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[Leadership] The Influence of Celebrities

Posted by Malevica on December - 10 - 2010

I was reading Kurn’s latest post, and a comment in it caught my eye:

The problem with being a GM who has a blog that’s mostly healing-related is that I have a LOT of healers and they’re all awesomesauce and all chomping at the bit to get in there and HEAL.

Now this is something I’ve observed in other guilds as well; not with bloggers (not that I know of, anyway) but with the GM and Officers in those guilds. There seems to me to be a rough correlation between the high-profile figures residing in a given guild and the number and performance of the members of that same class or role. So if your GM is a healer, you’ll find you tend to have strong, enthusiastic healers around.

I think there are two main reasons for a plausible link:

  1. Fame and respect – A well-respected class blogger and commentator like Kurn or someone known around the realm as a good player will obviously attract people to them. And the people drawn to them are more likely to be of the same class or role because we tend to pay more attention to people with similar interests as ourselves.
    They don’t need to be Officers to attract this sort of attention.

  3. Representation within the guild – If your Officers are all ranged DPS, you might expect they they’ll have a different, possibly less sympathetic, perspective on the challenges faced by healers or tanks compared to a more balanced Officer team. Your potential recruits might not even be aware of this, but it can still affect them subconsciously.
    I know I consciously looked at the Officers when I chose my current guild, because the last guild I was in with a DPS-dominated Officer corps was not a place that was sympathetic to healers or tanks at all.


I’d strongly advise guild leaders to keep an eye on their Officer compositions, and if you have to have a corps dominated by one role or another, make sure you have good strong links with the high profile people from the other roles to reassure people that they are listened to and understood.

Early in my raid-leading days I realise I was guilty of being a bit overly demanding on the DPS, until I spent a few months forced to play Shadow. That changed my perspective a lot. You need to be open to the other person’s point of view, so make some critical friends who will tell you when there’s a real problem.

And don’t forget to pamper and spoil your blogging colleagues, because basically we’re awesome!

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Categories: Anecdotes, Leadership

8 Responses so far.

  1. Zinn says:

    Interestingly enough I’ve found the opposite. When there are a few strong players of a class in a guild, most others of that class seem to underperform. Like they’re thinking “I’ll never be as good as that guy anyway, so why bother?” instead of “wow, I wanna be as good as him!”, like they should be. And they don’t dare trying new things because they’re so afraid of messing up because they’ve got the “good guy” leaning over them. Or so they think anyway. So in the end it might just depend on the people in the guild! Whether they can convey a feeling of respect in the good or the bad way.

    • Malevica says:

      Interesting. It’s nice to see a different experience. I think you’re right, it does depend on the people in the guilds in question. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kurn says:

    Thanks for the link. 🙂

    I completely agree with you about the distribution of the officers. Here’s what mine looks like right now:

    GM/Healing lead – myself
    Physical DPS lead – fury warrior
    Caster DPS lead – mage
    Tank lead – prot paladin
    Loot Masters – resto shammy & hunter
    Guild Bank Admin – another prot paladin

    Given that both our prot pallies do occasionally melee DPS, I think that’s about as well-rounded as you can really get as an officer core. Most roles have two representatives, especially if you count the hunter as both physical and a caster, since they’re at range vs. most physical classes.

    As someone who’s done the GM thing before and is picking it up again, I have to emphasize the absolute importance of NOT surrounding yourself with yes-men. You need to butt heads, you need to argue. You need to have at least a couple of people whom you respect but still, occasionally, want to smack really hard because they don’t see something your way.

    Overall, my philosophy as GM is: “Be as fair as possible, be as transparent as possible and err on the side of giving guildies too much information rather than not enough.”

    When it comes to the other healers in my guild, I have 9-10 that should be raiding with us at the start.

    3 holy paladins – the other two found me through my blog (and raided with one in Wrath)
    2 holy priests – one of them raided with us in BC, the other found me through my blog
    2 disc priests – I raided with one in Wrath, the other found me through my blog
    2 resto druids – I knew one from outside the game (but introduced her to it!) and raided with one in Wrath
    1 resto shaman – has been one of those people from one of my very first guilds that I’ve been playing with forever, basically

    So I’ve attracted four people who know my philosophies heading into things before they even applied. The other five were either healers under me or just knew me previously. I think it’ll make for a good mix of strong performers and I’m really, really looking forward to chilling out with my healers. 🙂

    • Malevica says:

      Thanks for the comment.

      In my guild we’ve tended to shy away from class or role leads, but it’s something I’d like to see return, especially with such a skewed distribution of Officers (which is something we just have to work with at this point). Even having a de facto role lead or two would probably help, without needing to promote them formally, just having someone who we ask explicitly for input. We’ll see what happens as we get into raiding.

      I also strongly believe in transparency. I find it useful to consult with my better half, who doesn’t have access to /o, for her views on whether decisions seem to make logical sense or if we need to share a bit more information, because it’s very easy to slip into discussing things on the quiet. That’s something I felt very keenly when I moved from running a guild to being a member in another, so I know what it’s like.

  3. Enlynn says:

    This post is so full of win.

    A group without representation is likely to feel persecuted or at the very least voiceless, whether it’s intentional, imagined, or not. The “us versus them” mentality is always right around the corner when the group is doing more failing than succeeding, i.e., learning boss fights.

    And let’s face it, do most raid leaders know which healer can dispel which boss debuff or who has what cooldown? For fight mechanics alone, every group needs to have a solid healer-minded player who can coordinate, plan, and troubleshoot. “Pallies on tanks, rest on raid” isn’t always going to suffice, and (most) serious healers aren’t going to be satisfied-let alone successful- with that little direction.

    You could also replace “healers” with “female raiders” and your post would still be true. In my (humble and limited) experience, guilds with outspoken female leads tend to attract more female players. The environment for both me as a healer and me as a woman is something I looked into before I committed to my guild.

    • Malevica says:


      I completely agree with the “female raiders” point too, I hadn’t thought about it when I wrote the post, but you’re spot on.

      You can extend the argument to make a general point, that the higher profile players in a given guild will tend to attract more of the same, and those people will likely tend to be more motivated or engaged on average.

  4. Matticus says:

    Ever since Syd departed from WoW to tackle on real life stuff, I’ve missed having the perspective and advice of a female officer. There’s just something about women that offers a calming presence in O chat (and for some reason, guys just tend to behave a little better ^^).

    It’s a little tough for me because while on the one hand, I wouldn’t mind having a woman on the officer team, at the same time, I don’t want one on the team just because she’s a woman. If that makes sense. (And uh, I hope I’m not ruffling anyones feathers with that last statement ^^)

    • Kys says:

      Matticus, you’re have it completely right. Where is is nice to have a balanced officer team, I can’t imagine ever becoming an officer just because of being a woman; being an officer takes skill, time and a good memory xD
      However I have a female guild admin who keeps social members and such in check, she’s ruthless when it’s necessary 😀 and she is on most of the time too.

      As to the point about female guild leaders attracting more females to the guild, sometimes this is true. Any person could be immature, bitchy, selfish or stupid. From my experience, I have been in 2 guilds lead by females, one did not do enough leading, raiding or recruiting and the other made me want to switch off guild chat until I finally had enough of the crap and left. There are some things you just don’t do as a guild leader, and laughing at everyone else cause they are not as l33t isn’t my favourite passtime ;P

      I don’t know how to add positive to that tbh, I am a female guild leader myself now for the 2nd time, first guild was in wotlk on saurfang EU. Second was made in Cata on Nordrassil EU. I can honestly say when someone joins and plays with us a bit, they don’t leave 😀 which means we must be doing something right.

      I’m a holy/disc priest, and to be completely honest I am really impressed with my fellow healers 😀 For having randomly picked these people up as the guild started out, I was lucky to get a very skilled bunch! This may be because they’ve heard of my awesomesox healing (? lol ?) or just that cata has brought a turnaround to healing, with better balancing and abilities for all! Tbh I doubt anyone has heard of my healing, every pug I join assumes I am shadow.

      My Officers are changing around atm as one is very busy irl, but I have a Prot paladin right now and a dps officer. My hope is that everyone can talk to me if they feel the need, I’ve played every role and class by now 🙂

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