. The list goes on and on. You’ll learn about some of these in KSI’s LEAD 101 classes. You’ll learn about a lot more of them in the real world. Or if you’re lucky, from your parents and close friends. Leadership really boils down to responsibility. If you’re willing to be responsible – for your own actions and for those around you.
To be a leader, you must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons of the wind, but you can change yourself.Jim Rohn
In KSI, our goal is to greatness. At its core it may seem like a selfish goal and it may actually be. But without greatness, what member wants to add a prefix to their gamertag? What member wants to represent their community on Xbox? What member wants to recruit or train or attend meetings? Greatness is what we’re striving for. A great squad, a great division, a great reputation. Stepping up and building your leadership qualities is THE BEST way to begin down that path. Being a responsible leader will keep you on it.
The price of greatness is responsibility.Winston Churchill
A secret spoken finds wings.Robert Jordan
Discretion IS power. Literally. The more discreet you are as a leader, the more respect you’ll earn from those around you. Knowing that they can confide in you. Believing they can trust you. Understanding that you will keep their secrets and protect their reputation. Discretion is defined as the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offence or revealing confidential information. As somebody that upholds a leadership position, it is important that you do everything in your power to act professionally and adhere to the COC.
Here is Susan C. Young’s list of UN-Impressive acts of indiscretion:
- Throwing other people under the bus to save yourself.
- Talking loudly, being boorish and insensitive to the others around you.
- Flagrant cheating.
- Burning bridges.
- Talking smack.
- Dissing your competitor.
- Oversharing and revealing too much personal information about yourself and others.
- Breaking trust by sharing someone else’s secrets.
- Being passive-aggressive to manipulate a situation or person.
- Saying one thing and doing another.
- Being two-faced.
- Lying by omission.
- Dispensing bullshit.
Loyalty to your squad and division is one of the key fundamentals to being a leader. If you aren’t seen as loyal to those around you, then how can you expect to get the same in return? Anybody can join a community but those that stick around truly make it worth being a part of. The ones who constantly contribute and put in the effort to make it feel like a welcoming environment. At the end of the day isn’t that what KSI is? A supportive network of people that share their knowledge, support and love with one another? As a leader it is important to stay faithful to both those below and above you on the corporate ladder. You are after all, only as strong as your weakest link.
If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.Elbert Hubbard
Creativity is an important quality to possess as a leader. It’s key when developing and generating ideas within your squad and division. By doing so, squad satisfaction can be achieved. Whether it’s being creative with the way meetings are held, or how information is delivered down the chain. Creativity is important for both growth and morale within the community. New and fresh ideas are what helps KSI flourish. It’s also important when dealing with issues and problems – something a leader faces on a day to day basis.
Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.Edward de Bono
The definition of accountability is: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions. Those words should be second nature to you if you’re a First Captain or General. You should be used to taking responsibility for yourself, your members and your squad as a whole. At the end of the day, the buck stops with you. Decisions made come down to you. Whether something is allowed to continue or stopped in its tracks, is your call. This is a good thing and sometimes, it can also be a scary thing. Accept that. Embrace it, even. It comes along with the mantel of being a leader. And that’s what you are.
At the end of the day we are accountable to ourselves – our success is a result of what we do.Catherine Pulsifer
Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all fucked up.Anonymous
Keep yourself organized. If you’re a mess, your squad will be a mess. Plain and simple. Turn your bowl of spaghetti into a well-oiled machine. Take notes and keep notes. Organize your forums areas, your officer assignments, your meetings, your communication on Discord and your lists. Be on time. Post Meeting Notes within 24 hours after the meeting has ended. This shows your staff and your members that you’re on top of things. It also gives them the security of understanding you have a plan and you’re in charge. Making sure your squad has a clear purpose is the first step in keeping your members motivated. Follow-through with them. If you tell someone you’re going to meet with them, do it. If it’s in the future, make sure it happens. Manage your officer staff. Keep track of friendships, cliques, tensions, morale. Make adjustments if you feel certain people could be more productive in other areas or with other assignments.
It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.Eleanor Roosevelt
Sometimes it’s hard to tell when empathy is needed. Or when it is needed to the exclusion of sympathy. Be kind. Don’t be a douche. Respect your members and they’ll respect you in return. Continue in this pattern to build strong relationships. Sometimes understanding someone’s circumstances or point of view can be the single most beneficial thing you can do for them.
True empathy requires that you step outside your own emotions to view things entirely from the perspective of the other person.Anonymous
Compassion and sympathy can be broken down into an empathetic behavior. Being able to understand a members situation, emotions, decision making, and thought processes encompass all of this. You don’t have to have a PhD to have empathy. You just need to have a want to help or make someone’s day a little bit better.
This can be hard. It can be daunting. Push yourself to do it though. The maturity that shows as a result of empathy is something anyone can respect. And something everyone should respect.
Where is your drive, yo? Do you have goals? Do you have dreams? Or do you not really know exactly what it is you want? Any are fine. Just start somewhere. If you need to figure out where you wanna go with your KSI career, then take some time. Think on it. Get advice from mentors and friends. Consider what your strengths are. What part of the community are you most passionate about? How can that passion help you along your journey? Having ambition in KSI is an awesome thing. As long as you’re controlling it and allowing it to fuel your loyalty and dedication, ambition can be one of the best assets.
Ambition is not what a man does but what a man can do.Robert Browning
The depth of your ambition will determine how you feel when you stop and look back at your accomplishments years down the road. Are you going to be proud of what you’ve done? Or will you wish you’d reached out and tackled more?
Ironman Or An Extra?
At the end of the day, it all boils down to what kind of leader you want to be.
“Everyone fails at who they’re supposed to be. The measure of a person is how well they succeed at being who they are.”Avengers: Endgame
As a leader, it is important that you bring your own flair and creative style to the table. You must be able to make decisions fairly and justly without being influenced by the opinions of others. YOU are the tip of the spear and it’s your direction and navigation that your squad will follow. Will you be the one to drive them along the road of success and greatness?
William Shakespeare once said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”. This is true for people from all walks of life. Your success is what you make it. Responsibility is ringing; will you answer the call?