What makes a good guild leader to you?

90 Draenei Death Knight
4540
I have recently become a Guild Master of quite a large level 25 social/raiding guild (not this chick, another alt), and was curious as to your opinions, as to what makes a good guild leader to you?

Just so you know, I am not so much concerned as to what makes a good raid leader in this thread, as I don't want to lead the actual raid team, that's just something I want the guild to get to, in its own time, as although I do want the guild to progress, it's just more important to me personally, that people stick together as friends. I am curious as to your opinions, as to what makes a good guild leader, generally?

Thing is, I want to help out people when I can, but I just don't want to feel like that as a social guild, it's just a stepping stone for people to gear up, so they can then run off to a raiding guild when they are geared up, I would prefer the people of like minds like me, that value friendship first to be the ones I help the most, so I've stuck to the original rules the guild had against begging, stealing from the gbank, and absolutely no swearing at or griefing other guildies, which is basic stuff to me.

Anyway, feel to share your thoughts on the best GMS you had in this game, or if you are a GM, what you do that makes your guild work for you. :)
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85 Dwarf Paladin
6780
Expect people to leave. Get used to that being the norm as it will happen in any guild, some more than others for sure, but it will happen. With that in mind a guild always need to be looking for good/new members.
My suggestion is that as GM, no matter what type of guild, you define your guild in non-subjective measurable ways.
For example you say value friendship, which while it is a nice sentiment, really leaves it wide open to interpretation, and misinterpretation. Instead consider thinking of some examples of what would be friendship in terms of activities in the guild. For example you may say that for a higher rank in the guild, someone should do an activity with someone else in the guild three times a week, and even better if they do something with someone else in the guild they have not done anything with for the past two weeks.

Why do this? Because getting better fit people for the guild can go along way for keeping like minded people. Likewise it starts setting up ideas for what people will be doing in the guild.

Speaking of guild members and ranks. I would also let your guild members know that there are no promotions or demotions in your social guild, but simply a matter of ranks that reflect a persons currently level of guild activity. One potential problem in social guilds (and others as well) is rank inflation, where someone gets 'promoted' and then starts to back off and holds the rank only from an honorary status, not actual status. If you want to give honorary status ranks that's fine, but plan it that way.

Last: Listen to guild members. Let them talk, let them vent. Avoid taking any action on the fly unless the situation is dire. BUT always take action and make the call even if someone does not like it. A Guild Leader that does not lead is, well not really a guild leader.
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90 Tauren Druid
9425
Not any different than if you were running a business.

• Have a clear mission, and make decisions that will further that mission.
• Stick up for your rules, and apply them justly.
• Encourage interactions that further your mission.
• Attract players who help the guild be what you want it to be, and turn away those who are not good for the guild

Something that stands out is that you don't want the guild to be just a social guild that people are in until their geared for raiding and then jump ship to a raiding guild. What are you doing to see that that doesn't happen? Have you selected a raid leader who will apply your leadership values to the raiding arena? Because if you don't make raiding a part of your guild, you will lose players as they gear up -- no matter how much people like being in your guild for the social aspect, if they want to raid, they'll find a raiding guild.

Why I like my GL ... I've been with her, first when she was a RL, since Wrath, and she's since taken on the guild as GL. She doesn't take crap: if people are being rude, offensive, jerky, trashing on others (in or out of guild), or otherwise being a not-so-good person, she'll give them the option to shape up or ship out. She applies her rules to everyone, whether they're a new recruit, or someone she's been raiding with for half a decade. She tries to include everyone who is interested and capable of raiding (that's the main focus of the guild), without holding back the progression of the guild because a player just ain't cutting the mustard.

And above all, she's got humility. She knows that just because she's GL, that doesn't make her perfect. She can acknowlege when she's made a mistake, stepped in bad, etc - she doesn't pass the buck.
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90 Draenei Priest
17915
The most important things I've learned from being a guild leader:

  • You cannot do it all by yourself. Delegate responsibility, and once you've done that, let your officers do their jobs without interference from you.
  • To be a good leader, you must first be a good follower. You don't know everything, and there will be times when someone has more experience in a certain area. Listen to them.
  • Listen to your members. Pay close attention to what they say, and not just the complaints, but the praises, too. Be open and available.
  • Be a part of your guild membership, not just the leader. The more your guild sees you as just another person in the guild, the more likely they are to address issues with you, rather than with other guild members.
  • Admit when you make mistakes.
  • Your rules apply to you -more- than they apply to everyone else. You are setting an example for the behavior you will and won't tolerate, and your guild is watching you for clues on what you expect from them.
  • Never, ever break or bend a rule for someone just because they are your friend. Don't play favorites. Don't give in to their begging - no matter what it's for. If you break the rules for one person, it will result in chaos when you refuse to break the rules for someone else. Be fair and equal across the board.
  • These are just some of the things I've learned about being a guild leader. My guild turns 6 years old in March, and while we've had our ups and downs, we're still going strong. My members are happy. That leads me to believe that, while I am not perfect and I do make mistakes, I'm at least doing something right.

    Best of luck.
    Edited by Solaeris on 11/27/2012 2:23 PM PST
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    4 Undead Mage
    0
    Its not limited to the mundane overseership of a video game guild but true leaders are individuals and defenders and advocates of individuality.
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    48 Pandaren Monk
    4740
    people will come and go, i have many guildies that have pulled a toon or 2, for a raiding guild and another for a pvp guild. they still keep other toons in the guild...

    others will come in and stay for the long haul

    some will come in stay and they might find that its not suited for them meaning they might move on to someething more ( like a hardcore pvp guild or a raiding guild)

    and few will join you to be compleate aholes to try to beg for free stuff or to try to take items fomr the guild that thye dont want ( to sell for themselves)

    i have had many of each

    if there is a problem sugestion or comcern they can always come to me and talk to be about it.... but other then that im just another player and guild member
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    90 Draenei Death Knight
    4540
    Thank you guys for the advice <3
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    90 Blood Elf Priest
    4490
    Just to add to what others have said

    Have a sense of humor it helps, Understand this is a game it is not life and death even though some do play the game as if it were. It is okay not to know everything, but you at least need to know who or where to direct them ( the guildies) to for the answers.

    Understand you can not always be everyones Friend and you can not please everyone 100% of the time and that it is okay. Sometimes you do have to kick players out ...it is good to have empathy, but your sole focus needs to be what is good for the guild, not one individual player.

    Set up a list of rules and expectations, hold everyone accountable to these rules, yourself included

    Always treat everyone with respect.

    Delegate you can not do it all, but chose the players you delegate to well

    Have a guild focus or goal ie PVP/Raiding Social understand a do all guild is very hard to run and while you may succeed in pvping, raiding and being a social guild you often sacrifice quality for quantity.

    So set a focus for your guild a main focus.. this will be the driving force behind all your recruiting efforts.. and when you do recruit, chose players whose goals are similar to yours
    and along with this Do not make promises you can not keep just to get a player to accept your invite. eventually he will see that he was lied to and leave ( and often he will not be happy at being decieved and this will result in negative publicity for your guild)

    But above all else remember most of us play this game to have fun, if you andyour guildies are not having fun something is wrong.
    Edited by Ssinfull on 11/27/2012 11:33 PM PST
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    90 Night Elf Hunter
    3450
    My philosophy is, if you do your job right, your guild will run itself like a well oiled machine.
    The hardest question is for you to answer, exactly what kind of a guild you want it to be. Everything else will follow but if you dont have a clear definition things will start to fall apart.
    Raiding and social aspects make get confused since they dont always go hand in hand.
    Edited by Ohota on 11/28/2012 7:40 PM PST
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    90 Draenei Death Knight
    4540
    Oh good, I found this thread again as well! Thanks sinful, I thought someone might have had something else to say. Thing is, I am not big on rules and regulations, as too many rules turn people off, once the guild gets to over 950 members (almost a full home) I'm considering becoming more strict with player names and things.
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    90 Draenei Priest
    17915
    12/04/2012 10:09 AMPosted by Eliil
    I'm considering becoming more strict with player names and things.


    Can you clarify this a bit? You really have no control over what people name their characters so I'm curious how you plan to go about becoming more strict in this area.
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    90 Draenei Priest
    17345
    12/04/2012 10:09 AMPosted by Eliil
    Thing is, I am not big on rules and regulations, as too many rules turn people off


    I honestly do not mean this in a bad way; seriously not trying to be rude in any way, but...

    Thing is, if your members can't adhere to a few standards to keep the guild moving along smoothly and to keep drama to a minimum they are probably not the kind of members you want. Rules are meant to turn some people off, those people probably would not have stayed and/or would have caused trouble. Why not weed them out in the beginning?

    Weeding out players who don't fit your guild culture will be necessary if you plan to keep drama low in a massive guild of 950 people.

    12/04/2012 10:09 AMPosted by Eliil
    once the guild gets to over 950 members (almost a full home) I'm considering becoming more strict with player names and things.


    I would be careful with bringing arbitrary rules like this into the guild that late in it's "age".

    What are you going to do about the 450 or the 950 who's names all-of-a-sudden don't fit your new policy after not having said anything to them for all that time?

    And...What other "things"? Bringing rules into play out of the blue when there have never been rules before (as you stated, you don't like rules yourself) is a sure way to go from 950 to 9 in a couple of weeks.

    ------

    Set a few basic standards up front. Determine what these standards should be based on what kind of guild you want.

    Family Friendly? Casual Raiding? Social Leveling? PvP? What is the focus of your guild? What is going to make the 950 members you want to have want to have you as their GL and your guild as their in-game "family"?

    I don't think anyone's trying to tell you to have a massive list of rules that no person could possibly have fun with, but if you're a "family friendly" guild it might be a good idea to set a PG-13 rating on Guild/Vent Chat or if you're a "social/leveling" guild it might be a nice idea to create fun guild events and state that if you sign up you need to show up.

    Basic things like that are still "rules/regulations" of sorts. Many of us are simply saying that a set of standards (expectations for members and what your guild will do/provide for it's members) is a necessary thing if you want a flourishing "family" as opposed to a tag under random player names.
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    4 Undead Mage
    0

    Rules are meant to turn some people off, those people probably would not have stayed and/or would have caused trouble. Why not weed them out in the beginning?


    The implication being that people who are turned off by pages of rules are, beyond a reasonable doubt, trouble makers and the people who make the rules are completely just and incorruptible.
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    90 Draenei Death Knight
    4540
    The problem is, if I didn't put up with somewhat crass player names, at least for now, there wouldn't be a guild. But if it becomes sexually explicit, that's crossing the line.
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    90 Tauren Druid
    11420

    Rules are meant to turn some people off, those people probably would not have stayed and/or would have caused trouble. Why not weed them out in the beginning?


    The implication being that people who are turned off by pages of rules are, beyond a reasonable doubt, trouble makers and the people who make the rules are completely just and incorruptible.


    Another person being overly dramatic about it.

    There's nothing wrong with expecting basic guild rules.

    Is this "pages of rules"? --v

    1. Respect your guildies and the guild bank, don't take to sell or take advantage.

    2. No Begging

    3. Keep chat on /g and voip to Rated (insert for yourself) level. (this can be as strict as no profanity or as lax as no anti-group or -ist type comments..I think even the most lax of guilds has some limit.

    4. If you sign up for a group-number-specific guild activity please show up or give notice ahead if something comes up.

    You can word these to suit your guild but these are general basics that too many guilds just assume people will follow without them being posted up. Even if it's no more than a simple blurb in the g info that says "Guild Rules: Don't tick everyone off! (begging, no showing, and stereotyping will tick everyone off...) it can help prevent drama when someone is causing trouble and you decide it's time to take a stand against their disruptive behavior.
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    90 Draenei Priest
    17345

    Rules are meant to turn some people off, those people probably would not have stayed and/or would have caused trouble. Why not weed them out in the beginning?


    The implication being that people who are turned off by pages of rules are, beyond a reasonable doubt, trouble makers and the people who make the rules are completely just and incorruptible.


    Once again you infer something that was never said nor meant.

    If your guild has a standard for guild/vent chat, say Rated PG for a "family friendly" atmosphere, that "rule" will weed out any players who are looking more for a Rated R (or in some cases Rated G) atmosphere.

    These players wouldn't be happy in a "PG" guild because...1) they don't want to be in a guild where language is censored or 2) they are parents who allow their 8 yr old to play as long as he/she is in the same guild they are in (or some similar scenario...obviously these are situations off the top of my head and represent no single player or group of players).

    Having standards (or a set of rules & regulations if you prefer to call them that) has not one single thing to do with leadership being "completely just and incorruptible" nor does it imply that "people who are turned off by pages of rules are, beyond a reasonable doubt, trouble makers".

    It simply means that some people are not looking for the type of guild you have or want to have and that personalities may not mesh with guild culture, which in turn will cause issues (or, I believe I said "trouble" before) in that...1) you will have a mass exodus of players who want something different than you want which leads many GL's to give up or 2) you will have to remove players because of drama or other issues you could have nixed from the beginning.

    Standards, rules, guidelines, whatever you want to call them ARE meant to turn some people off or, perhaps a better way to say it is they are meant to let people know up front if something in a community, team, organization, club or guild (in this case) is or is not inline with the type of culture or atmosphere they want to be associated with.

    And to clarify, and had you read my full post and not one sentence you could use to troll the thread, I did not say anything (nor has anyone else said anything) about having "pages of rules". I said that a few basic standards will help weed out players who won't fit in the guild culture the OP is trying to create.
    Edited by Malorey on 12/5/2012 6:00 AM PST
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    90 Draenei Priest
    17915
    12/05/2012 01:00 AMPosted by Eliil
    The problem is, if I didn't put up with somewhat crass player names, at least for now, there wouldn't be a guild. But if it becomes sexually explicit, that's crossing the line.


    As a guild leader, you have the right to refuse anyone a guild invite for any reason you choose. What I'm curious about is what you plan to do with all of those people already in your guild whose character names offend you. Are you going to remove them? Ask them to change their names? I'm honestly trying to figure out how you plan to implement a rule about offensive character names. It makes sense to deny guild membership to people whose names offend you, but what about your already-guilded members?
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    4 Undead Mage
    0
    Once again you infer something that was never said nor meant.

    If your guild has a standard for guild/vent chat, say Rated PG for a "family friendly" atmosphere, that "ru....


    So just because you can't reason out the implications of what you typed or lack the abililty to convey your true meaning the person that acknowledges that is somehow to blame?

    Gimme a break dude.

    I think you're aware of your limitations otherwise you wouldnt need 6+ paragraphs in a follow up post to clarify yourself so just leave me out of your guilt trip.

    Many guilds have rules governing everything from behavior and language on to gear, attendance, perfomance, computer builds, and beyond. The idea that people opposed to certain rules are deemed "trouble" by the rule writers does not strain credulity.

    Rules are written and enforced by rulers and followed by the ruled. Pretty simple stuff really and thats all people really need to know.
    Edited by Pyrettaßlaze on 12/5/2012 4:52 PM PST
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    90 Draenei Death Knight
    4540
    Someone in the guild said something very colorful today in my main guild and I kicked him. 22 people were online at the time, so I think that makes a clear enough statement of what I will and won't accept lol.
    Edited by Eliil on 12/6/2012 6:13 AM PST
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    90 Gnome Warrior
    13465
    I read your other post regarding bank access as well, and think I'll just tie it all together here.
    We are a large social guild which includes daily activities and a raid team (we only raid once a week for a few hours, and are more interested in seeing content or getting achievements, so we are by no means, a raiding guild). We've been on our server a long time and have grown from a small group of friends (now all gone) to a bustling guild. Our mission is to be a welcoming place to all level of players as long as they are active.

    Our rules are simple and basically boil down to 'don't be a jerk'. PG-13 rating in guild chat (vent sometimes ventures into a R rating, but not if it would offend anyone on at the time). We don't tolerate intolerance - derogatory comments of a racial, sexual, ageist (we range from about 13-70 years in age) are not tolerated. All rules enforce the Mission. Oh and we care about our reputation, so don't be a jerk in randoms, raids or trade chat.

    Our ranks are based solely on time in guild. We once had ranks based on 'service to the guild', which I did away with after a short time as GM. The reason was most of these had basically come down to promotions based on who the officers/GM liked the most. It became a source of unneeded drama and a headache to manage with a large guild. So it goes:
    Cheese It - initiate (2 week initiation period)
    Better Cheddar - active member
    Aged Cheddar - member for 3 months or more
    Monger Alt - Officer Alt
    Cheese Monger - Officer
    Cheese Mistress - Me!
    (I didn't come up with the cheesy names, there is a long history of bad puns in this guild)

    Access increases with guild rank/time in guild. There are repairs for everyone above Cheese It. Bank rules are simple to follow - 1. Take only what can be used by the toon removing it (not for unguilded alts, not for player without access). 2. Don't steal from the guild bank - that is, don't take stuff and put in on the AH. 3. If you take mats out, help replenish when you can. Breaking the bank rules can result in a demotion or removal from the guild, based on level of offense. I never take gold from the guild bank for my personal use - it is the guild's money and I have over time amassed enough on my own to live a comfortable WoW life. We use it for repairs, contest prizes, rarely raiding mats (our raiders fill the raiding tab with mats for the use of the raid team).

    Large guilds, even social ones require a lot of maintenance. Find people you trust to help you and assign them jobs. Never have officers that don't really do anything. All of my officers are adults (and one teen). Our work/real life schedules allow an officer to be on most of the time. My #2 is in charge of our raid team and scheduling raid related events. He is also the good cop to my bad cop when we have drama or issues. One officer handles our roster, removing/demoting inactive players, promoting players. Another handles the bank organization. A third helps with both. I have a 4th officer who is sort of our junior officer, he's a younger player who is a good raider and likes to schedule old school runs for achievements. I oversee it all, schedule events and contests, recruit, keep people in-line and love doing it.

    Another thing - look at your roster. Do you have a set time people can be inactive before they are removed? Some people just like numbers, so keep everyone (this was the case of a past GM of our guild) Bigger is not always better. We demote people to the initiate rank if they are absent past 30 days. They are removed after 3 months. They can always come back, if they start playing again (many do). This is more lenient than the raiding guilds I was in before, but it works for a social guild. We decreased our numbers significantly, but we are a tighter group of individuals having fun together.

    Remember, a guild is a private group. Every member is there by invitation. If they cause discord or are not able to fit in, it's probably in their best interest and yours to have them move along. We do have people that use all our perks to level up, then leave for raiding/pvp guilds. That's ok. We have many that stick around for the environment on alts or return to level toons again. Once we created the environment we wanted, we had no trouble finding the people who wanted that environment as well.

    Edit to apologize for the length. Read it at your leisure. :)
    Edited by Gigglefoot on 12/6/2012 6:15 AM PST
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