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What's keeping YOU from leading?

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  • What's keeping YOU from leading?

    Let's talk about ourselves here, especially what is keeping us from leading. Be it the leader of a whole team or down to leading you and your buddy.

    Leadership's a tricky thing and when you fail you usually vent your frustration by saying it's like herding kittens. Leadership, to me, is a learned trait that you can only get better at by learning about yourself and practicing. It's also about identifying the people you're leading and adapting to them.

    What sometimes keeps me from leading is an irrational fear of failing in front of peers. I like to experiment with different ways of playing squad, and often that ends up failure. So when I lead and there are peers in my squad I revert back to tried concepts instead of playing the way I really wanted to.

    Writing this down and reading it makes me understand how silly it actually is. Failing is a good thing if you learn from it and take those lessons with you.

    Talking about yourself is good, fellas! Take a chance (not a risk) and learn about yourselves and take feedback from others.
    Last edited by Crawlingeye; 07-20-2018, 02:32 PM.
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  • #2
    That's something that gets me too Crawling! I find myself profusely apologizing whenever something goes wrong.

    I'm also a perfectionist and don't like doing anything that I don't know will 100% work. Keeps me from taking a lot of risks unless I'm sure I can pull it off. Kept me from SL'ing for months but once I got into, oh man.
    There's nothing in the game quite like the high you get from seeing your guys pull off a great maneuver/attack/defense/etc. that you know was your plan though so that's what keeps me coming back.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Shade View Post
      That's something that gets me too Crawling! I find myself profusely apologizing whenever something goes wrong.
      It's silly! We're all friends here and probably share a lot of our reservations from doing something.

      Originally posted by Shade View Post
      I'm also a perfectionist and don't like doing anything that I don't know will 100% work. Keeps me from taking a lot of risks unless I'm sure I can pull it off. Kept me from SL'ing for months but once I got into, oh man.
      This is what's so frustrating to me, I know I wouldn't care if we took a risk and failed and you probably wouldn't either. Still it's something that's holding us back, when actually we really want to try this cool thing we just thought of. Maybe it once again, like when we first started leading, comes down to putting ourselves out there and doing it.

      You need to practice this stuff a lot, because to some of us it doesn't come naturally. I myself need to practice at tapping into the dominance spectrum of things, but that's a topic by itself.
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      • #4
        Even for an experienced leader the idea that 8 or more people's fun is reliant on you can ratchet up the pressure to do well.
        doYouEvenLuftwaffe

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        • #5
          The biggest hurdle to my squad leading on the regular is my limited energy reserve for dealing with people who lack comms discipline, respect for others, and general professionalism. I'm happy to teach people the game and various individual/squad skills, but I expect a minimum level of focus and seriousness from the people in my squad.

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          • #6
            Yeah some people really tick you off with the way they act and it is your job to identify what it is that steals energy from you. If you are leading a squad you could give the person the boot, respect goes both ways and if they don't respect your way of leading then good riddance.

            It's also the leader's responability to inform their squadmates what is to be excpected. A good method is by laying down some ground rules like : "Okay guys I expect everyone to be respectfull of one another, maintain dicipline, and have fun!".
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            • #7
              You only learn by doing right?
              And Asta85 taught me that is better a SL that do something and fail rather than a SL that do nothing. So I guess it's about keep the ball rolling. And Friday Day it's a good time to practice :)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jmlane View Post
                The biggest hurdle to my squad leading on the regular is my limited energy reserve for dealing with people who lack comms discipline, respect for others, and general professionalism. I'm happy to teach people the game and various individual/squad skills, but I expect a minimum level of focus and seriousness from the people in my squad.
                I make your words mine, I would love to run some newbees squad just to teach them the TG way, but what bothers me it's exactly what you wrote jmlane

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                • #9
                  I echo the energy statement. I really have little patience for people who don't listen. I play this game primarily for fun, but I feel like SLing is often too much effort. I usually like to come home, grab a beer and just shoot the **** with the TG guys. This is also the reason why I don't care so much about team stacking; at the end of a long day of work I really just want to have fun, and SLing for me usually isn't that.

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                  • #10
                    I enjoy leading when I'm working with other SLs, but most of the time it feels like a chore. I do it when I have to. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that I game at night, when I've expended most of my mental energy at work all day.
                    |TG| Mannerism

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kubel v2 View Post
                      I echo the energy statement. I really have little patience for people who don't listen. I play this game primarily for fun, but I feel like SLing is often too much effort. I usually like to come home, grab a beer and just shoot the **** with the TG guys. This is also the reason why I don't care so much about team stacking; at the end of a long day of work I really just want to have fun, and SLing for me usually isn't that.
                      Originally posted by BitmapLuke View Post
                      I make your words mine, I would love to run some newbees squad just to teach them the TG way, but what bothers me it's exactly what you wrote Jmlane
                      I find that leading a smaller ammount of people to be less energy consuming than a full squad. Leading a six man squad still leaves you plenty of options on the battlefield, especially the sneaky stuff!

                      The thread is not exclusivley about squadleading, it's about leading in a broader sense, like I said it can be about leading a team of just you and another person. As a doctrine in my squads I have taken up the practice of always appointing a man in charge, no matter how small the task or team. I do it to encourage initiative and with the hope that eventually people in the squad will start stepping up for leadership roles.

                      A reason why I think leading feels, especially squads, to be a chore or energy draining sometimes is because in many cases the squad leader has to think about everything. I say start encouraging initiative and assign people in charge over tasks/people, and I think these symptoms may disappear as the stress is relieved by your squadmembers.
                      Last edited by Crawlingeye; 07-20-2018, 11:29 PM.
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                      • #12
                        Sorry guys had two unapproved posts, think the spam filter had a fit, I've approved them now.


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                        • #13
                          From my perspective I fully understand both sides of the fence. I totally get the exhausted at the end of the work day thing. I appreciate that sometimes you're not in the mood for people who don't cooperate, have no discipline etc. I also know that for TG to thrive we have to step up, it just has to be done.

                          I have only recently got back into Leading in Squad after doing it for years in PR. Even then I would burn out by the middle of US primetime because I had been leading public squads during the Euro hours and I'm quite intense when leading. I only enjoy certain parts of Squad Leading, the small unit Infantry stuff etc.

                          Logistics is something I detest, I'm used to having that done for me, where are you Bullseye?? Same thing with transport. Taking a truck only to have it sit on the battlefield rankles me and isn't what I'm used to, spoilt by years of Transport Squads etc.

                          However I have got back into Squad Leading because I realise it is necessary. Utterly and indisputably necessary. Team strength is largely decided by Leadership, ergo balance issues are created and solved by Leaders on both teams. We have a limited supply of SL's who rather heroically step into the breach almost every round, because they know they kinda have to, because they have taken responsibility. If other's don't step up the burden remains on a handful of shoulders, those guys burn out. Some of the guys who put the most into the Community in terms of leadership end up with a diminishing return on their enjoyment and in turn engagement. Leadership declines, balance issues increase, not fun times.

                          All sounds very daunting, being an SL and all that. The thing is, the more people in the pool, the more people stepping up the less of a burden it becomes, individually and collectively. Those who lead all the time don't feel pressure to continue and get the breaks they need. Being natural leaders it doesn't take long for the urge to boss underlings around to resurface and they return to their Squad Leader roles fresh. If a bunch of people just step up and do a round here or there it is a massive injection of life into the Community and Game. As the Leadership pool expands the pressure drops, for everyone, and we all benefit.

                          If you are reluctant to lead a 9 man squad try running pure logistics or transport, quite a laugh being a combat bus driver. No vehicles left laying about on the battlefield for the enemy to destroy, you learn the map as you play and you also really help the other SL's. It's really nice to have someone sort your transport out for you, one less thing to worry about as SL, making that infantry SL more focused and effective. All you have to do is set up a two or three man Squad, key the mic in command channel and ask who wants a ride. SL's will love you.

                          If you are running a Squad and want some help, ask an experienced Squad member in game or out, hell ask your Squad, explain your proposed plan and ask for feedback. You don't need to be wishy washy about it, hell I often explain my thought process quickly to the Squad when laying out an attack to prompt the Squad into thinking about the plan and hopefully telling me about the 30mm I failed to notice in our planned path.

                          Don't feel you have to do it every round, nor do it when you don't want to, but do step up now and again, you can choose the terms, it's your Squad. Need help or advice or just want to spitball ideas, reach out, plenty of experienced players here plus Tactical Gamer University.

                          Edit: Forgot to add I've started leading again because watching and listening to a Squad full of people who have never bounded successfully or carried out a coordinated ambush is enough to bring a faint spark of life and warmth to my cold, black heart.
                          Last edited by Wicks; 07-21-2018, 08:46 PM.


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                          • #14
                            If I could offer one tip to any SL (and many might not agree). Focus on your Squad to start with. Teamwork is great but that doesn't just mean working across the whole team, that's macro in a sense. Teamwork can be two guys working to clear a room.

                            I personally believe that the game and your/your Squad's performance is made up of little building blocks, that's what makes up the big picture that many rush to bring to reality. They will charge in the general direction of the rest of the team, because that's 'teamwork', they are moving with the team, right?

                            Well it's true in the broadest possible sense. Then they fail, they ran across a field in the open or approached an objective assault in a sloppy way etc. I think that undermines the value of teamwork subconsciously in people's minds and so they go off and do their own thing as a Squad, because working with the team failed. This then becomes a two fold problem because now they aren't working with the team nor have they fixed the reason they failed, not doing the little things right.

                            To avoid this trap, try another approach.

                            Fix the little things.

                            Start the round as SL and think about how you want to approach things, how you want to move, assault, defend. From that, sort our your kits. Get two medics and reinforce their authority in casualty situations (thus bringing them into the dynamic individually and driving some teamwork, comms and cooperation).

                            Weed out the kits you don't need, this isn't some selfish all you can grab kit buffet. Kits are roles, they have a function, a purpose, they have plusses and minuses. If you want to be mobile you need rifleman, if you have too many special kits you will be static, ie LMGS etc. Don't wimp out on this. I'm not one for absolutes but I'll make an exception here. Anyone who tells you kits don't matter is wrong, period. If you turn up to do a job with the wrong gear you are ineffective. If you turn up and take the wrong gear on purpose you have a problem, that's the opposite of teamwork. Make sure YOUR squad has the right gear for your task and purpose. Don't need a third LMG, make him take rifleman, don't compromise your effectiveness and that of the 7 other people to indulge someone who doesn't give a hoot about any but himself. Doesn't matter what kit. It's your responsibility as SL to have the right tools in your Squad. Get it done. The other guys in your Squad who pick up rifleman and medic will respect you for it and you will be more effective.

                            Sort out Comms. Dominate the Squad channel. It should be you talking and SM's responding to you or providing you/and or the Squad with info that is Squad relevant. Everything else goes in local. This has several immediate bonuses:-

                            - Your orders are heard first time, more effective reaction
                            - The use of local intra Squad encourages buddying up, working in close proximity, micro teamwork and also a think before you broadcast mentality.

                            These things take a few minutes tops at the beginning of a round, yet I hear people say it's too much trouble, which is odd to me as if you don't do this you will spend the rest of the round dealing with those very issues and you'll waste way more than a couple of minutes and be much less effective.

                            Help your Squad to help you. Set expectations, get them focused, get them on task and thinking, create breathing space for you to do the same.

                            Then worry about the big picture, because you will have time and your squad will be taking care of itself to a degree.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wicks View Post
                              Sort out Comms. Dominate the Squad channel.
                              This is really important in the first moments meeting a new group, first seconds really. People do judge you, and that starts the moment they join the squad. Confidence is key in this first interaction, and if you show confidence then you will have a great headstart in getting the group to trust your leadership.

                              Greeting a new group of people who have signed up to be led by you is something that you have to practice, even doing it with friends helps alot even though it can feel awkward.

                              Originally posted by Wicks View Post
                              Start the round as SL and think about how you want to approach things, how you want to move, assault, defend.
                              When you greet the new group you take the oppurtunity to present you plan and what you expect. Setting the expectations you have lets everyone know what's up, don't make them guess.
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