Monday, November 12, 2012

Lets boil it down to soup

Since I began doing guides, tips and advice on guild Management I have received a lot of feedback. The far majority has been great, and I am happy when some of my guides can help people out.

Worth to mention is, I began doing this recently - I have never been a blogger before, neither written any guides - or anything in particular really. I have never been much of a writer, not even in school - where I was distracted most of the time, drawing layouts for Warcraft II maps.

The tricky part about having a guild-management blog is, you do not have direct clear results or facts, as if you did a Dps or gear guide, which is basically math. Guild Management is managing people - and I believe people are all different, guilds are different, and therefore need different treatment.

Anyway, to make a long story short - which is essentially what I will try aim for now is: I have received feedback, saying my posts written are too long, than they are actually supposed to be - I kind of of realized that as well, now when it was mentioned to me - so I will in the future boil my guides down to be easier eatable by people, as well as trying to improve my writing in new posts.

With that said, I am really happy for constructive feedback, whether it is positive and negative. I believe having an open mind, gets you the furthest, so just poke me, in case you feel something can be improved, or you believe I misguide people (Which is definitely not the intention of any of my guides - it's the opposite!)

Lucky so far, no one has been misguided - at least not what I have heard of.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ranks and Officers - and how to use them

Officers are a crucial part of a guild, and can be a great help to the guild master, as well as bringing terrible consequences along, if they are not chosen carefully or kept right on track.

Officers should be considered as an equal member of a guild, but taking extra weight and responsibility on their shoulders - it is not a rank for rewarding a certain member, or a rank of status.

I truly believe, ranks in a guild, have nothing to do with status or power. In my experience, and in my beliefs guild ranks are merely tools, and all members are considered equal, with equal rights, no the matter rank.
The higher rank a person has, the more responsibility and features the person has aces to. It is as simple as that. Basically, the ones who work the hardest in relation to the guild's foundations gets the higher rank.

What is a rank then? - A rank is a tool. It is to unlock features to the people who are willing to use those features. Extra aces to the guild bank, the ability to invite people to the guild and so on.

Before promoting a member, you must always consider, if the person would benefit by the promotion. Would that person be using the features? Will they come in handy? And is the current member limited, in repairs, withdraws and features with his current rank? - And most importantly, will the person not be likely to abuse the rank?

A rank, in my eyes should never be a reward for: having the best gear, being the best dps, activity or for how long the person has stayed in the guild etc.
I see many Guild Masters doing the mistake of promoting people, to high ranks, purely because they are afraid of losing a member, who is one of their best raiders/pvpers or based on activity.
In that case, the person would consider the rank as a reward, and is likely to consider the rank only for "showing-off" purposes. Which is wrong - because it divide members into "good players, casual players, and bad players."

As soon as you have members, with high ranks in your guild - who do not benefit to the guild in the ways you want to, it will be a lot harder to distribute the ranks to the people, who actually do contribute. So chose your promotions carefully!

Choosing Officers: 
I currently do not have any officers in my guild, and I have not had any, for a couple of years now. The rank is still accessible to whenever I find an officer who I believe is suitable.
There is no need to hand out officer ranks, even if you do not have any, and go for the 2nd best you can find. You should only compare the ranks to what you feel is expected from the ranks, not divide the ranks, by comparison to your members.

That is one of the reasons I have not found an officer yet - I simply have not come across a person, who would live up, to my expectations and the job required to be an officer for my guild. But the preference of an officer can vary from guild to guild.

So when you have to find an officer, be absolutely sure what you expect from an officer.
Here are some examples:
  • Knowing 100% what the guild stands for, what the goals and achievements are. <- Very important
  • Managing a guild webpage / Blogs
  • Do in game, and out-of-game recruiting 
  • Public relations - reaching out to local communities (such as realm forums etc.)
  • Encounter and solving guild related problems 
Reconsider you promote someone to officer "just" because they are Raid Leading. Honestly, and in my opinion raid leading is not a difficult job - and about half of everyone in my 10 man raiding group, can take the job upon themselves, as raid leader. Some Guild Masters might automatically promote Raid Leaders to Officers - Which I believe is a very bad idea. A Raid Leader is purely about leading raids - while the most important things, that makes a guilds cogs turn smoothly, are all the other aspects of guild management, such as listed above. Which are responsibilities not many wish to take, and therefore such people are hard to find.

Helping out with gear, stats, tactics, Raid Leading etc. is something you can expect for middle ranks to take care of. These are also responsibilities a lot of players can live up to - which concludes it would not make much sense, making these Officers. Otherwise before you know of it, you have too many officers - or too many officers to choose from.
Tactics, Raid Leading, Gear, etc is knowledge and responsibilities a lot of players can easily live up to.and therefore it is not a job, I consider as hard, difficult and time consuming as what is previously listed, such as pure guild management.

So make sure you find someone who can in the long run, help you to carry your guild in the right direction, and knows in what direction as well, and to maintain the atmosphere and goals that you have in mind for your guild. 
Choosing an officer, who do not share similar views, can eventually kill your guild - so choose wisely, and be picky! - And despite you might have officers, continue to try and engage all members into what is going on in the guild, no matter rank, activity, and so on. Because this opens up the possibility for new members or low rank members, to show their potential to perhaps take higher responsibility upon themselves.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Approach problems and failure - don't avoid them.

  As a guild you will always have problems - and problems cannot be avoided. Many choose to look through their fingers, when problems occur and hope for them to disappear, however it is very important, that the guild master is aware of all potential problems in the guild.

If you do not engage the problems, they will either become a lot bigger and complicated, or they might destroy the good atmosphere and foundation for some of your members, or in worst cases your entire guild.

It is therefore a really good ability to be able to detect problems as soon as they happen - even before they happen. The sooner you deal with them the better - then it doesn't matter if it is just a minor issue - that issue might turn bigger over time, if it is not dealt with.

If there is something which does not feel right to you, even if it is arguments between members, you somewhat need to interfere. A guild is like a company, and when you have a lot of different people with different backgrounds all together,  and chances are, not all will get along – but we all need each other, and in theory there should be room for every one as well, as long as it is within reason and it doesn’t have a negative impact on the guild, the atmosphere, and how it is run.

It is better, to settle things between members – I have experienced from other guilds, members trying to convince others to leave, to get some people kicked or feel like an outcast – only because of personal or competitive reasons.

It is very important that a broken link is found in time, before he/she manages to ruin things for another member, or perhaps several members, for his/her own benefits.
I have a few examples in my own guild – who have been around for years. They are great and solid members – but they are far from good players, and never will be. However – they know my exact feelings and thoughts about them. They know I will avoid picking them for raids, if we are in need of better players for a raid.
I have a few examples in my own guild – who have been around for years. They are great and solid members – but they are far from good players, and never will be. However – they know my exact feelings and thoughts about them. They know I will avoid picking them for raids, if we are in need of better players for a raid.
But there is left plenty of room to them, they are being judged on their awesome personalities, not their performance - which is unfortunately forgotten around many guilds these days.
Remember what guild you want, how you want it, and how you want to run it – and stick to it!

In general it is essential you keep your guild on track, and you maintain the attitude and atmosphere you wish in your guild – keep it good, and judge new members carefully – again having a member who fits your guild, but might be under-geared is a lot more valuable than an over-geared douche.

Same concepts can be applied to failure -
If you don't learn to fail, you fail to learn.

It is important to be able to handle failure well as a guild master. Expecting every player, to be at the same level, or avoiding mistakes can result in you losing good atmosphere and potentially good members. Some members are more than raiders, and good players, and members who contribute to an active chat and a good atmosphere, are in my opinion just as valuable as a skilled raider.

You rather want to have a member who is far from the best in damage or healing – but who is loyal, honest and reliable. Increasing skills and gathering gear – is a lot easier approach, than having a skilled player, who is acting like a douche, and is essentially only bringing good gameplay to the guild – and nothing else, besides a smelly attitude.

Be careful not to bash your members and use them as bad-examples to the rest of your members.  Focus on the solutions instead, and make sure they will be noticed instead.
Some members might never improve and will always be the rock bottom – however make sure they know – there is no harm in telling people about their own performance, as long as you can prove to them, what is wrong, in a nice way. If they fail to understand - then they might not be suitable for the guild.