Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

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Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by Littlepip on Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:15 am

Following the election of a new leader in the Braves soon I wish to ask this question to everyone out there that has been the leader in a situation or in a guild. What does it mean to be a leader to you, and how was it like being the one in control (If you had any control, that is)
My personal experience in being the leader of a group of friend and once the leader of a guild. (Which I failed badly) Is that to throw sugestions, being friendly yet having a firm grip is important. I don't lead so much, only have the final word, letting my officers do most if not all my work for me.

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by Kozgugore Feraleye on Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:00 am

Not sure if it's personal experiences or simple tips that you're looking for, but I suppose either can come down to the same thing well enough. Throughout the years, I've found that there's several things that can make leading a guild a lot more pleasant as well as the least stressful to anyone involved.

Don't lose sight of what it is you're doing, namely coordinating a group of people in a -video game-: Be open towards others' suggestions or concerns, let everyone feel welcome, do not give drama any room in the guild and if it does occur, try to handle it as discreetly as possible so that others aren't bothered, don't let yourself get manipulated by sources either in- or outside your guild; you can make your own judgement and conclusion after careful consideration of all things involved (though fellow officers should be there to help in such matters too), accept the fact that others can sometimes be asshats and try to decide whether they're worth keeping around in spite of their faults or get rid of them. All of these can be summed up in a simple rule: Don't be an asshole - it's just a video game.

As for what it means, I personally don't really care all that much about it. That is, not in regards to any "power" that it might bring. Some people just love having their titles of power and responsibility in the game, but that's not why you should want to become a GM, or even an officer for that matter. You should want to become one because you enjoy creating events or RP for other people, and because you love your guild so much that you want to ensure it lives on and remains a healthy environment for all involved to interact in. Be it for guild leadership or an officer, ensure either are chosen with the knowledge that they (still) enjoy the game, enjoy interaction with the guild's members, are not prone to unnecessary drama and have a stable situation, either in-game or in real life. The latter may seem redundant because people's real lives are their own to deal with, but if you appoint someone who has recently had a family member pass away, is experiencing a stressful period in their life or is plainly bordering depression will be better off enjoying the game as a regular member - at least until such matters are sorted out.

As for how I experienced it, that can be said in two different ways. The first would be an absolute kind of leadership where over the course of quite a few years, I organised everything by myself and kept things in check single-handedly. The second would be the more recent kind, where I've taken a step back and handed over some of the reins to fellow officers. Whereas the first allows you, personally, more freedom when it comes to deciding things and it's all in your own hands, there's always the risk of things mucking up if you end up having less motivation or time. If guild leadership ever starts feeling like a second job (one that you don't get paid for), you know something is wrong. The latter kind helps mitigate that, and eases the workload you might experience as a guild leader. So if you're capable of relying on fellow officers, you should definitely consider doing that. Take a step back, and take on more of a role of an "overseer" where you step in if need be, and decide on the bigger issues when they occur. You're just one cog in the big machine - not the big machine itself. Which means you're expendable as well when things come down to it, so don't get on any high horses.
Moreover, the most important thing in the latter method is that both GM and the officers are on friendly terms with one another, and are capable of remaining so when push comes to shove. You needn't all be closely-knit friends, as that in itself can end up being a disadvantage when it comes to having a diversity of opinions within your officer team, but the realization that you're all in this together as a team should at the very least be there.

On a final note: Enjoy the damn game. Or at least the RP it provides. Like I said, it's not supposed to be a second job. You do something like this on a voluntary basis - because you enjoy the game and the company you have in it. If you don't enjoy things any more, let other people help you out or take a step back when the right time comes for it.

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by Izzifix on Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:19 am

Now, I only lead the Freelancers for a very short period of time. Most of what I did, honestly, was trying to set up a good chain of command, with the right officers at the right ranks. That and keeping a sort of "main plot" going for the guild in between the regular RP. RP-wise it was a very enjoyable time.

About "being in control" though, that's where the challenge was at. When Radke started the guild (bought it from some pvpers, I mean) we had a very clear rule of recruiting everything. It worked well. Then, shortly after I took over, it exploded in our faces, sort of. We had some groups of people in the guild that just didn't work together. I had to handle drama basicly every time I logged in and just wanted to RP for a period. That one of the officers put in position by the previous GM also contributed to this made it pretty bad.

Also, we had a very dedicated ERPer and her cohorts trying to pull the guild in uhm... different directions. Demonic possessions by the power of demon vagina seemed to happen repeatedly. Took a god-awful long time before we gave up on getting them to not do that and parted ways.

It was a turbulent time. Draining. I still sort of hope I left the guild with less latent drama than it had when I took over.

A personal recommendation however: The rule of two.
The Sith knew their shit. Having a clear second-in-command who you trust is a massive help to run a guild well, and has generally been a thing in all larger RP guilds I've been in.

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by Amaryl on Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:12 am

The most important thing is preventing segregation in your guild, and avoid clique forming. Because that is the feeding ground for drama.

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by siegmund on Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:24 am

I will say that I myself had a pretty fun time as a leader looking at the general picture, but at the end things went into the direction of a feeling of a second job. Harder to peek intrest of others and in turn myself. I do belive I can pat myself on the back for leading Freelancers for a good amount of time probably too long, which made me honestly hate leading anything in the end.

Having people around you help is a great thing to lessen the burden, which is what probably kept me semi-sane through it all. Officers and like Dwyburn said a second help out a great deal if they are the right ones. Still I found having a good connection and knowing some members a fine thing too, only those with a good bond stuck around for a longer, unless of course something super serious would come by.

I tried to be just like one of the rest, I honestly think i joked and messed about more then most others and tried to keep a friendly atmosphere about. Of course times were too when you have to get serious. Some moments though really do catch you off guard and if you're not decisive yourself it can not end well.

Got to say that as a leader it was important to not just think inside the box, but reach other to people not in your care either. For many times working with other guilds, friends and anything else helped me keep things up.

Also, we had a very dedicated ERPer and her cohorts trying to pull the guild in uhm... different directions. Demonic possessions by the power of demon vagina seemed to happen repeatedly. Took a god-awful long time before we gave up on getting them to not do that and parted ways.

Good times, good times. I laugh back on things like that nowadays.

Also I remember Dwyburn mentioning that antagonists would be a good thing for the guild a few times.

Too bad some people randomly pulled the suddenly i'm evil and i'll try to kill you / burn your place / eat your cake on every step of the way.

Or at least something down the line, I got very vary of that and certain special character traits and other things over time.


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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by NicholasBullard (Taph) on Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:37 am

While the Gilneas Platoon didn't last forever, it is still a very valuable experience for me I look back on with fond memories. I have received a lot of support and advice, especially with regards to leadership, for which I am very grateful.

When you start leading a group of people, they will likely try to get a sense of what kind of leader you are. How strict you are, whether you follow up on warnings, how well you can listen. Regardless of which style is yours, try to express it in a way your people can recognise and rely upon. That includes a certain degree of stability and predictability. Try to avoid coming across as enthousiastic about a suggestion one day while you will brush the same idea aside as foolish the next day.

Our concept was a little different from the usual, as we had two people at the top instead of a GM and a "number one". In my views, this worked out well.

Sometimes in the Gilneas Platoon we saw it necessary to have a private talk with a member, for example if he or she was out of line or did not seem to feel at home among the rest. As Artemis and I have quite different temperaments (you could even say opposite) we could easily decide which one of us would do the talk, or if it was best to approach the member together. Artemis is usually more firm and excels at putting people back in line, and upholding a sense of unity. I preferred the more gentle, personal talks where you try to connect to a person's feelings to find out what's going on in there.

If you want to lead a guild but don't entirely feel confident you're up for it, I would recommend such a structure. I've seen GMs get bombarded with whispers the moment they login, especially if they are not online every day. You could divide this required attention among yourself and another person, without people getting upset about being redirected towards "just an officer? But I really have to speak to THE leader!".

Furthermore, I think it's very important to keep in close contact with the leaders of other RP guilds your guild interacts with. Add them on Skype and your in-game friends list, and contact them if you want to organise cross-guild RP, or if there has been any drama involving a member, or if you are just curious how their event played out. I recommend against immediately contacting the leadership if a minor drama with a member occurs, though. As has been said in this thread before, keep it discreet and preferably try to solve it within whispers. Only contact the guid leader if you find yourself unable to solve the drama properly or if you think what happened is quite alarming.

On a final note, I think the value of maintaining an online presence is easily undervalued. Try to come up with a capturing image or logo, catchy motto, and have a crystal-clear understanding of the exact purpose of your guild. Be sure to ask for feedback from your own guild to make sure the majority actually thinks it's a good idea and a fun one, and adjust if necessary. Convey this information towards others in whispers to aspiring members, put it in the guild info tab, and have some kind of web presence so people can find you when they google the guild name.

And last but not least, please keep in mind that the purpose of all this is to have fun!

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by nope on Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:00 am

Dwyburn wrote:Demonic possessions by the power of demon vagina seemed to happen repeatedly.

man I hate it when that happens seriously though, that sucks.

My personal experience was I needed a bit more...firmness? I didn't want to be the "no you cant do arbitrary thing thats backed up by the lore" guy, but I kind of became the opposite - didn't want to be strict meanypants so I became a bit too lax on people doing stuff I didn't enjoy. You really need to be able to know what your standards are and hold to them, even if they're wigglysubjective and bob doesn't like them because rollfights killed their main this one time. You sort of have to meet a balance between keeping folk happy and realising when a person just isn't going to fit with/enjoy what you have in mind. Shits' hard.

My personal experience was whilst I'd like to be able to run a group my way and avoid the usual 'why did we let in x ogawd demon vagina ruuun' pitfalls, I feel more suited to a support role instead. It's nice to own something and have it your way in theory but if you don't have an active officerbase lined up before you start it's going to fall flat.

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by Officer High Morale on Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:36 am

I liked being in control, watching the numbers grow as my partner did all the work, then being a dick IC and all the abuse of power ermagawd it was a lot of fun

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by Littlepip on Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:53 am

So many long posts and helpful hints and stories, keep them coming. This is a really interesting and useful topic.

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[A](Ploppy)Bavragor Stormbrew {Mountaineer} Deceased.
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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by NicholasBullard (Taph) on Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:59 am

Officer High Morale wrote:I liked being in control, watching the numbers grow as my partner did all the work, then being a dick IC and all the abuse of power ermagawd it was a lot of fun

It's funny because it's true!

nope wrote:if you don't have an active officerbase lined up before you start it's going to fall flat.

Actually, this is not always the case. The Platoon started off with just Artemis and myself, and we attracted officers on the go. Having some OOC connections was admittedly a help in this, though.

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by nope on Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:02 am

I suppose. Definitely need someone else up there though - had a friend (different realm) who was basically soloing the work and it's part of why I folded, I didn't wanna do that.

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by Ixirar/Kavalis on Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:45 am

You don't "definitely" need anything. The Chapter of Holy Anethion started out as just one anonymous dude running around killing witches. If you have a cool concept and are willing to RP it out, you have everything you need. A guild can be 5 guys logging on on weekend nights to play around and it'll be succesful in what it does so long as those 5 dudes log in on weekend nights to play around. So long as your guild is generating RP - any amount of RP - you're fulfilling your job as the GM of an RP guild.

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by Adry on Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:46 am

Don't create some ridiculous "us vs them" mentality with another guild. That shit has happened so many times and it's horrible. IC rivalries are cool, but if you have problems OOCly then you fucking smile until your cheeks hurt and pretend nothing is wrong and get along just fine like happy bunnies in a soothing happy bunny duck world.

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

Post by Skaraa on Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:59 pm

In an RP guild, what I feel my primary purpose is as a guild leader/officer is to supply roleplay. That's why we're here, that's the purpose of the guild, and I think of a guild leader as the guy running the game; the Dungeon Master in a way. It's the person who has taken the responsibility to constructing stories upon themselves, and in setting the table rules.

Table rules in this meaning are things such as 'No racism/sexism/discrimination' and other such guild rules that one might enforce. In other words; you ensure that the environment is welcoming and people treat each other with respect.
Outside of those basics, I think it is all about supplying a steady stream of roleplay and keeping the lore/story of the guild moving forwards in an enjoyable and productive way. We're here to be entertained and play games, not to be commanded out of character. Officer teams should be diplomatic; one person should never be considered as being always right or immune from criticism. Under this system, players should be aware that the GL isn't the boss, they are the game mechanic admin, decisions should be made between officers and not by a single leader. Nobody likes totalitarian dictatorship, a group of people leading a guild is better for everyone; you have shared burden of work, reduction in bias (officers who sometimes disagree is a good thing), and diplomatic decision making. - Thereby hopefully ensuring that fun is maximised for everyone.

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Re: Courage, Generosity and Leadership.

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