What Michael Jordan Can Teach Us About Winning

6 NBA championships.

14 NBA All-Star Selections.

10 NBA scoring titles.

Ranked No. 1 by ESPN’s Top 100 Athletes of the 20th century.

His all-time leading scoring title in one All-Star game history was recently broken by one Kobe Bryant.

Michael Jordan played the majority of his career for the Chicago Bulls before taking over a front office position with the Washington Wizards.

Have you heard of a TV show called Suits? It’s my favourite drama to watch from the USA network right now and they’ve just started airing new episodes a couple of weeks ago. There are some minor spoilers in today’s post from last week’s plot.

Here it goes.

One of the leading characters, Harvey, is a senior partner in the fictional law firm Pearson-Hardman. He goes up to his boss Jessica, and says to her that he wants his name on the door. She then proceeds to tell Harvey a story about Michael Jordan because she knew this day would come.

Looking up from her desk, Jessica asks,“Harvey, what was Michael Jordan’s record on the Bulls?”

“664 wins, 285 losses.” Harvey confidently responded.

“More than twice as many wins and losses. Do you know what his record was in the front office?”

“No.”

“185 wins to 291 losses. Almost twice as many losses as wins.”

The lesson Jessica was getting to is that just because someone is a star on the court doesn’t mean they can translate their skills off the court.

Next time someone asks to be an officer and you don’t think they’re quite ready for that role yet, tell them this story about Michael Jordan that Jessica relayed to Harvey. Some people are better off playing than they are managing.

Success on the meters doesn’t always translate to success in a leadership role.

Answering 8 Questions of a Guild Acquisition

Answering 8 Questions of a Guild Acquisition

Like many of our fellow 25 man raiding guild friends, we experienced our share of recruiting problems. Players had been losing interest in Warcraft. Every raid night was a dice-roll to see which line ups could be fielded. Some days we were able to raid short-handed with 23 or less.

It’s really easy to sit back and say “Just recruit”. I commend those who have the weight to attract candidates. The reality for the rest of us is that it’s a little different. If you divided the 10 million-ish players among their different criteria, you’d end up with categories based on stuff like:

  • Time zone (Region)
  • Focus (Competitive, hardcore, casual)
  • Progression
  • Loot system (DKP, loot council)
  • Activities (PvP, PvE)

One of the officers in guild proposed wholesale acquisition of a guild instead of a merger.

For the sake of definition:

Guild merger – Complete integration of two guilds with agreed upon distribution of players (roles), leadership, and loot. Possibly includes name changes and site changes. Resources tend to be combined together.

Guild acquisition – One guild completely absorbs and assimilates a guild. Generally, no leadership spots are given. Bank items can be distributed as they see fit. Sometimes, there is no pooling of resources. There’s minimal (if any) changes to the absorbing guild’s identity or website.

Several months ago, we ran into a guild that was looking to be acquired. Seems that their officer corps was in a mess.

More importantly, they couldn’t find anyone with the time, dedications, or skills to lead the group. Ultimately, they decided they still wanted to play together as much as possible and went shopping for a guild that was willing to consider taking them in.

What were the qualities?

From our perspective, when looking for guilds to pick up, we’re looking for a number of key aspects:

  • Skilled players that can suit our immediate needs. No point picking up 2 surplus tanks and extra rogues if the present raid already has 4. If we’re looking for healers and ranged DPS and that group had those players, we’d talk business.
  • Similar progression. We wanted to avoid  having to re-teach certain encounters. We also wanted to minimize gear gaps.
  • Similar raid ethic and mindset. This is just for general raiding compatibility. Players that have the same attitude towards raiding are generally more cooperative with each other and are willing to set personal feelings aside in favour of getting the job done.
  • Compatible personalities. Similar to the above point. Minimizes any personnel disagreements or verbal fights/arguments.
  • Indifferent to leadership positions. Non-negotiable. Leadership structure already in place. It’s okay to have leadership aspirations like being an officer, but that can come later after getting a few raids under the belt.
  • Raid times and hours. Also non-negotiable. No point in picking up players who can’t raid because they have to go to sleep early or because they can’t get home from work early enough.

We decided to jump on their Ventrilo servers. It was extremely important that we figure out what the intentions and philosophies of each other were. We found that there were a surprising number of questions. Here’s the questions we received and how we answered them:

  • What happens to the social players?
    We’ll accept all of them. They can participate in whatever activities they like but if they’re looking for spots on the raid or rated BG teams, they’ll need to apply.
  • How is loot handled? Will our status prevent us from rolling?
    We use loot council. Initiates are allowed to express their interest in an item. You won’t be prevented from rolling on an item that is an upgrade for you.
  • What kind of raiding opportunities can we expect?
    There’s a spot for you and your players on our progression team. If your contributions are solid, we’ll make sure you see action.
  • What other activities are there?
    We have a Minecraft server that some of the players like to mess around with. We have a growing group of competitive Starcraft 2 players. League of Legends games usually occurs nightly with as much as 2 or 3 5 man teams firing off at once.
  • What happens if things don’t work out?
    If things aren’t compatible, Ner’zhul has a balanced and decent sized population. There are other raiding guilds on the server you could consider working with that might be willing to give you and your team a shot.
  • What roles are looking to be filled?
    [At the time] Ranged DPS and healers.

They weren’t the only ones with questions. We owed it to ourselves for due diligence. No one likes to waste anyone’s time. Here’s the questions that we asked them:

  • Why do you want to merge with us?
    No one really wants the job of being a GM or raid leading. We just want to play the game and raid.
  • Is it an absolute requirement for all of you to raid together?
    It’s preferred but we understand that there isn’t going to be roster slots open the whole time. We’re okay with being in the same guild at the very least.

I can’t say for sure the viability of a 10 man guild absorbing or merging with a 10 man guild. But a 25 man raiding guild taking in a 10 man guild appears to be easier to handle and coordinate since much of the infrastructure and power base already exists. Whereas two 10 mans trying to join forces might need additional time to work out leadership structures, guidelines, and other administrative details.

Have you ever been a part of a guild merger before? How did that end up for you? If you could have done something different, what would it have been?

Pros and Cons of Recruiting the Raid Leader

Pros and Cons of Recruiting the Raid Leader

recruiting-raid-leader

This is the most important position you’ll ever fill throughout the entirety of your guild’s existence. In fact, it is so important, guilds will often disband if there isn’t a competent nor capable one. If working on farm content, raids can typically get by with zero to minimal guidance. Everyone runs by the same playbook and routine strategies are done without any problems (usually).

But once you hit progression content, you’re going to be stuck. If your raid is leaderless, it’s going to be painful and you need a plan.

So, do people really recruit raid leaders? In many cases, the guild leader and raid leader are one and the same. There are some exceptions (such as in Conquest where the positions are separated). But back to the original question: Do people recruit raid leaders?

Typically, most raiding guilds do not. Raid leaders are usually promoted from within. There are two basic things I look for when deciding on a raid leader. Without these two qualities, I skip and move on entirely.

  • Competency: Now this encompasses a wide range of leadership skills. I just lump them all together in here for the sake of simplicity. These are things including but not necessarily limited to skills, charisma, vision, tactics, and so forth. Basically, does this player have what it takes to lead and deliver the necessary results?
  • Desire: Do they actually want to do it?

And that second point is a super important question. That raid leading wannabe you want to quarterback your raids might be the perfect person to do it. But if she has no interest or desire, it’s not going to work.

Where do I go to get raid leaders from?

In a nutshell, either you have a sleeper raid leader within the guild who emerges to take the flag when things look grim or you look outward and see if you can fish up one.

Option 1: Promoting from within the guild

These are usually the players that have stood by you for a long time. The existing raid leader left a void to fill. There could be people from inside who are looking for a chance to step up and take a larger role within the guild. Or it could be that they sense the guild is on the road to failure unless someone takes over and that person wants to be the one to do it.

Again, your group may run into the problem of not having the right person who can do the job. A skilled player who is familiar with the game and their class might not have the appropriate leadership qualities. Or maybe they work in a management type job and doesn’t want to deal with that level of responsibility on their off time. If your search for a raid leader comes up short, you’ll need to come up with options. Try to figure out why that person isn’t a good candidate. You can’t change their desire. However, you might be able to help improve their competency.

Ultimately though, hope for the best. Be prepared for the worst.

Pros

Familiarity with guild culture

Players used to the leader’s personality

Intimately familiar with players and capabilities

Cons

Might not be anyone qualified from within to take the job

Potential prejudice or favoritism to specific players

Option 2: Recruiting outward

This isn’t exactly the most common approach. You don’t see many guilds advertising for a powerful position like this one either. I suspect the main reason would be on trust. Everyone in the guild has had time to get familiar with each other. Not only would you be introducing an outside player, your guild is being asked to follow their commands. That bond between raid and raid leader just isn’t there yet.

It’s like a new manager being brought in. No one really knows who she is. Is she lenient? A hard ass? Accommodating? By the book? No idea!

Don’t forget that having a new player calling the shots from outside the guild means they’re largely unaffected by any guild politics and will have a fresh perspective on raids. Of course, you never know what you’re getting. If you truly plan on going this route, raid leading applicants need to be screened a lot more carefully.

Pros

Fresh perspective and new ideas

Unaffected by any guild influences

Cons

Players have no idea how to react

Lack of initial guild chemistry

When my raid leader hung up his claymore months ago, I was in a tight spot. The short list in my mind for replacement raid leaders had no desire to do so simply due to other responsibilities. There were other players I had considered asking, but I didn’t know if they had the skills to pull it off. The only way to know for certain is to assemble a raid, pass them lead and say “Here ya go!” and one of the senior raiding guys who had been with us for a long time wanted to give it a shot.

It was a leap of faith. Either he would sink or swim. To my delight, he did a pretty darn good job after he shook off a few raid leading jitters during the first few days at the helm. But it was to be expected.

Had he not spoken to me beforehand, I would have had no choice but to turn outwards and look off guild for someone to help coach the raid. I can’t honestly think of any moment in my experience in the game where I’ve read about guilds specifically recruiting raid leaders that were outside their organization. What commonly happens is a player either gets the nod up from management to take over or the guild implodes due to lack of interest and focus. The latter is not an option for me. I’ll admit, it would have been a remarkably interesting process (and experiment) to start off raid leaderless and end up with a fully situated quarterback acquired outside the guild.

It’s like hiring a new coach for a team. Players are so used to certain plays and systems. The new coach comes in and throws things out the window.

Remember Rule Number 6

Remember Rule Number 6

Ben Zander

Lighten up, Matt. Stop taking things so seriously. Relax once in a while.

I hear that too often.

General managers face the brunt of many things. Mislooted items, irritated players, you name it. Their frustration inevitably transfers over to me. Aside from that, I put up with random ribbing, name calling, insults and all sorts of flak that rolls in. On a day to day basis, my stress levels are being constantly tested. To the raid, it’s like a game. How shall we pop one of Matt’s veins today? Trains are dropped just to set me off.

“My love for someone is directly proportional to how much I make fun of them.” Says an officer.

Of course, at this point, I’m thinking the guild must really like me.

I have a history of being uptight. My friends are always telling me to calm down and relax. I hardly take any time to rest or relax (probably because my idea of relaxing is doing work). Have a glass of wine, they say. Except, I haven’t quite acquired the test of it. White wine I can handle. Red? Not so much.

A guildie recommended me a book by Benjamin Zander. I blogged about him before. His book’s called The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life.

Rule number 6: Don’t take yourself seriously. Lighten the mood up.

Humor helps. Laughing can unite everyone’s personality, flaws, and mistakes. Especially when we feel like we are entitled to something, insulting someone, or just wanting to wring that other guy’s neck.

Here’s a funny story from the book that inspired the title of this post.

Two prime ministers are sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he says, “kindly remember Rule Number 6,” whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws. The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by an hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again the intruder is greeted with the words: “Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.” Complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology. When the scene is repeated for a third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: “My dear friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of Rule Number 6?” “Very simple,” replies the resident prime minister. “Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so g—damn seriously.” “Ah,” says his visitor, “that is a fine rule.” After a moment of pondering, he inquires, “And what, may I ask are the other rules?”

“There aren’t any.”

Now I just need to remember this rule myself. In the end, it’s a game with real people people behind the avatars that you’re playing with. I can’t always approach problems with a scowl on my face.

Watch this other video by Ben about leadership. It’s a talk he conducted in 2008 in the World Economic Forum. It’s only 9 minutes long. Some if it overlaps with the TED talk I linked above.

How fascinating!

And he got a whole room to sing Ode to Joy. I think. Is that in German? I wonder if I can get my guild to pull that off.

Build Your Own Guild Part 7: Day-to-Day Management

Build Your Own Guild Part 7: Day-to-Day Management

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that you’re a new GM, and your guild is finally up and running. You have enough members to start scheduling events, and you’re running at least some raids every week. It might be logical to think that your task as GM is done–if you’ve put in good policies, the guild will run itself, right?

No, dear reader, it won’t. Think of the guild master as the helmsman of a large and unwieldy ship of state. All you can control is your pressure on the wheel–storms will rage above, and whirlpools will draw from below. Heck, in the context of WoW, it wouldn’t be at all out of place to have to deal with a nasty Kraken or two, or at least a few Bloodsail pirates.

The day-to-day business of managing a guild takes time and energy. Many prospective guild masters don’t realize quite how many of their personal resources will go into keeping their organization healthy. At this point, many GMs get frustrated and hand over the leadership. Others fade into the background, letting officers or vocal members de facto lead the guild. A good GM, however, will always be a strong presence in the daily life of the guild.

But…It doesn’t seem like GMs do much!

Most of the work of a GM or guild officer occurs behind the scenes. For many valid reasons, guild members may not be made aware of every little argument or controversy. It’s important to maintain the appearance–and by extension, the reality–of peace in the guild, so discretion is key. For example, my guild is having a bit of a difficult time right now differentiating between friends and family applications and raiding applications. It’s been a multi-hour topic of discussion in officer meetings and the subject of lively debate. We wanted to make sure that the policy we put in–which is now fairly strict–suited our overall guild ethos. However, those hours of talk led to a policy that could be expressed in 50 words or less. What our members see is those 50 words, not the work that led up to it. When I mentioned, in an offhand way, the “F&F controversy,” to a member, he was surprised to learn that officers deal with so much stuff that just doesn’t filter down to the members. This is a good thing. Members are there to play and have fun, and the officers and GM make sure that they are able to do so.

A GM’s Weekly Quests

To borrow a metaphor from the game we all love so much, think of the GM’s job as a series of repeatable quests. The following list details the essential duties that GMs or officers must perform every week, just to keep a healthy guild on an even keel. In WoW, a week is like a year of real time. Guild morale can sink fast, and virtual organizations require constant maintenance.

1. Be Present

The GM and the officers must be a part of most guild events. You should have a hand in the planning for the raid events, and you should raid very regularly. I also advice GMs to put in some face time outside of raids. If you invest your officers with enough authority, this task can be shared. In general, if a significant portion of your guild is interested in doing something, the leadership should participate. Make sure that you don’t simply disappear for several weeks if you get occupied with real life–the guild should know what’s going on. Otherwise, when you return after 6 weeks in Paris, your guild might not exist anymore.

Never underestimate, moreover, the power of just hanging out. Let your voice be heard in g-chat and vent–that way, your guild will come to know you as a person, and not just The Man or The Woman in charge. Don’t censor your personality too much. For example, I let my guild see my silly sense of humor and my love of pets, in-game and out. One guild member referred to me as our guild’s personal lolcat–and I took that as a compliment. I DO like to run around in cat form before raids asking if I can haz mage bizkits. However, don’t let things get too personal. You can share your deepest issues with good friends, but as GM, you need to maintain a degree of professionalism–which means a little distance between your guild and your personal life. If you’re having a fight with your girlfriend, you probably shouldn’t discuss it in g-chat.

2. Keep Your Ears Open

If you’re the GM, you probably don’t have to fish for members’ opinions too often. More than likely, they will share them with you unasked. However, some might not feel completely comfortable talking to The Man, so enlist your fellow officers (particularly any understanding or nurturing types) to keep their ears to the ground, so to speak. If there is a dip in morale in the guild, you should know about it. The person who does recruiting for your guild can probably help you out here. A good recruiting officer will be an advocate for applicants and initiates, and long after they become full members, they will probably feel comfortable talking to that person.

3. Respond to Member Concerns

If a major issue arises–like a serious argument over loot that plays out publicly–don’t just let it drop. Meet with your officers as quickly as possible, make a decision, and explain it to both parties. Someone will inevitably be unhappy, but you want to let your members know that you are capable of handling problems. It also might be a good idea to write a summary of any major decisions–especially if the controversy affected several players–and post it in a read-only forum in the website.

If a minor issue comes up–and they do all the time–make it a topic at the next officer meeting. Officers and GMs alike will receive many tells, emails, or website PMs per week about specific member concerns. Sometimes the member asks you to keep the complaint confidential, but more often, the member wants the leadership to know about and address the concern. Collateral Damage talks about all such requests–both legitimate issues and whiny QQ–at officer meetings. If a member sends one of us a PM, and doesn’t tell us to keep it quiet, it goes on the agenda. Sometimes the decision we make is to do nothing, and sometimes that’s the right call. However, most often something is done to resolve or clarify the issue.

It is important that your members know that their requests will be considered. Once the officers have made a decision, be sure to communicate it to the person who originally asked the question. Even if the answer is “no,” for the most part, people are glad that their ideas were considered.

4. Do Your Homework

It’s highly unlikely in an organization of, say, 50 members, that the Guild Master would happen to be the best player. That usually is not the case–statistics are against you, future GMs. You may not be able to control your natural aptitude for fast-twitch movement, but you can control the amount of information you can master. A Guild Master should do everything possible to be a better player and a better leader. Know your own weaknesses, and work to overcome them. For example, my own personal weakness is panic–sometimes I’ll do the wrong thing in a raid if I get startled. What’s the solution? Never be surprised. I read up on the fight mechanics and rehearse them to myself. I still feel the panic when I see a boss ability for the first time, but with a little coaching, I can usually control my reactions. It’s not enough to know, for example that Illidan does a Dark Barrage in Phase 2. For me to handle it adequately, I need to have linked the ability to the counter in my head, as in: “Okay, Dark Barrage–when it’s my turn in the rotation, that means I target the affected player and hit my Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch macro.” Figure out your personal kryptonite as a player and find ways to work around it. It might seem a little petty, but I have seen many players criticize their guild masters for being bad players. I know that different skills are involved in being a great raider and in being a great leader–but try not to give the QQ machine any more ammo than necessary.

It’s one thing to master your own class and spec, but as GM, your research needs to extend beyond yourself and your immediate needs. You are your guild’s visionary, and if you don’t have a sense of the future, your guild is lost. Always know what’s on the horizon, both for the game in general and for your own guild. For example, a guild master at this moment should be very informed about raiding post patch 3.0.x and in Wrath. The GM should have a sense of how things have changed with the new patch not just for her own class, but for every class. A good GM will be checking the news sites daily, and he or she will be leading the officers in discussions about how the guild will change once the expansion hits. My guild is extremely forward-looking, to the point of already having our first Naxx 25 on the raid calendar. We already have many policies in place for Wrath–with some major changes to suit the new raiding paradigm–and we are planning a mini-retreat (virtual style) in which we meet for multiple hours two days in a row and hammer out the final details. It’s entirely possible that some members will be just as interested and informed as the officers, but they certainly don’t have to be. When the game changes, you, the GM, will have to guide many of your members. The information is out there–inform yourself so that you can teach.

If you are also the raid leader for your guild, your task multiplies. You must absorb all of the information available about the bosses you will be taking down, and you should stay several bosses ahead of your guild’s raid progression. Once again, your task will be to teach others, and your ability to communicate information will help you construct your authority as leader. However, raid leading is truly difficult. The only way to get better is to practice, practice, practice. If you’re new to leading, let your guild know, and be humble about it. Usually, people will be understanding. The worst thing you can do is to get defensive. Try to master your task and keep a strong command of the situation, but if that fails, don’t be afraid to take suggestions.

5. Maintain Dialogue With Officers

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a weekly officer meeting. Do not make all decisions yourself. Even if you are the final arbiter, discussion and negotiation are helpful processes. The officers’ meeting has a very significant benefit when it comes to making new policy. Even with only three or so officers, there will be a diversity of opinion. The give-and-take from an officer’s meeting will help you workshop your ideas. By the time you present new rules to the guild, you will have already worked out many of the problem areas.

In addition, officers should participate in the little daily tasks of guild management. Make sure that members are aware of what officers do and the authority that they hold. If members don’t observe the officers making decisions, they’ll take all further concerns and QQ directly to the GM’s virtual door. Moreover, they might feel resentful toward a too-powerful GM. No one likes to feel like they belong to an organization led by a tyrant! Where the balance of the the day-to-day work in your guild falls–on the officers’ shoulders or on the GM’s–is entirely up to the individual organization. Collateral Damage is quite unique, but we’ve been extraordinarily successful without a true GM. Instead, we’ve got 8 officers fully invested with GM-level powers, and we all serve as checks and balances for each other. I can tell you, our bargaining and negotiating skills have gotten quite good over the last several months.

Conclusions

Guild management always takes more time than you expect, and it will scale with the complexity of your organization. Raiding guilds in particular are delicate to manage. If you want to maintain your own authority–and a stable guild–you have to get used to working for the good of your organization on a consistent basis. Yes, this means that the GM is held to a higher standard than the members. For you, it’s not all about fun and games–you have responsibilities too.

Build Your Own Guild From the Ground Up: Part 1

Build Your Own Guild From the Ground Up: Part 1


With Wrath of the Lich King on the horizon, quite a few ambitious players will be looking for new and better guilds. An expansion is a logical time for a guild roster shakeup, and the enterprising raider knows that the best time to look for a new guild is right now. For an excellent guide to finding a new raiding guild, see Bellwether’s four-part series on the topic.

This series of posts has a different purpose. In this multipart series, I will show prospective Guild Masters how to build a new organization from zero. Installments in the series will come out twice every week, on Wednesdays and Fridays. Read on to find out how can you take a bunch of n00bs who don’t know jack about being in a raiding guild and turn them into a well-oiled tier gear-acquiring machine.

Wait, do I really want to be a Guild Master?

Before I tell you how to go about building the guild of your dreams, there are questions that you, the prospective GM, must ask yourself.

1. What kind of guild do I want to be in?

Now is the time for soul-searching. For me, the answer was easy. I wanted to be in a guild that was kind, respectful, helpful, and, at the same time, extremely good at raiding. My personal criteria for the perfect guild were unusual–I wanted a bona fide raiding guild, but I also wanted a supportive environment to learn in. I wasn’t good enough to join one of the top guilds on the server, so I also needed a place that would take someone whose skills hadn’t fully developed yet. The best answer, for me, was to join with others in forming a new guild.

Think about your own wants and needs. How much do you play? What kind of hours do you want to put in raiding? How much say do you want to have in guild decisions? What kind of attitude do you want your guild to have? When you’re designing from zero, you can control all of these factors.

2. How much work can I put in?

If you’re going to be a GM, or even an officer, you need to have free time that you’re willing to dedicate to the daily business of running a guild. At the ground level, you may spend 15 hours a week wearing your GM hat. Charter and rules development, recruiting, and organizing your initial raids will take more time than you think. If you don’t want to put in the time, the job of Guild Master might not be right for you.

3. Do I know people who can help me?

There may be successful guilds out there that are founded on the charisma of one strong leader, but I don’t know any. If you’re going to be a GM, you need to learn to share power. Auzara of ChickGM made a post on this very topic that gets to the very heart of the matter. If your guild is to have a chance of survival, more than one person must be involved in the decision-making. My guild doesn’t even have a true GM. We have a group of officers with equal voting power who trade off the figurehead title once a month.

Choose your officers carefully. Your best friends will not necessarily make the best officers. Find calm, rational, smart people with some free time and a lot of enthusiasm for your guild project. Meet with them weekly, and let them have a vote on guild policy issues. If you are not planning to lead raids yourself, make sure your Raid Leader is an officer. Other than the GM, this is the person with the most power in your guild. He or she will also have to deal with complaints from members on a day-to-day basis, and it is much easier to field these from a position of authority.

4. Why do I want to be a GM?

Before you rush out to buy that Guild Charter, make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. For me personally, I wanted the satisfaction of seeing my guild run the correct way. I wanted to have a measure of control over how things were run, because I thought that I could help us avoid the classic pitfalls of raiding guilds. I believed that if my fellow officers and I put in fair policies, we could see new content without being disrespectful of each other or squabbling over loot. I didn’t want anyone to have to grow a “thick skin” in order to raid with us. In short, I wanted my guild tag to be one that members would display with pride.

There are many bad reasons to want the GM position. The first of these is guilt–if you’re only picking up the GM tag because you feel that no one else will do it, you won’t be happy long term. The second of these is pride. Let’s face it, there’s a little ego in everything, and that’s all right. However, you must ask yourself if you’re really doing this for bragging rights, for loot, or for the sheer joy of having power over others. If things go wrong in your guild, being a GM won’t feel so good. In fact, you’ll start to feel like a piece of flypaper as the QQ gets stuck all over you. According to Machiavelli, it may be better to be feared than to be loved, but in the context of WoW, there’s no real reason to fear a GM. If you’re on a power trip, your members can always leave, sometimes taking the contents of the guild bank with them.

Conclusions

If you’ve gone through these questions, and you still want to run your own guild, stay tuned for the next installment in the series, in which I explain how to develop a set of essential rules and policies for your new guild.