- Must be willing and capable to spend LARGE amounts of time, in game and active, to deal with issues as they come up.
- Must be wiling to deal with such issues intelligently and generally correctly.
- Strong willed enough to understand that admitting fault is not necessarily showing a weakness, as long as you aren’t wrong too much.
- Intellectually agile enough to adapt to the constantly changing environments of New Eden, including tactical, political and meta-game changes.
- Enough of a dictator to overrule whatever leadership council is in place on the basis that “a plan, ANY plan, right now is far better than doing nothing while people debate endlessly.
On the surface its not a terrible list. But it tends to create some misanthropic folks. For example Sir Molle for a long time led one of the most feared alliances in the game. Even when IT was getting creamed left, right, and center there were lots of people even on the CF coalition just waiting for the axe to fall. Even though IT has fallen (as BoB did before IT) Sir Molle was, for a long time, recognized as one of the best leaders in EvE.
Bad Bobby of Atlas Alliance/Atlas. is another example of a very strong leader, and while he was much more flexible than Molle was in the end, it didn’t save him as internal corruption and the inability to spend 23 1/2 hours a day in EvE resulted in his alliance crumbling.
The Mittani of Goonswarm is probably the most intellectually agile person you will deal with. Over nearly any period of time he holds enough positions on an issue to form a quorum and deadlock a vote. He is also a superb leader in that he has herded the swarm of cats that is goonswarm into their position today.
Aralis is a great example of how NOT to handle the evolution and changes of eve. I won’t bore you with my pathetic attempts to say what Mord over at Fiddlers Edge has already said elegantly and completely. Instead I will simply link you to his post about Aralis. http://fiddlersedge.blogspot.com/2011/03/black-matter-for-king.html
I’m not going to run down the entire list of leaders. The one example I do want to hit that 99% of you won’t know is Engad Tanon of Cult of War. For those of you who don’t remember them, which is probably nearly all of you, COW was an Atlas pet out in Scalding Pass from before the War of Southern Aggression to shortly after. When COW failcascaded it happened at the same time as PL, Goons, Cursed Alliance and TEST (no one knew who TEST was back then either) were simply beating the stuffing out of us. We were fighting pretty hard, and no real sov attacks took place. What ended up happening was Engad simply did not want to deal with the strain of things anymore. Atlas wasn’t helping us out, Primary. and Gentlemen’s Club were folding, -A- was helping, but they always had too far to go, and could rarely get to us in time. Our own numbers were manifestly too weak to stop the attacks on our space and the loss of a few CSAAs put the writing on the wall. We weren’t a major player. We weren’t heading in that direction either. Goons were weak at the time, having come off some major downfalls. PL was not the PL it is today either, and as I said, TEST was a total unknown. COW had its pride and some good members, and got taken out behind the woodshed for an old fashioned beatdown.
The final battle had two important lessons for me to learn.
- The key to successful killmail whoring: Be the FC. You will always be shooting the primary.
- A coalition with a plan gets better activity, and better activity leads to success.
After the battle it was all over but the crying. Literally. There were a few more fights, but Engad lost the drive to try to compete, and I don’t blame him. The alliance had done all it wanted to do as a group, and people started drifting away. Engad announced that he no longer wanted to handle the responsibilities, and there was no one else Bobby was willing to trust. The rout was on. Within a week reds could have autopiloted a freighter through our space from end to end without a hassle. Even though it took a while for Sov to drop, the Scalding Ass pets were done.
The point of this final example is that a leader needs vision, externally and internally. Engad’s only failing was that he was incapable of looking at what our alliance and the coalition of alliances we had with us was capable of doing, and when reality hit him in the face with its hammer it hit hard and it hurt.
The takeaway from all this: If your alliance leader doesn’t have the freedom to be on or accessible constantly, the drive to succeed even if it means making enemies, the honesty to recognize mistakes and change his ways, and the vision to see what is and what needs to be, don’t start naming your stations; you probably ain’t goin’ to null anytime soon.