How To Lead Like A Warrior

To understand how to walk the path of leadership is now different than the path of a warrior. They run parallel through the forest of life. And, throughout the journey of both, they are fully intertwined and cross countless times in the spaces they must fill. Become a warrior and you will become a leader. Become a leader, and you will find the warrior within.

Here is a list of simple tenants that a warrior-leader follows. Think of them through the lens of your own life and choose to be both humble and mindful when absorbing the message. While some of the words may ring harsh and direct, the action of doing something need not necessarily be the same.

1. DEMONSTRATE WHAT YOU WANT – This doesn’t mean the best fighter should be the leader of the group. This means that if you are to lead a group of people, you must demonstrate the CHARACTERISTICS of what you want that group to be. You don’t have to be the most savvy on the battlefield, the best fighter, the best (whatever the heck you want). But, you do need to be the best at walking the walk of the type of people you want to be on the team you are creating.

2. DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS – Look, I’m a little crazy. I’m blunt. I’m direct and I generally don’t care too much about the peanut gallery taking a disliking to something I might say or do. If you are to lead (and not manage) then you must have a touch of vision and drive to lead in a way that is true to who you are. This does not mean you should forsake feedback from trusted friends and advisors. (quite the opposite actually) It means that the opinions of those not within your circle are completely useless when leading people. Further, this isn’t a free license to attack people and then fall back on saying, “Daniel told me to be a good leader so imma treat you like crap because that’s who I am.” That IS NOT what I’m saying. I’m saying that if I were to listen to the opinions of the MANY PEOPLE on social media and otherwise, then DOMINUS would not exist. My tactics would never have come out because I was told they were stupid and I would never have made a dent in the world of buhurt. It means that you don’t need to be brave about something, you should just NOT CARE about how some groups are going to disagree with you. Because guess what, someone WILL ALWAYS disagree with you.

3. HAVE CLEAR AND DEFINED STANDARDS – Anyone in your group/team/whatever should know what is accepted and what is not. They should clearly feel what it means to be on the right side of a situation. In training, this means that the group understands the level of output (on an individual scale) is a known. This also means that as the leader, you strive to demonstrate the highest possible standards of work. You do it to inspire and uplift others. You do it for the group instead of for self. (I’ll get to sacrifice soon) But most importantly, understand that the standards of work output are not the same things as standards of performance. People must also know the difference between the two and how they apply. For example, Dominus has a CLEAR STANDARD OF PERFORMANCE, while Cerberus has a clear standard of work output. This means the scales are vastly different yet equally imposed in a strict, yet caring method.

4. UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE A FIGUREHEAD – A Leader MUST inspire those who CHOOSE TO FOLLOW. When someone chooses to follow you, a relationship of immense trust is established. You are now beholden to the group in a way that reciprocity will never cease on either side. Your job as a leader is to provide clear direction, a strong sense of purpose and powerful motivation to the entirety of the group. Many MANAGERS mistake coordination, organization and communication as leadership. While strong management is a component of leadership (under the banner of DIRECTION) it is still only one piece. A true leader is a beacon in the dark for those who follow. And they follow with complete trust that the leader will have their best interest at heart when making tough decisions. Tough decisions that may in one sense harm an individual within the group, but be better for the group as a whole. The minute a leader caters to singularities, you begin to lose your grasp of leadership. Your job is to keep the ship going and the crew on task in meaningful way. It is NOT to forsake the voyage because one person is sick. — In buhurt terms, you don’t let the person fight the round that will probably lose the round for the team if they will likely go down fastest — This of course is weighed against your overall mission for the team. If it’s just to have fun, then disregard my statement and do whatever bologna you see fit.

5. BE SELFLESS — As a leader, you come last in all things. The root of the word leader is leith. “Leith” literally translates to “sacrifice.” The origin is from the battlefield. A “Leithar” was someone who ran out in front of all others and ended up sacrificing themselves to the battle and to die first in order to set the stage for the remainder of their army to have the tide shifted in their favor. A leader sacrifices in order to change the circumstances in favor of the group. While some may interpret this as a form of martyr-esque leadership, it is not. Do not become a martyr. Become a selfless leader. Work tirelessly to fulfill the needs of the group and you will be working hard to actually lead. This also means that you must work to enforce standards, uplift those around you, raise the standards regularly and create scenarios that force the group to grow and become stronger. As a leader, you MUST SACRIFICE your time, your energy, your personal needs and even more. Those who follow see this and understand that it is your duty to do it, and their duty to follow you with conviction. Sacrifice breeds trust and strengthens the group.

6. FIND SUCCESS – Obviously, if the results of your leadership garner nothing but failure… Then the group should question your ability to lead them. Results actually matter. Growth actually matters. Don’t measure your success in medals, trophies, money, or something like that. Measure your success in the changes and growth the group as a whole has made. Look at success through a lens of change. As a warrior (and yes, this whole thing is for those who have a warrior’s heart) you strive to continue the journey. There is no end to the path we walk. The leader in you also has no end to the path walked. If your group does not change and grow (for the better) in all things related to that group, then you are not leading, you are simply taking up space and making other people listen to you.

7. CHOOSE KINDNESS – A leader will always be harsh, strict, and direct in their demeanor. They will also defend with incredible fervor, the sanctity of the group and the standards held for them. A leader may come across and mean to those who choose to violate the conditions of kindness. Because as a leader, it is your job to defend the morality and ethics of the group. Kindness is not weakness. It is a choice to be kind to those who are working towards the betterment of the group. Just because someone isn’t a great fighter, does not mean they aren’t a great member of the group. People find all kinds of ways to contribute and help. It is your job to view people through the lens of kindness and see how they are helping the group. And to coach and mentor them in a way that will uplift and instill confidence and strength in those around you.

8. CAST OUT THOSE WHO DESTROY – I’ve made this mistake several times. It has always ended badly for me. It’s important to recognize that peace is not a human right. Kindness isn’t always appropriate. Acceptance is not a blanket statement to allow people to do whatever the heck they feel like doing. Allowing people to infiltrate the group and lower the standards, shift the attitude and alter the culture can be completely destructive to your team/group. Often this is done by selfish/narcissistic people who generally have a ton of charisma and just about zero empathy. Most people in this world will work hard at all levels to completely avoid conflict. They would rather assume the good in someone despite the actions they’ve committed to others because it is easer to turn a blind eye, accept people as good who make mistakes, and not have to deal with any sort of difficult conversations or negativity directly. YOU CANNOT DO THAT. You must be the person who enforces the standards. Allowing one or two individuals to shift the culture you create will undo anything you’ve done as a leader and it will diminish your platform and ability to lead. Nice people aren’t always good people. It’s your job to understand the difference and keep a wary eye on newcomers. Be welcoming, but do not be ethically/emotionally lazy by choosing to simply accept and not address damaging behavior. — This is probably the most consistently damaging thing I see in buhurt. (Look at some very obvious examples in the past few years)

Well, I feel like continuing my list of rules, but I also feel like nobody has read this far.

This world is full of people. Most of them aren’t great… most of them don’t even want to be great. It’s the intersection of adversity, opportunity and sense of purpose that greatness is derived from. Find those moments for yourself and you will be changed by them. Create those moments for others and you are now leading others.

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