Thursday, June 30, 2016

Finding your mission

I spoke with a reader yesterday who was wondering how he can concentrate on his mission when he doesn't have one and doesn't even know what he wants it to be.

My advice was to begin by assisting the missions of others you respect, admire, or whose missions you find worthy of support. Most men are not leaders; most men cannot be leaders of other men anyhow since if everyone was a leader, there would be no one to lead. The social hierarchy is a pyramid, with fewer captains than lieutenants, and fewer lieutenants than soldiers.

So, find your mission by becoming a soldier. Over time, if you prove yourself useful, capable, and interested, you will become a lieutenant. Most men will be content in either role; only gammas and alphas naturally seek leadership and no good leader truly enjoys it due to the burden of responsibility for others it imposes upon him.

This is particularly true of sigmas, who don't seek leadership, but often find it being thrust upon them regardless of what they want. Gammas, of course, inevitably turn out to be a disaster whenever they manage to thrust themselves into a leadership position since they don't even accept responsibility for themselves, let alone for anyone else.

Anyhow, if you're not sure about your mission, go find someone who has one and offer them your assistance. Not me; I have no shortage of high-quality lieutenants and soldiers. But there are many good men out there who are in need of your help in moving their missions forward. Help yourself by helping them.

38 comments:

Bard said...

Great advice.

JCclimber said...

Yes, please do so. Please find someone to help.
" only gammas and alphas naturally seek leadership and no good leader truly enjoys it due to the burden of responsibility for others it imposes upon him."
This rings so loudly with truth, it must be heard out in space. Sure there is a kind of joy and satisfaction in successfully leading, but the burden is cumulative.

You accept the responsibilities and can even take a kind of satisfaction in stepping up when disaster strikes the mission that you are leading and taking the blame for it. This satisfaction is the kind of thing a gamma would never, ever understand. You accept the blame, you briefly state where things went wrong, what you learned from it, and your plan for dealing with it and turning it into success down the road.

And see the gratitude in the eyes of those who you are leading. As they think "Thank GOD that we have a man in charge who doesn't shirk their responsibilities as a leader, and try to weasel out of all the crap that is coming."

The reason I said to please help, become a soldier and then work your way up, is that the experienced leaders absolutely must have dependable followers. The followers who are willing to be developed as leaders themselves are treasure. There is absolutely no way I could lead without God's help and the help of a wide network of lieutenants and soldiers.

Another problem with leadership is that it becomes difficult to stop being a leader, because no matter where you go, people quickly sense that you are a leader and start to pull you into that role, even where it isn't wanted (like on vacation or at reunions). So it becomes tougher to ever get a break unless you go somewhere by yourself.

Tom said...

What if you're too self-absorbed to be a good leader or a good follower? Is there an independent contractor / mercenary option?

Ben Cohen said...

I second Tom.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

I would imagine this applies to men of any age. At a certain point a man may find himself having achieved his goals in the realms of professional success, love, fame, sex. Having essentially accomplished everything he set out to do, he might seek something else. He needs to recalibrate his mission.

pneutral said...

If I wanted to start a Blog, which platform would you recommend?

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

What if you're too self-absorbed to be a good leader or a good follower? Is there an independent contractor / mercenary option?

There's always prison, exile, or slavery.

VD said...

Start with Blogger.

VD said...

What if you're too self-absorbed to be a good leader or a good follower?

Then you are unlikely to accomplish much of anything. Even the most talented will find his reach to be severely limited.

Anchorman said...

I suggest using a spiritual gifts inventory.

It really helps focus your strengths.

Desiderius said...

This may be your best post Vox.

Of all the knowledge that has been forgotten, this is the crux.

Your first task as a man is to find a better one.

Artisanal Toad said...

Looking at the Alpha to Sigma personalities as a spectrum, I see it as the spectrum of ENTJ to INTJ and the various shadings going from one to the other. Depending on intelligence I think both have the basic tools to accomplish the functions of the other quite well (NTJ), but the personality-driven behavioral motivations separate them. Thus Alpha's get jammed into staff positions and Sigma's get pushed into command positions.

Gamma's, OTOH, seem to shotgun across the personality spectrum. Any ideas on whether the Gamma clusters in any particular area?

Gary North wrote some essays a long time ago about the difference between occupation and avocation and how few people were able to combine both occupation and avocation. His solution was to focus on a lucrative occupation while identifying your avocation and at some point the occupation would have provided enough money to finance pursuing the avocation. I suspect this is the kernel of truth in the idea of doing what you love and you'll be a success (a leading cause of small business failure).

paworldandtimes said...

only gammas and alphas naturally seek leadership

I've found it useful to think of the gamma as "alpha ambition without the alpha goods."

PA

Mr.MantraMan said...

I don't want to lead I want to be Dutch Shultz

Durandel said...

The only people with a mission I want to help with are people online like you, Vox, or Milo, Mike, Trump, etc.

Where I'm at, I don't know or see anyone whose cause I'd like to join. Plenty of causes around me I'd like to see sink into the ash heap of history, but nothing here to join or aspire to. Do you have a follow up to this post on some suggestions on where to find those with a mission worth joining?

And this post is true for men of every age, as LBF said. I'm in my mid-30's and it has only been recently, since finding the Dread Ilk, that I found people with ideas and missions worth joining. But again, only online, never in my area.

Jed Mask said...

...An excellent post. I'd say that when it comes to any individual man finding his purpose or "mission" in life the solution is simple: ask GOD in PRAYER.

I know my mission now in clarity. God has given all people unique upbringings, natural talents, gifts, skills and abilities we naturally like to do.

Naturally athletic? Maybe God is wanting you to do something with your obvious athletic ability to be a sports player, coach, instructor or some sort of occupation that you use your natural athletic ability in to build you *good success* and glorify HIS NAME and witness Christ to unsaved unbelievers...

There's a lot of points to include in this and Vox is right. However, I'd say every man by default does in fact have a life mission assigned by GOD and for starters it usually includes the responsibility of looking after your family as a husband, father, family member and extends on out.

Though our personal life mission is something God has given us since birth to fulfill.

Every great man of God in the Bible was BORN with a MISSION to fulfill. Many failed and did not live up to God's Calling, though GOD is Who they should have always leaned on for Guidance and Strength.

The Mission of JESUS CHRIST Who had the ULTIMATE MISSION of SACRIFICING HIS LIFE for Sin to be destroyed, was BORN into this world with His Mission He Perfectly fulfilled and is now sitting on the Right Hand of God...

Yeah, just because someone might say they are "not sure" what their life mission is; I'd say pay attention to what you're good at doing and see how GOD may be wanting to use you to accomplish HIS WILL.

There's not a human-being alive that GOD does NOT have a mission for. We all have our missions to do before we live this earth if we trust Him. I'm working on mine as I type this.

May God Almighty, Lord Jesus Christ bless all the people here on Alpha Game commenting and "spectating" in the background. Amen.

~ Sincerely,

Bro. Jed

Michael Maier said...

I must second everything JC Climber posted. I've almost always been a "soldier" in my organization. I recently accepted a promotion as a lead on the team I've been for years and it's a drastic shift, mentally. It's rewarding to learn and master new skills but I'm constantly having to bite my tongue because my team is composed of folks that do not want to lead themselves. I noticed that before but I actually have to deal with it now. I always prided myself on mastering my job so that I was bothering others as little as possible to accomplish the mission. ("Teach me how to do this and leave me alone to do it.") Everyone else seems to look for ways to shirk their duties. My brother has been a manager for a long time and he says that's normal with most folks.

I also find myself feeling more duty bound to the mission and those under me than those above me. That's already causing friction with my boss and I can see that causing me major headaches soon. I don't know if becoming a manager / supervisor later would make that better or worse for me.

I am trying to puzzle out how to inspire others to be more like I am as a worker, but 1) folks are lazy and 2) MPAI.

Any advice on practical leadership is MAJORLY appreciated.

Michael Maier said...

VD said...
What if you're too self-absorbed to be a good leader or a good follower?

Then you are unlikely to accomplish much of anything. Even the most talented will find his reach to be severely limited.
June 30, 2016 at 8:48 AM


I would guess this is true. And even if you really are talented, being a self-absorbed person will probably sabotage anything you do anyway.

I have a friend who is an amazing bass player, yet cannot put aside his own ego long enough to keep a gig. And he was born 20 years too late to be a solo bass artist.

Aeoli Pera said...

What if you're too self-absorbed to be a good leader or a good follower? Is there an independent contractor / mercenary option?

Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

I suggest using a spiritual gifts inventory.

It really helps focus your strengths.


I vouchsafe the 3 colors ministry test.

The only people with a mission I want to help with are people online like you, Vox, or Milo, Mike, Trump, etc.

Where I'm at, I don't know or see anyone whose cause I'd like to join. Plenty of causes around me I'd like to see sink into the ash heap of history, but nothing here to join or aspire to. Do you have a follow up to this post on some suggestions on where to find those with a mission worth joining?


You could sarge for one of their lieutenants. No need to report directly to the general.

Gamma's, OTOH, seem to shotgun across the personality spectrum. Any ideas on whether the Gamma clusters in any particular area?

Offhand, I'd suppose greater concentrations in the INFP region and any personality one letter removed. But the two risk factors to really look out for are 1) domineering mother, and 2) estrogenized face, primarily evidenced by fat accumulating on high cheekbones.

paworldandtimes said...

Any advice on practical leadership is MAJORLY appreciated.

I wrote this three-part series for struggling managers, specifically in response to a self-described gamma commenter who said that he has difficulty gaining his charges' respect. Not exactly your situation as descried, but may be useful:

Be The Boss (Part I)

PA

Mastermind said...

What if you're too self-absorbed to be a good leader or a good follower?

Start with a small project you can do yourself. I recommend something at least semi-grown up. IE: electronics, woodworking, gardening. No Vidya Games unless you're making one.

Aeoli Pera said...
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Aeoli Pera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aeoli Pera said...

I am trying to puzzle out how to inspire others to be more like I am as a worker, but 1) folks are lazy and 2) MPAI.

This is a typical problem for Deltas who find themselves thrust into management because they are competent workers. I'm not a leader, so you'll have to take the following advice with a mountain of salt because it's merely my intuitions on the matter. Hopefully it's at least worth what you're paying for it ;-).

You're trying to make other people be more like you. This is wrongheaded and comes from embedded equalist dogma- they aren't like you and never will be, they are completely different people with different abilities, personalities, dysfunctions, and aspirations. Your first goal is to understand these people as they actually are, and not focus on how they don't live up to what you wish they would be.

You think they should enjoy being effective workers? Most people don't want to work. Think about something you have trouble focusing on because you don't like it (maybe you have trouble keeping in shape, or keeping the accounting organized, or navigating regulatory government bullshit), then imagine they feel that way about working for you. Now you can view the workplace from their perspective as a rational, economic transaction where you have to pay them just to wake up early and show up every day, rather than the moralistic way that motivates you ("I take pride in being effective"). This may sound pessimistic but it's the basis of how capitalism works, and capitalism does work.

Now you understand the people and their connection to the mission. But you need to understand the mission too, in straightforward terms with no bullshit or moralizing. The mission is to make the numbers go up, grow the company's reputation, and acquire capital. People are also capital. You probably know this stuff pretty well already.

So we have three parts in this system:

1) the people under you
2) the mission
3) the transactional relationship between 1 and 2

Your job is the third one. You're the interface between the people and the mission and you have to find ways to match them up. If you take the time to honestly assess what the people under you have to offer and what they want from the company, then you can channel their motivations rationally. "If you do X you will receive Y." This is the incentives side of "carrot and stick", which is what actually inspires people.

You can't just use the carrot without the stick, but I'm sure since you're frustrated you've already fantasized about that plenty. (You should know the rules for effective punishment though if you don't already know them, look this up and memorize it! Punishments must be sparing, swift, appropriate, and easily understood by the recipient.) Applying discipline is a short-term solution for acute problems, and cannot be used as long-term motivation because stress degrades the body and mind over time. They will just quit, and turnover is more expensive than good leadership.

That should help you frame the problem. Remember, salt.

Scott C said...

"...only gammas and alphas naturally seek leadership..."

Could you devote an entry to this? How does this square with the gamma's "flat" hierarchy and aversion to conflict?

Super Snake (VFM #239) said...

@Durandel

But again, only online, never in my area.

I don't know if you are interested, or if you will ever see this. Regardless, you should checkout Identity Europa if you want to network with redpilled people in your local area. http://www.identityevropa.com/

Aeoli Pera said...

Offhand, I'd suppose greater concentrations in the INFP region and any personality one letter removed. But the two risk factors to really look out for are 1) domineering mother, and 2) estrogenized face, primarily evidenced by fat accumulating on high cheekbones.

I've changed my mind on the first risk factor. It's not domineering mothers that produces Gammas, it's the enabling ones who praise them and shield them from consequences, especially when there are no strong masculine figures in the picture to push in the other direction.

Revelation Means Hope said...

"I am trying to puzzle out how to inspire others to be more like I am as a worker, but 1) folks are lazy and 2) MPAI.
Any advice on practical leadership is MAJORLY appreciated."

You're looking for your mission at your JOB? Hmmm. Most people are not going to share your mission. Ever.

Practical leadership - look to Jesus of Nazareth. He took care of people's needs first. He mingled with them as someone who had a better way for them, but never forced anyone to take His way. He loved them. He was also the same person in Joshua 5:13-15, and in Revelation 19:11-21. So don't get too caught up in focusing on Him as being a wishy washy softy Savior like the churchians believe Him to be.

So practical leadership is caring about others, a lot, while still taking care of yourself and your family/tribe. You look for the better traits in them that you want to cultivate and grow and use. You tell them a vision of what they can realistically accomplish. And what the benefit will be to them. And don't try to sell them a long-term vision. Most people cannot think too far beyond a couple paychecks or their next vacation.

Ensure that you give them credit publicly for their accomplishments. Be excellent yourself. Inspire others to improve themselves, and accept that many won't maintain their gains and some few don't WANT to be better. Reward their steps in right direction to the desired behavior (kind of like training a child or a pet).

Be transparent about which behavior you're trying to improve in yourself, ask if they will help hold you accountable and seek their feedback on what you can do to improve that ONE trait. Ask them if they'd like you to reciprocate in helping them.

Own your failures, figure our what you can learn from them, and immediately move on with your mission.

And don't be distracted from your mission. And your mission should be inspiring to you, that motivates you on the bad days, and fires you up even hotter on the good days. That's why I'm skeptical of most people finding their mission at their job.

Robert What? said...

@JCclimber,

Your comment really reverberated with me. I am a leader in a small way: I own a small tech company with eight employees. There is never a down time when you are allowed to stop being a leader, even for a time. Unless you are, as you say, off by yourself. Fortunately I have eight superb lieutenants/soldiers that don't require a lot of hands on management.

Log said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Richard Nixon on the purpose of life:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc3IfB23W4c

Nixon argues that the purpose of life is the goal, the battle, the struggle.

VD said...

The only people with a mission I want to help with are people online like you, Vox, or Milo, Mike, Trump, etc.

That's because you want to join a team that is already winning. That's easy. But it's not anywhere nearly as satisfying as helping someone build something new.

1337kestrel said...

The first question to ask if you think your coworkers/ underlings are lazy and don't care about actually doing their jobs right is, why should they? A typical corporation doesn't reward hard work or punish willful negligence. An innovative employee who figures out how to automate his job will not be put in charge of process improvements for the rest of the department- he will be laid off as superfluous.

Managers are judged and paid based on how many employees they have, not on how efficiently the employees are used. They may be judged on utilization, but rarely output.

Projects (and the people who lead them) are judged based on meeting time and budget, and to a lesser extent on meeting the letter of the project scope. The results are typically not reviewed later.

Most actual results are produced by people who simply need the output of a broken process in order to meet their own metrics.

So- why should an average employee, who will never reach middle management, do anything more than the minimum necessary to keep his job?

As negative as all that was, it's possible to help the soulless corporation, have fun, and get rewarded in the process, but like Revelation said, it's about finding a way to align what needs to be done with what will be rewarded. Most people like to work a little bit. The things people hate are usually the unproductive and stressful parts of the job that need to be pruned anyway.

VFM said...

Being a VFM is my mission.

Durandel Almiras said...

@ VD - true. It's been fun watching you and the rest since 2006 to now. It helped me in some ways.

I've just never shaken this ennui or angst that I've had for over a decade. Nothing excites me. I keep trying new things to see if something will finally ignite my passion and interest. So far, I just feel unfocused and frustrated. It's a kind of hell I'd wish on no one.

Robert What? said...

@Durandel Almiras,

That is something many of us struggle with, myself included. I don't know how old you are or where you grew up, but if you grew up in the US anytime from the 1960s and onward, you have to remember that during your formative years you were subject unrelentingly to the Blue Pill, Feminine Imperative, You Go Grrl narrative. Until you realize that, it saps your resolve and your masculinity. Now that you do know that, get off your lazy ass and do something. Don't wait for the feeling. The feeling comes with the doing, not vice versa.

Durandel Almiras said...

@Robert What? - True. Thanks.

Unknown said...

All men could be leaders. They just couldn't have any male followers.

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