Leadership

Here’s How Henry Rollins Writes (Slightly NSFW)

In-depth interview with Henry Rollins, frontman of Black Flag, and one of the hardest working people on the planet. Love or hate his opinion on matters, I really respect his work ethic and approach to the craft of writing.

I am not all that interested in being more creative. I would like to be clearer.

Definitely. I wish this for myself, everyday.

More notes. Every date, record played, show gone to, what he said, she said, what songs they did at practice, etc. Hard information. You can never take enough notes.

Something I don’t do enough, or at all. Even if I do, I rarely have a filing system for this, and I’m powerless without a gadget to help me. But this is so important when writing, because it’s the anecdotes you collect and subsequently publish that imprint your work.

You know all those people you admire? They didn’t wait around for anyone to tell them it was okay to go. They just went.

Initiative, leadership and clarity. Consequences be damned. Act, don’t react. I’ve definitely been trying to better my own life and pursuits with this attitude.

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Journal, Leadership

We remark at what a great man and leader Lee Kuan Yew was. I’m intrigued at his leadership, benevolent dictatorship, a mix of fear and power.

On some level, he managed to rally an entire nation to his vision, not just his cabinet, but the populace. At the same time, he also removed every (political) distraction so that Singapore in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s would be accelerated, and provided enough of a head start when the 90’s started.

Looking at that, he wasn’t interested in being a politician. Politics was just the means to give him the position, authority and influence to shape Singapore according to his vision. And that vision ultimately translated and trickled mostly to the pioneer generation that came before me. My grandparents, and my parents.

Lee Kuan Yew led the vision, but it inspired many others to sustain that vision and also tow that unbearable burden. It takes a certain kind of leader, and a certain kind of team (read: all Singaporeans) to wade through the uncertain mire, to stand up even when we fall, to always look towards tomorrow, that it is worth building.

I say, remember Lee Kuan Yew, and also, remember the generation before us, the sacrifices everyone made. Singapore did not arrive, an era has passed, but the story is still being written.

We close a chapter, dedicate another man to history, but we have not stopped writing history.

This message is also not just for Singaporeans, it’s not a nationalistic emotion I feel. This message is for every startup I’ve come across, every family and friend who face our own struggles and insurmountable mountains. May you find your strength and purpose, just as this man did.

Thoughts on Lee Kuan Yew

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Destiny-DevilWalker
Leadership

Communicating without words in Destiny (PS4)

I’ve been putting quite a few hours into the new MMO shooter, Destiny. After sinking about 24 hours into the game, I’m a Level 22 Hunter currently focused more on PvE (Player vs. Environment). I hit the soft-level cap of 20 by about 16 hours, and have been progressively doing Strike missions to level up some rare equipment and also earn my Vanguard marks and ranks to purchase Legendary equipment later on.

When I went on my first Strike mission, it was an absolute mess. I had no idea what I was doing, nor where my teammates were. If I did know where my teammates were, I’d stick with them. Power in numbers, right? However, every time we got surrounded by a swarm of enemies, or a boss character focus fired on us, we’d become another nasty smear on the wall. Trying to revive someone without covering fire was also another incredibly silly way to ensure a premature death.

However, as I became more familiar with the game, and more confident in my own abilities, I noticed a trend as I played even more games with total strangers, fighting against the Darkness.

After awhile, you notice that the more experienced players playing PvE aren’t good because they have more abilities or better equipment. It was because they had better team work and non-verbal communication.

For example, if I was reviving someone, a team mate would not repeat the action, and he or she would be on another side of the map drawing enemy fire. Or the moment someone is revived by me, that person would use the 1 second of invulnerability to cover my escape. Likewise, during boss rights or large swarms, we wouldn’t be bunched up in a defensive position putting rounds down only one angle. Almost immediately, we would each scatter to a separate location and lay down overlapping fields of fire to create a maximum killzone, and also ensure that the enemy’s efforts were diluted.

And these tactics were all communicated without the use of speaking to one another. When you enter a fireteam of 3 Guardians, who have been forged in the fires of PvE, we don’t waste time talking. We lead by action. And when someone is taking point, you check your ego and cover their unguarded flank. When someone is being hosed down by a particular tough boss or swarm, you reposition and flank the enemy without that person screaming for help.

In a nutshell, non-verbal communication is actualized by your ability to access the situation you are in and act accordingly while trusting your fireteam (team mates).

Nothing is sweeter than overcoming a level that is deemed Impossible, and yet there you are, standing victorious over the odds with two complete strangers, never having spoken a word to each other. You give a silent hat-tip to your randomly generated fireteam, and perhaps you will meet again by happenstance.

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Leadership

Leading yourself to lead others

This rather cliched thought came to me in the middle of a walk home as I was thinking about the team I was leading. I hated that it was cliched, but the more I let it percolate, it made sense to me.

I still stand by that a leader isn’t someone who outranks you because of seniority or position. Conventionally, it is role-based, but in reality, it is attitude-based. A leader takes the initiative and acts on situations, not react to them. Couple that with grit, ability and trust in team mates, and a leader can lead their team toward the goal.

So the question posed to us then is this: Are we waiting for someone to lead us? Or are we taking active steps to set our goals, and lead ourselves toward those goals through planning and motivation. Because if we aren’t planning our own lives and motivating ourselves to push forward, then we’ve lost the initiative, and we cease to lead others effectively.

Before you can lead a team, you must be able to lead yourself

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