Stuff™ is afoot for the Front!

Since November I have been thinking about making some (more) changes in the Intaki Liberation Front. Although I am the kind of person who enjoys being in a comfortable place where the status quo is stable and any curves have plateaued, leaving me to be free to spend my energy on other things, for ILF I think we are not quite there yet. There’s room for more improvement, even if it might be time-consuming and challenging. So for my corp (and alliance), it’s time to shake things up a little. Or a lot. (At least for us.)

The biggest change I’ve considered to date has the support of everyone in my leadership team except, I think, one person. The internal discussion was promising. Everyone that I needed to have participate took the time to say their piece and while we didn’t all agree 100% on what I proposed, enough was agreed on that I am going to move forward. Not sure when the results will be public—maybe early in the new year—but it sure will be exciting for us when it all comes out and I really hope it changes us for the better.

Some of the other changes are ones I have been thinking about for quite a long time (a few of which I have touched on in some respects in earlier OOC posts here) but they never coalesced in my head into anything useful. To be perfectly honest this frustrated me in a lot of ways, and has made me feel that my corp is suffering unfairly as a byproduct. The longer this went on the more I started to feel like I needed to talk to somebody outside of my group. I frequently talk to people in my group to get their take on things, but sometimes fresh eyes and a different perspective from someone on the outside is better.

Mynxee, Signal Cartel CEO and wonderful lady

Mynxee, Signal Cartel CEO and wonderful lady

So…the other night I finally got up the courage to reach out to Mynxee of EVE Scout/Signal Cartel. Of everyone I could have asked, I felt like she would be able to relate most closely to me and ILF.

I wanted to talk to her primarily about corporation member engagement. Signal Cartel has a unique purpose and is very particular about expectations, conduct, and certain rules for members. They are not an aggressive group and look for positive ways to enjoy the game. At a high level this reminds me very much of ILF’s niche RP and our desire to be the “good guys” in New Eden. Beyond that, the similarities peter out quite quickly. Signal Cartel is large and successful, while ILF is small and…well, we haven’t failed, but we aren’t where I want us to be either. I wondered, what is she doing that I’m not? How does she get so many people so easily and so quickly? How does she ensure her members willingly, thoroughly, and eagerly adopt the corporation ethos that she and her leadership team created? What could I learn from her that can help me be a better CEO and make ILF a better team?

This was a big deal. I am actually super shy by nature so to ask to talk to someone like her who is “EVE famous” is normally just NOPE, particularly as once or twice in the past I have tried to reach out to a few other people in the community for similar reasons, to no avail, and because I am probably a bit more prideful than I should be and stupidly think I should be able to solve all my problems myself. Others might think that is silly, but if they are not shy then they may not understand the challenge people like me face in order to put ourselves “out there”, never mind actually asking a stranger out of the blue for advice or help. (Being CEO of an EVE corp has done a lot to help me out of my shy shell but even so.)

EVE players in general have a reputation for being pretty cool and helpful people overall, and Mynxee lived up to that for me. I figured I would maybe get half an hour or an hour to talk with her. Instead she gave me four hours of her life! I actually had to break away from the conversation to go to bed, and I felt bad to do it because we were having such a great time. Having an opportunity to talk openly to someone so willing to consider my perspective and what I want to achieve, without prejudice or assumption, and never a hint of “It must be done like this instead!” was very uplifting, encouraging, and inspirational.

The desire to encourage members to adopt the corporation ethos is, to me, a core requirement in order to see success follow naturally into other areas of the game. If I want my corp to work together on a particular goal, that goal might be better achieved if the individuals understand and are keen about the underlying reasons why that goal is important to the corporation. Mynxee was kind enough to talk at length about her leadership style and gave me a lot to think about when it comes to enforcement. I wonder now if that has been one area I am maybe not so good at. What is important to Mynxee is what becomes important to her corporation, and from what she described she can be fiercely up front about making sure people know it. I also have a lot of things that are very important to me about ILF, but if I am honest with myself I think I try to please people too often, try to compromise, try to be “everybody’s friend”, rather than putting my foot down and saying, This is how it is because I’m in charge and I say so. If you don’t like it, find another corp. One thing she said to me really stuck: “This isn’t a democracy.” Mynxee is tough! Which isn’t to say that popular opinion should be dismissed, but at some point what the CEO says goes. It’s her house.

ILF is my house.

We touched on many other things. Recruitment ideas. Ideas for “wardec funnies” given wardecs are not an area of interest for either of us. How to get people to actually do stuff. How to raise my profile and thus my corp’s profile (Mynxee wants to make me do something that terrifies me, but it will honestly be good for me to try). How to be the CEO and give enough shits that people see I care, but not so many shits that it drives me to burn out. In return I was able to give her a few ideas about things I have started in ILF that she would like to try in the Cartel, which was delightful and satisfying for me!

Then she showed me Gizoogle, which had us both in tears of laughter in the middle of the night reading her website and mine.

Great chat. For someone who has been tied up in more than a few knots about what to do with her corp, it was exactly what I needed. I am buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm and the desire to revamp my corp and see what happens. If all fails, we can always go back to the way things were, but I have high hopes and I can’t wait to just…give these new things a try, and I hope my existing members will be as excited as I am when I get to tell them.

It doesn’t hurt to try.