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Last Posted May 16, 2019 at 1:09 AM
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#1 IRL Leadership Classes and TF2 in TF2 General Discussion

I posted this here in the regular TF2 forum due to the relationship with TF2 generally speaking.

So, 8 months ago I was enrolled through my workplace in a "leadership development" course which I graduated this Tuesday. The goal of the course was to foster relationships within my region (11 counties) and to foster "leadership characteristics" and other fluff like that, along with a service project.

As the course progressed I came to realize very quickly that most of what the course was teaching me, I had already been forced to learn through my time as a team leader in Tf2. For the briefest history possible I was a maincaller/team leader ~2010-2013 or so, and then I started to hand that role gradually over to other players as the meta strongly shifted away form having medics call in that way. But most of the day-to-day operation of the team fell on me until I joined Dheroes, and then I would periodically take the mantle back up. I thought perhaps ya'll would be interested in a few basic things that were discussed heavily in the course which directly apply to being an effective leader when it comes to TF2, or really anything. I got a good laugh out of the course because a hat based video game had already taught me most of what the course had to offer for free.

Here are some highlights:

- Being "present" and avoiding auto-pilot when you talk to people. I can't underscore enough how important it was to really value the time you spend with your teammates when you play and practice (if the objective is to be really good). There were lots of situations where people felt stepped on or abused because I wasn't paying attention to them, especially early on.

- Realizing that you have a group of diverse people all of whom have a different core objective - even when that objective looks the same as yours. "Winning" is usually the objective of a team, but what winning actually looks like can differ drastically from player to player and if you allow yourself to ignore that you're a bad leader.

- Being an example. I got Kermit to scrim I think in part because all of us showed up diligently. He didn't even really scrim before LAN.

- Consistent temperament so that your subordinates can "read you". Everybody has had that. You show up for scrims and somebody is just randomly in a crappy mood. It messes everything up. I honestly sucked at this too lots of time.

- Fairness and impartiality with rules. My own teams were night and day from Dheroes where I had never clearly set out what sorts of behaviors could lead to a player being cut or even what we looked for in other players, whereas all of that was explicitly laid out on Dheroes, and the culture of that particular team was very clearly outlined. Later on we would have the team of death in IM where I cut players because the universe literally tried to kill them, but that was a firm rule nonetheless.

- To seek counsel when you deal with a person's expertise. This is the #1 biggest takeaway I learned in tf2 and unfortunately killed several teams I played on because I didn't learn the lesson until too late. If you tell your scout or Rikachu you think they should do x, and they protest, *you* don't know better than they do, and if you insist that you do it's going to take them out of the game.

- To strive to allow your subordinates to express their individuality so long as the final product isn't affected. Yeah, your idiot roamer wanting to go spy at random is annoying, but you have to let him do it every now and again because its part of fostering trust and goodwill. But if they do random stupid stuff that is too much the other 5 people on the team suffer.

- Conduct and performance expectations should be issued in advance. This is a huge one for TF2. Discussing as a team what the objective of the team is in advance and making sure all 6 people on the team know what it is that the "leader" expects. Serious team? Scrims? etc etc.

- Praise accomplishments. I honestly really sucked at this at first too. When you're constantly looking for ways to improve you can get stuck in looking *only* for what your team is doing incorrectly. I learned right away from our young roamer Iarerobot that if I praised his good plays he always came back and played far better after.

- Prove that you can do. As a medic I learned really quickly that I would be a lot more respected by my teammates if I showed that I was attempting to git gud at soldier, demo, or scout and MGE'd with them or did some other activity in the same vein so as to show that I wasn't just chillin' waiting to follow them with a heal beam.

So there you have it. 8 months of leadership courses and how the lessons they taught us were all taught to me earlier by TF2. Have you found similar things to be true for yourself in that this crazy hat game taught you valuable real world skills that people pay to learn?

posted 6 days ago
#1 ESEA S31 W3: Ford Gaming vs. Space Pirates in Matches

Threw it at me like Testaverde.

posted 1 week ago
#7 mk11 in Other Games

I've been thinking about getting the game as I've always been down for MK, but after they dropped support for X on PC I'm pretty leery of buying again - is PC support still way behind consoles?

posted 1 week ago
#27 RIP gaming in Off Topic

If it makes you feel better, the starcraft player MVP plays without any feeling at all in his right (mouse) hand - due to chronic nerve damage from CT. He said in an interview that he knows he's double clicking because "it burns in my neck" he still was placing fairly high in tournaments 3-4 years ago. Hope it gets better soon!

posted 3 weeks ago
#14 Announcing TFTV NA Recasts in News

I would be the first to try and get DJC or CBEAR back in (getting to cast with Cbear was like the coolest AND it was on granary) but he hasn't been online in 3 years :( DJC even longer in so far as I know - I removed him after the first year since he just kinda disappeared. Bloodsire would be bad ass. Salamancer was last online 7 weeks ago :( but I could pry get in touch with him if he popped back on.

posted 3 weeks ago
#8 tax return thread in Off Topic

the department of education gets all of my refund every year big plays.

posted 3 weeks ago
#71 Leagues meet to discuss future of North American TF2 in News

I realize it's a big opportunity for TF2, but the best approach to establishing a new league would be to take the ESEA ruleset wholesale and graft it to whatever league will be its successor for at least the first season. The primary problem of running a league isn't the ruleset, map pool, or whitelist, it's getting players to play there and the day to day stuff that comes with actually running such a league like: scheduling matches, scheduling matches, playoffs, and seasons around holidays, ensuring uniform rule enforcement and having working mechanisms that are fair and understood by the player base, trustworthy, active, and accessible admins, and many other very tedious and unsexy things.

Until a potential successor league can demonstrate that it could actually sustain the greatly increased workload of being the primary TF2 league for NA, it's not really worth discussing what that league ought to look like because it's way easier to deliver on "we have an experimental whitelist" than to demonstrate that one possesses the infrastructure required to run such a league well - which is the important part.

posted 3 weeks ago
#31 sad albums in Music, Movies, TV

This isn't an album, but there are several parts here that he hits notes that almost always makes my eyes tear and I'm not exactly sure wtf is going on so there is that.

posted 1 month ago
#6 What we can learn from top level comms: THEORISTS in Videos

AGES ago, like not even available on youtube because that wasn't really a thing yet, there was a repository, I think on the CEVO website, for upper level teams' comms. There was one particular recording of a team, I can't remember their name, but it featured a scout named Rico. Basically every new team ~2009-2010 listened to those comms with the demo of granary that they belonged to over and over again.

posted 1 month ago
#15 Password Collection #1 in Off Topic

A fun anecdote.

As a private individual I used to think I was pretty good at generating passwords and stewarding my various financial transactions on the internet and so far, I haven't had a major breech or financial set back.

But since becoming responsible for the administration of a company credit card - from the same bank I've always used as a private individual - it has been stolen 4 times in 3 years. Luckily the bank has caught the offending transactions before they ever cleared all 4 times, but clearly I wasn't doing enough.

posted 3 months ago
#17 Worst moments of 2018 in Off Topic

This year has been p-wack on the bad shit end.. Granted the good is nearly equal so life is crazy.

Mom had a second heart attack.
2 car accidents (minor).
Put down my dog.
Girlfriend broke up with me.

posted 4 months ago
#97 Crossbow is still dumb in TF2 General Discussion

The problem with the crossbow is that the "flow" of the game has been changed by it too greatly.

The original design intention, in tf2, since the beta when kritz heals were introduced, was that players would engage each other, and then either commit fully to dying for frags and be penalized by a respawn timer, or back up to be healed by their medic. The players who backed up and took a breather would be rewarded for this behavior by receiving more, and faster, heals and not be penalized by a respawn timer.

When you introduce the crossbow you ruin that whole arrangement due to the amount of healing it puts out, and the way in which arrows are typically dealt with (hiding behind props somewhere while standing still). It allows for you to re-enter fights much more quickly and also doesn't force you to collapse around your own medic (or health packs) for healing. So you end up with mid-fights that last longer, and scenarios where pushing off of damage alone are much more difficult.

Let me take you back to a time when you could peek badlands choke, and if you hit 2 solid rockets on the other team's pocket or demo (who would be spamming like a dummy from that choke) you could push regardless of the situation because you knew it was going to be at least 10 seconds before that guy could ever do anything productive without risking his life. Now he just stops moving and takes an arrow and all is well. The same occurs frequently with heavies on lasts. The old scenario far more interesting than the current situation where teams never to very rarely push off of somebody just getting hurt badly..

It's not rose colored glasses - it's objectively superior. Damage actually means something, and the game naturally flows between engagement and reorganization, and retreating is part of a wider and deeper thought process than finding a spot to stand still to take an arrow right quick. Preserving the game's flow is why kritz-heals were introduced all those years ago, and for some reason they decided to throw it out the window in a bid to give medic something else to do.

posted 7 months ago
#9 Crossbow is still dumb in TF2 General Discussion

Agree fully with lucrative.

posted 7 months ago
#8 whats ur ms in Off Topic

240 ms and I've had 4 beers. I'm a 30 year old god Owl.

posted 8 months ago
#10 quick question in TF2 General Discussion

The only time I really saw it in action with any regularity was when we still played cp_ashville - some teams go-to strat was to time out the round if you ended up on last because it was so hard to push out to second and not lose by team death or back cap, so you would just sit there for 10 minutes - it worked especially well because last was really hard to push, so it was fairly reliable that you could weather 5+ pushes and redo mid as a reward.

posted 8 months ago
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