What is an Officer to do … ?

In my three years of playing World of Warcraft, I have had various toons in a number guilds as either a member or an officer (I have even been a Guild Leader once or twice).  I have seen good leadership and poor leadership.

One of the biggest mistakes I ever made as a guild leader was promoting family members to an officer rank based on their realtionship status with me.   They are great people and good players, but they were too new to the game and the guild to have that kind of responsibility thrust upon them.  That guild is no more.

There is more to being a guild officer than leading raids.  Here is a short list of what I expect in an officer and guild leader:

  • The best way to keep things civil is to set an example yourself.
  • Use a recruiting policy that encourages players to become friends as much as possible.  Screen applicants based on how they would fit in with your guild based on the player’s personal as well as his/her character’s skillset.
  • While an officer can’t ‘police’ the values of individual members, they need to be responsible for what goes on in the public face of the guild.  That includes general chat, guild chat, raid chat as well as public forums.  There is a difference, for example, between simply looking the other way when black or off-colour humour happens in guild chat and allowing it to happen.
  • Ensure that the guild code of conduct and looting policies are adhered to.  While the guild population will usually take care of this, problems and questions will occur and an officer should be ready.
  • Don’t make quick decisions unless forced to do so.  Discuss with other officers when possible before taking a course of action. This leads to the next item:
  • Make sure that the officers and the guild master always present themselves as if they have the same opinion as far as guild matters are concerned.  Even if some disagree with something, everyone must present a unified front.
  • Choose officers based on their leadership abilities rather than their relationship to the Guild Master. The latter promotes a real clique-type atmosphere with many of the membership left feeling like they don’t fit in.
  • Ensure raid / group invites go out using a fair and public system.  If groups are formed based on class and/or gear requirements, be very specific on what is needed.  Post those requirements.

I’m sure I haven’t included everything, but it’s a start.

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~ by Robert Stewart on February 22, 2008.

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