After nearly 18 months at the helm, I'm still troubled.
For all my people management skills, experience as guild leader and comfort with taking 25 unseen people into battle, I still struggle with one area of managing a raiding guild.
And I think it's holding us back.
In retrospect, I think if I had any idea of the amount of time and energy (both physical and emotional) it would take to build Eminence to the point it's at now, I'm not sure I would have accepted the position.
Don't get me wrong. I am so glad I did. When I left the warmth and safety of my RL friend's guild to try this alien (to me) activity called raiding I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would see and do the things I have. Just to think that I could have missed so much of the game sends a chill down my spine.
But the cost of creating a community like Eminence is high. I have made sacrifices both in and out of game that any sensible person would commit me to the mental asylum for. It certainly isn't a path I would recommend for anyone who has real responsibilities.
Am I a better person for it? You bet I am.
In the workplace, there is a motivator for performing that just doesn't exist in the gaming community ... money. Irrespective of what you do for a living, you still need clothes and food and in the end above all else that drives you (mostly) to turn up and do your job.
And because of that, Managers can put expectations on those who they are paying to perform. They can define the level of performance that they expect and re-define it as often as they like. Calling into question anyone who doesn't meet the grade.
This is where my biggest failing as a leader of a raiding guild lies.
Gaming is an optional, recreational activity. People play to have fun and relax, to escape the pressures of real life ... be that work, school, family, whatever. In my mind, these facts prohibit me from having the same level of expectation I have of my employees.
Also, because of the amount of myself invested in Eminence, I am hesitant to do anything that would see it fall apart. I suppose it's a little like the feelings I have when I watch my children scaling the enormous climbing frames at the park, running over to stop them the moment they climb high enough that a fall may result in injury.
Ridiculous, I know.
I have received a lot of criticism about my "soft" leadership style. Something which I have spent a long time trying to change, convinced that this was the reason for my lack of ability to make demands on the raid team. It's taken a while but I have finally accepted that I cannot (and on reflection, definitely shouldn't) change my style.
So here it comes full circle. I know Eminence can perform. I know we are selling ourselves short. In order to achieve the level I know we are capable of I need to set high expectations and demand more.
But is being part of something great, a big enough motivator for me to set such unrealistic expectations?
As I said, I'm still troubled...
by Griearth on Dec 20, 2010 at 03:15 PM