The Delicate Art of Delegation

Last night, I wrote a heartfelt post detailing my trials and hardships in the captaining of Conquest. While I believe the crew is just as (if not more) important than the captain, all executive decisions regarding which way the ship is going rests on his shoulders. I’ve been in guilds where there were co-GMs are multiple leaders. It resulted in a lot of indecision and little progress. That being said, if there comes a time where a significant choice needs to be made, what I’ll end up doing is gathering up my senior staff. I’ll give them some time to illustrate their case for or against. I’ll let them talk it out while I listen and deliberate. But once the time is up, a choice has to be made.

Learned about that from Tom Clancy’s Executive Orders (Jack Ryan). Great book, by the way. I’ve always loved military thrillers.

I noticed a trend that emerged in the majority of the comments.

Joveta says:

“You probably -shouldn’t- be Healing Lead on top of everything else you’re doing. Delegate delegate delegate!”

GoW says:

“please, use your Officers as much as you can.”

Starman says:

“What I found is that having a really good 2nd in Command that you can split the pre setup check list with helps a TON.”

Tatiana says:

“Use your officers. Delegate. You do not have to carry the entire load.”

Lakland says:

“Also- delegate, delegate, delegate! You are raiding with (some) very competent folks. My guess is more than one or three of them has the capabilities to raid lead themselves. Take advantage of their skills and step back – captain the ship.”

Now how exactly does one go about doing that? I can’t simply just ask a person to do something. I don’t know if they’ll even like it or more importantly, want to. I don’t want people to chop wood for me or to cut and shape sails. I want them to yearn for the open seas.

Self motivation is the way to go.

But I do need to have clear cut positions and roles. I’ll see to it that every major position can be fulfilled by 2 people in case 1 person won’t be around.

Let’s use corporate analogy. I’m running out of sailor ones. Not everyone here is technically listed as an officer. But their roles are important, all the same.

Position: CEO

Purpose: Makes guild level decisions in regards to guild directions and objectives. Responsible for day to day affairs and overall raid strategy. Plans raid schedules. Oversees preliminary raid preparation and post raid activities. Serves on the board of loot directors.

Position: CFO, Human Resources, Director of Restorative Operations

Purpose: Handles matters pertaining to personnel and guild applicants. Oversees guild finances and resources. Quarterbacks the healers. Serves on the board of loot directors.

Position: Director of Strategic Operations

Purpose: Contributes strategy and tactical approaches to bosses. Also acts as DPS quality assurance. Raid disciplinarian. Quarterbacks the DPS. Heroism caller.

Assuming he stays up longer than 14 seconds against an undercard.

Position: Lootmaster

Purpose: Ensures all things shiny go to the proper players. Handles the looting of greens, blues and epics. Serves on the board of loot directors. Battle res organizer (assuming the CEO or Director authorizes the use of a Battle res in an attempt, more on this in a future post).

Position: Tank

Purpose: Sets the overall pace and speed of the raid. Has been granted full autonomy and discretion in terms of trash pulls. Knows when to pull and when to hold.

Position: Tank and Technical Director

Purpose: Handles any unforeseen or unexpected trash mobs. Oversees the guild technical infrastructure which includes the guild website and forums.

With that, I do believe that just about summarizes my staff. I have no doubt that as time goes on, some of their roles will begin to mesh and evolve. Perhaps new problems will occur and solutions will be needed. That does not necessarily mean I have to overthink it or issue out another promotion. I think I’ve got a great team here with their roles properly outlined.

As an aside, it’s course selection time. I wonder if I would benefit from a business management course.

Probably not.

8 thoughts on “The Delicate Art of Delegation”

  1. Some of these responsibilities don’t seem to gel very well. For example, your DPS quarterback calling Heroisms makes sense since that’s usually called as a DPS boost. However, you may want to break out recruiting and healing QB into 2 separate positions. Likewise, why is your primary looter calling BR’s? That should best be left to the raid leader as that’s primarily a strategy decision. If you have too much other stuff to keep track of, then next up should probably be your healing QB.

  2. @Revaan

    Remember that we’re not playing toy soldiers here. I’m both recruiting and coordinating healing because I used to do that combo in my previous guild and handled it fine. They are two discrete jobs that take work at different times. I’m also an AH hound, so I volunteered to managed the guild bank.

    Ice is calling battle rezzes because he’s a boomkin and, of the druids, has the most bandwidth for it mid-raid. You know healers only see our interface half the time. It’s important to call who we’re rezzing, because you can actually waste two battle rezzes on the same person if you’re unlucky.

    It’s one thing if you’re moving chess pieces to make a nice neat row, but when you think about the actual humans doing the job, Matt’s scheme makes a ton of sense.

  3. “I can’t simply just ask a person to do something.”

    You’re the captain of your ship. I think you can ask them. You’ve already shown you know what to do. You’ve identified a need and filled it. Just like you’ve made it absolutely clear what your guild is about to potential recruits, make it clear to potential future officers or leaders what you want from a role and ask them if it’s something they’d like to do. If not, no biggie, find someone else.

    Another problem to consider that I think a lot of guilds have is maintaining officers. A lot of guilds promote someone and once they’re there they think they’re entitled to stay. If an officer doesn’t perform they need to be demoted. Also and sometimes more importantly, if a need disappears that the officer filled, unless a different need arises, they need to be demoted. It causes major problems having “courtesy” officers that don’t do anything. So if you think a need is temporary, make sure that person knows.

    kyrileans last blog post..Royal Decree: Heroes With No Abilities Act

  4. Somthing I miss, being into PR and communications professionally, is someone responsible for that area. Of course every member in the guild is one way or another promoting it (hopefully, if they behave… :). But there could be a point if someone thinks a bit more about how internal and external communications is organized, keeping an eye on website and forum and other channels, looking at banner and a graphic profile (if you have any) and how the guild is presented in recruitment ads etc.
    A wild guess is that with such a high profiled, public gm, much of this is done by you. Anyway I think communications (and marketing) is such an essential thing in guild and raid leading that it should be mentioned.

    Larísas last blog post..Guild applications – secret or public?

  5. Be mindful of your officers, when promoting people it doesn’t matter how solid a raider they are or how well they do if they are abusive to their fellow guildmates. I’m not talking about the occasional slip but chronic or full on abusive behavior.

    Being an office is a privilege; you are saying that you trust and that the guild should trust this person and their decisions. Are there successful guilds that are run by abusive people? yes.
    Officership and especially the GM set the tone for your guild much like an office manager sets the tone for an entire office. The behavior and treatment you allow will be reflected in your membership.

    Now mind you I say all that, but I don’t think this will be a problem for your organization and I am likely projecting onto your guild.Still, its a good thing to keep in mind.

  6. Remember, without doubt one of the greatest gifts you can give to others is focused, developmental and challenging delegated tasks.

    Improving someone range of capabilities by risk-free delegation and coaching through new learning is a total win-win solution for you, if you can make the leap to giving up some of the things you do that are precious to you.

    And, they might just have better solutions than you…


    Martin Haworth


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