Guild Leading 101: How to Run an Effective Guild
Greetings, one and all. My name is Perturabo, and I’m currently the leader of the Black Rose Society, a public Battledome guild that’s been around for quite a few years in one form or another. I’m here today to share a few tips and insights on running a friendly and effective guild, whether it is based, like mine, on the Battledome or the grooming habits of Disco Kacheeks. I’ve based these ideas on a human hand, and the fingers of that hand. Now without further ado, I present to you, the hand:
1. The thumb- Thumbs up and thumbs down. Encourage your guilders, but don’t be afraid to offer CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. If someone makes a banner or blog for the guild, praise him or her up on the guild board. If their new look-up is ugly, tell them so, but diplomatically suggest how they can make it better. Mind the Neopian Terms and Conditions, and make sure your guilders do as well. Encourage guilders to help each other, even if it’s in the form of friendly competition in the Battledome. Enforce the rules of your guild, and make it a fun place for all ages.
2. The “pointer” finger. “Point” at certain guilders; delegation. Delegation is one of the, if not the most, important things a guild leader can do to run a ‘good’ guild- you simply can’t do it all yourself, no matter how hard you try. Despite our best efforts, real life tends to demand some of our precious Neopets-playing time. With delegation, you are no longer responsible for everything that goes on in the guild, and you can occasionally take a break. Of course, you need to learn to delegate tasks to the right person- The kadoatie feeder might be friendly and all, but she might not be the best choice to run a Battledome event. Your first choice in delegation should be your council (Choosing a good council will be covered later, under the “Ring” finger). Another upside of delegation is that if something goes horribly wrong, you can usually step in and fix it- there’s no use in blaming the person you delegated the task to, as YOU delegated it to them. Fix it, or stand and share the blame with the guilder.
3.The “middle” finger... not just for “salutes” anymore. The middle finger represents the middle of your “hand”, and thus balance in the guild. Running an effective guild means that you should not just focus on one aspect of Neopian life, and keep a variety of activities going for your guilders- A ‘Neogarden’ with just one type of plant is more likely to be wiped out if anything happens to that one species of plant, and the same goes for a guild- Variety is the spice of life. Have BD competitions, poetry sharing activities, best joke telling events, and so on. Balance is also important in guild disputes, and in applying whatever rules or requirements your guild might have, from stat requirements to age of accounts- exceptions tend to build up after a while and bog down the “works” of your guild. Don’t play favorites in the guild- it’ll only lead to bad feelings. Remember- you can be friendly, but you are the guild leader, first.
4. The “ring” finger- the “ring” that surrounds you, as leader, is your council. Having an effective council is the best way to having a guild that runs smoothly - how many guilds have fallen after the council starts to fight with itself and it’s members? Too many to easily count. I find it best if you select a council with a variety of interests – I see the council as the esteemed “elders” of the “tribe” that is the guild – they should be able to answer questions on the many facets of Neopian existence, from the Battledome to restocking to help with a difficult game. It can also be useful to have each councilor perform a specific task/job for the guild- one does recruiting, while another takes care of the guild message board or comes up with polls. Of course, each councilor can mix and match tasks, in case real life intrudes, or if for some other reason they can’t do their appointed task. Many larger guilds also have a “sub-council” with limited Admin powers, and said body can be a useful source of new councilors should something happen to one of your current ones. Remember that being on council is a responsibility not to be taken lightly- the guild at large tends to “look up” to councilors, and they should behave in a mature fashion. What to do if a councilor starts acting up? Warn them privately, and if they continue in their unwanted activities, demote and replace them, with outright banning being the last choice. Otherwise, trust them to do the right thing- they should feel as responsible for the guild as you do.
5. The “pinky”, or little finger- don’t forget the little things. If you say you’re going to do something, do it, or delegate it to someone who WILL get it done. Make an effort to remember something about EACH guilder, from the name of a pet to what they like collecting. Don’t get involved in petty squabbles- they’ll only make you look bad. Maintain an active presence on the guild message board- People both in the guild, and those looking for a new or first guild, like to see activity on the message board. Of course, make sure that what gets posted follows the Neopets Terms and Conditions. I’ve found it’s a good idea to encourage your guilders to condense several short posts into one longer post- it makes the message board easier to follow, and cuts down on the dreaded spam. Practice random acts of kindness- help that starting Battledomer with a training session or two, help that guilder get his new gallery started, or help somebody with the code for their lookup or pet page.
In conclusion, these are but the broadest guidelines- there’s no way for one guide to cover all of which might happen while being the leader of a Neopian guild. Be able to respond to challenges quickly and efficiently. Overall, remember that Neopets IS a game, and that most people play it for fun – Keep it fun for yourself, and fun for others.
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