The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Guild Leaders

10 Aug

A collaborative post by Anexxia and Psynister:

In light of a recent 7 Habits of Highly Effective People workshop one of us attended, the idea was born for this post…

Habit 1: Be Reactive

Why be proactive when you can just wait to see what life throws at your guild?
Foster an environment that lacks accountability and responsibility. No one could
ever have guessed that enforcing lower standards for your significant other to
be included in progression content, or loot counciling all that gear to your
friends would cause you to lose those core raiding team members. You’re just a
victim of some bad luck. Promote another one of your cronies, I mean, upstanding
long term guild members, to the O team and see if that helps.

Habit 2: Take Every Minute as it Comes; Never Plan Ahead

It’s better to have a casual guild, with the members setting its course,
day-by-day. It’s dumb to have a plan or a vision for what the guild wants to
accomplish, because then not every person could have their say or get exactly
what they want out of the guild. This way, we’re free to change our focus on a
daily basis, to put out whatever fire erupted overnight on our forums. Because
definitely, whatever someone is complaining about right now is the most
important issue the guild is facing. It’s lame that you haven’t had any
progression in our 25-man raids in 4 months, but you put that free-for-all
reminder about them up on the calendar every week, so you are doing your part.
Folks are just tired of doing lower spire, that’s all. And it’s summertime, so
not as many people are around. And it’s also the pre-expansion slump. And we
definitely couldn’t have prepared or planned for any of that.

Habit 3: Put the Minor Things First

Make sure you’ve kicked out your inactive members every month. And keep the bank
tidy on a weekly basis. And archive old content on the forums. Those are
absolutely the most important tasks the GM should focus on. Even if it means you
don’t have time to get to addressing any of your officers’ concerns from the
last meeting. Or don’t have time to think through the proposal for raid
recruitment. Or have any time leftover to talk to the officer your insulted in
front of everyone with your oblivious and rude generalization about their
personality that showed you haven’t paid any attention at all to how they roll
or the talk they walk. Have to make sure to put those administrative tasks
first! That’s why you’re GM, after all, right?

Habit 4: Think Lose/Lose

Oh no, you really stepped in it this time. Better make sure you give yourself
some ground cover by pulling down someone else with you. How about that officer
who’s always trying to push you outside of your comfort zone by suggesting new
approaches? Yeah, they’ll do nicely. Gives a much softer landing if you can
spread the blame around. And who has the time to think through whether or not an
idea you don’t personally like might be able to be a win for everyone involved?
It’s a lot easier to just say no. Change is scary and bad. Who needs it?

Habit 5: Seek First to Undermine

Understanding is overrated! You don’t need to know that other Officer’s
viewpoint. They obviously want your job. And I think some of the guildies
wouldn’t be so sad to see them have it. Hmmm. I know – air some dirty laundry to
make them look bad. You can just say you forgot it was confidential. Or you
accidentally posted it in the wrong place. That’ll put them back in their place.
They need to remember you’re the one in charge.

Habit 6: Work in a Silo, Never Collaborate

The idea of synergy is so ridiculous. No one ever had a better idea by sharing
it with someone else. You know what a camel is right? It’s a horse designed by a
committee. You can figure out any of your guild problems yourself. Your guild is
a unique snowflake. The strategies or tactics other guilds have used to tackle
loot distribution, raid scheduling, and other common issues just wouldn’t work
for your guild. Thank goodness they have you to be the decider.

Habit 7: Never Change What You Can Ignore Instead

Change is hard, and tomorrow will get here without it, so why bother? Just ignore
the problems and eventually people will get used to it or they’ll forget. Don’t worry
about the player causing all that so called “drama.” So what if he makes every other
player in the guild cringe when he logs in and his two favorite words are “rape”
and “fag.” Leave sleeping dogs lie. You don’t want to be the one to rock the boat, or
to take the responsibility for removing him from the guild. Just leave it alone, and
eventually everyone will get used to it; problem solved. He probably had a bad
childhood, and we should all have worked harder to help his self esteem, and maybe
then he wouldn’t have acted out so much. Do you ever remember anybody leaving the
guild because they didn’t like just one person? Neither do I. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
And if you didn’t break it, then it ain’t broke. Eventually, all those do-gooders who want
to improve “raid-this” and change “guild-that” will move on and go bother someone else.
And things will be right back to how they used to be. Mmmhmm.


Posted by on August 10, 2010 in World of Warcraft


9 responses to “The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Guild Leaders

  1. Ceraphus (aka Avatar)

    August 10, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    Awesome post, I loved it, definitely I hear some of those things a lot from friends in other guilds. I can only hope I am not any of those things as a GM

  2. Alas

    August 10, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Excellent post – I sincerely hope that I am not perceived as having any of these habits. I don’t think I do, but I am going to link this to my guild forums and ask for some honest feedback. It should be interesting to see what comes out of it.

  3. Borsk

    August 10, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    Bravo! I like the administrivia one, classic.

  4. Saga

    August 11, 2010 at 7:13 AM

    Oh god, I can remember some of these from previous guilds I’ve been in. And I’m sure every guild at some point has done at least one of them – even if unintentionally :)

    Good run down though, made me smile :)

  5. Windpaw

    August 18, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    wow…you just described the last 3 .Com’s I worked for back during the boom 0_o

    • Psynister

      August 19, 2010 at 8:01 AM

      It describes pretty well every .com I’ve been in, with the slight exception of one of them.


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