Life as a Guild Leader
A Firm Hand
Many respondents noted that laying down a firm hand was important. Because many guilds start off as small, casual and friendly guilds, guild leaders oftentimes feel conflicted when it comes to disciplining guild members.
On the personal side, it is toughest for me to punish an existing guild member, especially with the sanction of removing them from the guild. I play the game for fun, and want other to have fun as part of our guild. When we have to come down on someone, it makes the game less fun for everyone, especially that person. Still, sometimes it has to be done for the good for the guild. [WoW, M, 34]
The most difficult thing was removal of someone that I had come to call friend because they wouldn't comply with guild rules and code of conduct. [EQ2, F, 48]
A common theme that arose was the uneasiness in learning that sometimes you have to be tough and say no. The following two players describe this transition in their leadership experience.
The hardest thing for me was learning to say no, or to draw the line and be tough. When I began, I was very worried about pleasing people, and knocked myself out trying to make everyone happy. Over time I got much much tougher - learning to crack down not only on jerks, but on my friends. Having experienced a few very messy guild-removes, including two occasions where in my anxiousness to be 'fair' and give everyone a hearing, I delayed guild removes for so long that the problem person had a chance to really go to town in stirring up guild drama. I started to think of guild removals like surgery, do it clean and quick, and it might not cause hemorrhaging. Sometimes it is better to be firm as soon as you see a problem. It isn't fair to the guild to let a drama queen or manipulator build a power base before you deal with them. [EQ, F, 33]
It took me some time to realize that as by nature I detest conflict and try to defuse situations by talking them through, however when leading a raiding guild there simply isn't the time to sort things out as 'touchy feely' as you'd like, and many seasoned raiders simply don't want to be treated that way. I made more than a few mistakes. I put up with far too much 'drama' when I should have stomped it out much quicker. I was a little tentative to use my authority at times when I should have been much more confident in my position. I allowed personality conflicts within the guild to consume far more of my time than they were really worth. Overall it was a draining experience but a very valuable lesson in leadership - unless you lead you aren't a good leader. [EQ2, M, 32]
Other guild leaders agreed that delaying these hard decisions tends to make things worse, and that problems tend to fester if they are not dealt with.
The toughest thing about being a guild leader is keeping everyone in line and kicking out or penalizing people that you like on a personal level, but have transgressed one to many times. The most valuable lesson I learned from being a guild leader is that if you give someone an inch they will take a mile. The experience drove me much farther to the political right. [WoW, M, 18]
Tags: boundary play (17) , guild leadership (3) , guilds (11) , leadership (14) , organizational structure (9) , transfer offline (9) , work and play (8)
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