In the summer and fall of 2006, I worked with a technology start-up, Seriosity, in Palo Alto that was working on a project for IBM. IBM was interested in exploring how leadership in virtual worlds may or may not be different from leadership in the physical world (i.e., traditional approaches to fostering and identifying leadership skills and attributes). At Seriosity, I worked with a small team to explore leadership in MMOs via game-play videos, open-ended surveys, and many internal discussions as to what was going on.
The Seriosity/IBM report has just been released publicly and I'm glad I was a part of this project. I think many of the insights in this project will resonate with players' experiences in MMOs and also provide food for thought as to the future of corporate leadership.
Note that there are two reports. The shorter one is the report for IBM. The second, longer one is Seriosity's full report on leadership in MMOs.
Nick, thanks so much for posting these links! I'm looking at a dissertation on learning leadership through gaming environments, and given the flack I've been given about this "trivial" topic from some faculty members, it's really nice to have this to reinforce my legitimacy. You've been amazing for years -- I hope to follow in your footsteps.
Thanks for the interesting read, as always (-:
I think one thing was missed though, wich is how easy it is to switch guilds in mmo's, wich can lead to leaders only having people under them they like, or at least get along with. Alot of people leave guilds when they disagree with the direction the guild (or the game) goes. And people usually get friends to join them aswell. I think it's alot easyer to 'lead' friends, than it is strangers, as there is alot more acceptance for failure then.
Furthermore, the members normaly want the guild to grow a specific way, so are more inclined to step up (and lead) and make it the way they want it. People are usally more motivated when doing something for themselfs than for someone else.
Another thing wich i think was adressed in a slightly twisted way, was how it said that company's could also learn about how the iterative process goes and innovation was rewarded more because of that. But the way i see it, in the game you can try multiple things in one day, because you see directly if it works or not, while in most real life things usually takes way longer to see if it worked or not, and by the time you see results you can't retry it, because the environment has already changed drastically.
Lords of the Dead (LotD) (www.lotd.org) is one of the longest running competitive MMORPG guilds in existence, and we were officially founded in 1995. There are only a handful still left from the 1990-1994 era that are older than us, and most of them are simply dying a slow death these days. In business terms, LotD would be like a Fortune 500 company. We've had a lot of influence on the games we've played, we're connected to the gaming industry due to our successes, we run a tight ship, and we don't go for the bloated multi-media website that eats up our bandwidth needlessly.
In real life I run a program with a 3 million dollar a year budget, I'm the president of a state trade association, state delegate of a national association, and chairman of several other committees. While my education and military leadership training has helped me attain many of the core skills I needed to succeed in life, I can certainly say that leading a major competitive MMORPG guild has certainly kept me on my toes.
Running a successful guild is just like running a business operation. You need a plan, the right people, a resource acquisition plan, and then an action plan to make it all happen. You can easily fail if you are afraid to take risks, but at the same time you have to be patient enough to evaluate your level of risk based on certain scenarios. If you are wrong, your entire guild could cease to exist.
We have some of the most popular articles on Guildcafe, and they include.
1. Building A Successful Guild
2. Why New Guilds Fail
3. Developing Guild Friendly Games
5. LotD Guild Profile
We've also done marketing efforts over the years with major fan sites, gaming magazines, and joint promotional articles with some developer studios.
So anyway lots of the principles outlined in that report apply to what has made LotD successful over the years. I guess my main comment at this time would be how does someone translate this into a real life employment situation? The article talks about how MMO's can create good leadership skills that the private sector would want, but how does that translate into a resume, job interview, or even companies talent search criteria?
Thanks for your time!