Awarded 7 months ago (2021-02-08)
When we began rethinking our approach to merit awards it quickly became obvious that we were lacking an effective performance-to-award scale. Some areas had awards covering a wider range of contributions than others. Others lacked anything at all. Overall, the two most obvious gaps were at the bottom of the performance scale and just before the top. We have had many people in leadership, across a wide variety of areas, over the past seventeen years. However, what we have not had are many truly outstanding leaders, resulting in a lack of continuity and foresight. Even at our height, when Pacifica was home to vastly more members than are around today, we were plagued by problems and countless opportunities were lost as a result, which could have ensured more of our members would stay.
This is why, when setting the bar for this award, there is but one choice. He led the Cyber Nations NPO through its biggest renaissance since the golden age of CN despite both the game and NPO being vastly smaller and less active. His questioning the status quo, ever seeking to improve and reach new heights, rationalizing decision making over impulsiveness, and always looking towards the future approach to management set a new standard for Pacifican leadership and brought about a renewed greater purpose to our community. His contributions have, in one form or another, helped shape every branch of the Order and still remain our guiding light today. He is, essentially, the father of modern Pacifica, after breaking an extended period of stumbling with little overarching purpose or continuity. I, of course, speak of our much beloved keeper of the Pacifican dungeons, Letum.
This recommendation will focus on three areas of Letum's performance as a leader.
- Ensuring strong Pacifican leadership
- Improving existing systems and creating new ones
- Planning for the future
Ensuring strong Pacifican leadership
Early on, Letum was quick to identify the faults in how the Order had long approached managing its leadership and departments; that they needed to work together rather than in isolation, as had been their operations for the prior decade. He came to realize that our structure was too rigid, with a great deal of needed work involving collaboration between the leadership of multiple departments and tasks not falling within the confines of any particular department or leader's jurisdiction. To this end, Letum came up with several extensive, even controversial, proposals for large-scale leadership restructuring and new positions aimed at overseeing aspects left unaddressed by our longtime hierarchical structure.
Ultimately he would tackle these problems in a variety of different ways. Several multi-department leadership committees and new departments were formed with agendas spanning multiple areas and/or covering responsibilities beyond the scope of other departments. These institutions quickly transformed our policies and guides with many new ideas, while placing a greater emphasis upon our culture and history to the average member. Letum would also begin to better engage department heads in the wider affairs of the Order by involving them in more discussions and setting extensive goals.
Letum made considerable advances in improving the training of present and future leadership. He set down many leadership expectations, for both work ethic and conduct, placing a particular emphasis upon leadership existing to serve the membership rather than the opposite. He emphasized that Pacifican leaders are meant to lead not rule, that leadership is not about getting what you want but rather what is best for the membership, and fostering communication between people in leadership roles. He also brought several retired members back to leadership roles to help pass down their expertise to future generations of Pacificans. For the first time in our history he pushed leadership in all areas to regularly review up-and-coming leaders and what transitions would be necessary in the event current leaders left office. This resulted in leadership discussing what could be done to improve the faults of future leadership candidates to develop a pool of talent for the future. Through these strategies Letum was able to ensure that existing leaders could retire and new ones were able to be promoted without loss of momentum.
Improving existing systems and creating new ones
Continued improvements to its processes, systems, and institutions are necessary for any organization to prosper and adapt to changing circumstances. We are no exception to this and have long held this principle as one of our core beliefs. Until Letum's leadership we had difficulty holding ourselves to that mantra, regularly oscillating between periods of great excellence and clumsy mistakes and failures, often brought on by arrogance, factionalism, and lack of accountability for leadership conduct.
To this end he made many difficult decisions to overhaul our approach to economics, nation development, and foreign affairs in Cyber Nations, including in ways previously deemed unfeasible. These decisions paid off immeasurably, with the alliance shattering numerous in-game records, surpassing its former peak in almost every way except for member count, and preparing itself for the game's inevitable demise.
As was previously mentioned, Letum oversaw the creation of several multi-department leadership committees and new departments to address projects in need of greater attention. One committee was tasked with managing the overhaul of our nation development policies and guides. The Research and Development department was formed to assist with this endeavor. The other committee was tasked with managing public relations and distributing information about happenings elsewhere in the game to Pacificans as well as distributing information about NPO to elsewhere in the game. The Pacific University department was formed to help educate Pacificans about our culture and history.
Several other bold ideas, such as splitting the alliance across different colors in-game, combining the Media Corps and Diplomatic Corps into a single department, and replacing the Imperial Officer system were proposed by Letum. Though these concepts never came to fruition in Cyber Nations, he encouraged a substantial amount of analysis and debate to take place over them and other branches experimented with his plans. Some aspects of these discussions would later be utilized in different ways when planning the alliance's structure consolidation to account for CN's ever-shrinking player base and activity levels.
Planning for the future
Letum firmly believed that we needed to be an organization for the present and future, not for the prior decade. Much of what he accomplished was geared towards the future; to create better members and leaders, to begin adjusting to CN's shrinking size, and to allow us to focus more on what comes next by bringing an end to the cycle we were trapped in.
Many of his contributions remain relevant influences upon our projects today, across all games. Letum's efforts to further leadership development and staff management practices serve as the foundation for establishing extensive reference materials and policies to define proper conduct for all leadership personnel across our entire organization. The need to promote a strong awareness of Pacifican culture and history is a significant influence on our revived Wiki and Pacific University projects. Most of all, Letum understood that for Pacificans to once again be highly invested in the New Pacific Order as a whole, more attractions than just a few aged browser games are necessary.
While Letum initially set out with the goal of winning Cyber Nations, what he also ultimately achieved was a rebirth of Pacifican purpose which has persisted for more than half a decade and continues to grow and evolve.