[Northkeep] Canditate or not, food for thought for all of us. [long]

Jack Skinner Jack.Skinner at Thrifty.com
Wed Aug 8 13:14:59 PDT 2001

Most aptly presented!!!  Kieran

-----Original Message-----
From: Niewoehner, Hugh [mailto:hughn at SSD.FSI.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2001 2:57 PM
To: northkeep at ansteorra.org
Subject: [Northkeep] Canditate or not, food for thought for all of us.

With all the questions floating around, I want to post the following text.
It may bring up some new questions or put a different angle on what some of
the candidates have to say or think about.
These are excerpts of a discussion between myself and someone who has
_recently_ held the offices of Coronet and Crown.  I believe these to be
applicable to those who seek not only a Coronet or Crown, but those who
would hold office as well.

I've omitted some stuff that has already been said, etc.

       Damon Notacandidateheimer

*** Begin included text ****

Though many people are willing to serve the Baronage, it is important to
always remember that the Baronage is there to serve the group.  It will feel
like work - it should feel like work.  But that's okay - work can be fun if
done right.
There are new folks whose idea of "nobility" in the SCA will be their
Baronage.  The Baronage should represent everything that's cool about the
SCA. There will be people who will look up to the new baronage the same way
we did to Steven and Arwen when we were new.  That sense of awe is
important. But so is the sense that they are people.
The Baronage is the chief cheerleader.  The power you can have to inspire
people is scary.  Use it to help them enjoy more of the SCA.  Widen your
horizons and drag them with you. If you make something sound fun, others
will believe you - and that can make it fun - even if its a shitload of
Work with your officers. Build a team that moves in the same direction and
there is little that you can't do. Support them, work with them.  The
Baronages are more than just ceremonial  position.  They are leaders.  Lead.
People typically want to be lead - but they don't want to be ordered.
Persuade and convince with your tone, your words and your smile and you'll
be amazed what can happen.
Be the Baron for everyone.  Not just your friends, or the folks who think
like you, but for the new goob who clearly has no clue, for the old peer who
resists any change, for the lady in the corner who's not sure why she's
here, and for the knight who barely plays in his own barony.
A barony divided can and will hurt the game.  There will always be politics,
but make it the politics of looking to work together.
The politics of finding the best and most fun solution for everyone.
There is no doubt that a ruler in the SCA can make things nice for
themselves.  With some effort they can often get almost everything _they_
want.  But that's not why they were given the position - the position is
there to get what the _people_ want or perhaps what they need in those times
when they are not the same.  Sometimes (perhaps even often) that means the
baronage (or the Crown) must sacrifice their personal desires for those of
the group.
Showmanship.  Court is theater - never forget that.  It is hard to keep
courts interesting - but always try.  Give the old timers a reason to
listen to _another_ baronial court. Make them smile, or laugh from time to
time.  Do things to break the pattern or monotony. At the same time, explain
things for the newer members so they feel part of things.
98% of your words in court should be loud enough for everyone to hear
clearly even from the back. Make people part of court by some things that
allow then to move, act, or speak. The old golden turkey for new officers is
that kind of thing.  Stock phrases they can respond to also help.  I used
"Its not just an event - its a war" so often that the populace would shout
the second half back.
The people want "tags" they can pin on their rulers.  Lyriel's "well known"
love of shopping was just such a thing. Everyone knew
that she _loved_ to shop, so they became part of her by enjoying this as
well. Baronial shopping expeditions at wars, etc... Our Royal shopping
muster as Crown, was a play on this same thing.
Some of the people called into a baronial court will never be called before
the Crown.  This is their one moment in the spotlight.
Make it special for each one. Talk to them, but also talk to the people
about them.  Make them smile or even cry.
One of the coolest things of being Baron and King was getting to watch the
looks on peoples faces when they get an award.  Cherish that.  The look on
someone's face when they get an AoA may help keep you in perspective so it
never becomes "just an AoA"
Don't bore the Kingdom with your local awards.   Hold your courts for _your_
people.  If you do business before the Kingdom, make it special.  The
barony's top awards, or a cool award for a well loved person. The only thing
more boring than a local court is someone else's local court. If you are
doing more than 2 or 3 things before the Kingdom you should be thinking
pretty hard about why.
The Baronage is the first link from the people of your land to the Crown.
Keep good relations with your Crowns.  Send award recs for your people and
you will find them regularly acted on.  If you don't, don't count on anyone
else doing it.
Get out and about your Barony regularly.  Go to a variety of local
activities. Occasionally show up to things that are not in your normal
fields of interest - sewing night, or whatever.
Don't be afraid to admit when you are wrong - you will be.  Learn and move
Have fun.  Laugh at yourself from time to time and don't be afraid to play.
BUT, be sure you can turn the switch to more serious so its obvious to
everyone for the more serious aspects of your job.  The Clown prince idea is
fun for a while but then it gets old and perhaps embarrassing.  Laugh when
its appropriate and be regal when it matters.
It's a really really cool job, but it is certainly work.  And if it
ceases to be fun, and becomes nothing but work, be prepared to step aside.

It's better to go out on top and still enjoy the game than to burn out and
hurt yourself and your Barony.
I've already written more than I intended and rambled quite a bit.  I'm sure
I have forgotten important things as well, but let me include here the
advice which was given me in our Coronation ceremony.  It applies to a Baron
as well as a King.

       This crown, a circlet, the sign of our land
       The sign of the king, the sacrificed man
       He thinks first of his men, their beasts, their land
       And last of the pride that flows from sword hand.
       A child may play in a castle tower
       The king who does soon sees the hour
       The land he rules has lost all power
       The glory once sweet is spoiled and sour.
       By law and by custom is the king bound
       No one beyond these limits may be found
       We turn for justice to those who are crowned.
       The King respects what the people hold dear
       Though he like it not, to their hopes gives ear
       He champions their cause and stands against fear
       If the people prosper, that is his cheer.
       The greatest of burdens falls to the king
       In times of woe, he must cheerfully sing
       In times of crisis, a level head bring
       The first to battle but last retreating
       By each of their subjects, kingdoms are known
       Before us that mirror of honor is shown
       A circlet of metal, polished and honed
       On the brow of a man, one of our own.

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