How to show poor leadership skills

13th November 2009 – 5.37 pm

The drama llama pays me a visit, and I am not diplomatically agile enough to dodge its spiteful spit. The fuss starts innocently enough, well over a month ago, when a new member to the corporation joins us in w-space and wants to try out a new ship fitting. I am invited by the new chap to head 90 km out of the tower's shields to act as his target dummy, as there is no one else around. Whilst I recognise the benefits of testing new fittings outside of combat, I also realise that I am being asked to let my slow, heavy Drake be attacked in null-sec space.

I decline the invitation to get shot at, as politely and regretfully as is reasonable, explaining that I hardly know this person, having been introduced to him maybe two days earlier. Given some time and operations together, where we can chat and get to know each other, I am sure I will help out in the future. But I have read with some amusement about the 'accidents' that can happen, the apologies that come with them, and the glee some people take in leading others on. I have no problem with the paths some capsuleers choose, and am not suggesting this is what would have happened, but I need to be wary and protect myself from unknowns. With the corporation theft that occurs in w-space, I feel justified in not trusting just anybody who appears in the corporation channel. I think it is also worth noting that only a few days ago I flew out of the tower's shields to let my brand new and most expensive ship get tested against volleys from corporation capsuleers, both of whom I've flown many sorties with.

The new chap to our wormhole operations is also keen to take lead of fleets, several times assuming command and explicitly stating the leadership boosts he offers the fleet. Whilst it looks good to be confident in your abilities, making yourself fleet commander when you don't have the requisite skills belies your actual knowledge and experience. And my leadership skills are consistently better anyway. I don't like to flatly state that I offer better bonuses, as well as a warfare link module, not wishing to appear aggressive or ungrateful, instead politely asking to be made squad booster, supported by other corporation members pointing out that my skills are more than capable for the position.

Having to ask to be made booster every time this chap makes a fleet irks me a little, to be honest, mostly because of his attitude. The way I see it, when you join a new group you take time to see how they operate and try to fit in with the group. The way the new member is behaving is more like he is trying to shape the corporation in to behaving his way, which completely ignores our continued successes and survival both as a corporation and in w-space. Being invited in and acting like the leader rubs me the wrong way, although I try not to let it affect my conduct.

The simmering drama finally boils over after the new chap comes back from an absence and joins another fleet. Again, he states explicitly what boosts he offers the fleet, and again they are below what I have been giving for months. When it is recommended to him that he should demote himself from being fleet commander and be made wing commander or squad leader, so that his boosts actually take effect, he mentions that he's happy be placed where he needs to be, doesn't quite understand fleet mechanics, and that 'I hate having warfare skills', which he punctuates with a laugh. Well, doesn't that just push my buttons.

'Then stop boasting about them every time you get in to a fleet', I snap back, really quite irritated by his continued ignorance or obliviousness to his supposed colleagues, and perplexed as to why he keeps training them. He gets annoyed and tells me that he isn't boasting and simply wants to make best use of anything new he can bring to the fleet. I say that I feel the same way and point out how proud I am to be flying my brand new Damnation, that took me seventy days of training to pilot. I'm hoping he'll recognise a fleet command ship specifically designed and built for fleet support operations, capable of being fitted with three warfare links that can only be used if the capsuleer has superior skills than he claims to possess. But it is all ignored in favour of ranting at me having a personal vendetta towards him.

I would like to make an aside to explain why I have leadership skills in the first place. I did not train the warfare skills to make myself feel important, to usurp others, or to ensure a place in a fleet. First, I train the simple leadership skill because I believe a friend might become a capsuleer, a long time ago in my solo days. I was under the impression that I need the skill simply to form a fleet, which isn't unreasonable considering many aspects of life in New Eden, unaware that illegitimate fleets can also be formed. A long time later, after flying a Drake almost exclusively for many months, I finally research the rôle bonus of the battlecruiser, finding out what a warfare link is and what sklls it requires to operate. Having started excursions in to w-space with my new corporation, it seems silly to be flying the Drake without a warfare link fitted for the benefits it could provide in Sleeper combat, so I focus my training attention to bring the best ship to the fight that I can offer. After I achieve that goal, the Damnation seems like a natural progression.

Now I am the target of some righteous invective, apparently being responsible for stymying this chap's potential, being unfriendly to the point of beligerence, and ruining every operation we've been in together. Revealing that he can hold a grudge, he even mentions the time I refuse to let him shoot me. I have been trying to remain calm and reasonable, but his outburst quite upsets me. Rather than exacerbate the situation, which I know wouldn't help, I instead vent privately to corporation friends, who really are altogether quite splendid and rather taken aback themselves at what is occurring. It doesn't matter though, as apparently my latest snub is too much for this chap and his next statement reveals his intention to leave the corporation immediately. The speed the drama llama attacks with is astounding.

My colleagues calm me down and our operations continue. I take Bad Badtz Maru in to the adjacent w-space system and help the corporation fight back more Sleepers so we can claim and salvage more of their loot. Shortly, my EVE mail blinks at me. It comes as no surprise to see I have a message from our recently resigned member, but I will not be goaded further. I don't open the message, I will not be made to feel bad again this evening. Indeed, I may never open the message. I may not have handled the situation perfectly, but I am far from being the blame for his anger. I refuse to accept that the months spent peacefully and happily in the corporation, making friends and sharing all shades of banter, in missions, industry and w-space, are all an illusion that this one person has seen through. Even though I will have good days and bad, I will continue to be the best capsuleer I can be.

  1. 2 Responses to “How to show poor leadership skills”

  2. My stars. He sounds distinctly unpleasant. What he did sounds so much like the stuff Eddie goes through on Mechwarrior servers. Some people are Just That Way (tm) when gaming, I guess.

    I also suspect he's deliberately trying to upset you by planting paranoid thoughts about your gaming friends. I would ignore it. A couple of real winners from ARK did the same thing to me, it's just a slight variation on "the lurkers support me in email."

    By Stacia on Nov 15, 2009

  3. As I am sure you can appreciate, it can be difficult to ignore, particularly when they seem to present sympathetic arguments.

    Thanks for the support, I am not going to let it affect me negatively, if I can help it.

    By pjharvey on Nov 16, 2009

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