My guild, Concur, took a massive blow at the weekend. Our amazing raid leader — who has been leading us since Ulduar went live — has decided that it is time to hang up his leader boots. While I am sad that he’s stepping back, I am also very appreciative of the fact that he took the time to review whether or not he was up for another expansion of officer duties. During our last officer meeting where we stressed that communication was very lacking and gave everyone the opportunity to reconsider whether or not they were happy to continue as an officer, it is great to know that at least someone took heed and kept us in the loop. Listening, communicating and being involved are just a few of the wonderful strengths that lent this player to be such an integral part of the officer team, and I will sorely miss his contribution.
Big Shoes To Fill
Now that we have all had a few days to mull over the decision and let it sink in, we have turned our attention to finding a replacement. It dawned on us that no-one immediately jumped out as a clear choice to step into the role. We decided to create a post on the forums asking for expressions of interest, which went up on Monday evening. I made sure to list what we were looking for in a raid leader, as too many times in the past we’ve had people jump at the opportunity only to have them realise that they have bitten off more than they could chew. Here is a snippet of my post:-
What we’re looking for in a raid leader:
- Communication is the number one skill that a raid leader requires. Not only do you need to have good communication skills for explaining intricate fights, but you also need to have the ability to manage several conversations at once. An effective raid leader needs to have eyes in the back of his or her head and nothing should slip their attention, no matter what channel it’s posted in.
- People Skills are closely tied with communication. You’re managing nine other people and so you need to have the ability to make sure you’re expressing yourself properly. If you’re condescending or snappy, people will find it harder to respect you. That’s not to say that you have to be sunshine and roses all the time! You also require the ability to speak up and put your foot down if things become too disruptive.
- Strategy planning comes in as a close third. While we don’t necessarily want you to write up your own guides for the fight, it is important that you do the research beforehand and post any relevant links on the forums for all raiders to see, making special note of any important roles you require people to fill. If everyone just took half an hour before raid to brush up on each fight — and everyone is getting it from the same source — then that’s half an hour less wasted on overly complicated explanations.
- Basic knowledge of how each class should be performing; the ability to review World of Logs performance will be seen as a big plus. There will be times when we come up against encounters we can’t master for whatever reason, and as raid leader it is your responsibility to find out why and work with the team to overcome it.
Once posted, I messaged first the officers letting them know that the position was available and then the next day I made it public knowledge. So far I have had one whisper about it and no formal applications. My officer team is conspicuously silent; including Xsak’s 2IC, and two other officers who have expressed interest in leading in the past. I understand that perhaps it’s early days yet, and that it’s no easy feat to lead the Wednesday team, but the silence is deafening.
Preparing For Disaster
I am now left pondering just what to do should no-one step up to the plate. Perhaps my criteria was too strict? Maybe people have so much respect for Xsak’s efforts that they’re too scared to even try? Should I consider recruiting an external raid leader? Where the hell is the rest of my officer team? With each passing day, I realise with a sinking feeling that this is going to land in my lap and I will become the raid leader. I can’t lead a raid! I’m terrible at it! I don’t even know if I want to raid in Mists of Pandaria, yet suddenly I’m faced with the prospect of being a raid leader as well as solo Guild Master while Casadella moves interstate. The bitter old lady in me toys with the notion of just canning the Wednesday group entirely and demoting most of the officers. None of the raiders care enough about the team to even thank Xsak for all his efforts or ask if there is anything they can do to help, and as for my officers, well I asked for better communication and yet here I am in the dark.
I have sent a text to the 2IC, Facebook messages to the other officers, as well as updated the Facebook page and Guild Message of the Day telling people to check the forums, but I need to remember that it’s only been two days! Not everyone lives on the internet like I do. However, we are now less than two weeks away from the expansion, and I worry about what happens when next Monday rolls around and the deadline has passed for expressions of interest. I don’t want to recruit externally for a raid leader – they will be a complete stranger whom I have no real way of trusting. I don’t want to do it myself either, as I know that raid leading on top of guild master duties will be the fast track to Burnoutville.
And the Moral of the Story is…
As with everything that comes with guild leadership, I am always learning new things about the gig. Less than a month ago we had a solid plan that had us back and raiding three weeks into the expansion, with a second team starting a few weeks after that. Well, you know what they say about best laid plans! Instead I’m now faced with a repeat of what happened to our guild when Cataclysm went live. Half the team will be ready, the other half will disappear, and while I’m on holidays my officers will do nothing and I’ll come back to a guild that is about to fall apart. I feel powerless to stop this, and I’m not sure if it’s worth fighting to keep it all together for yet another expansion when everyone else seems happy to let it crumble. It’s perhaps a character flaw of mine that I over think and over-react, but this time around I have history on my side. I’m certainly very envious of our retired Raid Leader right now, that’s for sure! I guess I’ll just strap in and hope that we weather the impending storm.
How would you deal with the retirement of one of your best officers or raid leader? Am I perhaps over-reacting, or is there a real cause for alarm over the lack of input I’m receiving from guild members and officers? Feed my insanity in the comments below!