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#1 User is offline   rcp_90 

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 12:46 AM

Hey guys,

I'm having an interesting dilemma with my team. We're a scenario team, so we can get away with carrying a lot more team members then most others. Depending on how you count them, we've got anywhere from 20-35 people on the team, with more constantly streaming in. This is great for the Skirmish scenarios we go to, because a critical mass of warm bodies and one leader screaming "on 3, we charge!" is often all you need to take ground. But this becomes problematic when that one leader can't always be there, and now our team is still expanding and I'm sort of at a loss. I've been trying for the last 3 years to get new leaders to help ease my burden on the field and put together games. It's been like screaming in a vacuum, at a brick wall. And the brick wall is Helen Keller.

My Admin officer and XO can organize a game about 95% as well as I do, but on field the both of them lack the self confidence to really step up and dominate the team the way you have to when you're in charge. I've tried to work on this as best as I could, but they're both naturally shy and apart from maybe brain surgery there isn't much I can do about it. And, to counteract that, I have two other guys on my team that are godlike on field, but they're both douchebags and will only help off field when they're feeling fired up about the team, which lasts a week at the most and only occurs in the time near games. They're the type who sit at meetings and say everything is stupid and draw phallices with crayons rather then pay attention. To top it all off, I have yet another officer on my team (the guy who basically taught me to play paintball) who can do both but isn't willing to because of his own cryptic logic.

I'm trying, desperately, to grow leadership. This wouldn't even be such an issue except that for our first scenario game of the year, I've been plucked by my side's high command to run a company. Without me there, we can get by somewhat comfortably, but I didn't build this team up just so we can get by. I hold our performance to a higher standard, and the only way to reach that higher standard is to grow some outstanding, motivated, dedicated subordinate leadership for both on and off field. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about my team, we're very good at what we do, but I just don't want to plateau unnecessarily when there's a world of stuff we'd still like to accomplish.

And it's not like there's no leadership potential on my team. Most of the team's inner sanctum has a metric buttload of leadership experience, albeit most of that leadership isn't paintball related. So how do I get these guys to step up? How do I get these existing leaders to either take this more seriously or be able to handle leadership? And more importantly, how can I take some of our more dedicated lower ranking guys and turn them into the team captains of tomorrow? I'm at a loss here.

I had a similar question about a year ago, but all the progress my XO made seemed to be... meh. He was in charge the year I just spent in Iraq, and more then one of my guys specifically said to me, "Bill was ok, I guess. BTW don't die or the team dies." Not only that, but we want to take on new challenges that aren't possible without other leaders. We want to build a tank, to go to OK D-day, to have an organized fireteam structure, but none of that's going to happen unless we actually get me some help!

And let me cut off whoever's going to suggest making them read military manuals or whatever. It won't work, If I did that every single person on my team would complain that they don't have time to read it and go back to playing Fallout.

This post has been edited by rcp_90: 25 January 2009 - 12:50 AM

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#2 User is offline   Saifoda2 

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 02:56 AM

HAVE TEHM READ TEH MIRITARY MANUALZ!! Itll wurk sooooooooo gud.


90, I'm surprised at you :P I would think somebody with Military experience (especially if you've been a leader in the Military) would know what to do.

Okay enough baggin on you


Have a talk with your current leaders. It sounds to me like you are the alpha male amongst them and you are not just a leader, you're a leader's leader. Make them understand how serious the situation is -- that they need to step up THEIR performance and dedication. As a leader, you are expected to do more than is expected of you to succeed and to excel, and as you said, not just "get by."

If they don't get it after that -- fire them. Make those positions available to anybody else on the team who is willing to step up.


If you don't want to fire them, which is very understandable, my recommendation is to start training your guys to BE leaders. You know that just because you've got 34 months TIS you automatically get E5. You gotta go to PLDC and actually learn how to do some of the stuff. Granted that a lot of being a leader isn't taught at school, but it can be a start.



For you, being a leader of a group the size of yours (platoon sized) it is not just your job to train and lead your players, it's your job to train and lead your leaders



It's late and I have 5 interviews tomorrow starting at noon so I'll get back on this maybe tomorrow, or maybe the day after if it becomes 10 hours of interviewing.





EDIT: And I just saw you're an Eagle Scout. COME ON MAN!!

This post has been edited by Saifoda2: 25 January 2009 - 03:00 AM

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#3 User is offline   rcp_90 

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 03:38 AM

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90, I'm surprised at you dry.gif I would think somebody with Military experience (especially if you've been a leader in the Military) would know what to do


You know as well as I do that military leadership is an oxymoron :s You can't spell lost without LT! And you can't spell as snugget without SGT!

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Have a talk with your current leaders. It sounds to me like you are the alpha male amongst them and you are not just a leader


It's not even so much that as much as it is that when the need for a leader arose when the team was formed, I was the one who avoided it the least out of the 10 of us, lol. So, 4.5 years later, I'm the only one that's shown any success at it because, duh, I'm the only one that's been a paintball team leader amongst us. But like I said, there are leaderly individuals there, including 2 guys about to get their commissions! (Although one of them is in the Coast Guard, and the other's going to be Commo.... yeah) I've had the talk about them stepping up, and it works for a little bit, but it never takes. They don't meet with instant success and don't see any reason they should be doing my job half as well as I can do it when there's a perfectly good me standing around.

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If they don't get it after that -- fire them. Make those positions available to anybody else on the team who is willing to step up.


If you don't want to fire them, which is very understandable, my recommendation is to start training your guys to BE leaders. You know that just because you've got 34 months TIS you automatically get E5. You gotta go to PLDC and actually learn how to do some of the stuff. Granted that a lot of being a leader isn't taught at school, but it can be a start


I'm not going to fire them because they can't/won't do something outside of their job description. My administration officer does 10,000 things off field that keep us afloat, it would be puerile and stupid to fire him just because he's quiet. And as far as training them, we're a scenario team, which means our games are hella pricy. Our record turnout is 4 games in one year, I'd like to do more but I'm an E-4 in the Army and they're college students, we're collectively poor as hell. I should also point out we have two sponsors, a kilt company that gives us a discount and an asphalt company gave us $300 that we used to buy grenades once... so, no sponsor cash like some teams. Doing practices or something like that isn't really feasible either, we're spread out pretty far, not to mention the center mass of my spread out team is Philadelphia, and I'm in Georgia for the time being. It's close enough that I can get home for games, and that's about it.

Also you've gotta realize the difference here between military and civilian. I know it might be a stretch, but remember how you were before basic? When responsibility and work made you run and hide under the covers? I'm still dealing with that to some extent, and I can't offer them a pay bump for stepping up to the plate either. I also don't exactly have a curriculum like they do at the NCO academy, I've had to rely on social experiments I came up with on the fly... when I was on leave I practiced leadership with my XO when we were sitting in his house and he said he was hungry. I told him that we were going to pretend he was in charge, and I made him issue us an order to accompany him to Burger King, lol. Adapt and overcome? That's about the most intense training I can do short of not showing up for a game.

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EDIT: And I just saw you're an Eagle Scout. COME ON MAN!!


How does being able to tie a square knot help me here?

This post has been edited by rcp_90: 25 January 2009 - 03:41 AM

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#4 User is offline   Saifoda2 

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 05:26 AM

Why am I still up when I have a 10 hour saturday starting in 7 hours!! I guess I just love this stuff :wacko:


With money being an issue for everybody (same here), have a couple "non-paint" practices, where you basically get together and work on drills (no paint), maybe some PT, a couple tactics/patrolling/whatever classes, teamwork drills (remember basic training with the obstacle and leadership courses). This will not only get people to work together more (whether that is an issue or not), but it will start getting the true leaders to not only show themselves to you, but to themselves and they will build confidence that they can be good leaders.

Now about the distance between your team members, don't just have the whole team come together 4 times a year, but setup squads where people who live together practice (including non-paint practices) once a month and then have the whole team come together 4 times a year, or whatever you think would be best. This is where you can have those people who showed good leadership skills/potential assigned as squad leaders (will run the monthly squad practices) and this is where they will develop more of the leadership skills. Of course you'll probably have to do a lot of oversight on these SL's and practices.

Being the BDIC (Big D!ck In Charge) has it's advantages and disadvantages, and sometimes you can't tell the difference -- this is one of those for me. It's great that I get to do paintball related things all day, but at the same time it's tiring and I have other life-things I'd like to do too :).


By the way I hope your two new butter-bars (AF and commo :rolleyes: ) don't get too big o'heads :)










And since we're on the topic of Army/Officer jokes....







The Company Commander and the First Sergeant were in the field. As they hit the sack for the night, the First Sergeant said, "Sir, look up into the sky and tell me what you see?"
The CO said, "I see millions of stars."

1st Sgt.: "And what does that tell you, sir?"

CO: "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Top?"

1st Sgt.: "Well sir, it tells me that somebody stole our tent."








Sometimes we miss the little details when we look at the big picture too much :huh:
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#5 User is offline   rcp_90 

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:51 AM

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With money being an issue for everybody (same here), have a couple "non-paint" practices, where you basically get together and work on drills (no paint), maybe some PT, a couple tactics/patrolling/whatever classes, teamwork drills (remember basic training with the obstacle and leadership courses). This will not only get people to work together more (whether that is an issue or not), but it will start getting the true leaders to not only show themselves to you, but to themselves and they will build confidence that they can be good leaders.


It's hard to get people to do that though. We're used to the real thing, so going outside to run in formations or whatever without markers or gear is just silly, and we all know it. The vibe created reeks of "let's go back inside and play xbox". We've had some successful dry runs, but usually it's only right before an event when everybody's all fired up about the upcoming game. But when there isn't anything imminent, it'd never work. Especially with me not there to force it.

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Now about the distance between your team members, don't just have the whole team come together 4 times a year, but setup squads where people who live together practice (including non-paint practices) once a month and then have the whole team come together 4 times a year, or whatever you think would be best. This is where you can have those people who showed good leadership skills/potential assigned as squad leaders (will run the monthly squad practices) and this is where they will develop more of the leadership skills. Of course you'll probably have to do a lot of oversight on these SL's and practices.


Yeah, it's kind of hard to monitor practices from 12 hours down I-95. "Did you practice?" "Yeah, it was fun." "Are you lying?" "Yep." "Damn you, other 34 people on my team! Foiled again!"

This post has been edited by rcp_90: 25 January 2009 - 09:56 AM

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#6 User is offline   Saifoda2 

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 01:14 PM

Well sounds like the problem might also be the kind of people you've recruited. Believe me, our team has gone through it's share of "dirt-bags," but we simply raise our standard in recruiting. We now have a pretty long process to join the team and so far it's worked in weeding out the non-dedicated players. Now instead of people saying "are we done yet?" when it comes to events and practices, they say "what else can we do?" For any 1 recruit, the recruiting process can take up to 6 months for them to actually join the team. This is paintball of course, so it's hard to find dedicated people for obvious reasons, we just gotta find the reasons that people would be dedicated and find a way for them to show us that they are.
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#7 User is offline   rcp_90 

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 06:06 AM

The problem isn't with my recruits, frankly our recruits are generally outstanding. My issue is getting my guys who have been with us for 4 years to want to do more. They're all doing their specific tasks quite well, my qualm is that I'm having trouble translating this into a legion of good, all around leaders.
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#8 User is offline   Saifoda2 

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:56 AM

Well when I say "recruited" I mean everybody, not just the new guys. Since your experienced guys tend not to be the go-getters, maybe it is time you focused on your new guys since they seem to be the ones with the potential, as you say. There is nobody left from the original 10 I started our team with. The "new guys" at the time (now the old guys) were the ones who showed potential and took initiative, and so they are now our leaders. Also you really should consider age, maturity, and their level of dedication and willingness to assume responsibility. I'll also say that the guys who take initiative are the ones you should keep an eye on for helping you run the team.
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#9 User is offline   Sniper Cowboy 

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:02 PM

Perhaps you need to inspire them somehow. What I mean by that is, well, lets look at the word lead. As a leader, to lead means to get a group to move from point A to point B. So, in your case you are trying to get them (or others) to step up and lead on the field. But they are comfortable where they are at, they don't want to step forward. How do you fix this? Make them uncomfortable, make them understand why being at point A, to be quite frank, sucks! Then get them to understand how if we move to point B, things will be SO MUCH BETTER! Make point A suck, make point B ROCK! Also, remember how I said others? This team is not an army dedicated to performing to its max on the field. Everybody has something else besides paintball going on, so not everyone has got the time to dedicate to leading. Yet you have many people. How does one overcome this? Develop many leaders. Get the team to understand that if more people step up to the plate and lead on the field, then it will be better for everyone. You say your XO does really well at what your XO does, leave the XO there and get others to lead on the field. Perhaps the XO doesn't want to take on the responsibility of leading on the field because the XO's plate is already full. Once the XO gets on the field, he/she just wants to have fun. Who can blame them?
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