Teambuilding, Leadership and Management in at least two worlds.

This isn’t going to be your typical World of Warcraft blog.

I have a strong interest in leadership, management, and teambuilding. World of Warcraft has been an incredible environment for me to observe some things about what works, what doesn’t, and why. The opportunity to compare and contrast these activities between gaming and RL, aka “Real Life” has, I believe, broadened and strengthened my previous understanding of them.

It’s also really messed up my work life. I used to like playing solo, in both Wow and RL. Now I prefer being on a team. I have a whole new appreciation for the scope of what can be achieved by a team working in synergy together. In short, I’ve been wrecked as a soloist entrepreneur. I want to be part of a team. At a minimum, I want a partner or a Mastermind group to swap and explore ideas with. I’ve learned down to the core of my being that you don’t accomplish great things solo. Or at least not as great as those you can accomplish with the right team. Two (or more) heads really are better than one, as long as they interact effectively.

So whatever the dragons you want to overcome in your life, I believe building a team will help. Being able to do the leadership and management tasks necessary to keep a team running well will get you further than soloing. That’s the stuff I’m here to write about. I just think it will be more entertaining for both of us if I mix in illustrations from the game. Some days its more fun to think of defeating a dragon than creating a killer marketing plan. Overcoming a giant, rather than managing a project.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

Welcome to Defeat Dragons.

6 Comments so far »

  1. by Larísa, on May 26 2009 @ 8:10 am

     

    Welcome to the WoW blogosphere! I share your passion and your fascination for group dynamics, team development, but also self improvement and motivation. And I think Azeroth is a wonderful sandbox where you can try different methods and discover new sides of yourself. I’ve been waiting for someone to start blogging about this and I’m really looking forward to follow your comming posts. I hope you’ll enjoy blogging as much as I do. Cheers!

  2. by admin, on May 26 2009 @ 4:00 pm

     

    Thanks, Larísa! I told a few people I was going to write about all this and they looked at me funny, although a few tried to hide it. This whole topic area is at the intersection of several of my passions, and it’s good to hear there’s at least one other person out there who gets it.

  3. by Craig, on June 2 2009 @ 9:28 am

     

    Terrific blog so far!

    I’m a raid leader of a so-called social guild, and I can see some of the lessons I’ve learned over the last 2 years in your writing. I never thought I could enjoy “managing” quite this much :).

    Please keep it up, I love reading this stuff!

  4. by admin, on June 2 2009 @ 3:46 pm

     

    Thanks for the encouragement, Craig. I’ve been seeing the game parallels with real life for years now, and I thought it would be fun to share them and see if other people notice them as well. Also, it keeps Wow interesting for me. What’s the biggest management lesson you’ve learned while raid leading in Wow?

  5. by Craig, on June 2 2009 @ 5:16 pm

     

    There have been a lot of lessons. I started out as “War Council” in my guild swearing that I wouldn’t run raids. This was when BC first came out, and I was having a blast helping people through the 5-mans, directing pulls, explaining boss fights, etc. I don’t even remember why I organized Karazhan, except that I must have lost leave of my senses…

    I’m a very non-confrontational person, so I think the biggest lesson for me has been learning how to tell people “No” or “You need to do better” in a way that fit well with my desire to not be in peoples faces, angry, or “telling them what to do.” A friend of mine taking a business course mentioned the “shit sandwich” – praise them, then tell them what they need to fix, then praise them some more. I adopted this method before I heard what it was called 😛

    I think the next most important thing is to ensure your own regularity. I have a strong core of raiders, and they are usually always online. But if I don’t do the formal raid set up, be online, inviting people, the raid doesn’t happen. It’s not as if they couldn’t run the place without me – they’ve got most of the fights burned into muscle memory – but someone has to be in charge, and I take that responsibility very seriously. (although no one would call us serious :P).

    Somethings I’m still working on: telling an aggressive raid member that we’re doing it my way, getting rid of people who aren’t welcome. I had one guy who was showing up maybe once a month – getting him to admit that he didn’t have time to raid with us and that I should take him off the regular roster was difficult.

    Hell, I could keep going. :)

  6. by admin, on June 4 2009 @ 1:41 pm

     

    Sounds like we’re learning a lot of the same things, Craig. And thanks for the ideas for future posts! I think I can write something useful about setting boundaries, and about praise, and about the importance of modeling the behavior you want to see. I also see an opportunity to write about delegation there – we’re pretty big on having multiple people to fill every role, so that the pressure to always show up isn’t so great. I think it leads to less burnout, and of course most of us can use a safe place to practice improving our delegation skills. I’m probably a bit more comfortable with being assertive than you are, or maybe it just works well because I’m female and I don’t flaunt being assertive, so the surprise factor is there when I have to deal with telling someone we’re doing it my way.

    I definitely don’t have a magic bullet for getting rid of raiders that don’t fit/meet standards though. It’s never pleasant, and I’m often left feeling like the communication has failed, even when I’ve put a lot of time into trying to incrementally correct the situation before taking the step of termination. We’ve had a half dozen people on the raid team at various times that really have no idea of the effort, focus and commitment it requires at the level my guild chooses to play. Showing up and hitting random buttons, failing to prep for fights, inability to comprehend the strats (or care)… it just doesn’t work for us. It’s even worse when they’re willing to do all the right stuff, but can’t perform well enough. I’m not sure I’ll ever get good at handling those situations. Maybe someone will show up here with ideas for both of us!

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About Author

Atris, known in another world as Karilee, is a World of Warcraft Guild Leader and Business Consultant fascinated by how Leadership, Management and Teambuilding work in two different worlds. She believes that good leaders, good managers and good teams are essential for successfully defeating dragons, no matter what world you find yourself in.