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A Newbie Raider’s Guide: Lead, Follow, or Get The Hell Out Of The Way!!!

Raid Leaders often take for granted that everyone understands raiding like they do. What they forget is that “once upon a time”, they were just as ignorant…

When you think of great leaders, who do you think of?

washington

Washington?

lincoln

Lincoln?

bush

Bush?!

OK, you probably didn’t think of Bush, but we all had a laugh. What’s important is why are you thinking of those people? What qualities or traits do they possess that lead you to believe that they are good leaders?

Lead

Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile. ” – Vince Lombardi

Leadership is not easy. There are many traits a true leader needs to possess, learn, and hone to perfection. If you do a Google search for the Eleven Principles of Leadership you’ll find several links going every which way. Some are credited to the USMC, some the Army, and some not to anyone, but I found a list I liked here and have included comments with regards to Raid Leadership:

  • Know yourself and seek self-improvement – Know your toon.
  • Be technically proficient – Know not only your own toon, but the roles and general abilities of others as well.
  • Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions – Be aware. Fess up when making a mistake.
  • Make sound and timely decisions – No one likes a raid leader that clearly doesn’t know or understand what to do. But people are more forgiving of a leader that makes a wrong decision than of one that makes no decision.
  • Set the example – Practice what you preach.
  • Know your people and look out for their well-being – If you don’t care about those you lead, they already know and they won’t stay.
  • Keep your workers informed – Communicate. Some things are not public information, but keeping members in the dark of pending decisions generates an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.
  • Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers – Help them to understand their roles and importance of being prepared. Someone who knows why s/he needs to do something is more inclined to do it than someone who’s told to “Just do it!”
  • Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished – Even a 5 minute delay to explain the fight can save 30 minutes after a wipe. Follow up with feedback as appropriate.
  • Train as a team – Not just in raids, but heroics as well.
  • Use the full capabilities of your organization – Find out what professions each player possesses. Find out their roles and how well they know them. Knowing what your group is capable of is the start of knowing where you can go.

If you ever get the inclination to start your own guild or to be any kind of a leader in a raiding guild, keep the above in mind. Those you lead need to trust you and that trust must be earned. By being respectful, being consistent, and being an example, you’ll earn that trust.

Follow

Before you can ever lead, you need to learn to follow. As a follower I want you to remember one thing and one thing only.

    There’s a time and place for everything.

Last night we hit a snafu with our looting system again. The officers are working on streamlining everything and making some changes, because what was supposed to be a simple system blew up into something complicated. I believe they were trying to institute an addon that would post DKP on the website, which then blew up the website forums, as well as attempting to get the addon implemented in game.

As it stands, the addon didn’t quite work with our system, but changing the loot rules during raid time was not an option so several things were being done manually. So they asked us to bear with them. Unfortunately several people started to get impatient. They started making snide remarks in raid chat about the looting system and about how it was taking too long. They were getting frustrated and I suppose rightly so.

But the negative comments were distracting and began to irritate the officers as well as myself and others. Ultimately they were asked to knock if off because they weren’t helping the situtation.

As a follower you owe it to your leaders to support them. In this example, it would have been nice if the officers had taken the time to work out all the kinks before hand, but they didn’t. Regardless they were trying very hard to get this working as smoothly as possible and were just as frustrated as anyone else. Throwing in negative comments only fueled everyone’s frustrations.

As a follower, realize that your leaders are trying. They aren’t perfect. In fact some you find will be downright awful, but remember you signed up for this.

Get The Hell Out Of The Way

There’s a time and place for everything and for most problems during the raid is not the right time. Ask yourself if your comments or actions are just adding fuel to the fire or do they actually serve a purpose. If you find you can’t be supportive vocally, then sit on your hands. Don’t type or say anything.

No one’s asking you to follow blindly, but choose your battles and think of how it affects others. If you can’t do any of this or if your leaders are so incompetent, then get the hell out of the way! It takes less than two seconds to type /gquit.

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