Around 2 months ago I thought about how I can develop my team leading skills, if I in the future want to expand my soon-to-be game company. Then it hit me, being a guild leader in an MMORGP (Massive Multi Online Role Playing Game, like World of WarCraft or Guild Wars) requires team leading skills, at least if the guild’s focus lies in completing dungeons/instances. Because of my revelation I created a topic on my Facebook wall for friends to share their thoughts and critique; I got a lot of valuable information, thank you everyone for your time! Below is a summary of all ideas I got, both from me and my friends.
What is required by a guild?
For a guild to grow and flower it needs a strong leader (you) and you, as a guild master, need to be a good example for your fellow guild members. That is, you cannot expect to login, do a raid session, logout and never login until next raid session; you need to collect items for the raids as much, or probably more, than everyone else. You can do this smartly to save time, or the hard way, that depends on your spare time and what elements you find fun.
You need to “Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise” -Dale Carnegie. Give lots of compliments when progress is made, and if you like something someone did, tell him/her that! Respect, you need respect, why? If the guild members don’t respect you, don’t think they will be there for every raid, or that they will listen to what you say. Steer away from anger and irritation. Often you will be tempted to ventilate and teach them a lessons or two. Do that if you want to loose respect. Be humble, why do they have problems? As for the last thing, the guild needs to have a stable player base. If the guild switches members all to often the guild will fail to create that special bond some guilds have.
Pros and Cons with this team leading approach
When you play an MMORPG you don’t meet the people in person, but in a company you see them face to face. While in the company you can see their emotions both through vocal communication and body language; through games you only get vocal emotions through and thus miss all the face and body expressions. This is, in my opinion, a huge loss when training. On the other hand, when you train a skill, a good strategy is to focus on one area and not try to get better at all things simultaneously. (I know I should provide a source here, but I have heard and read this in several books, for piano Heinrich Neuhaus has written the book the art of playing piano.) What you will train yourself in, is leading a guild with members of different age (mostly in their 14-30s), different cultures (if you decide on an international guild), and improve your English speaking skills (if you’re not a native English speaker or a national guild).
Once you have a guild you will have to deal with various conflict; although these are specific to the game and people you can generalize them and deal with similar situations in real life. If you want to become a good team leader fast you need to start learning effectively—you might become a good team leader after years without questioning your actions—but by analyzing every conflict and figuring out solutions (s means more than one!) how to avoid similar conflicts, you will be better prepared next time; after a while you will notice when things are starts to head down the wrong road and can effectively change road before it gets too steep. One thing you will get better at is your verbal communication for sure, and it is never bad to be bad with communicating verbally, since that is essentially what you will do at your company or with your team. Note that you will have to train on your body gesturing when going to lead “real life” situations, but then you will at least be PRO on vocal communication
Being a guild leader is time consuming, as mentioned above you need to collect various items for your guild, however, this can be done smartly if you don’t have much time. As an example, I used to play WoW and was quite good at getting money in AH. At the time of the Lich King expansion I could easily get 1000g per day with less than an hour of gameplay. It took around 2 months to get up to that amount, in fact the first week I only got around an average of 50g, and some days I “lost” 300g. But in the end I saved time doing this since I could buy most of the resources for the raid. My lesson is, try to find fast ways to make money, get items, or whatever it is you need and strive to make it as effective as possible. Lets say you only need to spend one hour per day on collecting items you will still need to do instances and raiding for two hours a day, in total 3 hours per day—except maybe Friday and Saturday for more or less obvious reasons (people probably have other things planned on a Friday and Saturday). This means 17 hours (7×1 + 5×2) per week, and that is quite much if you have a job, have a family or girlfriend, and want to have spare time for other things as well.
If you have your own company, and can afford it, you can see it as a team leader course you’re taking; using one hour of your work time to fix everything for the raids, then two hours of your spare time to actually raid and have fun with your guild.
What are you thoughts and critique? I have most likely missed a lot of points what is required by a guild, but then again this post is not about: what is required to lead a guild.