I wouldn’t imagine so many things will change with the shift from officer-in-charge to guildmaster position that happened week or so back. I must say, I was really surprised when I looked back and compared my time as officer to my time as guildmaster, because honestly, I wasn’t expecting much to change. But lots of things did change. Maybe not anything major that would strike you at first sight, but enough small changes that add up to something you can notice.
The post was supposed to be about what changed about me, but turned into post about discovering the absolute truths of guild leading by myself. Truths that you can see on any blog written by guild leader, but hey, it was fun to write.
I must say this one surprised me very much and pretty much covers many other changes. I did not expect my attitude towards the guild to change, afterall the only thing that changed was that my rank-name changed, I was running the guild before. Well, not true. There is certain difference between being a caretaker and being the official leader. Mainly responsibility. I mean, now it’s “my” guild. I am the one in charge, it’s my name up there. I somehow feel this is not the way I felt about the guild before. Sure, I did my best to push it forward, I did my best to make the best possible decision for the guild, but at the end of the day, there was always this – well, I did what I could and if it fails, it’s not my fault, I am just trying to emergency fix what is broken. Well, the guild ain’t broken now. We have promising people, we have rules, we have working officer crew, we have members and we are supposed to run. And if anything goes wrong, it’s my fault as a leader, for making the wrong call. And that attitude shift moved into all aspects of leading.
I AM NOT YOUR BUDDY ANYMORE
Yeah, we can still fool around and have fun. Jokes about squids and stuff, all fine and dandy. But if you do any mistake, I will call you out on that. If I need you to step up the game, I will tell it to you. It’s the part when I am not your friend anymore. It’s the part where I am administrator and manager of the guild and there is nothing else than the best benefit of the guild on my mind. I am not doing that to bully you and I try my best to do it in a polite way enough not to make you feel embarrassed. However, it is something I have to do to perform my job a guild leader. It’s not my personal vendetta or sitting on you for any joke you made. It’s not me turning into Mr. Hyde all of a sudden, it’s just me doing my job (actually, I believe the more jokes and anecdotes will you create / share with your guild leader, the more happy will they be. It gives us stories to tell to cheer wiping raid up. It makes us feeling like one of “ordinary members” and not the ugly bad cops herding cats.)
As well, the responsibility for recruitment went higher. It’s not anymore about starting up the guild, it’s about finding balance nd getting quality in. Like it or not, with open recruitment like we sport (applications being reposted for all-guild discussion in private forums), many of your guildies rely on your judgement call. And you have to be really carefull who you invite. You need to know how the heart of the guild beats, feel the rhythm. You will be usually the first one to respond to the application thread and the discussion will often start from your input. You have to keep the discussion on track, keep people in line, consider what demands and objections are void and what are based on real situation. And you must have the balls to decline the applicant if you don’t feel they would fit in as a person. And all you got for that decision is your gut.
THE ART OF SAYING “NO”
From recruitment to handling the everyday situations on forums and in game, a Guildleader’s most valuable skill is the skill to say “No”. Often I have to decline requests or ideas just because it’s not the right time for them, or put them on-hold. Really, my head and desk is filled with post-it notes about who said what and when would be good time to solve it, give it a shot or open a discussion about that. And I have to say “No” to people quite often – ranging from selecting healers and tanks who will go dps that night (telling them they will not play their mainspec in which they have most fun), through applicants that don’t fit in because of their experience and gear (lack thereof) and applicants that are outstanding but would just not fit in, to your guildies who want this, that and although all those needs are legitimate, you need to maintain balance.
I AM GOING TO NEED A HIDEOUT
That’s right. I believe every guild leader out there has one or two alts to hide on, alts that no one else knows about, or in my case, have two stages of hiding. My gnome mage is alt that people know I have, some outside the guild know the name, but no one in the guild does. Sort of. It’s relaxing to have a place to enjoy the game and actually not have to worry about anything else than if speed of frost leveling would beat the fact how boring it is to push Frostbolt all over and over. It actually made me think if it would be possible to create a hideout guild for leaders and officer alts. And how would such guild looked like? Because, it’s good not to have to worry about stuff, but it gets lonely.
WIM IS GODSEND ADDON
WoW Instant Messenger. An addon I considered to be absolutely redundant – and believe me I am sporting many useless addons. But since I became guildmaster, it’s a must have tool for me. Because once you get officially appointed and have the GM rank next to your name, people, all sorts of people, talk to you. In guild issues, site registration issues, recruitment queries. It keeps track of whispers separately, lets me scroll, copy (even in BBC formatting) and does many more things to prevent my head turning into balloon.
THE ISSUE OF AGE RESTRICTION IN RECRUITMENT:
WIM lead me to this issue – I got this whisper the other day from some guy, asking if the 18+ we have as restriction is solid rule or just soft filter. I had to think about it, but came to conclusion it’s a solid rule. It’s not because our guild chat would be full of sexual innuendos and swearing, quite the opposite actually; there are silly jokes and if there appears any sexual remark, they were so far all related to our avatars and not the persons behind them. But we require some stability, appreciation of other person’s time and the ability to manage your own time. Stay up longer shall it be required, not getting grounded. As well, I know I am generalizing, but the chance they will break under pressure and just emo-rage at you is lesser.
I’ve seen this rule omitted before, for good and for bad results and well, as far as I am concerned, this rule is solid. I know I might be loosing on a great member by declining you based on age, but “it’s better to turn five guilty men loose than it is to convict one innocent man,” according to ex-Mississippi executioner and roadside fruit stand operator Thomas Berry Bruce. In the same spirit – I will rather pass on the opportunity to have a good player rather than risk getting a rotten apple in.
AROUND THE INTERWEBZ
What’s new in the Shaman blogosphere? Well drug from ShieldsUp explains once again why is the 2T10 for restoration awesome, which is well worth reading and finishes with this important message to tanks.
In relation to drug’s post about 2T10, latest post by Vixsin from Life in Group 5 about Shamans and tankhealing is a must-read too. Great breakdown, great advices, great post.
And my servermate Chayah has announced a short-time inactivity which unfortunately means less analyzing and number-crunching for the community, however he supplies us with entertainment of his guest posters.