Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two types of CEOs

Having been in the game now for over six months, I've had a chance to talk to several fellow CEOs about their style and leadership preferences. There seems to be lots of variation across the board, but I think that it really boils down to two types of CEOs in game.

The first type of CEO is the kind that is a great leader from the front. He goes out in his Armageddon or Brutix or Raven night after night leading fleets to glory, or grabs his Retriever and sits in a belt strip mining it to dust, cracking open a cold one and chatting with his guys about his favorite sports team or the latest changes made to the game. These are CEOs that I term as the "lead by example" leaders - men and women who are in the frey with their troops and get down and dirty every night, no execptions.

The second type of CEO is the kind that is a great coordinator and planner. This is the guy who has everything organized for his corporation - operations are planned in advance, everyone knows what they're doing and how they're doing it, and he takes care of all the paperwork to make it happen. Most nights he's on handling spreadsheets to make sure the corp stays in the black, and on rare occasions he actually manages to get out and fleet up with his guys, but this is infrequent and more time is spent handling the minutiae than anything else.

Each side has it's advantages and drawbacks. Leading from the front makes you more acutely aware of what goes on with your troops, but means that the paperwork stacks and piles up. Coordinating and planning takes care of the pesky paperwork but leaves your troops wondering if you're not secretly a machine in disguise.

There's nothing wrong with picking one style and running with it, but there are two ways to avoid falling into one or another. The first way is to take a hybrid approach and combine the two. Work with your guys a few nights a week and spend the rest of the time handling paperwork. This is the most practical approach but requires a fair amount of personal balancing The second way is to have one of your trusted lieutenants handle the paperwork or handle the time with the guys. This approach has some advantages, particularly if you lead from the front, but you can be left feeling left out of either end - if someone does your paperwork for you it may not be done to your specifications, and if someone is out with your troops all the time you may risk being replaced.

There are undoubtedly other ways to approach it but most styles involve one of these two methods at it's core.

From the ashes....

Out of the ashes arises...

Oh heck, who am I kidding?

Sorry to all (four) readers of the blog for the month-long absence. I literally moved and the corporation has been figuratively moving along in the past month.

House aside, let's catch up on the state of The Corporation.

Our Alliance and the landlord Alliances who were letting us borrow space from them were facing The Menace - an unnamed Alliance who has powerful friends and was causing no end of trouble out in our area of space. A couple weeks ago we got word they were moving out of one of their homes due to internal strife and so we set about preparing to step in and take some Sov for ourselves. Suffice it to say, the plan backfired due to our Alliance leader being offline for a period of time and others insisting on an accelerated timetable that did not work as we hoped. Instead, we got sucker punched and our stock with the Landlords fell rather rapidly.

So, The Alliance is now getting itself back on track and reorganizing to come at things from a different direction. The Corporation is also working to get into a better position to act and react. In addition, Yours Truly has been asked by Alliance leadership to perform several key duties including getting things better organized, so I have been very busy with these.

Stay tuned as this blog will be back on track soon and we will have more wonderful anecdotes and advice for all you CEOs out there!