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Effective Raid Leadership: Theory X and Theory Y | Blacksen’s End

Effective Raid Leadership: Theory X and Theory Y | Blacksen’s End.

Reading this made me wish I had attended the lecture so I could explore the theory slighly more deeply – one of the greatest rewards about WoW apart from killing internet dragons is watching the group dynamics of a guild or raid group – who motivates whom and how – what the atmosphere is.

Motivating people to do what you would like them to do is a real skill – in the workplace, you have the motivating carrot of salary/promotion/payrise/praise and the stick of demotion/work starvation/dismissal – and more subtle versions of the stick so as to avoid litigation…

In a social arena like warcraft some of these factors really do not work – unless the individual has really no perspective of the place of a computer game in one’s existence…  Essentially, playing a computer game is something that is done with one’s spare time, for enjoyment – as contrasted with work, which is the main focus of an adult’s waking hours, which provides the finance for the roof over your head, the food on the table, the warmth of the house, and all the other slightly less essential pleasures of life, like telephones, televisions, holidays,l books, collections…

So, how to balance the guild?  If you have a guild that is friendly and social, but which does not feel like running dungeons/raids, and that is something you want to do, then perhaps a guild change is good for you.  Similarly, if you have a guild that centres around PvP and that is not your thing (or vice versa) then again, the guild might not be for you.

But the huge challenge is running a guild that does run raids – because then it is all about making 10+ people’s wishes come true – something which it is beyond the power of the individual to achieve in themselves.  All raiding is like this – which is why PuGs so seldom work, and fall apart often at an early stage.  And if a guild is reduced to one person running raids, setting them up, raid leading, preparing flasks, then the pressure on that individual can become unbearable – the pleasure they should themselves derive from playing a game can be negated – wiped out and put into deficit.

So how’s it done?

Short answer – lots of people can’t get it right – and lots write posts on it, some think it is a version of carrot and stick (method x) and guided liberal method (method y) or mixture of both.

I tend to fall on the method y – which relies, in my interpretation, on 1-5 people who motivate and praise, and very rarely censure, but who encourage all (minimum 10) to realise that their continued efforts are needed and appreciated, and that their continued commitment is needed so that all can benefit – so that each individual gives (time, effort, patience) for the benefit of the group – which sometimes that individual may not even be part of, but without the continued commitment to which the group itself will not exist.  Call it enlightened self-interest, if you would.

In a PuG, there is no such thing as the abstract idea of the Group – except where all the individuals have their abilities and self-interests coinciding.  Which is why when it gets difficult,  the PuG tends to fall apart – which is why progression content is impossible in a PuG – no-one can be on the cutting edge of raiding with people who lack that feeling of cohesion and determination to make it work, for the greater good of the group.

How to get that feeling of enlightened self interest in the heart of every raider on your team though?  Not solved that yet – except to say that the traditional workplace methods are less that completely effective – the stick/carrot approach has less weight.  If leading a raid is like cat herding then there’s something that has gone very wrong.  Because the only thing that herds cats consistently is food.  If they are hungry.

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