Author Topic: Guide to leadership  (Read 1838 times)

Offline dame

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Guide to leadership
« on: February 12, 2018, 03:41:09 PM »
Oftentimes new leaders turn to the advice of old leaders, using their wisdom earned from leading groups and watching other leaders both good and bad to learn how exactly to lead their own groups. However, there is no guide to leadership, despite it being a complex task that many on Bearbones find themselves facing. So, this guide was created to help.

This guide was written by @Bryne with contributions from: @java and @greahound

I just got promoted, what do I do?
Whether or not you were expecting it, whether or not it's a big group or a small group, whether or not you're experienced, being handed leadership, taking over a group or starting a group can be a daunting task. Typically you'll want to establish yourself as leader within a day or two, typically by hosting a quick meeting. It can just be you saying that you've become the leader and you can talk about any goals or plans you might have for the group in the future. Many new leaders don't make any promotions until their second week, so you shouldn't feel too pressured to do them (though if someone deserves it, by all means, go ahead). You can get your meetings (and any other threads) stickied and unstickied here, and you can request board moderation privileges (so you don't need to ask for stickies and rather do them yourself) here. Another thing you'll want to do is either make a new updated guide or update the old one (you can get the passwords to these accounts from the old leaders or from any staff member). Keeping an updated guide is very important—if there isn't one, potential joiners might go to another more well-kept group, or people looking for information on your group won't have accurate info. The third thing you'll want to do within the first week of being leader is update your allies, neutrals and enemies' you can do it personally or task members of your group with it.

What do I need to include in the Guide?
The basic things found in every guide are an introduction, a territory description, ranks, traditions, and politics. Many guides include a history, a faq and a link hub as well. As mentioned before, keeping the guide updated is very important as well, so be sure to update it after anything important happens, such as recent promotions, a declaration of war, etcetera.

How often do I hold a meeting? When? How do I format them?
Meetings should be held commonly, and generally, people will hold them either weekly (which is preferred) or biweekly. The rules state you have to hold a meeting at least once every two weeks. Meetings are used to discuss important things such as events, changes and promotions. It's a time to inform the group of anything they might not have heard about, as well as to see who's currently active in your group and to get a census of your memberbase. If you're thinking there are no new events, changes or promotions, host the meeting and use it as a chance to brainstorm with the group so that next week there will be things to talk about. When exactly you hold your meetings is up to you, though most tend to do it on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and based on an old poll on FF, members seem to prefer those days as well. The weekend is a time when people are more open to roleplaying and posting in these meetings.

There are quite a few ways you can format your meetings and none are decidedly wrong. Some people like having the first post hold all of the announcements so that their character can get straight to the point, though some have commented that people won't feel as obligated to post with that format, since it's all out there and done fairly quickly, but it leaves a lot for characters to respond to. Others call for the members to gather in the first post, and after a few hours or a day, they post the announcements in one or several posts. Generally, you can figure out what works best for you and your group and roll with that—however, if you decide to break up the posts that hold news into several posts, don't keep your members in suspense for too long. One thing several leaders do, especially in longer meetings, is include an OOC summary at the bottom of the announcements so that everything is easier to digest.

What do I announce in the meetings?
There's a lot that can be announced in meetings, depending on what's been going on in your group that week. Normally the author would start out by welcoming new members (by name if the group is small enough, though in larger groups this may be difficult to do without missing someone) and by talking about how activity was the last week. Then, things like events, weekly tasks, politics, groupwide plots, changes, etcetera may need addressing. Most people save promotions and demotions for last to keep the group in suspense. Again, how you format the meetings and what you put in them is up to you, though the author tends to include anything that may need announcing.

How do I decide who to promote?
There is a lot to take into consideration when deciding who to promote, and different people will value different things. Below is a list of things that can be considered when promoting people.
Activity: Activity alone can usually get anyone to a s/hp if it's enough or consistent (you can't shun casual roleplayers, though it's encouraged to get a feel for their activity and see how reliably they post first), and it's important to take that into consideration for further promotion. You don't want to promote someone that isn't posting, because that could slow down your group and clog your ranks with people who aren't contributing enough for the higher ranks, it's especially important to balance activity with other things. However, activity isn't everything.
Contribution: Usually new members can get promoted to a s/hp through activity without much contribution or vice versa, but it becomes increasingly important for the hps, especially assistant deputies and deputies, to contribute both icly and oocly. It's not just ic contribution, either. Contributing to the group includes things like making opinion surveys, mass adoptions, choice awards, and so on. These ooc contributions can be just as valuable to a group, because not many people think to offer to do them unless asked, or if it's been a really long time since the last one. Contributions icly include events, weekly tasks, ideas, etcetera. Contributing both icly and oocly is all very important and shows dedication to your group.
Friendliness: This is important both ic and ooc, though a bit of leniency can be granted icly, because some are rude and that's part of their personality. It's when the rudeness is directed toward joiners trying to join or when it's cliquey and without reason that most would start having problems. Ooc it's vital that everyone gets included and acknowledged and treated kindly, and ooc rudeness is cause for demotion icly (or lack of promotion). People that are ignored or are treated with rudeness will brand the group as cliquey and it will spread and take ages to live down. Cliqueyness is a brand that is really hard to live down, even after it's been taken care of.
Development: This is another thing that shows dedication, though in this case it's less to the group and more to the character, implying that they'll be sticking with the character for a while. Development, effort and activity are the three things that don't apply oocly on any level (if you're active in the chat, great! If not, great) since the roleplayers' development as human beings doesn't weigh in on promotions. However, ic development does play a small part. Not a huge part, but it's one thing to take into account if you need a tie breaker between two characters for a position with room for one. This is because a developed character is more likely to stick around rather than an undeveloped one.
Reliability + Communication: These are things that are normally looked for in deputies, and maybe assistant deputies, too. It's important to be in touch with the second in command and the one that will end up taking the leader's place at some point, as they will eventually lead a group the previous leader worked hard to develop and maintain. Then, there's reliability—if someone says they're going to do something, did it get done? If so, this is a great sign. Again, this is more for deputies and assistant deputies more than anything else, because this shows that they are determined to help the group flourish, rather than hurt it.
Effort/Quality: If someone's making some really good sized and good quality posts, but maybe posts a bit less, that's alright. Though activity is important, quality is just as important. Sometimes this factor isn't remembered as much as it should be, but people who try harder to include others in their posts and make clear connections in their writing to others will likely make more inclusive and more determined leaders.

How do I decide who to demote?
Just as with promotions, there's plenty to consider when deciding who to demote and how far you're demoting them. While activity isn't necessarily the most important part in promotions depending on who you ask, if someone hasn't posted in a week or more it's pretty reasonable to demote them. If they've posted a bit but not enough (which may vary from group to group), you can warn them and tell them that they need to step it up, or they may face demotion. Sometimes you can put people on probation, which is best in cases such as if someone is going to be inactive for a little while and they provide a good reason and notice ahead of time, or something else of that nature. Demotions can also be caused icly, which varies from leader to leader, depending on what a character did to the leader to force a demotion. Ic demotions are NOT to be used to demote someone you don't like, as that is your personal ooc opinions bleeding into your character's ic opinions, which is a rule break. However, if, say, a character murdered another member of the group, you'd have a good reason to demote that character.

On a more serious note is demoting people for reasons other than activity. Rudeness and drama (not necessarily ic drama if it isn't toxic) or ic disrespect/disregard/etc can get characters demoted, as well as breaking rules. However, be careful when doing this. You don't want to single people out publicly, so when handling things like rudeness, passive aggression or cliqueyness, you may want to try and talk it out with the member/s involved first via a pm. That usually will solve the issues without a public call-out since most people don't mean to do it and don't want to create more drama. Some do want to stir up drama, in which case that would lead to a demotion.

What are cliques?
Cliques have been the downfall of many groups, and are very harmful to any group. For more information, please check out MarMar's guide to cliques.

You talked about changes earlier, what changes should I be making?
First of all, you don't have to change anything. Sometimes it's best to leave the core aspects of the group (such as name, territory, ranks, traditions, political status, etcetera) as they are. Sometimes it's not all super cohesive or to your liking, though, and it might be best to change certain things around a little bit to spice up the group. Reinventing a group might bring in new people, or it might drive them away. Before making any changes, you'll want to consult your members and see what they think of your ideas (or ask them for some), and perhaps run an interest check in the Helping Hub to see if what you're thinking about might draw in more people. If your members are on board with the changes, go ahead and do them! If they're not, you'll want to reconsider, as going through with it when people aren't on board may be detrimental to the group's activity. However, if the group is already dead and you need something to reinvigorate it, changing the theme could be what you need to do.

What if I become overwhelmed?
Don't feel bad if you become overwhelmed with leading. It's not an easy gig, and real life can be a pain. Muse is a fickle mistress too, and sometimes you just don't want to post for one reason or another. There's nothing to be ashamed of and it's okay to ask for help from your s/hps—you put them in their position for a reason, and if you've got a deputy, it's okay to ask them to lead for a bit or host a meeting while you take some time off to recuperate. Alternatively, you can have another character/group take over for a bit (you may want to see if your members are okay with those kinds of plots, since not all are and it could cause more people to lose muse rather than gain it).

It's also okay to step down if you feel you can't continue doing a good job leading, and it's actually good to recognize when you no longer have anything else to offer the group. This is a sign of a good leader rather than a bad one. No one should ever tell you to step down as it should be your decision (there are likely exceptions where the leader is toxic and the group has had enough but they are very rare).

If you don't have a deputy or any hps who you trust to take over the group, you can hold HP tryouts, ask a friend to take over or contact staff and ask them for assistance in finding a new person to take over.

What do I need to know/do about alliances/enemies?
Interacting with other groups is vital to keeping people aware of and interested in your group, especially by doing unique things with your allies and enemies. If you never interact with them, what's the point of being allies/enemies? At the very least, you should try to deliver gifts to allies at least once every week or two, and hold occasional raids on enemies. If an alliance (or enemy) is inactive and has nothing going on, it's reasonable to change the status to neutral or expect the other to do the same (when it comes to enemies, there will likely have to be some negotiation so that they don't attack your group).

When another group comes to yours asking for an alliance, try to gather a bit of information on the group by asking the emissary what the group's allies and enemies are (ideally you'll want to have mutual allies and enemies), what they can bring to the table, and what you'll be expected to provide in turn. If you're asking another group for an alliance, this is information you'll want to be ready to provide, and you'll want to try to befriend allies with similar politics to yours, or at least non-clashing politics.

There is no particular guideline for becoming enemies with another group. Sometimes there will be provocation and other times one group (usually an anti-Clan/"evil" group) decides they don't like yours, usually based on political status or alliance with one of their enemies. If you want to do a war plot with another group, it's usually best to discuss it with the other leader, even if icly becoming enemies doesn't require mutual agreement.

What else is important to know?
[WIP]

Is there anyone I can ask for specific advice?
Yes! You can ask for more advice in the Helping Hub or PM* Bryne or Greahound if the situation shouldn't be discussed openly for any reason.
*If you'd like to be added to the list of people to pm, please let Bryne know.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 05:58:24 PM by Bryne »
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Offline dame

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Re: Guide to leadership
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 03:41:18 PM »
reserve
I wanna be your happiness I wanna be your common sense pain Wrap your head in a picket fence Rebuild after the hurricane !

Offline dame

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Re: Guide to leadership
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 03:41:21 PM »
reserve
I wanna be your happiness I wanna be your common sense pain Wrap your head in a picket fence Rebuild after the hurricane !

Offline dame

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Re: Guide to leadership
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 03:48:42 PM »
Y'all should be good to track now, if you'd like
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Offline Shadow

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Re: Guide to leadership
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 04:13:37 PM »
throws myself at this
don't you know i'm tired
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Offline psychosocial.

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Re: Guide to leadership
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 04:45:28 PM »
yeets self in
・゚✧ there's a feeling i get when i look to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving. in my thoughts i have seen rings of smoke through the trees and the voices of those who stand looking. ooh, and it makes me wonder...
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Re: Guide to leadership
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 01:40:12 AM »
*slides in michael-jackson style*
we're lost in a dream now
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