Friday, December 21, 2012

Leadership 101

Good afternoon everyone,

Been a while since last time I addressed the topic of leadership.
Please study the text below:

Raid Leading: What does it take, how can I do it?

1. What does a raid leader do
2. How should a raid leader prepare himself
3. How to judge the limitations of your team
4. How to judge what you need for an individual encounter
5. How to conduct yourself to the guild
6. How to handle confrontations
7. How to fix "problem players" in a raid
8. How to improve your guild's relations with other guilds and the server

What does it take

A raid leader is the single most important player in many guilds. The
raid leader must spend much of his available time studying encounters.
This player is confident in his playmanship, vocal, understands
general concepts of other classes, is not afraid to confront other
players, or call them out in raids, and most importantly, this player
can react in snap decisions on what to do.

This player does not mind wiping or helping players in his or her
guild. The raid leader is always responsible for his actions, and
other players reactions. For it is his job to prepare them for the
choices they must make.

IMPORTANT: You should never be cocky! You do not know it all, do not
act like you do. Raid leading is an important job, not a throne. There
is nothing worse than a rude raid leader, who is lackluster in

How to prepare yourself and your raid

In order to succeed as a raid leader you have to study an encounter
inside and out.

These are some ways to do that.

1. PTR- most of you reading this will probably never go to a PTR
(public test realm).This is very easy to do though, and allows you to
have first hand experience with each encounter before they come out.
The PTR is the first line of knowledge that most well balanced raid
leaders react too.

2. Video's - Another way to educate yourself and your raid, very easy
to do. Many different approaches are available on videos, so one
strategy is not always best for your guild. , ect...

3. Websites - Many websites are dedicated to wow. Many have written
strategies that involve searching. These often contain exceptional
tips on encounters and should almost always be considered. These
websites also contain multiple class guides. If your guild has forums,
then you should almost always be posting these websites into their
respective area's.

Some examples include, - Any tanking class -dps -dps - healing

4. Other guilds / players - learning from the top guild on your
server, or asking one of your friends in that guild how they do an
encounter is another way to learn different ways.

How do you judge your guild

Lets be very frank in this section. All guilds have limitations.
Whether it is a lack of a certain classes, motivation, skill, gear, or
attitude there is a way to push your guild in whatever direction you
feel is needed in order to succeed.

You should be honest in your assessment. you should not be afraid of
letting those who run the guild know what your guilds limitations are.
It is your job to fix these raids. Do it. If there is a certain player
who does not cut it, let them know. If there is a lack of a certain
class, then take the necessary steps to fill that gap.

Everyone who is a raid leader should be aware of how your guild reacts
to complex ideas. If your guild cannot handle them, then it is up to
you to find a solution for them. This solution can come before or
during the raid.

Adapting for raids is key to success. You should always know the
limits of your players and how to make those limits succeed.

What do I need for this raid

1. You should know first and formost your assessment on how hard this
raid will be.

2. Should I allow decent players, or only exceptional players into this raid.
(How will my fellow guildies react?) - Always be able to answer this question.

3. Do I need all of the necessary buffs. (Fort, GOTW, might/battle,
Kings, commanding, DK str., arms/drood crit.) All of these factors
have to be taken into consideration.
(MMO-Champion RaidComp)

4. Do i need a Mind control, do a need a drood to kite, do I need this
many heals/tanks?

5. Have a backup plan!

Reviewing Performance
Why did you wipe? Check combat logs, recount, anything that could
suggest why you died. If it's not obvious at first, look harder.
There's almost always a fairly obvious reason that may not be readily
apparent. Just blaming the healers as a whole creates animosity if
it's just one healer who slipped up one time. Focus more on fixing the
problem than assigning blame!

Quelling Displeasure
Nothing kills morale like failure. Do your best to improve morale
before it hits a low. If it was a good attempt, say so. If it was a
poor attempt with an easy fix, say so. Don't say things like "What the
fuck are you guys doing? You're all so bad!" unless you want the raid
to fall apart.

Changing Assignments
Not everyone is good at every facet of their class. If a ranged fails
to position orbs properly on anub, assign a different ranged to shoot
them down. If your tank healer is unable to keep up with incoming
spike damage, get a different tank healer. Don't think someone's bad
because they're not dispelling enough. Stick them where they're strong
and get a different dispeller.

Altering raid composition
Sometimes, you only need two tanks. Sometimes you need more healers.
Dual specs help guarantee you can switch members' roles if needed. Be
liberal with this, and understand fights. If you are constantly wiping
because of a few individuals, replace them. Don't be bashful. You're
leading a raid and they are underperforming--plain and simple.

If a tank dies, then a certain OT will need to take over. If a healer
dies then have another switch over. Be sure to allow communications
between vital members of the raid. On multiple occasions I have put
people on shut off duty in another channel so they can continue to say
their commands without being interrupted.

How should I conduct myself

1. It is very important to show confidence in your ideas.

2. Always have a plan, and allow for those in your guild to come and
talk about strats.

3. You should command raiders in your guild during your raid. You
should have fun with them outside of the raids.

4. When you are in a raid make it known that you are in control and
shenanigans will not be tolerated.

5. Be sure to play with all of your players, not just those who are
very good. This not only brings up spirits but also allows for an
assessment of how good they are.

Treat People like they are People: It's often very easy as a raid
leader to get caught up in the numbers involved with working to
complete an encounter. We are going to need this much DPS, this many
healers doing X amount of healing ect. It's often that we forget that
these "numbers" are actually people that have life outside of wow.
They have jobs, family and friends ect that may prevent them from
doing all the research into their class that others do themselves.
Understand your trying to convince people to follow you into these
often complicated encounters that may take a good amount of their time
to complete that they could otherwise spend elsewhere. I often wonder
how it is that I can convince all my raiders to 6 nights a week listen
to my advice, follow my directions and spend their free time based on
my ability to lead them alone.

Most of this is from treating everyone equally. We all do our part, no
one ever is seen as not contributing to the success of the group so
long as they were online and played to the best of their ability. I
always address mishaps or wipes as the need for improvement by the
team, ALL OF US including myself. I have never seen a raid with 9/24
absolutely perfect players who never need to improve and one really
poor one. Treat your raiders like they are all equals no better or
worse then the raider standing/lying next to them and you will build a
stronger relationship within your raid.

How to handle confrontations

1. You should always take into consideration the feelings of those you
are talking too.

2. Always start with a whisper, then, if needed, be vocal and call them out.

3. Tell the guild master about your problems. It is not your job to
discipline players.

How to fix "problem players"

If someone is not too good, then for goodness sakes, help them. You
were like that once. I will agree that there are some players who are
unable to learn and some who are not willing. My advice, Kick em. As
for those willing to learn, then it is your job to help them.

There will be times in your guild where everything is going wrong, you
stall, people leave, people dont wish to attend raids anymore. The
best thing you can do is listen.

You should be willing to eithier talk to, or demote any and all
leaders in the guild who are lackluster in performance. What does it
show when your attempting to fix a player and the person you send him
or her to is just as lackluster.
Believe me, everyone notices.

If the problem is not with the leadership or you refuse to demote the
leadership you will have to be willing to regrow your raid roster.
Chances are, you will not be any more successful due to bringing the
lackluster officers anyway. Find the players with potential and invite
them to your guild. Help them become better, slow down on raids, cut
back on what you do.

Exp. Make two ten mans into one. Change 2 night 25 mans into 1 ect...
Ways to help

1. Websites
2. Class leaders
3. Friends who play that class
4. Patience
5. Be an example!

How to fix a group issue

There are often times where a person is put into the posistion of raid
leader without any idea on what he or she should work on achieving.
These are some things you, as a raid leader, should focus on.

1. Attitudes - With the right mindset any adversion can be overcome.
Having everyone in your raid willing to wipe, without griping is
something that I feel every guild should focus on. Having one person
say "This cannot be done" effectivly ruins the excitement of downing
new content. This is a key factor.

2. Type of guild - Make it know what type of guild your guild actually
is. (hardcore, semi-hardcore, casual, ect..). Stressing what type of
guild yours is when you recruit lets those new incoming members know
what to expect from your guild. You as the raid leader have the power
to change how your guild is percieved by how well you do. My current
guild is a semi-hardcore guild, yet we strive to be our best with what
we have.

3. Family atmosphere - Having everyone in your raid being comfortable
while raiding with others is something which shows a strong sence of
pride. It shows the idea of, "together we will succeed".

NOTES: There is no one way to fix no shows. Motivation, work ethic, ect...

There is nothing a raid leader can do, other than increase raid
performance, and increase recruiting in order to achieve success.

It is up to you to make your own decisions because every decision is
always different.

NOTE: Dealing with the day to day issues of failures in raids, no
shows, problem players, canceled runs, can all be stressful. Being
calm and respectful are the way to handle things.

There are two types of griping.

1. Officers - This is the hardest to handle. When your leadership
expresses concerns about the recent or long term failures of raid or
raiding, it is because you have not dealt with the issues involving
these failures.


The first thing you should do is express the problem, and ask for
advice. (from your leadership).
Second, go about the solution in which you believe will solve the problem.

If you have in fact tried to solve these failures, and the leadership
refuses to help, or decides they do not enjoy your presence, then my
advice is to leave. There is nothing you can do other than your best
to achieve success.

2. Members - Having members gripe about you is something no raid
leader should tolerate. If your raids are going on time, successful,
and fun, then there is no reason in which you should have anyone cause
dissension among the ranks. Do not let anyone get the best of you.

FIX - You should let your guild master know, and have him announce at
the begining of each raid that these actions will not be tolerated.
Have him say what type of guild you are in, and that is what you try
to be. Most griping comes down to the fact of progression. Letting
your members know what type of guild they joined is key to not
causeing this type of drama. If they leave over this issue, then it is
their fault for joining in the first place.

There are times when you should know your limits.


IMPORTANT: You should never be cocky! You do not know it all, do not
act like you do. Raid leading is an important job, not a throne. There
is nothing worse than a rude raid leader, who is lackluster in

Guild relations

It is often up to the raid leader to recruit players. Having a good
reputation helps. Be sure to be nice to everyone you meet. You might
be better, but they might become just as good as you one day.

If your guild is not the best, then do the raids they are able to do.
Once your guild's raid is finished then do one that is above your
guilds skill level. Try to bring in as many of your top players as you
can. this helps a core group become ready for these raids in the

How to Deal with stress

1. Build a team around you who you trust and who can some of the
strain. No one is that angelic, patient and all-knowing to RL 100% by
themselves - while during a raid you often need to be the one driving
force and voice, it's awesome to have someone to take some of the
strain or to nudge you quietly in a whisper if they sense you're
getting stressed out. I'd probably even add to this that often it's a
good idea to have a separate RL to GM and to recruitment person and to
person who looks after the website - all with the aim of avoiding

2. Communicate ... communicate ... communicate - open lines of
communication across all "levels" within guild are essential. I know
in the middle of raids the numbers of whispers and channels a RL is
tracking is enormous, but both inside and outside of raids it's vital
to keep communication flowing in all directions - so often things get
blown out of proportion because someone takes for granted that someone
else has noticed the thing that's driving them mad and instead of
saying something about it early they leave it, while you don't want
guildies questioning your every decision (especially during raids) -
good questions and concerns are healthy.

Having a group of hardworking officers is key to success. The effort
should be spread out as not have a burned out raid leader.
Communication is also key so people do not cause drama.

If you start to become burnt out, then please regard the following suggestion!

Have more than one RL, and rotate them every now and then. Your guild,
situation and members will dictate how you will manage this. Raid
Leading is not for the faint hearted, but all too often they burn out.

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