"In a previous post on this forum, Armano Xaris made some VERY good comments which I have quoted from below:
'I think we need better communications in second life sailing to at least try to stop drama.'
'Sometimes if a community grows large the way people communicate should be discussed (again) though in my opinion to keep things: effective, clear, to avoid problems and to make further growth possible. I can't imagine we don't want this to happen in a solid way for us ALL.'
Armano’s post made me start thinking about “leadership”, and in particular thinking about it in the context of Second Life. A virtual world like ours and a community like the sailing community in Second Life needs a variety of types of leaders and these different types need different skills. However, overall leadership and in particular leadership that transcends the boundary between the virtual world and the “real” world needs people who exhibit (in my opinion), the following characteristics.
1. Integrity - In short - say what you mean and do what you say. Be willing to talk openly and honestly with people. Share your real thoughts, not what you think the individual wants to hear. This should be tempered with communicating in ways so that others are not demeaned or ridiculed, even if what you are saying is critical of them.
2. Clarity of thought and communication - In a virtual world where many (although not all) primarily use text-based communication, good leaders are adept at clear communication. It is not necessary to always be grammatically correct. This is especially true since we share our “world” with many that do not have English as their first language and with people from a wide variety of educational and social backgrounds. What IS necessary is that clear communication should reflect clarity of thought. Your thoughts are, of course, probably always perfectly clear to you, the challenge is to articulate them in such a way that OTHERS see exactly what you mean. If someone has to read and reread what you have written to attempt to understand your point, then your communication has failed.
3. Organization - A good leader (again in MY opinion) is organized. He or she makes plans that consider the possibilities and the capabilities of our “world”. These plans are carefully thought out and (again) carefully communicated to people. A good leader modifies plans on the basis of reasoned, rational feedback.
4. Passion - I am torn on this. Part of me says that YES... a good leader is passionate about what he or she does. Passionate leaders are able to move the community forward. Another part of me says NO... passion gets in the way more often than not. It clouds people’s perceptions and it clouds their ability to communicate clearly. I suppose what would be BEST would be a leader that is passionate about their vision, BUT is able to clearly set their passion aside or control it.
My opinion - These are the types of leaders that the SL Sailing Community deserves and needs. We have some of these leaders. I would submit that THESE are some of the characteristics of those people that we want to represent us to the “real” world."