Mistakes, I’ve made a few. I can admit it.
One thing I have always tried to do when I have made a mistake is to learn from it. What could I have done differently? What other options did I have? How might I have achieved my desired outcome? What will I do if I encounter this same type of situation in the future?
A mistake I’ve made
Sometimes it’s easy to see what I might have done differently. Take the initial trigger in the drama bomb that led up to me leaving WWAB. It was pretty innocent at the time, I thought. Someone in a raid sent me a tell basically whining that the raid wasn’t moving forward because people were too busy playing with their mini pets.
I didn’t really think too much at the time about my actions. From the tell, it sounded as though most of the raid was goofing off. I certainly didn’t know who was or wasn’t. I popped into the vent channel for that raid and mildly said something like, “Hey, guys, raid time is raid time. It’s not time to play with pets.”
As it turned out, only one person had been goofing off and not only was she an officer, she was supposed to be leading the raid. She felt called out. Which I think she should have. But she was also overly sensitive about it and a seed of resentment was planted. A little seed that grew into a fuck off enormous tree of petty revenges.
I should have taken that complaint to the officer channel and asked the officers who were in the raid what was up and who was goofing off. The matter would have been dealt with and much QQ could likely have been avoided.
Oh hindsight, you bitch.
A mistake I tried not to make again
More recently, I had a somewhat similar situation arise. Someone in vent said something that they shouldn’t have. Rather than get all over their case in a public manner, I casually brought it up later. In fact, I have done so a few times now.
But someone else who heard the comment and wasn’t privy to my discussions afterwards assumed I had let it slide. Out of that assumption and several other observations, this person accused me of a few things, including playing favorites.
When I was first starting to try to deal with this unexpected situation, I found myself initially thinking that perhaps I had learned the wrong lesson. Should have I laid the smackdown on in vent? Said something about how we would just talk about that later? Did I need to let everyone know that a serious discussion would take place without letting them know the outcome or the content?
And mostly, did I really want to keep doing this leadership thing if all it meant was that no matter which people I surrounded myself with, they would all always be ascribing me motives and thoughts and actions or lack of actions that weren’t necessarily accurate?
What I have learned
After giving myself more time to think, I don’t believe that the lesson I learned was wrong or that I handled the recent situation inappropriately. I do believe that being in a leadership position will continue to be a source of frustration and heartache for me if I don’t learn to stop taking responsibility for other people’s expectations.
The person who accused me of playing favorites seems to have had an expectation that I should have publicly jumped all over the person who spoke out of turn in vent. While I might have done something to help create that expectation through my actions long ago with that other officer, I don’t think I can or should take responsibility for that expectation still being alive and well in this person’s mind. After all, they saw the fruit of that mistake and the only logical thing to conclude is that I would try to avoid making the same mistake again.
Along with that, I can’t take responsibility for situations where people pass judgments on me without ever bothering to talk to me about whatever leadership failing they think I am displaying. Nor can I spend all my time explaining my every thought and action to everyone who might have read it wrong. It’s too much to ask of anyone.
It’s likely pertinent to note that this new guild is without officers because I expected people to be able to police themselves. I don’t see the need to BE WROTH AND SMITE THEM ALL just because I happen to be the GM. Being the GM of adults shouldn’t require me to babysit and I just won’t do it. I will deal with legitimate problems, but as long as everyone is making progress towards our stated goals, I don’t really care how they go about it.
So now I am hoping I have learned a good and truthful lesson from this latest accusation of making mistakes. And I am trying to internalize that I am not culpable for other people’s expectations not being met. Lastly, I have determined that I will not spend any more time trying to defend myself to these particular accusations. If the history of my character isn’t enough for someone to believe my stated intentions, then what good will mere words do?
But I still wish things hadn’t shaken out this way.