Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Build your team"

Yesterday, I attended Northkeep's Winderkingdom event, which was also the hosting event for King's Roundtable (Redtape). Part of the activities were several heraldry meetings hosted by the leadership of the college of herald. One, specifically, was the Herald's warranting class, hosted by HE Tostig.

Things have changed substantially in the administrative side of heraldry since I first joined the SCA. The original warranting class (15 years ago) was three hours, and was more or less "drinking from a fire hose" in terms of information volume and it's retention. Now, the class is an hour, and about half of that is conversation. Tostig has really boiled down the critical things for the office, most importantly who the critical officers are, and who/what to look for for help.

"Let me tell you now, the most important words you need to learn are 'I don't know'." ~Tostig

And in this, he was very correct. time has shown that knowing when to ask for help, and whom, is more important than almost anything else we can teach in one class.

I was sitting in the back of the room listening when an important comparison came to mind. So I said my hand, asked for permission to rabbit trail, and got it from Tostig. (forgive me yet another military allusion, but I grew up a Marine brat, what can you expect?)

"I read a book some time back talking about a member of the US special forces (Green Baret) who served during Vietnam. He said that for his first assignment, he was given a list of all 100+ men in the company and told 'here, build your team'. While he was a member of the (then fledgling) special forces, he did not have advanced training in tactical medicine, demolitions, scouting, radio communication, heavy weapons or just about anything else. So... he looked at what he had to do, and built his team of twelve men around those requirement.

And went on to cause total and utter devastation throughout the VC/NVA infrastructure in their area. 

But the point here is that he didn't have what it took to do the job, so he hand picked a team that would lt him do it.

As officers in the SCA, and local heralds, what you need to do is build your team. You need to have phone numbers, e-mail addresses, facebook connections, ect... for people who know various aspects of heraldry. Your list if requirements will change as time goes on, as will your team. But, the point is that your team is how you do the job, so build a good team, and coordinate with them well, and you will be able to be an outstanding herald."

~Lord Ivo Blackhawk 
So, anyway, that was my metaphor for heraldic officers. I imagine that it can be applied much more broadly than that... but still, there it is.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God save the King!"

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