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Running A Great Guild - Choosing Council

by antipopulace


So you’ve built a great guild - check. You’ve recruited some members - check. You’ve even got yourself a fancy layout, and put it up on the guild front-page for all to see! Check. But with a leadership team of one, all the responsibility of running your guild day-in, day-out, falls upon your shoulders. That’s a heavy burden of responsibility to bear, and if you want to take a day off sometime from running your guild, or if you want to grow your guild beyond a handful of members (to ten, twenty, or even a hundred members!) you’re probably going to need some support.

This is where the guild Council function comes in. This is where you can assemble your team of HTML wizards, graphics geniuses (genii?), activity organisers, and advertising gurus to build a really great guild! There might be some people out there who can do it all by themselves, but most people will at some point or another need support, plus it’s just so much more fun running a guild when you have some friends with you to do it. Don’t you agree?

Finding Your Council

The first thing to do before deciding to look for a new council member is decide on what you want to find. Are you looking for someone who can take over certain responsibilities that you perhaps aren’t as strong at (like graphics, or coding)? Or are you looking for someone to be there as an equal co-owner with you, sharing all the tasks and responsibilities of running a guild, including making the front page look pretty (or looking scary, if you have a spooky-themed guild), keeping your members happy, and recruiting new members to join your club? The sort of person you are looking for depends on what role you want them to fill. If you are looking for a person who will complete a specific task, you should look for people with the skills you need, who are the best at what they do, even if they don’t necessarily have all the other strong points. If you’re looking for someone who can do anything and everything, you want to find someone who is an all-rounder and good at most things, even if they aren’t “the best” at any particular skill.

The most important thing to remember is that your guild council are, essentially, the representatives of what your guild is! So never choose anyone as a council member if they are rude, or unkind to others. That will make it seem like your whole guild is rude, or unkind to others, and that just isn’t true. In other words, make sure you look at how your potential council members treat others, not just how they treat you!

When you have decided what you are looking for, the next step is to let people know you are searching for a council member/council team. You can do this in several ways! You might put a note on your guild website (if you have one) letting your members know, or you could put it in the guild front-page, the page that members first see when they log onto your guild. Or, you could even send out a guild Neomail to your members asking them to apply. Some people even choose to post on the Guild Chat on the NeoBoards about the fact that they are looking: this means that people outside the guild will also have an opportunity to apply, though be wary that you won’t know these people as well as your existing guild members, unless you have already met them before of course!

It can be very attractive for a guild to have an open council position, as it gives new members something to work towards if they like helping out with a guild and enjoy being on the guild council. If you don’t want to do this, you may wish to open up a “sub-council”, which is an unofficial secondary council made up of as many members as you want. Sub-council often enjoy the same powers and privileges as “true” council, however they aren’t as visible in the guild. They will often be more helpers, making sure the guild is running smoothly in the council’s absence. I personally wouldn’t recommend having a sub-council unless you already have a full council, and you have more than 50 active members.

Most people will choose to apply for council by clicking on the “Apply For Position” link in your guild, and typing a little bit about themselves in the text box provided. They can choose to apply for a particular position as well, although you don’t have to keep them in the rank they have applied for if you do choose to accept their application. Some people may choose to send you a Neomail and apply that way instead, so do be aware that people can choose to do different things. In the interests of fairness, you should consider all applications equally and on their own merit.

Usually, people will set a time line for receiving and accepting applications. For example, you may set a deadline of 2 weeks from the announcement to receive applications, and then you may choose to make your decision about the appointment the week after that deadline ends. You may choose to do it differently, and instead have no time limit, and just accept applications as they come in as you find suitable people. One thing to remember however, is that this can lead to people feeling unsure about what is going on, and maybe even continuing to apply after you have already filled the spots, if they weren’t sure whether or not a position is still open.

Choosing Your Council

When you have had all the applications you want in (whether or not you set a deadline), now comes the difficult part - choosing who to select! In order to ensure that everyone is treated fairly, it’s really important to make sure you read through all the applications thoroughly. Even though your best friend from 10 years ago applied, you should also consider the application of the person you met last week - there may be an open spot for both of them! Or, the person you just met may be the best fit for the role. I’m sure your best friend will still support your guild, even if you don’t choose them, as long as you considered everyone fairly and can back up your decision.

When you decided what exactly you were looking for in a council member, it’s important now to remember those values and traits you decided you wanted, when considering the applications. If you want to find someone who is good at advertising, remember to select the person who is the best at that and has a proven track record of finding and recruiting lots of wonderful members… not the person who has the flashiest graphics on their application, or anyone who promises you a prize for picking them! If anyone tries to offer you NP or items in exchange for a council position, be sure to report them to TNT as this is cheating, and is not fair to the rule-abiding Neopets community. It goes without saying, of course, that you also shouldn’t offer a prize for applying for council! If you see anyone doing this, you should always report it to TNT and they will look into it right away.

When you have made your decision, you can click to “Accept” the person’s application, or if they applied by Neomail, you can go into the Member Admin page and promote them up the ranks to their shiny new council spot! Don’t forget to give them admin powers, if you want to, otherwise they will still just be a regular member in all but name. Often, after choosing a council member I will send out a guild mail to announce the appointment, as well as posting on the guild message board, so everyone knows who has been chosen and why. It’s important to remember that unsuccessful applicants may be disappointed that they weren’t chosen, and you should be understanding of that. It would be a good idea to make a note of everyone who applied and what their strengths and qualities were, and consider them again in the future if you ever decide to look for another council member. This way, people won’t feel ignored or rejected, and will know that you will consider them again in the future if a role they are a better fit for comes up!

Next Steps

Finally, once you have chosen your council members, remember that these are not just regular members any more - they are your team mates! Be sure to keep them up-to-date with what you’re doing in the guild and what you would like them to do, but also let them have their own free reign to decide what is best. After all, you chose them as you thought they were trustworthy and able to run the guild with you, right? Ensure that you neomail each other regularly to keep communication up-to-date and make sure everyone is on the same page with how the guild is being run. Misunderstandings can lead to problems if people don’t know what is going on!

I hope this helps, if you have any questions or would like any advice on how to keep your guild council running smoothly, please feel welcome to Neomail me, I will be more than happy to offer my advice!

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