Posted tagged ‘leadership’

I Don’t Want to Write Something Useful, so I’m Going to Talk About 10 Man Raid Leading

March 23, 2010

GM: How’s your 10 man looking this week?
Me: It’s looking good. But it’s not really my 10 man.
GM: It’s your 10 man.
Me: It’s not mine!
GM: You took it over, therefore it’s your 10 man, no ifs, ands or buts.

So I ended up with a 10 man raid. Apparently it’s “mine”. I’m too new age-ish for that. It’s mine and 9 other people’s. It’s ours.

Actually, raid leading is one of those things where I can’t decide if I really like it or really hate it. I enjoy the planning, the list making, all the logistics that go into getting a 10 man together. And when it all works out, it’s extremely rewarding. However, as shocking as it may sound (yeah, I know it’s hard to believe, ha!), I have a terribly anxious personality. I need everything planned and sorted ahead of time and any last minute changes are the end of the world. Not to mention that I’m one of those slow, deep thinkers that take forever to make up their minds. Which is great in certain circumstances. For example, I never make impulsive purchases. In a raid context, however, my lack of spontaneity can be problematic.

*DPS dies*
Druid: Should I battle rez?
Me: Um…

Me: Um…

Me: Um…Yes. Err, no, wait, the boss is already dead.

I had two 10 man teams going in my old guild, although I usually only actually led one of the two (I can’t two box). The experience was bittersweet. We did get some cool guild firsts under my lead. But I also have memories of getting in fights with the backseat raid leader who kept arguing with me (I’ve actually said “Who’s leading this raid, you or me?” before). And the very last raid I led with them ended with wipe after wipe after wipe on Faction Champs, normal mode. In my discouragement, I was crying so hard I couldn’t even speak enough to call the raid. (Apparently, no one noticed which is good!)

So about a few months ago, this happened:

Guild leadership:
We don’t have enough time for progression so we’re taking 10 mans out of our regular raid nights, you’ll have to do them on offnights.
Regular raid leader: I’m starting something on Wednesdays.
Someone else: I’m starting something on Sundays.
Me: I’m free whenever.
Guild: You’re going Sunday.

Then, after a week, the guy who ran Sunday’s group left the guild. In a rare moment of impulsiveness (I guess there’s hope for me yet), I started a new thread, got everyone from the original group to check in and built a new team. Before I knew it, it somehow became known as “my” raid, even though I swear I didn’t do it on purpose.

I was pretty nervous. I’m not an aggressive leader at all. Even in my old guild where everyone was older and laid back, I had no authority whatsoever. I’m the kind of person who says please before telling you to move out of the fire. With a shaky voice.

Luckily, things have been working out so far, the group is fairly disciplined so I don’t really need to be authoritative. I raised my voice once. Immediately, I got 4 whispers:

Four people: Lol, you got mad!

The harshness in my voice was really just me trying to control my giggles. I’m not very good at getting mad.

Oh and I’m obsessed with having my group confirmed as early as possible in the week, as well as with starting the raid on time. The raid is scheduled for 6, we must pull at 6, regardless if only the mage and I are inside the instance. Attendance and punctuality are pretty much the only things I’m inflexible on. And by inflexible on, I mean overly anxious about:

Me: You’re coming on Sunday right.
Raider: Yep.
Me: You’re sure?
Raider: Of course.
Me: Really sure?
Raider: Yeah.
Me: Are yo-
Raider: OMG YES.
*night of the raid*
Raider: Um, I had something come up.
Me: *nervous breakdown*.

And of course there’s always some smartass overhearing me sob on vent.

Smartass: You don’t handle stress very well, do you?
Me:

We’ve had our hurdles. To name them: Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, Spring Break, Gold Medal Olympic Hockey Game, Sindragosa. I don’t think we’ve ever had two consecutive weeks with the same 10 people. There’s always one person who has to work unexpectedly, who has computer issues or needs a night off. Then there’s the stress every week of “3 people want badges, 3 people won’t go if we have to clear downstairs, 2 people don’t know what they want, 1 person doesn’t understand the in-game calender system and 1 person hasn’t discovered we have guild forums yet.”

But amazingly enough, week after week things work out. Except Sindragosa, 1% wipes omfg. Unless there’s been a planned delay, we’ve started our raids on times. In about two months, we’ve only had two signed-up-but-didn’t-shows, and one of those was actually a /gquit I hadn’t been aware of.

We’ve become used to playing together. And by that, I mean that our druid doesn’t even have to pay attention to vent or look at her raidframes to know who needs a battlerez and when. We got to know each other and our teammates’ IRL eating/flasking/buffing habits pretty well. During downtime and trash, we joke around on vent and share TMI (unlike the other 10 man team…I sat in their channel once and it put me to SLEEP). They even sorta forgive me for stuff like bopping the tank. My teammates are also great about communicating what they want so the rare times where we can’t resort to a vote, decisions are easy to make.

I get tons of help from the guild leadership, which is a first for me. In the past, I had always been met with “your raids, your problem, we want no part in this”. But now I get a regular supply of answers to my questions and pats on the back when requested. When the other 10 man moved their raid on top of ours, the little conflicts and frustrations that inevitably came up were short lived, despite that we still give each other crap over them.

In the end, even my fears of being a crappy “leader” were resolved when I discovered that one our priests (I’M GOING TO LET YOU ALL GUESS WHO) was probably a sport commenter in a past life. Not only does he seem to know when I’m wishy-washy about a certain fight and need someone else to jump in, but also narrates entire fights in a very entertaining and engaging manner. I can just sit back and hit buttons. (Unless I’m tanking…I haven’t learned my new keybindings yet, so when I tank, I sit back and pound my fist on the keyboard in hopes that my character does something.)

So now I don’t have to say that I lead a 10 man raid, I can say I coordinate a 10 man raid, which sounds much nicer to my ears.

Oh and I’ve become quite attached to the task of getting the group together every week.

Me: OMG we’re going to fail, no ones going to show up, we’re not even going to get Saurfang down. Why the hell did I volunteer for this?
Fellow Raider: I can take over if you want.
Me: NO. MY RAID PAWS OFF. MINE MINE MINE.

It’s that, um, yeah, you know : Bringing up (and keeping up) a delicate topic

October 29, 2009

I like to read guild management blogs (because as my guildies put it, I’m a weirdo) and I see a lot of “these are things you have to confront guildies about” guides. However, I don’t recall ever seeing advice that went beyond: “you need to address these issues for the good of the guild, it’ll be hard but you need to do it”.

As I’ve already pointed out, I’m a weirdo. I enjoy talking to people about delicate topics such as performance improvement or mild disciplinary issues (you know, the type that don’t warrant a /gkick, but need to be addressed with more than a “stop that”). Maybe its because I don’t view it as “being a jerk” or maybe its because these kinds of conversations create somewhat of a bond between myself and the person I’m speaking with. Regardless, I see too many people around me struggle with bringing up and discussing delicate subjects. So here’s one easy way to do it:
(more…)

Life After Leadership: a Control Freak’s Nightmare

October 19, 2009

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a control freak. Ok, more than just a bit. Maybe two bits. Or three. It’s one of those things that I accept as part of my personality and heritage. My mother was a control freak, her mother was a control freak, her mother was kind of a control freak but it was ok because she was a single mom in WWII times and I bet her mother before that was a control freak too. To those who don’t know me well, I come across as organized so it’s rarely a problem. When is it a problem? When I decide to let go and not take charge.

A couple of posts back, I talked about my decision to resign as an officer in my guild. The current state of affairs is irrelevant and I’m sure no one cares anyway. Nor do I even know the current state of affairs because I managed to get through a few days without begging for news. You have to understand, not begging for news is a big deal for me. I’m very excited about my progress in that respect.

So at first I kind of felt bad for just walking out on everyone. Then I was relieved. Then I was immensely sad for about a day. Then things went back to normal, or almost.

Old habits die hard.
Me: WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN’T MOVE MORE THAN FIVE THINGS FROM ONE BANK TAB TO ANOTHER?!?! ALL THOSE ORE STACKS ARE IN THE WRONG TAB AND THERE ARE MORE THAN FIVE!!!! SOMEBODY CLEAN THE FRIGGIN BANK BEFORE MY EYES BLEED. (Note that this ended up being taken literally by a hacker and my bank griefs were solved for a few days)

I don’t care what you say, no one does things as well as I do.
Me: THATS NOT HOW YOU POST A TEN MAN RAID! YOU’RE DOING IT ALL WRONG! NO ONE WILL SIGN UP, NO ONE!
10 man raid person: There are signups.
Me: THEY DIDN’T SIGN UP PROPERLY DAMMIT

You can’t take the bossy out of Miss Bossypally.
Random person X: Random person Y isn’t flasked/gemmed/enchanted/typing legibly
Me: I’ll fix that.
….
Me: Crap.

And I need to know the what, when, how, where, how much of everything.
Me: Why didn’t random person W get slotted and random person Z did?
Wise raid leader: *gives reasonable explanation*
Me: Yes but….
Wise raid leader: *gives more perfectly reasonable explanation*
Me: How about random person V?
Wise raid leader: Did you hear divine sacrifice is getting changed in 3.3?
Me: *falls for it every time*

One thing is going wonderfully: not setting pally buff assignments. I thought it would be the hardest habit to rid myself of since I claimed and jealously defended the “official buff person” title nearly two years ago. Boy, was I wrong. I can’t begin to describe the satisfaction I feel when someone complains about pally buffs. I just happily alt-tab out, purring “not my problem”.

What is excruciatingly difficult is being confronted to the very thing that causes a person to become a control freak: the fear of not being needed, of not mattering. While it is no laughing matter, sometimes it is expressed in strange ways.
Me: OMG HOW DARE YOU DO THE DAILY WITHOUT ME.
Daily people: You were on a non-guild alt when we started.
Me: YOU COULD HAVE ASKED ANYWAY!
Daily people: We did ask you when you were on your main half an hour ago and you said no.
Me: WELL MAYBE I CHANGED MY MIND!
Daily people: We’ll run it with you afterwards on our alts.
Me: NO, I DONT WANT TO DO IT AFTERWARDS! I HATE YOU ALL!!!!

I’ll be terribly heartbroken, but not surprised if I log in one day to discover that my 80s are no longer guilded.


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