Exclusive to Galactic Holofeed Channel Zeta OMicron Gamma 111, Major Snarl is online with Command Decisions, a weekly column that looks at guild management, and the perils and rewards within. Tune into the transmission after getting that big walking carpet out of the way…
At ease, TORWarriors! When we broke last session, I asked you to write down three things:
1) The vision for your guild;
2) Your guild’s mission;
3) The objectives required to achieve your mission.
Did you bring that with you? Good! It looks like a lot to do and it is, but…What’s that? Yes, you–the Devaronian in the third row; you seem agitated. You’re all alone? I’m going to have to ask you to calm down sir. You say you can’t do this–I SAID SIT DOWN SIR!!–by yourself? Aaaah…I see. You think this list is only for you to do! That would be a negative sir; that’s why…
Sir? Sir? I guess the tranq-dart’s sedatives kicked in; thank you Elara. He’ll have to review the holofeed recording when he wakes up. For the rest of you: Let’s talk about officers.
If you want a sure-fire, guaranteed way to burn out as a guild leader, try to do everything yourself. I assure you, it will not take long. Let’s look at some of the various things involved in managing a guild: Recruitment and promotion (in-game, on the official and fan-site forums), banking which includes wealth and item management, Ops leading, resolving player disputes…and then there’s that whole “playing the game” thing.
Officers are an extension of yourself, your sanity buffer. They not only share your vision for the guild, they are also willing to put in the work–ie, tackling those objectives–to advance the mission and keep your vision on track. That means selecting your officers is crucial. Since you can’t be online all the time, they might be the only presence of authority for the members. You need to be confident your fellow leaders are helping to advance the objectives, the mission and the vision.
Some observations about assembling your command crew:
The best player isn’t always the best officer. Just because someone is the best PvPer or #1 DPS in Ops doesn’t mean they’re officer material. When dealing with people–and that’s who make up your guild–gear and game mechanics go out the window. If your best tank has a problem with people “below” him in terms of skill or gear, that’s a clear DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!
Personality is a factor but not THE factor. Don’t promote someone just because they’re popular in the guild or always fun in a group, gchat or an Ops. That may be an advantageous small group political move at the time, but it can be a disastrous organizational one long-term. How someone acts in voice chat during an Op, or in guild chat can be drastically different from how they react to suggested policy changes, or whether they quickly handle drama in gchat online or on your forums. Leadership is not about being liked, though certainly it’s a plus. Leading is about doing what’s necessary to make sure the majority can enjoy a positive gaming experience.
The needs of the many… A good officer understands (as do you) that even after a hard day or RL struggles, when they get online they may have to put aside what they want to do in order to make sure the guild’s membership is taken care of first. Hopefully you and your command team help each other out, so that no one person is shouldering the entire burden.
Otherwise, you might as well be doing it all yourself, and no one wants that.
Your feedback is welcome and encouraged. If you have a comment about this or any other Command Decisions article, or have a question about guild management for Major Snarl send a wave to majorsnarl [at] gmail [dot] com or post in the comments section below!