Monday, November 8, 2010

An example of excellent leadership

There are still awesome leaders in this world, one of them is named Blacksen.

Blacksen and his guild, Imperative, took it upon themselves to thank "Red Shirt Guy" in a way that the rest of us would never be able to - took him on a 12/12 ICC HM run.  They gave him offspec shinies he might not otherwise get, and the winner of the roll for Arthas' horse, Invincible, gave up his shot at the mount in favour of donating it to Red Shirt Guy (who was quoted as saying that Arthas' "... loved that horse more than he loved Jaina Proudmore", yeah I think that was worth it).

Red Shirt Guy has had to deal with a lot of internet tough guys taunting him and attacking him.  The video in question was brought to my attention by my partner (a reddit addict, and not a WoWer.  He plays minecraft, and I don't ever want him to play Eve as I would never see him again).  We both watched the video, and came to 2 conclusions - that the guy had a touch of aspergers (which red shirt guy later confirmed... I mean, his passion and attention to lore detail was amazing!) and that Red Shirt Guy had never used a PA system where there is a delay on hearing yourself talk.  If you are not used to it, your automatically Slllloooowww dooownnn youuurrr talkinnnngg because your brain wants you to finish hearing yourself before going onto the next sound.  If course, in your own head, this works just fine.  On a PA system with a delay?  Well, you just start talking slower and slower as the delay will never catch up and you quite often sound like you have a speech impediment of some kind (and sound pretty much exactly like Red Shirt Guy). 

This delay technique is being used in a scientific manner as well.  People with stutters find almost immediate relief from a lot of their stuttering as soon as you feedback their own speech with a slight delay into their ear.  Why is that?  For the exact same reason Red Shirt Guy sounded like he had a problem with talking - it slows you down, it tricks your brain into waiting.  Stuttering is often caused by your brain going too quickly and getting stuck (of course it is vastly more complicated than that, but I am not a neuroscientist!).

I made my thanks known to Blacksen personally, but I think he and his guild deserve a public shout out.  Thanks from all of us who didn't hate, who quietly admired Red Shirt Guy for getting up and asking the question in front of literally thousands of people, for putting up with the ridicule, who understood what happened on that day to his voice and who are the silent majority who noted the event and moved on.

Leaders are not just people who can lead their group, but they lead the way within the community as well.  Blacksen has shown that he is not just a good leader within the context of competetive PvE content (Imperative are one of the best PvE guilds in the world, a piece of notable leadership in and of itself) but the guild and ALL its members are leaders within the WoW community at large by extension of this position.  What they do is what everyone else will try to emulate.  Their behaviour is watched and it is counted - every single member of that guild (and guilds in similar positions) are leaders. 

This single act of kindness shows me that Imperative are the kind of leaders I want to be at the top of the game, showing the rest of the world that not only can you be badass (as Blacksen puts it) but you can be AWESOME and still be kicking butt and taking names. 

So, thanks Blacksen and Imperative for being non elitist, hardcore PvE leaders.