Our guild recently raised the question of how we go about leadership. With a new expansion being an ideal time to make changes, the question is well timed. This got me thinking about how guild’s are run in general.
When chatting with dozens of guild leaders last year, it was apparent that successful guilds are highly organized with focused goals and committed leadership. In many regards, methods of daily operation were business like. However, I commonly see people operating in guilds that seem like a club, some let’s-see-what-happens entrepreneurial venture, and even elusively hushed behind closed doors.
I take a business approach, acting as a leader to ensure the guild stays focused on its goals and overall guiding principles, and as a manager delegating responsibilities and organizing the daily comings and goings. This works for me and the result is a guild that achieves our goals, building some great long-term friendships along the way. I’m not 100% sure how I arrived at this method of running a guild though I do know that being part of guilds in the early days of WoW that were managed like social clubs (riddled with favoritism and no clear purpose/goal), some kind of secret brotherhood (with lack of structure and only supposed goals), or shockingly “different” entrepreneurial business venture (no feasible plan, selling on the hollow “We’re going to be something completely different/new!”).
Different modes of operation seem to benefit different goals. A purely social guild with a goal of social fellowship probably doesn’t need to be run like a business; a raiding guild probably does. A leveling guild could probably survive well run as a social club where people work their way up socially. I’m not too sure yet it seems feasible if there is one thing true about any guild management approach: a dedicated and committed leader.