Thursday, May 14, 2009

Attack the Officer!

So I got a couple of not so nice comments on my post 'My guild is the best guild'. I reacted as well as I could, but it did get me thinking about some things. When these sort of comments are aimed at you personally you would be a very indifferent person, or be very very thick skinned, if you didn't at least check with yourself if it was deserved or not.

Luckily I have the most wonderful boyfriend who told me straight away that I didn't deserve this, and I got support and advice from some of the people at twitter as well (who I am quickly starting to regard as friends, thanks Lodur and Veneretio!), plus a guildie backing me up (yay Mandii!).

But it still makes me wonder if every officer deals with these sort of feelings. I mean, from what I read most officers are people who got in those positions by working their asses off within the guild. Most of these leading type people know everything there is to know about their character, are always doing their best to keep their knowledge available to the rest of their guild, and are generally doing just about everything they do with the best interest of their guild in mind.

Still there is just no way to get around the fact that there simply are douchebags out in the world. And even when you're lucky enough to avoid the complete douchebag, you still have to deal with the people who just don't agree with how you do stuff, your decisions, and your leading style.

So while I'm new at dealing with not so nice comments to my blog, I have learned a little in the time I am an officer now to deal with the unhappy part of being in this role, and I figured I would share some of my experiences.

Most people don't like making decisions, this is also a pretty good thing, since a guild full of officers would probably be an epic fail as there would be no way in getting everybody faced into the same direction.

However, in the end a decision has to be made in certain situations. And you can believe me, whatever decision is made, it will never be the right one.

So if you're the brave person actually daring to make that decision, and you and I both know that you really did think about it before you shared the decision with others, stand behind it.

There are too many different flavours in a group to serve a dish to all of their tastes. No decision is every advantageous for every individual in the group, but as long as it benefits the group as a whole you did a good job.

Don't be affraid to admit you were wrong and recall a decision though, every person makes mistakes, and you stepped up to make the decision, so carry the responsibility. Not the nicest part of the whole decision process, but owning up to a bad decision, and then learning from it, will make you a better leader overall.

Iron Man
Sometimes you have to step aside and let others take the lead. For me this is always a very hard thing to do, I'm what they call a natural leader (though some would probably say bossy), but I do generally take the lead. Stepping aside at times allows others to shine, and also gives you a different view of how things can be done.

I'm not talking about putting down the officer title, good officers are hard enough to find that I certainly wouldn't want to be the cause of some guilds losing theirs, what I mean is following a strategy one of your raiders came up with, or ask your raid group for advice on a certain boss, show that you don't always know everything either. There's no need to be the man/woman of iron and be infallible, we're all human.

Strong Leadership makes the world go round
The next thing I will say might sound contradictory to the previous point, but people want strong leaders. If your raid leader seems uncertain about the fact if the group can or cannot do a boss, it is more likely that the raid will fail.

So while it's ok to not know everything, you should even try to come accross as decisive about the things you don't know, if that still makes sense. Decisiveness is a form of confidence (Thror's phrase) and confidence is comforting.

Dealing with Drama
The other time when you should really step aside is when attacks are aimed at you personally. You can try to defend yourself, but no matter what you do, defending yourself will often make it look worse. When you're an officer, this is the time to speak with the guidleader and ask him, or her, if it can be taken out of your hands in a discrete fashion.

I have no idea what to do if you're the guild leader at this point, I've never been in this position, and we have a pretty amazing guild leader who just hasn't manouvered himself into this position yet far as I know at least.

Stay clear of the heat for a while, nothing good has ever come from letting things escalate. And even though you might rear on your hindlegs at what is being said/done to you, keep in mind that in the end you're in this position for the good of the guild, not to start flame wars with your guildies. No matter how unfair it might seem at that moment, in the end it is often better to let a neutral person in a leadership position step in, and shush things a little.

Don't regard it as a loss, the situation was dealth with in the end, right? So you have still achieved your goal.

When you've really had enough of it all
The stress on you in an officer position can become too much. I have a character on the EU servers for this purpose. I'm in a tiny little friends guild, and I mean nothing there. It relaxes to just play the game without the hassle, and while doing so you will start to remember again why you love your guild so much, and why you put up with all the mess of being an officer. You once made the decision that it was worth it, I promise you, it still is. You just needed some time to blow off steam.


  1. My name's Lodur, and I approve this post!

    Great post and thank you =D

    Recent blog post: Abusing General Vezax as Discipline

  2. So many things I would like to say .. that I really shouldn't say in a blog post. Heh. Oh well :-D

  3. /agree with what you said. I learned it the hard way, when leading a guild for a few months. I failed at making decision, along with the other officers. The real important decision I really took was to quit leading and the guild disbanded.

    I don't regret it now, though it was hard at the moment. Most of the other guildies create another guild with another officer as a leader. I felt and still feel quite betrayed by my officers. But everyone seems to be pretty happy now in their new guilds. That's why I think it was a good decision. Even if it was admitting I failed as a leader.

    And yes, alt are a way to escape the responsability. But I had to level my druid with the DND flag in order to be left alone for a few hours. Responsabilities follow you everywhere ! :D

  4. Anonymous mud-slingers could be anyone. I wouldn't even bother to take their comments seriously.

  5. Hey I think i finally figured out how to link my comments to my profile lol

  6. Great post!

    I should some of our Officers over her to read this, they clearly lack on a few of these!

    I have to agree with strong Leadership. I've always felt that Leadership defines the Guild. If the Leadership isn't strong how can you expect the Guild to be strong. Along with that the Officers need to support each other and the Guild Leader, if not your members wont have faith in your Leadership. Nothing is worse then to hear another Officer say "Yeah so and so is an idiot, just do what I say" or something along those lines.

    I also couldn't agree more with having a way to get away. A character no one knows, so you can just chill out and de-stress.

  7. The best way I've found to "get away" is to play a different game. Part of this is because I'm an achievement whore .. if I'm playing WoW, I want to be working on something. It's why my stable of level 70s are all still 70.

    Fortunately, there's a ton of single-player games out there :)