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.

4 Key Guild Related Tasks to do Before Wrath Hits

4 Key Guild Related Tasks to do Before Wrath Hits

Its Wrath Boarding time!

The Wrath plane has landed and passengers are boarding soon! Are you going to be taking it first class or taking the back seat in the economy section?

Veneretio wrote a hot post about dealing with the last few weeks before the new expansion hits and the game resets.

So what does Vene say is the most basic thing to keep in mind as time passes by? His number 1 is to continue to make goals for yourself. He admits that “a lot of what you get now [will be] replaced later”. I’m inclined to agree. Even the most equipped players will be hanging up their present armor and gear once they approach the upper level 70s.

For me, most of my hard work was done over the summer. My reputation has largely been grinded out. The last one was Sporregar (which I felt took forever, personally). I may not have enough gold to live and spend lavishly, it will be enough to function comfortably once raiding expeditions start up again. I’m not as invested in my alts as other players are. I level them and gear them to the point where I know I can switch healers if necessary for raids with different people. My Priest is my main and any fun stuff like Achievements and Titles go straight to him.

While Vene says to make goals, Matticus has another rule that’s more prominent:

Relax!

I’ve played this game hard for over 2 years with intermittent breaks. Realistically, the point at which we start raiding as a 25 man unit will not occur until the Christmas holiday arrives. This means that most raiders will be out of action due to Christmas and New Year parties. This pushes back our raiding until early January.

I don’t know about you, but I plan to take it easy as much as I can over the next few weeks. Outside of WoW, I have a few papers, several exams, and a presentation to deliver. The assignments are due within 3 weeks. The presentation is due 4 days after Wrath releases (and I want to finish constructing it first so I don’t have to over the weekend).

Now is the time to get all the real life stuff out of the way. Finish off your work projects. Get cracking on school essays. Bury yourself in the textbooks and take time away from the game where it doesn’t matter as much anyway. If you have goals to complete, then by all means, go ahead and try to get them done. But leave a bit of room for yourself if you’re a progression oriented player who wants to sky rocket to 80.

Revisit loot

Numerous guilds will be wiping their DKP systems and starting fresh. Take the time to examine your loot system. Find out what worked and what didn’t. What would you have changed differently? Try bringing it up as soon as you can. Work out any kinks or problems with the loot system so that you don’t have to do it later when it matters the most: In the middle of a raid.

Roster check

Examine your roster again. Try to ascertain who is likely to stay and who is likely to go. Find out if there’s any holes in there that need to be plugged. My guild has lost a Rogue already and we may lose a mage. We realize that we can always sift through and acquire replacements during the leveling process, its far better to find players now so that the guild can spend more time knowing about new players.

Promotions

Now is an excellent time for promotions. If anyone is stepping down or retiring from the game, its a good time to find players who have demonstrated veteran and leadership qualities to take their place. Raid leaders: Let others take over. See if anyone has expressed interest in doing so. Try to find alternative raid leaders to run your raids. It’s great to have alternate leaders in place in case your main guy needs to sit for a while. There are no less than 6 people in my guild who are qualified to run and lead raids.

One of my guild officers have stepped down and I’ve been promoted. If you do decide to promote someone, the most important thing you can do is outline their tasks. Tell them straight up front what they are expected to do. I signed a 2 month contract as an officer because I wasn’t sure if I was willing to do this long term. I’ve served in a leadership position before but I didn’t feel particularly effective at the time. In my case, I’m being asked to provide healer presence to officer chat and contribute to raid strategy. I also get a vote in what raid directions the guild should go in. I’ only agreed to do this on the interim. Between responsibilities with my blog, WoW Insider, and school I don’t know if this is a position where I can actually contribute to.

Wrap up loose ends! Get it done quick whether its real life related or in game related! Need a title? Hurry and join a group or form it on your own! Want to push reputation? Start soon before people stop running certain instances!

Quick leak: WoW Insider’s going to be doing a quick and comprehensive guide for the various classes when 3.0.2 becomes official. The brass wants us to outline major talents, and changes to the way we operate and other things of interest.

Help me out. I have to write something up by Sunday. I already wrote about healing at level 80. What would you like to know about Holy Priests at level 70 in regards to the new patch?

I plan on including stuff about:

  • Talent suggestions
  • Quick spell overviews
  • Game mechanics that affect us

Anything else you can think of?

Image credits: photos71