Posts Tagged ‘Tribes’
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
On the surface, the brash, straight-forward Warrior seems like the easiest and most obvious character class to define. Examples of great Warriors abound – Genghis Khan, Caesar, Conan, Wolverine, Hagar the Horrible, Patton, Leonidas, and many others. (Okay, so some of these are greater than others.) We all know what a Warrior is and does…
Or do we?
When we think of a Warrior, it might be one of several images – the plate-armored “human tank,” the wild-eyed berserker, the big, dumb, fighter, or the calm strategist. Each serves an important role in battle, and each is a very different archetype. Here at the School, when we say Warrior, we mean Leader.
If you took the Hero Test and became a Warrior, you would rather do something than sit around. You crave excitement and adventure. You are decisive. Other people respect that and look to you for decisions and answers when the going gets tough. Our great Warrior heroes need the judgment of Right and Wrong and the heart and soul to choose the Right.
Back in October, we wrote an article called Tribal Lore about a book called Tribes: We need you to lead us by Seth Godin. The concepts are powerful for everyone, but Warriors especially should read the article and consider getting the book.
Seth says, “The first thing you need to know is that individuals have far more power than ever before in history.” You don’t need a title to be a leader. You just have to be passionate about an idea and willing to do the work to help it spread.
Creating and sustaining a tribe is about leadership. More than any other class, the Warriors have the decisiveness, the vision, and the passion to be leaders.
No Substitute for Hard Work
The Warrior class may have some of the most difficult and challenging assignments in The School for Heroes. That’s because Warriors thrive on challenge and they know how to overcome obstacles. They don’t think their way around it like the Wizards, and they don’t sneak past it the way a Rogue might.
To a Warrior, finding a way around an obstacle is avoidance. They aren’t afraid of hard work when the goal is worthwhile.
Warriors see a problem, face it, and overcome it. They know that a challenge postponed is ten times harder than one handled immediately.
How was the Great Wall of China built? Step by step and brick by brick. If a task seems overwhelming, the Warrior breaks it down into manageable pieces, makes a plan, and starts working on it one piece at a time. If the project is too big for one Hero, the Warrior delegates, leads, and finds the people to get the job done.
Are Warriors the Best of the Best, or What?
Warriors in the School are pretty hot stuff. They’re confident, healthy, decisive, and charismatic. Nobody’s perfect though. It’s easy to go from “decisive” to “reckless.” Warriors sometimes act without having all the data they need to succeed. Somewhere along the line, a successful Warrior needs to learn control and balance as well as authority and power.
One of the most important parts of the Warrior curriculum is learning how to lead. Warriors are natural leaders because other people tend to follow the one who has a plan. However, to stay a leader, Warriors need to learn to listen, to compromise, and above all, to keep going when times are tough.
We might not succeed at every plan, but failure makes us stronger. Some of the greatest successes in history have come after equally spectacular failures. Be willing to be wrong, and be willing to adapt when the first try fails. Nike had a slogan, “Second place is the first loser.” We hate that saying, but that message is different to a Warrior than to other people. Here’s what it says to a Warrior:
“Second place is the best motivation to win the next time.”
Learn from your failures and grow. Maybe you just need a little more work, and a little better plan, to be a winner. Second place is pretty damn good, but being a Warrior is about becoming the best. Cherish your seconds and thirds, then do what it takes to become first.
“Never give up, never surrender, full speed ahead.” – Galaxy Quest
We don’t make it easy on our Warriors. One of the first Warrior assignments is to create a daily workout regimen and report on their progress after a week of following it. No other class gets a rank 1 assignment that they have to spend at least a week on before they can report it as done. It can be very easy for a new Warrior to look at the assignments, think “This is too hard,” and give up.
Give up? Even think about giving up? That’s no Warrior attitude! If they assignments are tough, that’s because we know you’re tougher! By working through them, you will become stronger.
And we need your strength. We need Warriors to help lead us into the future. More importantly, the world needs Warrior Heroes who lead with a conscience. Be that leader. Be a Warrior!
Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
The School for Heroes has been open a little less than two weeks. With no publicity other than the site and word of mouth, over 150 people have taken the Hero Test and most of you have returned to the school to register. That’s a pretty good start!
Once you “enroll” in the School, you can get to your personal page, a “lore” page that describes your character class, and the teacher’s page for each class. Within the next week, we’re adding a Roster Page so you can learn about your fellow students and an Assignments page that you can use to learn about and grow as a Hero. The personal page will also become richer – So far you can enter a “personal statement”; much more will be customizable in the not-so-distant future. You can also copy a piece of HTML code from your personal page to let your friends know what kind of Hero you are.
While you’re waiting for the Assignments page to appear, feel free to undertake the Mission on your class lore page and tell your instructor about your results. Their email accounts are simply the instructor’s first name (at) theschoolforheroes.com. You can also use the class name if you prefer. Accomplishing the Mission – which is different for each class – and reporting on it are your first steps towards advancement within the School… and in your Heroic quest.
Testing the Waters
You can think of The School for Heroes as a sort of iceberg… um, in a good way, of course! At first, all you can see of it are the blog entries and the Hero Test. Once you dive into the water by taking the test and enrolling in the school, you can see more of what’s available. Over the ensuing months, much more of the School will surface as we implement and reveal features. By continuing to follow your personal Heroic path, you will also discover new content accessible only to advanced students.
We’d like to talk a little about the test. As your first introduction to the School, it’s pretty important. We created the hero test for several reasons. One is that people on the Web love online quizzes. We hope we’ve managed to make our test an entertaining experience. Another reason is that your test responses help us to understand your approach to Heroism. Each class has a different learning approach that should appeal to students who score high in a particular test category. Finally, the test and signup process act as a gateway. To join The School for Heroes, you need to make a conscious decision to take the test and follow through on it. We want to focus our energy on working with people who want to work with us.
Incidentally, if you don’t like your test result, you may retake the test as often as you like until you enroll in the school. Enrollment occurs when you follow the link in the email message we send you about your test results and then sign in with your user account for the first time. Feel free to “game” the test if you really want to “play” and study as a particular class. However, answering the test questions honestly gives you the best chance at finding a school experience that fits your style.
As Classy as We Can Make It
Once you complete the test and follow the enrollment instructions, you will have full access to your personal page and other school pages. Only you can customize your page. Also, you may notice on the Lore pages that you will only see the Mission for your own class. That’s to keep you focused and maybe add a little mystery to the other classes. Once we bring the Forums online, you’ll have full access to your own class forum and the public areas of the other class forums.
The Forums will be the heart of The School for Heroes. We are creating a Tribe here, and a Tribe is only as rich as the connections between its members. You will help make the School strong. Our goal is to set up an environment where Heroes-in-training can learn and share their experiences. We will also be inviting many of you to take a more active role in the school as Teaching Assistants, Forum moderators, and in many other roles. After all, our goal is to make the School so active that we won’t be able to handle all the communication by ourselves.
We will be walking a fine line between giving students in each class an exciting, dynamic, and unique learning experience and ensuring that students in all the classes can interact. We don’t want to create barriers between classes that you can’t find a way to cross. To make this work, we’ll need help from all of you in the form of suggestions, feature requests, and open communication in all of the school forums.
Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
“There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, and every single one of them is right!” – Rudyard Kipling, “In the Neolithic Age”
We recently read a book called “Tribes,” by Seth Godin. Seth is a bestselling author of books on marketing and copy-writing. His latest book is all about leadership and forming what he calls “tribes” of people with a common interest. “Tribes” has some great ideas and is well worth reading. It is also very relevant to The School for Heroes.
A Brave New World
What is a tribe? It is any group of people with a common interest who get together to do something about it. It could be a company, a club, or a Web site. It’s the whole “If you build it, they will come.” idea from the film “Field of Dreams.” Successful tribes are those where people care about that common interest (let’s call it “the vision”) and work towards goals that support the vision. Tribes are about communication and cooperation between the members, not about orders handed down as commandments from on high nor about directionless chaos. Directed chaos is fine.
The thing is, for a tribe to be successful, it needs a leader (or leaders). A leader holds the vision and finds ways to share it and to bring the tribe together. A leader does not need to be the “person in charge.” He or she is a facilitator and a communicator. Great leaders are often rebels who buck the system to come up with innovative solutions to problems.
In “old school” organizations, position matters. The rank and file members do not innovate; they do what they’re told. From personal experience we can tell you that computer games created under the leadership principle come out much better than those dictated by management. We’ve worked on both kinds.
The Tribe for Heroes
The School for Heroes is a tribe. There will eventually be an adventure game with the same title, and we hope you’ll enjoy it, but the game is secondary. What matters is the tribe – Empowering people like you to live your lives as heroes. Of course, you’ve always had the power, but the school web site will give you more. It will make you part of a community of other people who care. It will give you a support network to keep you on track and it will give you an opportunity to support and lead others with the same goals.
We can’t make the world a better place by waving a magic wand and saying, “Let’s make the world a better place!” Heroism takes work. It takes commitment. It takes caring and sharing the glory and the pain. We aren’t going to try to pass down the wisdom of Solomon and tell you how to accomplish great things; it wouldn’t stick and we’d probably get it wrong as often as we got it right.
What we will do instead will be to plant the seeds of a few ideas and set up an environment where you can work with them, provide your own, and share the results with others. Together we can build the Tribe of Student Heroes, and if we get it right, then others will find us. We are using the metaphor of the school, but this is one in which the teachers will learn from the students just as much as the other way around.
Intentsive Hero Training
On October 31st, The School for Heroes will open its doors to a few select seekers. The School will feature the “What Kind of Hero Are You?” test, a page about each of the “classes” – Warrior, Wizard, Paladin, Rogue, and Bard – a personal page for each student, and discussion forums. There might even be a few class assignments – this is a school, after all.
However, this won’t be a school like any you’ve ever attended. Nobody will force you to do your homework. You get to choose the assigments you are passionate about. But each one you complete will help you to understand yourself and discover your personal path to heroism.
The School forums will be set up for everyone to share what they learn and do. Small step by small step, we will make the world a better place… by leading, by doing things that matter, and by making ourselves into better people. Most importantly, we’ll all have a lot of fun doing it.
“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.” – Seth Godin, “Tribes”
That is what we are trying to do with The School for Heroes. We hope you will choose to follow us and then become leaders for those who are to come. We challenge you to take the “What Kind of Hero Are You?” test, sign up for the school, complete your first “mission,” and share the site with others. With your help, The School for Heroes can become a tribe that matters.