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Bodisapha
01-05-2010, 11:54 AM
In response to Rilvenar's post, “Why do guilds fail?” I offer a counter proposition: Why Do Guilds Succeed?

Primarily, like Ril, I would like to see how the community here responds, but to get the ball rolling, here are two concepts that have made our guild successful.


Leadership – Defined as an individual who can build an officer core and subsequently a guild that runs like a machine, responding to the leader's actions at the controls of the machine.

Thus, sound guild leadership will develop a community that will operate, in many ways independent of the the guild master's involvement. Additionally, given that any powerful machine easily becomes a menace once its operator is away from the controls, the very best guild leaders will develop certain capable individuals to take the controls in the event of her absence.


Culture – This stands in counter perspective to the concept of simple rules.



To establish "Culture", our guild employs the “values” of:
Transparency
Respect
Tenacity
Commitment
Community

These values guide our actions instead of rules only. Indeed, we only have two rules:



Use your good judgment in all situations.
Treat others how you would like to be treated.

While rules have loopholes and policies are rarely comprehensive, when you are able to create a certain culture in your guild, any rules or policies you do employ, service you versus you serving them.

Example of Leadership – We have a bank administrator. If the bank is in disarray, needs to be stocked, etc., I don't do it myself (unless I'm incredibly bored :)) I send a short note to the bank admin: “Hey brah, the bank needs to be straightened up.”

Sounds simple enough, but I know I as a leader, (and my XO's are the same way), when something is out of place, we want to fix it immediately. A good leader will resist that temptation and opt to hold her men accountable for their assigned duties.

Example of Culture – Like most guilds, we have a loot system. I have yet to run into a perfect and simple loot system. (If any of you have one that is flawless, please let me know!:)) A flaw in the loot system leaves a man upset over a piece of gear he needed.

Instead of stewing off after the raid, angry and festering, the situation is opened for discussion. Our leadership team invites members to be honest with us about issues they are having in our community. We call this “transparency”.

A warning to any who would employ the value of transparency: expect to spend some time playing diplomat with those who might have a disagreement with something that happening within the guild.

I personally have accepted as a fact that drama happens and as the GM, I have to deal with it. “Transparency” enables me to turn a potential blow up into what I would term as “controlled drama”.

Okay, okay.....enough of my ramblings..... What has made your guild successful?

Xianth
01-06-2010, 05:34 AM
I have always had a policy of discussing every potential decision and rule change on our forums to allow all people to see and contribute. Enforcing new things (even with good intentions) can blow up in your face if things go wrong. If people see everything that is going on then they know why it's going on, or if they don't think it's good they can explain why.

It's the same thing with looting. We had a fairly complex loot system but it was very much 99% fair and had been tweaked time and time again due to discussion on our forums over loot events we, or others, didn't feel went right. Of course, with a good system comes complexity, but as long as the rules are clear and written out somewhere then people rarely have any issues.

Both of these have been the crux of my guilds success from the standpoint of keeping players as happy as possible, which in my eyes is one of the most important aspects of your guilds potential success (aside from getting skilled players of course :p).

Warsreign
01-06-2010, 08:35 AM
Ultimately I think you hit some very good points. Drama for instance is something that any community whether in a game like this or in RL is bound to happen from time to time. As GM's we have to accept the fact that nothing not even ourselves are perfect and prone to make mistakes from time to time. By handling this at a distance and not allowing personnel feelings towards the individuals involved you begin to see the over all story behind it and get to the real issues at hand to resolve it quickly. This means personnel friendships have to be set aside. In doing so you find that anyone and everyone feels as though they can trust your leadership as well as your officers leadership even further to handle issues fairly and decisively. Even if it means pulling a few of your officers in a room together and talking things out to make sure they see whatever your doing is neutral and not personnelly motivated. Friends, enemies, family, or just personnel dislike of something all leads into clouded judgement.

Friends are friends but business is business.

A great way to insure that a guild's stable is take more then 5 seconds to interview an individuals before bringing them into your guild. Get to know them and have a firm set of rules and guidelines set forth to instruct them with before joining. So if they don't agree with it then no harm no foul. But ultimately your officers and you must stick to your guns. Any wavering without probable reasons that's understandable by all and not just because a person doesn't want to deal with it right then will be viewed as weakness and distrust that you have their best interests at heart.

One major thing for any leader to remember is that Officers and GM's can only get a guild so far. If you don't remember that it's your community that makes or breaks you as a whole then ultimately your doomed to failure sooner or later. So take care of your people. Take a minute out of your day to handle things and insteal confidence that your there for them and looking out for them.

Leadership confidence is crucial because you alone when dealing with raiding guilds 25 or the old 40 mans can not always be online 24 hours a day 7 days a week. If you don't help your officers resolve their issues themselves and ofcourse they learn from that then the guild in whole doesn't respect them and your basically running the whole show yourself. So why have them anyways. Give them a chance to correct their mistakes and take a second or two once in awhile to chat with them and insure they understand how you handled situations in the past, present, and what you expect for the future so when you have to delegate they can be prepared and it's viewed by the guild as though they are competent enough to handle their needs and begin to trust them.

Ultimately don't take the show on your shoulders or you'll always find your having to handle everything and eventually things will slip through the cracks and lead to what could have been avoidable drama. Allow them to recieve credit even if it was your idea from time to time. And delegate delegate delegate but not the the point where you yourself are sitting on your hands all day with nothing to do for he guild because at that point why are you GM in the first place. Take some charge once in awhile as well and realize a guild isn't going to continue following someone who's never there for them and expects everyone else to do the work for you.

Bodisapha
01-07-2010, 10:42 AM
I could not agree more with War! I am so often perplexed in businesses and communities where the "leadership" places their own well being above that of the community or business. Leadership is ironic in that way. Most people believe that a position of leadership means power when in reality it means being a servant to your people.

And Xi your dead on as well...... I know I'm doing something right when my people are complaining about how many in game mails they get and how often they have to go to the website to take in a a policy change. Over-communication is key!