Since we don't have a generic "members only" forum section, I'm putting it here. Hopefully, due to the nature of the content, it's not controversial. I posted something similar years ago on the Staff forums, but it was probably a bit misunderstood, so let's try again:
This may seem weird, coming from somebody who criticizes the SSgts from time to time, but I would like to sincerely thank you for the work you're doing and the work that has been revealed to me now, with the opening of the brainstorming submission forums. This extends to RnD and MMT and other branches as well!
Regardless of how well you're doing your job (and some people would question that), you show an interest in doing it and that counts for a lot in my book, whatever the motivations are.
Community vs leaders
You see - my fear about leadership roles is always about how leaders approach their responsibilities. Sometimes, leaders lose track of what's actually important and rather focus on what they personally prefer, going into super defensive mode when somebody presents a new idea. The discussion then becomes a "fight" between the folk trying to come up with new arguments to convince the leader, and the leader coming up with new reasons why their idea (and hence the current state of things) is better. That is when anything constructive ceases to exist and nobody benefits.
Please be wary of this. One thing that helps is to try to disassociate who you are (as a person) from what you believe in - you can then spend less time focusing on defense and more objectively evaluate whether the new idea is in fact better for the community.
Maybe the answer should, instead of "no", be "yes, but ...".
One positive thing I see in the brainstorming submissions that I would like to highlight as much as I can is cooperation.
When we go into brainstorming, our goal as community members is to improve the community and the experience of players. And we want leadership that can help us achieve that, not leadership that blocks us on everything we do, not leadership that adds unnecessary levels of bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy.
It's important to realize that we're all in this together and we're doing it for the community, not to satisfy the leadership. If some things need to be adjusted, tested, changed, sure - just keep the end goal in clear view.
And the great thing is that I can see this happening, I just want to shout this so you know and don't lose track!
The power of contribution
This approach is very nicely illustrated by many meritocracy-based OSS (Open Source Software) projects where even seemingly stupid and unuseful contributious are guided, selflessly, by the project managers. Because the goal is not the code. It's teaching the contributor that - if they're willing to put in the work - nobody is going to block them. It's about the approach and people management, not only the end result.
It's also like the stock market; by contributing, you become a partial owner of the project and, through your contributions, you get to dictate (to a lesser extent) the direction of the project.
It turns out this is very healthy in the unpaid OSS market exactly because the people doing the work are the most valued people, not an arbitrary chosen leader. It is healthy because maintaining respect then comes naturally. It is healthy because it motivates people to do work, to engage, and as long as they are willing to talk and listen to each other, everybody benefits.
Mainly the respect, though - it's way easier to respect somebody who thinks deeply about their responsibilities and makes sure their duties are met, rather than somebody who "elected" themselves into a position of power.
Where I'm going with this
Leaders, please don't be afraid. Don't fear that giving people the power and authority over <something> will destroy all things. I know this won't happen overnight, it's just something to think about.
In the past, you created the RnD and MMT departments, but they are really your subordinates. They don't necessarily have the power to decide on key things in their area of expertise because you hold the keys to the kingdom.
From what I heard, RnD can't push mod changes without your approval and code review, MMT probably has similar restrictions. That doesn't make any sense to me as it sounds like overprotective parenting and you just adding more work on your table.
Please consider, in the back of your head and in some future, giving exclusive authority on some things to RnD, MMT, PR and other branches. So that, even if you don't like the decisions, they have the authority to make them. You can still veto some extreme cases of breaking community ethos, just not everyday work.
If you do this, you stand to gain a LOT of respect because it shows you're willing to reward, with responsibility and authority, the people that make the things happen. And because you're willing to risk it, at your own expense, which makes you look really selfless.
Where I'm really going with this
I actually really just wanted to say, from looking at the replies to submissions: Good work!
As long as we're willing to work together and have a two-way discussion, I don't fear the future.