Hello again everyone! This segment of We are BlackSky is going to be a different than the previous entries. This weeks entry we’ll be covering a few core philosophies the guild’s leadership and for our officers.
Every Guild is Different
Before I even begin to delve into how the leadership of BlackSky works we have to start by defining a few differences. Each guild runs differently, that is a fact. A raiding guild filled with a rowdy bunch of members will often need a harsh pointed leader who can wrangle them when necessary. On the other hand a large social guild needs a leader who is a social butterfly and who can flit from group to group. The Leader, is to me at least the one who sets the tone, and must uphold the themes of the guild they are running. That means that leadership needs to have not only a sense, but a direct idea at all times about what they’re guild is about.
But there is not only a leader or leaders (I’ll discuss this later) in a guild there are officers. Any leader who thinks they can remotely get a job done without a good team of officers is just fooling themselves. Officers exist there to act as assistants, wing-men / wing-women, and as your staff to to do what matters most, “Keeping the guildies happy. Keeping the guild running.”
A Quick List of Leadership Styles:
This is a brief, and I mean brief list of leadership styles. There are many different leadership styles and before we even continue I highly suggest any prospect leaders take a moment and consider doing some reading the Guild Counsel @ Massively (its a great piece to get advice from).
- The Benevolent Ruler – This is a sole leader who acts as the veto, the tie breaker and the decision maker in tough situations. This position relies a lot on being careful in decisions and listening to those around you. However, this leader is ready to drop the hammer if necessary to keep the guild going and make sure everything is carefully maintained.
- The Servant Leader – This is a bit of a strange concept, but servant leaders are ones that go with the flow of the community they run. They listen to the members and try to move in a direction that favors a community.
- The Strong Hand – This is a style of leadership best suited for guilds that require lots of organization and direction. In a raid guild where you need to accomplish a challenge the Strong Hand brings the people in line while still keeping their ears open to deal the odd situation.
- The Mediator – This style is about compromise and cutting down on drama. Mediators seek to bring everyone to common ground and move situations forward towards constructive solutions.
At the end of the day however, as the leader of BlackSky I practice all of these styles as necessary. When people need support I jump in the role of servant and listen while helping them to make the guild a better place. When people act out I’m a Strong Hand and if necessary I swing the ban hammer (only in dire consequences or severe rule breaking or removing toxic individuals).
BlackSky was founded as an adult community focused on the ideals of close knit gaming camaraderie; episodic depth filled story; and an ongoing saga of in character actions. All of these plus our interest in basically being laid back and thick skinned means that I assume the Benevolent Ruler meets the Servant Leader.
The Officers and what they Do
Some guilds will create elaborate systems to how their officers work. I’ve helped develop these set ups and for big guilds they can be good and at the same time they can be detrimental to the guild. An Officer by definition are volunteers who join a staff team who assist with the every day running of the guild. Officers are all part of their own channel for the leadership in Skype and we communication on a daily basis to keep each other up to date on projects, issues, or minor jobs that need to be taken care of.
Do we have a specific set of officer duties or roles? No. We believe in adapting to what needs to be accomplished for the guild in its current climate. If the Officers need a specific set of duties we create a list; or if we need to get something done we’ll hold a meeting. This is why we maintain an active Skype chat and forum for the Officers and the Leadership. The core to our ability to get anything done is good communication. This means that if an Officer has a problem we encourage them to speak up and voice the issue in a respectable manner. When I say respectable I mean to cut out the follow: blame or whose fault it is, and simply get to the problem at hand. Sure, we do want know what the cause of a problem is, but in the end we aren’t going to get caught up in finger pointing.
Faction Management and Story Diffusion
The way how we plan on implementing our story that we call the Saga is through the usage of a simple delegation of Game-Master responsibilities. Each Faction with the BlackSky will have its own “RP Manager” whose job is to incorporate new story bits, and plot devices in concert with the designs laid about by the rest of the Officer team. In fact the Officers will carefully maintain notes for the guilds story through something we call our “Project Doc” a sort of cheat sheet of BlackSky fanon, research and active story ideas for each upcoming episode. Every member of the Officers is encouraged and asked to contribute to this document making us all designers of the Saga.
Feedback and Member Decisions
So I’ve talked a bit about the actual staff and how we plan and do run things, but lets take a step back and talk about the members. Our guild hopes to on average have a monthly to perhaps bi-weekly meeting of the Officers (depending upon any major decisions). Once every quarter or perhaps on a varying scale of time we want to have a guild wide meeting. These meetings will be an open forum way for members to step up to the plate and ask the Officers and the Leaders about any ongoing issues they might have. This will be another way for the Officers to also air out upcoming decisions and also discuss the direction of the guild in the months ahead.
The final thing I want to talk about in BlackSky is transparency. Now we aren’t going to suddenly air out all the guilds dirty laundry, or go on tirades about why someone left. But we will be up front about things the guild is facing, and if its going to change how the guildies experience the guild we’ll engage them about it. If a change is incoming we’ll notify them of it to the best of our ability. At the end of the day communication is key in our leadershipn and we take it quite seriously.