Today is installment number two from our good friend Bobette on what it takes to be a guild leader from a members prospective. Before we delve into todays post a friendly reminder (yes I am going to continue to bug you until Friday) about our Fun Run. Everyone is invited so invite friends and join us for some fun. Brigwyn over at the Hunting Lodge has graciously offered their vent services for this event too!
Be the boss. You are the leader, after all. This directly relates to being active in your guild. No matter the size, a guild will need someone to get the ball rolling - that's you. And by you, I mean you doing it, not throwing the task to someone under you and basking in your shiny guild leader title glory. Scheduling runs, sorting the bank, keeping tabs on how the players are feeling/doing, all that sort of thing. However, for all that to work you need rules. I know, I know - everyone hates rules, but they really are there for a reason. It's better to lay down some ground rules to have a guideline than just saying, "The rules are - there are no rules!" and then having the guild explode. Usually they're basic things like be nice to others and don't steal loot, but they still need to be said. It'll be a help in the long run, trust me. And if the time comes when those rules are broken, stand behind your rules and enforce them.
Play fair. Another part of being a leader is being the mediator. Spats between guild members do come up and you will often be called upon to be the referee. Whether the warrior slighted the hunter's DPS or two priests are arguing over an offhand, you need to be there and you need to be unbiased. See both sides of the issue and do what is fair. Not the easy thing, not the spiteful thing - the reasonable thing. If it's an issue that a player has with the guild, be understanding of their position and needs. Sometimes if you offer to meet them in the middle it will clear things right up. But above all, do NOT be stubborn or immature. Your guild members will appreciate you being fair and just, even if you have to be a hardass sometimes. This also applies to rule enforcement.
Encourage reading. There are several sites to help with learning encounters and strategies, such as Bosskillers and Wowwiki. As the leader, you definitely need to be read up on whichever raid your guild is running, but you should also encourage your members to take a few minutes and watch a video of the encounter or read the strategy so they have some idea of what to expect. It's no fun to stand looking at a raid boss for 10 minutes as you try to explain the fight so that everyone understands it. There is nothing as embarrassing as a raid leader fumbling to read a strat as everyone buffs, hoping that he's got everything right. Proper Prior Planning. Learn it. Love it. Remember: educated guild members make a stong, confident, successful guild.
Don't get in over your head. Do you remember being a little kid at the swimming pool, and tip toeing towards the deep end, and all of a sudden you're under water and can't breathe? Know your limitations. By all means, aim high - just don't melt your wings. Know the abilities of your guild as a whole and don't lead them into something they're not ready for. Also, don't overestimate individual members. Maybe your tank buddy doesn't quite have the stats to be main tanking yet, maybe the mage doesn't have the DPS to help the group, maybe the priest isn't settled into his new spec yet. Challenge your members, don't set them up for failure.
Know when to quit. Perhaps the most sober of the advice here. Sometimes you just have to quit banging your head against the wall. If it really comes to this, you'll be grateful, your guild will be grateful. Live, learn, try it again later.
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