Confessions of a Guild Leader: The Rebuilding Phase
Every Guild Leader will go through it at least once. The “why” is unique to each guild. The “how” is what defines the success or failure of the guild. MT itself has never gone through a rebuild. However, this is something I have had some experience with.
I have made mistakes as a Guild Leader – I am human after all. And as a former member said, the success and failures within a guild fall to the guild leader. We’ve tried new things, tried turning the guild into a different direction. We recruited players that fit the direction MT had gone in after going 8/8H in Cataclysm. Ultimately, that experiment didn’t work for MT. And the fallout and resulting fracture was devastating.
If I were to look for a silver lining in all this, if it had to happen, it really couldn’t happen at a better time. The expansion is winding down, many players need a break from the game, from raiding. We’ve been a big enough guild that we can still field a full 10 man raid group. We’re slowly but surely piecing everything back together. We will be completely regrouped for WOD. We’ll have new faces, and some old familiar faces will be returning. The leadership, for the first time this entire expansion, is finally on the same page and working toward the greater good of the guild.
During any rebuilding phase for any guild, it’s really important to communicate, support each other, and re-define who we are.
The primary mode of communication will still be the MT website. This blog and the MT Facebook page as well as the GMOTD are secondary avenues of communication. We want feedback. We want constructive criticism. Some of you have messaged me privately with ideas of what could have been done better, and what we can do going forward. I need that. We all need that. The guild is only as good as its members. And happy members = successful guild.
The leadership has to support each other and the guild. The Guild members have to support each other and the leadership. Many of you have simply gone on blind faith that every decision we’ve made (good or bad) had good intentions. Our decisions have always had good intentions behind them. But again, we’re human. We make mistakes.
The leadership throughout MOP has been completely fractured. Some officers and RL’s were acting out of the greater good of their group, not of the guild as a whole. I had almost no support from most of the guild officers. You were all pretty much spared the civil war that was waged in the officer forums. But I know you felt the tension. And the guild fracture was an inevitability because of the leadership. Rebuilding has to start at the top. And after TM left, that was priority #1.
In early MOP, we really didn’t have an identity. We went from being a casual raiding guild to a casual raiding guild with a hardcore team. And now we’re…what? A broken guild.
MT was at its most successful – and I define success as raiding, clearing normal current content, and enjoying the content and the people we play with – in Wrath and early Cataclysm. We were a guild of like-minded players who had similar goals and styles. We were ok with the “casual” tag (whatever the hell that even means anymore), and we didn’t care about where we ranked on the server. As Star said early on in MOP (and if only I listened to her in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened), if people are joining based on our guild rank, they won’t stick around when the going gets rough, and those aren’t the people we want to recruit.
A clear guild identity is crucial to our rebuilding efforts, because we want to recruit players who fit our identity. These players have to be fully vetted before joining MT. We want to be sure that we are a good fit for them, and they are a good fit for us. We cannot do this if we don’t know who we are.
Our identity going forward is a social raiding guild. We have goals of clearing both normal and heroic modes in WOD. We have goals of enjoying each other while we play and raid together. There will continue to be standards of raiding. We will work with players who have trouble keeping up, instead of kicking them to the curb. We will not have bipolar styles and goals in this guild. We will not have smaller groups that enable cliques. We will be a united group. A united guild.
In conclusion, in the face of adversity, we either give up, or strengthen ourselves so that it can be prevented in the future. How we respond to adversity defines who we are as people and as a guild. Any of the crap that has happened to MT in the past year or so would have destroyed smaller guilds. Maybe I’m just stubborn. Maybe I’m a Masochist. But this too shall pass, and we will be okay.