What Does It Take to be a Leader?

Scenarios, Trainings, or Activities

Once the lessons are done, we’ll turn the practice over to the Shay, who will run through several scenarios that have been submitted through the Scenario Planner. These scenarios will be Last Stand designedby Sylas, By Rasputin’s Beard & Field Festival Melee Brawl designed by Shay. If there is more time, we’ll run through a pair of Cabin in the Woods scenarios with a melee discussion guided by Kane & Damian.

Bearers of the Four Levels of Importance Scarves this week:

  • Safety: Edward
  • Honor: Evanlyn
  • Attitude: Tsyng
  • Skill: Roark

Being a Leader

To start this article off, I’d like to share this quote from a conversation I was having earlier this week. I think it highlights some of the main focuses that everyone, especially a leader, should have as they try to exemplify the Four Levels of Importance that we discussed last week at practice.

There are collective moments of oneness that we create, quite intentionally, to unify and strengthen us. At the end of each practice the Captain calls “to the glory of the Rose!” and we respond “to the Rose!” This is the most obvious moment, and there is always this surge of good feeling as we shout that into the night.

That moment is so fleeting though. It dies with the sound of our voices. The thing that most determines our unity, either strengthening or weakening, is how we act when we are apart from each other. It’s the little things we say about one another. The attitudes we adopt and convey about each other are the true building blocks, or wrecking balls to that oneness we are trying to create.

Of course we are going to talk, and we need to. Especially about problems and concerns. However what we choose to say and how we say it will either strengthen us or destroy us.

Subtle comments that undermine a persons reputation or skill, backhanded compliments, and flat out cattiness and hostility, all weaken us. Individually and collectively. Labeling a person, or dismissing them from our good will, separates us. And, like a real army, unless we are united we will fall.

We have limitless opportunities to build one another up and strengthen the Order as a whole. And it is incumbent on those of us who have taken oaths, to do so. We should all look for those opportunities. If we can’t find them, we need to make them. We should do it publicly, but we especially need do so in private.

When we frustrate each other, and we will, we must think before we speak, we have to decide before situations arise to assume the best intentions. We all need be conscious of the effect our words and actions have on others. We should choose to build others up instead of degrading them while we justify our own actions. None of us are perfect and we are all trying to learn and grow together. There is simply no sense in sabotaging each other. Choose unity.Anonymous

Each one of us can be a positive force in Terrasylvae and be leaders in our own way, but I’ve found that many people treat Leadership similarly to Self-Confidence. They treat it like an intangible ideal or attribute that only the very few, or the very lucky ever achieve and that makes me sad. It makes me sad because I see so many people who are leaders, but they don’t allow themselves to take credit for it or recognize it.

I won’t say I’m the perfect leader, because I’m not, but I have learned what being a leader means to me and I hope that I can share some of those lessons with you. The following five videos were shared with me through various people or found at different points along my journey towards leadership. They had a profound impact on what I believe leadership is because they point out principles every leader should follow. As you watch each video, try to apply the lessons to yourself and what you can do today to start being a leader.

Leaders Need a First Follower

I’ve found that, most of the time, leaders are over-glorified. Leaders are often lone-nuts with an idea, but it isn’t until they acquire a First Follower that their idea can become a great one. 

Leaders need a First Follower because it’s really the First Follower who leads the group and makes the Leader’s idea a reality. 

If you have a great idea, find and nurture your First Follower. If you find someone with a great idea, being willing to stand up first and join them so other may follow your lead.

Leaders Start with the “Why”

Great leaders communicate differently than the average person. They lead with the “Why” and focus on what they believe because that’s what people respond to.

Being a leader means you have a deep-rooted belief in something that you want to share with others. And as you share, like-minded people will gather around you to support you and your ideas. They’re not there because of you. They are there for themselves and what they believe.

Find your “Why” and be brave in sharing it. Others who believe what you believe will follow.

Leaders Develop Self-Confidence

A key skill of leadership is self-confidence. A leader not only has to believe in themselves, but they have to believe in their team and help them develop self-confidence.

This can come from how you treat others, how you interpret the world and feedback, and how you coach/critique others. 

Everything a leader does should build people up. Even when disciplining.

Leaders Should Look for Lollipop Moments

Leadership isn’t always about doing grand, world-changing things. It’s about the little moments we don’t even recognize.

Instead of focusing on changing the world, focus on changing the lives of individuals and if you can help one person see the world a little differently, you’ve already done it.

Leaders Should Make Their People Feel Safe

Leaders set the tone for the entire group. If leaders can make their people feel safe and secure, trust and loyalty will develop.

A great leader will sacrifice themselves so others may gain and that kind of deep rooted connection can only be developed over time and practice, as the leader proves that devotion to their team.

I Challenge You to Be a Leader

We’re off to a great start this year. We’ve had amazing practices and it’s so good to be with all of you after a long and dreary winter. But I think we can do more. If each and every one of us finds a way to be a leader, to help others, and to build Terrasylvae up, then together we can accomplish great things.

We can make Terrasylvae a true refuge in the woods. A place where we can find the honor, adventure, and camaraderie that the world is lacking. This is our home and we should do everything in our power to make it as great as it can be for ourselves, and each other. I challenge you to be a leader in this effort. Will you join me?