The Final Ride: The Road To Retirement

Retirement is always a big thing within armies as it sees beloved members depart from an army or the community. However, there is a lot that goes on in the lead-up to a person’s retirement including making the decision to retire.

Designed by Master DS

Since the dawn of armies, we have seen many community members come and go. Retirements are often spoken about within the community as they are seen as big events. However, something that is not talked about as much is the process leading up to a person’s retirement. This process is bound to be different for different people. An example of this is that a leader’s retirement may need to be handled more carefully in comparison to a staff member’s. Yet, there is still a process that has to be taken for both.

One of the main things, in the lead-up to retiring is deciding whether or not it is the right choice, not only for the army but personally too. Some people may decide to retire after a rough time in the community, making a rushed decision. However, some may need to get out of a bad situation but simply do not know how to leave their army. A person’s attachment to the army is crucial when talking about the process because if a person wants to leave but is heavily attached to the army for whatever reason, they may be easily swayed to stay.

Despite this, the thought of retirement poses many questions. “Will the army be able to keep their momentum without me”, “Will people hate me for leaving”, “Should I really leave?…Is there anywhere that’s truly right for me”. These are just some of the questions that will go through a person’s mind. It is imperative to try and look at all sides when deciding the next move. Ultimately, it is important that the person does what’s best for them.

Calgocubs’ retirement from the Army of Club Penguin

As well as this, it is crucial to make sure that others are aware of your intentions. This will allow the person to come together with leaders or HCOM to allow the army to plan how to move forward. Before a person retires, they want to make sure the army is stable and will maintain any momentum they have. Therefore, allowing for a smooth transition.

One of the things that leaders have to consider is the future generations of the army, whether this be the induction of a new leader or making sure the Staff/HCOM team is stable. Not only this but leaders, as mentioned above, can become attached to an army. If a leader has been leading for a long period of time, they will have a sense of duty and loyalty to the army. However, this attachment can quickly become unhealthy if it stops a person from retiring when they need to. Not only can it interfere with a person’s real-life responsibilities but it can affect them mentally. Furthermore, it can lead them to hate the army or even lead to a messy retirement.

With that being said, Club Penguin Armies approached some retired leaders to find out the process behind their retirement.

What was the process behind your retirement? Was there anything you had to consider or do before you could, eventually, retire?

Aaronstone: Well I was 23 and I wasn’t getting any younger, I had just started a new job and WV had 2 other fantastic leaders in Dino and Mabel so I felt the time was right to pass over the reigns. I wanted to win Legends Cup but it obviously didn’t turn out the way the I wanted which was disappointing but it was time to move on.

Hidcre: Honestly, i just had to talk to the other leaders about it, because one thing i will not do is suddenly leave and have everyone confused, if you’re ever thinking about retiring or are going to do so, always let your peers know beforehand so they aren’t filling in holes, set it in stone and discuss it. there wasn’t really anything i had to do prior though cause i was already barely showing up to events and meetings due to real life events, now i just judge, and at that i don’t judge because there’s barely any battles happening anyway

Calgocubs21: To be honest leading up to my retirement there wasn’t really an extremely structured process behind all of it. I paid little attention to my retirement itself and put little to no effort towards retiring because I was always so focused on the army itself and ensuring I carried out everything I wanted to do. This was evident in the lack of an official retirement post being prepared on the day of my retirement from leading as my time was put towards events such as winning Legends Cup, winning the EGCP war, building an alliance with RPF, planning and organizing the Shamrock Bulletin theme week and Battle of the Newspapers, and our 3rd Annual End of Summer Awards. I was always so focused on leading and improving the army in any way that I could that by the time my retirement date arrived I had nothing prepared as I preferred to spend the time I had left on the army itself rather than for myself. My biggest concerns prior to my retirement were of course the stability of the army, ensuring there was a future line of succession with possible future leaders in our ranks, and making sure everyone was well trained and equipped to take over my responsibilities so that quality would not drop. I think my biggest consideration was what I wanted to devote my remaining time towards and ultimately I wanted to focus on areas where I was unable to touch upon before such as rebuilding our alliance with RPF.

When was the first time you considered retirement? Did anything postpone your plans?

Aaronstone: Probably before legends cup and no nothing postponed it iirc

Hidcre: I never really had time to “consider” retirement, i was already busy so i was just like yeah i dont wanna keep holding yall up and i stepped down

Calgocubs21: I considered retirement several times throughout my leadership. The first time I thought about quitting and throwing in the towel was at my lowest point almost a year ago after getting trampled in Christmas Chaos. It was one of my most embarrassing performances, but ultimately it made me stronger and made me wanna improve as a leader and win even more. I think the first time retirement felt very feasible for me though was in June after World War 9 had concluded. I had put a lot of thought into what I had achieved and what I still wanted to achieve and decided that I wanted to give it my all to go out on the highest note possible before the fall. Thats when I decided to break the news to my staff that Legends Cup would be my last tournament as leader. I was hoping this news would shock them to the core as a team as we spent many months together through both highs and lows and ultimately this news helped push them to go all out. I never really set an official date until around late August, early September though and I did at one point consider postponing my plans because I had so much left I still wanted to accomplish.

To what extent did you have to analyse the army’s progress and stability before stepping away? Did you have to reassure your staff team at any point?

Aaronstone: No WV was in good hands

Hidcre: We realized the reason the army wasnt at it’s best was because we all as leaders at the time weren’t doing enough, we made a group plan to chip in, but as hard as i tried i really just couldnt

Calgocubs21: I analyzed everything from chat activity to our turnout at every division event and looked for solutions to any problems or areas that we were still struggling in. Everyday I was observing the army to ensure that my leave would not have an effect on the army long-term. I did have to reassure some staff and troops a long the way and thats perfectly okay! Change can be quite tough for everyone, buts its important that we reassure them and guide them along. Morale and trust in the army goes a long way in terms of success so its important to maintain that.

Are there any components that have to be considered before retiring from an army that people may not realise?

Aaronstone: Make sure you get closure

Hidcre: Always consider the feeling of coming back, like there’s the people that step down and then theres the people that really do retire, those who step down is almost like a hiatus and aren’t totally sure if they’re coming back

Calgocubs21: Yeah the ultimate lesson that takes time for all leaders to learn is that future leaders need time to grow and spread their wings, hovering over them will only hurt that progress. As much as we wanna ensure that our armies succeed far after we retire thats is just not feasible goal to attain on our own. As we’ve seen in many such instances in other highly successful armies, armies constantly go through cycles of highs and lows as new leaders take the helm and the staff team slowly changes. This is ultimately inevitable and all armies are effected by this. That being said as leaders we can leave behind a culture and structure thats influences the army and its people as individuals. That could be as simple as tools and guides that the staff uses to improve quality of life features or even on a deeper level to the culture of how people behave in the army. The simple lesson is as scary as it is to retire and let go of something you poured your heart into, you must trust in the future generations to carry out your will in their own way.

It is amazing to see the different responses of these three former leaders. Assumedly, they would all agree that communication is important. Setting the army up for the future is always an important factor in a person’s retirement, which could lead to a delay. However, there was no need for a delay for these former leaders. All of their armies were stable enough for them to leave when they needed to.

These responses do bring a big question with them, however. How different was the process for other leaders or members of the community? If you want to see that question answered then be sure to let us know!

Do you think that there’s a lot more to retirement than meets the eye? Will we see more retirements in the near future? Is the next generation of leaders looking bright?

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Mchappy is interning at Club Penguin Armies as the Chief Executive Producer. Max held him at gunpoint to finish his biography.

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