Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Be George Clooney, Not Gordon Ramsay

George Clooney and Gordon Ramsay are polar opposites of one another. The former is considered a cool, calm and collected personality who is in full control of his life - George's affairs are always in order. Mr Ramsay, on the other hand, is often perceived to be an irate megalomaniac bent on keeping his employees in line by shouting at them. A lot. These two celebrities are a massive success at what they both do, despite having very different methods at going about their business.

Throughout Leading A Guild's (I'm never sure if I should italicise that or not) short life I've always encouraged you all to be like old George. No, don't star in a hit film where you play a gangster and round up a group to carry out a heist. I mean you should act like he presents himself: This means you should remain rational and focused at all times. Be emotionally impartial, but not apathetic. When you maintain this relaxed state you'll find your members follow suit. That's called setting an example and ensures you don't end up on YouTube in the form of a raging raid manager who picked Ventrillo as his or her platform to go crackers on.

The concept behind performing in this way is a simple one: Shouting at other players may get them to perform a little more effectively, but it'll cause them to disrespect you. Be thought of as a smooth-talking alpha that shapes the world around him as you please - a real-life Chuck Bass, if you will.

After all, who likes the little man who loses his rag at the drop of a hat? Fill in your answer here: _____________________________ (10 marks)



If you answered 'no one', then you're incorrect.

The right answer is 'idiots'. Like attracts like so obviously hot-headed, moron tyrants lead small-minded, immature brats into battle. You may naturally be a very laid-back person but constantly find yourself screaming at raiders to do better because they don't obey you unless your voice is above 90 decibels. Then they shout back and, before you know it, there's a whole hunk of drama to deal with. Months pass and you're finally seen crying on the cobbled streets of Stormwind - battered, bruised and, if you've taken some of my advice too far, broke.

This isn't your fault.

Alright, it partially is because everything that happens to the guild is your direct responsibility. However, there's always a chance you'll accidentally recruit a bunch of bloody arseholes that don't reflect on your true leadership style at all. You'll think shouting at these problematic tossers will actually work. You'll be wrong. The only true solution to these living, breathing, walking, screaming causes of drama and issues is to boot them out. The chances are you won't have the opportunity to have these troublesome individuals to repent for their behaviour and realise the error of their ways. Eradicating these folks from the guild will help you and your members retain their focus and destroy any negativity.

I think Ramsay's always crazy because he's surrounded by incompetents during every day of his working life. That's why he's doomed to look like a raging fool forever; because his colleagues are idiots trying to work in a high-pressure environment. Don't be tempted into being Gordon.

Just keep it cool, mon. Like Clooney.

To summarise:

  • Go watch Men Who Stare At Goats or something.

[I got dah rele kewl pix from here, here and here!]

Are You An Administrator Or Leader?

Are you up on British politics, reader? Of course you are! Who can ignore it? The British successfully demonstrate everything that is right and wrong with a free democracy on a daily basis. However, I won't be talking about expenses scandals or right-wing extremists getting TV air-time today. Instead, I want to focus on the people making big decisions and how that applies to guild leading.

Tony Blair is the former Prime Minister who now makes a very good living both as a motivational speaker and, ironically, a United Nations Peace Ambassador. Gordon Brown is the incumbent Prime Minister and served under Blair as Chancellor for the duration of Labour's time in power. Despite Blair not having an ultra-political background (especially when compared to those of similar standing in the Conservatives - the opposing party) he has enjoyed an unprecedented rise to power. Prior to gaining influence in the Labour Party, it's obvious that he exhibited true leadership qualities. It goes beyond simply being charismatic; Blair had, and still retains, the capacity to be persuasive and calm in the face of danger - a quality that even Star Trek says is important in authority figures. They are all also attributes I try to get you to emulate. I don't care if you think Blair's a complete twat; he's gotten away with taking an entire nation to war on nothing but spin and rhetoric. That's an amazing feat which makes the fact he appointed Brown as his successor even more remarkable - in a bad way.

The Scot is almost the polar opposite of Blair. He's portrayed as inarticulate, incompetent and moody by almost every press establishment and newsroom commentator. He's constantly snarling and looking downright unhappy. I'd be pissed off too if I caused a recession, but this bloke truly is King Pessimist. By not setting a good example for the country people are beginning to despise him. Gordon isn't a leader and, as such, has failed to sufficiently rally support behind his party. Labour will tap out at the next election.

So how is any of this relevant to guilds on your favourite MMO? Well in Britain, Brown is the natural administrator and Blair is the obvious leader. When they occupied these designated roles the government ran like Usain Bolt. Brown managed affairs but Blair was cabinet's mouthpiece. This combination worked for an entire decade so maybe it's worth reflecting on your own organisation in the same way.

Are you a leader or administrator? Blair or Brown? Kirk or Spock? Robin Hood or Friar Tuck? Do you like to pull the puppet strings from the back seat, or take charge from the front? It's pretty easy to tell if your guild runs by your will or the rules your faux bureaucracy has implemented. If the former is the case, then you're a leader. If the latter is the case, then you're an administrator. Simple.

The truth is that it doesn't matter if you're one or the other, but I will say this: Always have appropriate counterpart and make sure it's someone you get along with. Just as House has Wilson, a loud, free-speaking leader needs an administrator to keep him or her grounded. Conversely, the anal administrator requires a wildcard to think outside of the box.

The presence of this balance of personalities ensures your bigger team of officers runs smoothly. The important thing is to appoint a deputy that you trust and have patience for. Someone that contests your authority at every turn is someone you don't need. However, by having your own little administrator or natural leader you'll find both of you figure out unique solutions to the guild's issues.

In summary:
  • You may think yourself a true leader, but don't be scared to reflect on your true character.

  • Recruiting a counterpart is a risk and try to get someone you've known for more than ten minutes.

  • If you get the balance right, you can expect to rule for a thousand years (or until your subscription ends).

[I got the pictures from here, here and here.]