Posts Tagged ‘CEO’

A break in the festivities

Apr
20

“Ghost Festival is currently in stasis mode. Operations will be resumed in the future.” That’s what reads in all our channels at the moment. In this post I will elaborate on how it got that far and where we go from here.

When we first came to Goinard it was a paradise. The location is ideal in the middle of the lowsec map, it connects directly to highsec with a market hub nearby allowing for easy supply runs, and our old stomping grounds The Bleak Lands were still within reach. And we had mutual blue standings with Veto, who occupy the same home system, allowing us to have the numbers to organize larger and heavier fleets, while we could pass on our small fleet expertise. Win-win.

So where did it go wrong? There isn’t one thing or anything specific for that matter that can really be given the blame here. It is rather a combination of some members leaving the game, others moving on, real life and financial issues forcing a few to take an unwanted break coupled with some of those that did remain not seeing eye to eye or simply clashing because everyone got frustrated and demotivated by this downpour of bad luck. I had some nice plans for Operation Longshot being our first steps into nulsec roaming, but for inty swarms and other light setups you need a certain number of people, which we simple didn’t have anymore. We tried to make the best of our stay in Eugales but other than probing down mission runners in two local hubs the area was simply unfriendly for the type of combat we’re used to.

It’s been really difficult to accept the decline, and for a while I didn’t even want to consider that an option, working left and right to keep everyone’s chin up, a smile on their face and help them with finding something to do. But that takes its toll eventually. I wasn’t leaving station anymore, and that is a major nono in a small corporation, because you do have to lead by example. I could preach proactivity all I wanted, but I wasn’t doing it myself.

Enter Saturday, where I got on vent after being asked by Kimochi, Morwen and Plumb if we could have a chat. My gut feeling immediately screamed trouble, and it proved to be accurate as usual. Kimochi was moving out to Veto. The other two said I didn’t let them help enough, but in all honesty I knew they meant to say this was it for them too. I tried to explain that I can’t delegate work before I’ve done my part, and that with everything happening I hardly got to do my part, which I realize is because I too had trouble staying motivated. And then I called it.

Some time before that I had gotten the offer that if I wanted to take a break from leadership Veto would take on all Ghosts willing to stick together so I could relax and do my own thing, but while also receiving the chance to take a look at their inner workings as a learning opportunity. Tempting offer, surely, but I kindly declined it. It felt like quitting, taking the easy way out and leaving the roleplaying community down by taking away the only (?) dedicated corporation and alliance for Angel Cartel loyalists. I figured if I just stayed optimistic, left the paperwork for later and got back into my yarring seat all would end up well. And it seemed to do so, certainly with the interest of new people in membership. But in truth I know now those three Ghosts were just retreating in the back trying to figure out how to bring me the bad news without upsetting me too much. Not that there is such a way, really, because I still shed a tear when it all came out.

It is still sinking in, and I’m keeping clear from the game a bit, but I feel I made a good decision. Everyone gets to stick together — if they make it through the application process, which shouldn’t be a problem — and new doors are opened which would have taken us months to provide. If we didn’t entirely die down, which seems to have been the more likely case. The fourth habit of Highly Successful People says win-win or no deal. Carrying on would have been win-lose for me in relation to the members, or even lose-lose. While not my preferred solution the merge with Veto is win-win for all involved parties. They too like many pirate corporations have been hit by the recent wave of inactivity, and even if we all join they don’t make up for the numbers they’ve lost.

Those looking me up ingame today will see that I now fly under the Veto banner. I personally want to hammer our the in character details before I get back into the saddle, a post of that will also follow soon. It is my intention and desire to remain an Angel loyalist, and while Veto might be Guristas aligned I’ve been told there is the freedom for that, so we’ll make it work one way or another. I know there is a bunch of naysayers out there, or those fearful I will “cave in” over time, but in all honesty they can kiss my behind. Or go read The Burning Life, and pay particular attention to a character in there to a character who is an Angel as well.

To end this post, one question I am sure some will have is if I feel that Veto has stolen my members, or had that intention all along. My answer to that is that I do not feel that way. They’ve been hesitant in the past with taking on people that came from us because they too felt Angel Cartel roleplay is underrepresented and that regarding a larger corporation as an utopia without problems is a pretty dumb thing to do. I’ve received all the help I could ever want, and in the end it is up to each individual to decide where to go and what to do. I actually consider myself lucky, because many a crumbling corporation could only dream of an offer like this and is stuck with watching people drift apart, or having to start from scratch with looking for a group to merge with. And it is certainly not common to receive the offer to become a shadow CEO within a well-known and long time running corporation. Receiving that kind of trust in a game like EVE is a risky move and makes me feel flattered. Put the ideas of bribing me out of your heads though, they ain’t going to work. In fact I’m enough of a bitch to make them backfire on you. Consider yourself warned.

PS: PRELI’s fate is under discussion with their membership. I’ve told Marcus they can stay within the alliance, as I am keeping it open, and he can do as he pleases with the corporation, be it to take it solo, or reform it, or find a home for its members too. It’s pretty damn ironic that while we were doing so bad they really have been thriving. I hope that success will continue to last them.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (in EVE)

Mar
22

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is one of my favorite self-help books because it has helped me a lot both in my professional life as for self-management. For being a good CEO in EVE, or pinpointing where and how I could do better, this book has also been a tremendous aid. That is why I felt inspired to write this blog post where I will illustrate how it can help you get the most out of the game, both in a leadership position and outside of it. This is by far not a complete guide, and I’ve not covered everything that falls under each habit as it would get far too detailed. Consider it an extended summary touching upon what I found most important. Should you want more information I recommend buying the book or borrow a copy from your local library.

Habit one: Be pro-active

There are two mindsets you can live by whenever anything happens, or how you view your current situation: Reactive and pro-active.

The reactive mindset we find in people who say things like “I wish I had a lot of ISK”, “I am a terrible PVPer”, “Can-flippers make me so angry I want to quit”, “I need to rat” and “I can’t do fleet command”.

The pro-active mindset believes that we decide what we do and feel, and will work actively on reaching goals. Pro-active people will look into methods of earning ISK and try them, will read a lot on pvp and go out to learn, will realize that letting a can-flipper spoil you game is silly and take measures to counter the practice, will rat because they want to and not because they are told to do so, and will realize that everyone can be a great fleet commander if you want to learn.

EVE is a sandbox where you can do whatever you want, as long as you are prepared to do what it takes to reach your goals. So throw out all those negative thoughts because they are only in the way of success. You choose how you react to stimulus. Don’t sit around and wait, nothing good has ever come of that. Everyone, from the lowest to the highest rank within a corporation, can make a change. Yes, certain things are simply out of our control but even then you decide how you cope with them.

Habit two: Begin with the End in Mind

Everything starts with a vision. Maybe you want to fly capital ships someday, or maybe you want to teach new players about a certain aspect of the game. To succeed in whatever it is we want to do we need a mission statement, which is based upon our personal principles. You might find it important for example that you do not end up sinking too much time into the game because you have a family to look after.

Once you know what it is you want you begin with translating this to long-term goals. To fly capital ships for example you need to buy certain skillbooks. How will you fund these skillbooks? Keep splitting up each goal into steps until you reach what you can start doing today.

Habit three: Put First Things First

Now you have your mission statement, goals and steps to achieve those goals it is time to start working on them. But where do we start?

There are four quadrants in the time-management matrix:

  1. Important and urgent
  2. Important and not urgent
  3. Not important and urgent
  4. Not important and not urgent

Quadrant one should become as small as possible, and this is where you start. These are things that are a problem right now, or have a deadline. If you leave these things they are bound to create more problems and cause stress and you absolutely do not want that.

Quadrant three is tied to reactivity. It could be other players who interrupt you with a private convo about something really trivial, and you’re bound to spend a lot of time chatting but not really going anywhere. While it is important to keep good relations learn to say no once in a while. If you’re getting distracted you can’t give what your doing, nor the conversation the attention it deserves. Dare to point that out.

Quadrant IV is everything you can do when you are done, or when you’ve worked enough.

Quadrant II is where you want to be. As much as possible from Quadrant I, and everything from Quadrant III that matters should end up in here. Like talking to your friends when you have the time to give them your full attention. Or doing things well in time before they become a problem. Stress will be a thing of the past and you will enjoy doing things because you know they matter.

Habit four: Think Win/Win

Win-win or no deal. There are no other alternatives. Having others lose while you win, or lose and letting the others win are out of the question. The first eliminates future win-win deals, while the latter will make you unhappy as well as eliminate the chance you will want to set up a deal with that party again.

Win-win means that everyone gets something out of a deal. Running an academy corporation for example, where in return for knowledge you gain prospective members. Or even if they move on elsewhere they might still direct people your way or be willing to help you out in the future.

When win-win is not possible then agree on having no deal. An example from my own experience is having a few members under my wing who’d like to see things run differently, to which I could not agree. I could have given in to that resulting in lose-win, or I could have kicked them there and then resulting in win-lose. Instead we agreed to disagree and remained on friendly terms, with them going their own way. While no true win-win the fact that we all remained friends and each are doing what they enjoy still beats any other alternative.

Habit five: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Listening to what others say is not enough. Try to find out why they say it. Let’s say a member complains about a certain rule in the corporation’s code of conduct. Why is he complaining? Maybe he doesn’t understand it and needs some explanation, but it might very well be he sees a future consequence you’ve never thought about.

Put yourself into the other’s shoes rather than reacting from your own experiences. Don’t tell them to follow the rules because over time you’ve found them to be the best possible way to run things, but first listen to why others think they might not work. But listen also when they say they really like certain rules.

The same goes for any type of feedback, directed at you or others. There is as much knowledge in the words we speak as in why we express ourselves like that.

Habit six: Synergize

The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. Through trust and understanding solutions can be found that are even better than what you could have come up by yourself. While someone might go about solving a problem differently than you would, try to find the merit in their ways. Maybe you want to do things very structured and detailed, and disagree with a fast solution that will need fine-tuning in the future because it seems inefficient. While the fast solution addresses the aspect that something has to be done right now to make a start and get others involved.

Synergism is about taking the best of both to create something even better. In this situation the solution might be set short-, mid- and long-term goals and make sure that the consequences of each step are taken into consideration, and where goals help with getting others involved because you can delegate specific tasks.

Habit seven: Sharpen the Saw

Take the time to evaluate how you have applied the six habits and continue to improve. Also apply them on all new things, and continue to improve there also. Find a balance and take everything in moderation. Make sure nobody or nothing gets left out. Upon failure, evaluate what went wrong and learn from those mistakes. Don’t give up, because that’d be a waste of what you’ve done, but know when it is time to start walking a new road.

Blog Banter #16: Free knowledge inside

Mar
18

Welcome to the sixteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The third Blog Banter of 2010 comes to us from ChainTrap of the Into the unknown with gun and camera EVE Blog. He asks us: “Eve University turns six years old on March 15th; six years spent helping the new pilots of New Eden gain experience and understanding in a supportive environment. Eve is clearly a complicated game, with a ton to learn, so much that you never stop learning. So, the question is; What do you wish that someone had taken the time to tell you when you were first starting out? Or what have you learned in the interim that you’d like to share with the wider Eve community?”


I wish someone had told me when I got into piracy to get some frigates, outfit them, insure one and take it out for a fight. While it might not have had that much effect due to being in a rather well-organized region, and Faction War not existing yet, it had never occurred to me until we were well settled in Tzvi and Yishal advised me on this. I always had just one fitted frigate on hand, and didn’t dare to take that much risk with it, because losing it meant doing the whole replacement shuffle. While I won’t be giving away all our “secrets” one pro-tip I do have is to use the info tab of show info to keep track of what targets fly and who they hang out with.

There is in my eyes also a severe lack of information on being a good CEO for those like me with no real previous experience of leadership. I’ve been blessed to get advice from several experienced CEO’s and seeming to have a knack for it, but I really had to learn that you can’t please everyone, that moderation in everything is important and extremes are bad, that you will be an example and your enthusiasm or lack of it will reflect on the members, that being nice and doing what seems good is not always the correct way to tackle issues, and that sometimes you’ve got to set your boot down and not take it so personal. I also had to learn to be a tad selfish and that I should do what I want with the corporation and alliance, and recruit people who support those views, rather than adapt to the whims of every member. Yet this is balanced by listening to what the members have to say because being so closely involved often makes you no longer see the forest through the trees. And then there is that any leadership system, be it democracy or dictatorship needs to work for the people in that system, much like real life politics.I think what summarizes my advice for every CEO out there is best summarized by the method I follow, or better said found out this is a tested and proven method which I discovered through experience: Vision, collaboration, execution and evaluation. I really recommend the presentation on Virtual Organization from Fanfest 2009 as a starting point. In fact, can we get this as a tutorial ingame please? And more of this for Fanfest 2010?

There is so much more I’ve had to learn by myself, but as the game as continued to develop a lot is currently covered by the New Player Experience, and it really is your own fault if you skip it and then get in trouble. I am aware not everything will ever be able to be covered in there, if only because certain things can only be learned through experience, but on the other hand it’d take some of the fun away if you were taught everything from the start. As long as you learn from every mistake and every success, you’re golden.

List of Participants

  1. CrazyKinux: The Three Pillars of Wisdom
  2. The Elitist: Helping the new guy/gal
  3. Hands Off, My Loots: Nothing Needed
  4. Rantuket: Blog Banter 16
  5. EVE Opportunist: Nooby Cluey
  6. Into the Unknown With Gun and Camera: EVE University
  7. Zero Kelvin: We’re the young ones!
  8. I am Keith Neilson: Set Your Destination
  9. Prano’s Journey: Just Like the Very First Time
  10. A Merry Life and a Short One: No Seriously
  11. Yarrbear Tales: Nublet 101
  12. A Mule In EVE: If I only knew
  13. The Planet Risk Show: Dared to be Bold
  14. Diary of a Space Jockey: WTH did I get myself into?!
  15. EVOGANDA: Why?
  16. A Memoir From Space: 16th Blog Banter
  17. Death’s Sweetest Kiss: Who What When Where Why How??
  18. Freebooted: Beyond the Shortcuts
  19. Learning to Fly: Noobing
  20. Caldari Outcast: My First Blog Banter Post!
  21. Roc’s Ramblings: Financial Survival
  22. Diary of a Pod Pilot: Free Knowledge Inside
  23. Nullsec Carebear: I could’ve been less of an idiot
  24. Facepalm’s Ramblings: Something Smells Fishy
  25. Kirith Darkblade: Do you wish to know more?
  26. Autopilot Disabled: I’m still starting…
  27. Finders & Keepers: Relax
  28. Confounded Capsuleer: What have you got to loose?
  29. Clan Oriana: Sixteen
  30. Flashfresh: EVE Blog Banter #16
  31. Rettic’s The Chronofile: You Make EVE
  32. Diary of a Bored Spaceman: Past Imperfect
  33. Chocolate Heaven: Known Unknowns
  34. Victoria Aut Mors: Blog Banter #16
  35. Where the frack is my ship: If I knew then what I know now…

[Delicious Tag: eveblogbanter16]

Putting down my boot.

Dec
4

At long last I am starting to feel more comfortable in my CEO seat. Putting down my boot, as counter-intuitive as it seemed, is having positive effects on Ghost Festival. The roster looks a lot cleaner with those gone missing removed. While most were new recruits, or pilots that have not been pulling their weight to begin with, I do wonder what happened to Kai and Kosh.

Currently everything is being reviewed, improved and defined, from corporate policies to internal affairs and training. This takes a tremendous amount of time and energy but will ensure that as we grow there will be little to no incidents. I am in particular very pleased with the efforts that Athas and Korthan have been putting into this. We have however also been looking towards extending into the fields of industry again, public details on this will however not been disclosed at this time.

We are happy to share however that more pilots have been joining our ranks with more waiting to become a member of the family. The numbers are still fewer than I would like to see but with raising the bar slightly higher on what pilots are required to fly this was to be expected. A line has to be drawn, else we will remain where we are forever. And that is not exactly what I have in mind.

I am excited about what the future holds, and I hope all Ghosts share this sentiment with me. I’m not going to tolerate those refusing to uphold a few basic rules anymore. It’s time we start to mirror the Cartel’s professionalism if we ever want to stand a chance in Curse. It is my firm belief that not numbers or hull sizes, but the correct mindset, will determine our success. And to get there we first need to make sure Derelik knows who is haunting their space lanes.

Business as usual

Oct
16
It’s been about 3 weeks since I took over as CEO of Ghost Festival. I’ve been and still get congratulated and receive best wishes as notice is taken of it. Things inside the corporation have been progressing steadily. The old ranking and rights system receiving an overhaul being the most notable. As well as improving security and reflect the chain of command better there is also reward for active participation within operations. I am also glad to announce that Kai Zion, a notable figure in the capsuleer community and fellow research enthusiast has joined us.
For the last month we have also been at war with Ammatar Free Corps, who haven’t been too happy with us since…well forever really. Fights have been scarce as they operate mostly out of high sec where most of our pilots can no longer (fully) go. As for now the battle statistics are pretty even, with a slight advantage in ISK destroyed on AFC’s side due to an unfortunate docking system malfunction which resulted in the loss of a Raven on our side. This has been submitted for investigation to CONCORD but we hold no high hopes for any form of reimbursement.
Other than that as by Domination’s request business has continued as usual. Regular roams of the region have been and will be continued to be held as we progress step by step towards life in Curse.