Being a guild leader can be quite challenging. Through its history, the Crypt Crawlers have had three guild leaders. I’m currently the third leader and have held that post for the longest amount of time. In fact, I’m having a hard time remembering when I took over the guild. I believe it was during 2007 or 2008. The Crypt Crawlers have gone through a number of high and low periods, in terms of guild membership and activity, throughout its existence. As a result I have learned that being a guild leader is quite challenging and offers its own set of unique experiences.
Now, I have to admit, I’m not a very “outgoing” person and tend to be more of an introvert as opposed to an extrovert. I generally don’t like to “cause trouble” and nor do I like to be the “center of attention”. In real life I would be a pretty bad bard . With that said, I have also never been a “shy” person and have always been more than willing to work in groups and supervise folks when necessary and I have always been quite reliable. I guess it is because of these traits that I was “elected” leader.
Some of the challenges that a guild leader faces include recruiting members into the guild, resolving conflicts between guild members, membership promotions, guild reliability, guild reputation (making a good name for its members amongst others in the game), communication, organization, and coordination. LOL, kind of sounds like a job doesn’t it? Well, I guess in many ways it is. A guild leader generally needs to take on those responsibilities or to assign other trusted guild members to help with those responsibilities. But a guild leader always needs to have his/her hand in the activities of its member in order to keep the guild together and happy as well as maintaining a good reputation.
I have definitely made a number of mistakes during my post. I remember one incident that occurred between a guild member and an guild officer. The guild officer was highly upset with the guild member, who was recruited into the guild by said officer, because the guild member was basically ignoring all messages sent via guild chat. The guild officer was so upset that he had made an ultimatum, either the guild member gets booted or he will leave the guild. I was just made the guild leader not more than a month or two before this eruption and I told the guild officer to make the call. He had the power to remove a guild member and if he felt that strongly about it then he should take the responsibility of kicking the member. Two second later, the guild member in question was booted. I later thought about this decision and felt that I shouldn’t have put either the guild officer or member into that position. After he was booted, the guild member complained that he simply just didn’t see the messages because he didn’t have the guild chat window active, not because he was ignoring them. From that point forward, I decided that nobody was going to be kicked from the guild unless I did it and only upon review of my decision with the officers. Which is what I should have done to begin with, lesson learned.
Perhaps the most difficult task of a guild leader is tied around guild recruitment and coordination, at least to me. Over the years, the Crypt Crawlers have ranged from about 8 to 30 active members at any one time. Currently we have about 16 active accounts, however two of those accounts are my own. Earlier in the year, I decided to make it a concerted effort to recruit more members into the guild because some of our longer term players have stopped playing due to real life commitments (many of them just had new babies, others have had some personal issues, etc.). But finding recruits isn’t always easy. I have been advertising that we have been looking for new recruits almost daily and have recruited a number of players in January, however I have also had a 3 or 4 of those newer players leave the guild as well, sometimes within the same week. It is disheartening to work on recruiting some members into the guild to watch them leave less than a week later, most likely because they felt the guild was inactive. But that is why I’m trying to recruit. This situation puts a guild leader in a Catch-22, trying to recruit more members so that more consistent groups can be formed and quests tackled but then newly recruited members leave because the guild isn’t active enough.
But then of course once you get enough players into the guild, coordinating them into a cohesive unit is also quite challenging. I do everything I can to try to coordinate guild runs. I maintain a guild calendar and send suggestions of runs for the week and characters I plan on logging in based on my schedule. I also ask for suggestions from the players in the guild or quests that characters need to tackle. However, more often than not, many of the players can’t log in or I don’t get any suggestions other than mine own. Sometimes players do have characters within certain level ranges which also puts a wrench in things. Trying to work around on those things makes things complicated to say the least.
All of this of course is tied to communication. I do everything I can to try to stay in touch with all members of the Crypt Crawlers whether they are past members or current members. I maintain our Guild Portal website which contains DDO News, our own forums, my blogs, the guild calendar, and guild roster and journals. I also maintain a guild newsletter that I send out via email to all of our members. I request an email address from all members I recruit into the guild. The newsletters contain highlights of the game from DDO forums and blogs, as well as highlights from the quest runs the guild completed, a guild bank, and other things. I also maintain a Crypt Crawler Photobucket website and a Crypt Crawler YouTube channel. I also have befriended a number of guidies on Facebook and am thinking about starting a Crypt Crawler facebook page. I do admit, I’m typically the only one who uses the website (or at least posts to it) but the resources are out there and I know a few of the guild members view it.
Being a guild leader is challenging but it is also rewarding. I enjoy recruiting new members into the guild (even if they do leave shortly later) and I enjoy forming groups with guild members and successfully knocking out quests. I enjoy the guild chat conversations and I enjoy working with the various websites that I keep updated. I guess that is one of the fun aspects of being a guild leader.
To all guild leaders, this a salute to you!! I understand all of the trials it takes to keep a guild functional and together . Happy Hunting everybody!!