Leadership Survey Summary

With Links and Commentary

Below is my attempt to present the results of the surveys in a very fast "at a glance" format, to spot trends and similarities. Because it is VERY condensed, it misses most of the depth and thought of individual replies. To see fully detailed replies, click on the person's name for that question. Comments accompany some sections.

"ALWAYS REMEMBER that they pay just as much a month as you do" -Daros

  1. What kind of leadership do you do in DAoC? (e.g., guild leadership? leading multi-group PvE or RvR raids? RvR gank groups? all of the above?)

    Gisli: Guild [Ravensflyte], alliance [Ravensflyte, Mid/Perc], realm defense, PvE raids (such as MLs), when necessary. Does not lead gank groups. Galroth: Guild [Bloodaxe, Mid/Perc], RvR raids, PvE (such as MLs), gank groups.
    Candide: Guild primary [Hel Maor, Mid/Perc], including guild RvR groups (that often turn into raids). Snapp: Guild [Hrafnin Flygur, Mid/Perc], RvR, PvE (such as MLs), gank groups.
    Logard: Guild [Siol Lear, Mid/Perc], small RvR groupings, right-hand man to RvR leaders. Delivis: Guild [Tre Uruz, Mid/Perc], PvE (dungeons and MLs), relic raids, gank groups.
    Ahm: Guild [Nordvegr, formerly Messe Noire, Mid/Perc], RvR groups (not raids). Daros: Guild [Suthainn Ruathar, retired, Hib/Guin], guild raids, group leads, PvE groups.
    Sanger: Guild [Vengeance of Valhalla, Mid/Perc], RvR raids. Vanaith: Group, guild, some raids (RvR and low ML)

    Note: In retrospect it's not surprising, but every one of these people is a rank 0 guild leader. When deciding whom to question, guild rank was not taken into consideration.

  2. Have you had any formal leadership training in RL? (e.g., military, leadership seminars, etc.)

    Gisli: Very little Galroth: Yes
    Candide: No Snapp: No
    Logard: Yes Delivis: No
    Ahm: No Daros: No
    Sanger: No Vanaith: Yes

    Note: The number of "No" replies was somewhat surprising.

  3. What background has helped you become the leader you are now? (e.g., raising kids, just plain leading raids in DAoC, having been a business leader, etc.)

    Gisli: RL work, EQ Galroth: RL family, watching in-game
    Candide: group-builder type Snapp: N/A
    Logard: RL military, family, education, job, EQ, in-game Delivis: managing a business, dramatic arts work, study of psychology
    Ahm: Family Daros: RL social, EQ
    Sanger: Friends. Father's introduction to wargames. Vanaith: Management, medical work building up empathy, insight toward motivating others.

  4. What background/experience (in and out of game) has helped you with the *tactics and strategies* of RvR?

    Gisli: Many games, including chess, cards, computer games; military history; medieval re-creation Galroth: Games such as chess, RTS; analyzing in-game combat
    Candide: Watching in-game dynamics, consulting with others Snapp: Driving taxi: ability to gauge people, and chess.
    Logard: Says it's mostly common sense Delivis: in-game experience
    Ahm: Daros: Games such as chess, strategy games, RTS; analyze the game
    Sanger: History buff; tactics and psychology of war. Learning from experience. Vanaith: Game experience; talking with players at RL gatherings

    Note: I find it interesting, but perhaps not unexpected, that at least four list "chess" as a game that has helped with their tactical skills. Of course, the same people also listed other games as well.

  5. . What is your approximate age? (20-24, 25-29; or 20-29, 30-39, etc.)

    Gisli: 44 Galroth: 30-39
    Candide: 29 Snapp: 30-39
    Logard: 36 Delivis: 18
    Ahm: 30-39 Daros: 25
    Sanger: 25-29 Vanaith: 30-39

    Note: Hence, nearly half the surveyed player leaders appear to be 30-39. If the data were put in a rough graph, I think we'll see a typical bell curve with the center somewhere in the low-mid 30's. It would be interesting to know the age of the average DAoC player in contrast. By the way, the "anomalous" 18 year old says most people are surprised when they find out his age (I was!).

  6. Do you have or have you had your own family? (i.e., live(d) in your own household (not your parents') with at least one other person)

    Gisli: Family with 2 kids Galroth: Family
    Candide: Family with 2 kids Snapp: Yes
    Logard: Yes Delivis: No
    Ahm: Family with 2 kids Daros: Fiancee
    Sanger: No. Vanaith: No.

    Note: I think the fact that most of these people have their own families is statistically interesting, but also this may be purely an outgrowth of the general age bracket (30-39). Three (to an extent four) have said experiences with family (whether as parent or child) has been a significant contributing factor to their leadership background.

  7. What are your goal(s) and motivation(s) as a leader? (e.g., to win? to make sure everyone has a good time? RPs? fame & fortune?)

    Gisli: RvR: Accomplish mission (e.g., stop enemy raid). Guild: Make guild successful; give everyone opportunity to make most of game. Galroth: Have fun with others fighting common enemy.
    Candide: Help people work together: "lead people to move together in common step." Snapp: Want all to have fun.
    Logard: Raid/defense: To win. With guild: "play the game together and have fun while doing it." Delivis: always "for the welfare of the people involved and the greater community"
    Ahm: "To create the best playing envoirment for everyone I can." Daros: the "wellbeing of my guild/troops/etc." Winning is good, too.
    Sanger: Depends: winning for defense, punish the enemy; offense: good times, other personal motivations. Vanaith: Have fun, help others have fun.

    Note: I suppose it is only to be expected that welfare of others figures prominently in over half of these responses. An interesting question would be, how does this compare with an average DAoC player's outlook?

  8. What are the most important traits of a good leader, and what, in your opinion, distinguishes a good leader from a *bad* leader?

    Good: Empathy: know what people are feeling/thinking. Know what followers are capable of. "Pull," don't "push." Communicate reasons for next action. Maintain in-chargeness to reduce confusion and second-guessing. Change when circumstances change is good.
    Bad: Wasting time, indecision (not same as changing mind), being unclear, bullying others.
    Good: Speak clearly, repeat instructions. Test responsiveness. Help organize. Listen, asks for input. Can't please everyone. Be more concerned for raid than individual. Flexible. Patient. Does not care about personal image. Sympathetic. Demonstrates courage. Reminds raid of tactics. Fast typist.
    Bad: Lack of concern for others. Tactically clueless. Takes credit; fails to thank others. Focused on loot/RPs, not people. Slow typist.
    Good: Clear communication. Kindness, amiable, resilient.
    Bad: Gives up easily. Takes things personally. Blames others.
    Good: Know time cost. Give plans so people know what to expect. Does not cast blame. Tactful in teaching/correcting. Encourage. Succinct but clear instructions. Ask: "Will this be fun for all?" Leader knows how to follow leaders. Willingness to let others lead.
    Bad: Offended publicly. Unclear lengthy instructions. Well thought-out plans meaningless if others don't enjoy it.
    Good: Patience utmost. Open mind and listening. Flexibility when circumstances change. Communication with followers, giving details.
    Bad: Frustration. Not listening. Not changing with the changes. Not giving specifics.
    Good: Think of self as organizer and mediator. Listen to others. Choose your attitude, choose opposite of normal bad reactions to situations.
    Bad: Power-trips, seeing self as power figure, losing cool.
    Good: Lead by example; act how you would expect others to act. Talk to everyone. Give praise. Keep a positive mood.
    Bad: Negativity.
    Good: Learn from mistakes. Judge character wisely. Get good advisors and delegate based on ability.
    Good: Keeps followers driven and motivated. Has goals. Knows territory. Handles information. Bad:
    Good: Patience. Make people feel like they matter. Acknowledge, answer questions. Bad: Blame everyone else, yell at others for mistakes.

    Note: One thing that kept coming up here, aside from expected answers like the importance of being patient and not losing one's temper, is the need for flexibility. A good leader must be able to change plans when the circumstances change. Also, there are some very good pieces of advice about what makes for good communication.

  9. What should an aspiring leader always keep in mind? What mistakes should he/she avoid? (Multple answers ok)

    Gisli: Know what your army can and can't do. Don't take on too much responsibility: Practice leadership before plunging into hard stuff, also delegate responsibility. Galroth: Keep in mind no one is perfect. Listen. Learn from defeat. PvE easier than RvR leadership; try starting there. Get good advisors. Learn in the front lines. Also: Stay upbeat. Negativity bad. Highlight good parts of fight. Never lay blame. "Your being upset is perfectly normal and will pass soon." How people felt about raid important, not just loot: build up morale.
    Candide: Keep people moving in a positive direction. Snapp: Have fun. Provide information. Explain the why behind decisions, esp. unconventional tactics. To communicate, give out info beforehand if necessary, make macros if necessary.
    Logard: Openminded, patient, decisive. "I can't stress the communication aspect enough." Say what is needed, give plans, motivate. "Preach in private, Praise in public." Delivis: Allow self to make mistakes. Don't bear all responsibility. Plan ahead but be flexible. Be above personal drama, conflict. Assume good intentions. Give instructions one at a time. Patience; don't get frustrated. /anon if necessary. Zerg if necessary.
    Ahm: Talk to others, listen. Lead by example. Act how you want others to act. Treat others with respect. Patience; don't lose temper. Never discipline in public. Have fun, be upbeat. Daros: "ALWAYS REMEMBER that they pay just as much a month as you do"
    Sanger: Leader should be a good follower. Learn. Never get an ego. Teamwork. Keep it fun. Vanaith: Don't MAKE others do things. Include everyone in the process. Communicate, explain, and request things privately, even with loners, gankers, solos, who all have a valuable part to play.

  10. What, in your opinion, makes a good follower?

    Gisli: Remember leader has limited bandwidth. Be self-sufficient; get grouped, rallied, etc., yourself. Step up to secondary leadership. Avoid giving unsolicited advice, as most established leaders already have advisors. Galroth: Listen to chat. React fast. Do what you can but don't undermine leader's authority. Provide accurate intelligence data. Ensure data is received by leader. Fight together. Don't forget there is victory even in defeat.
    Candide: Snapp: Listen. Don't question tactics/plans. Provide information.
    Logard: Know when to talk, when to shut up. If assigned a task, ask any necessary questions. Don't spam. Pay attention, give information, help the leader. Delivis: Remember leader is working for everyone, not just you.
    Ahm: Willing to sacrifice to help others and encourage others. Treat everyone with respect. Daros: Patience. Have faith leader is doing his best.
    Sanger: Follows, obeys, helps, thinks, is active, helps organize, helps motivate and mobilize. Can criticize but never in open chat - always in private. Never undercut leader in open chat. Vanaith: Pay attention, respond to changes quickly, communicating reason for failure (e.g. mezzed).

    Note: Although there is some disagreement on whether followers should voice disagreement at all, a very strong feeling is that followers should not debate or question in open chat. Keep in mind this is the opinion of leaders who are acknowledged to be above average, who usually are leading in times of conflict.

  11. Do you have a leader role-model, or someone whose style you emulate in whole or part?

    Gisli: EQ guild leader. Also watched and learned from Bombarta, Durgin, and Beow. Galroth: Many good people in-game, and real life. Snapp.
    Candide: Snapp: No.
    Logard: Not really. Takes note of what others would do. Take the best from various other leaders. Our leaders don't struggle for power and support each other. Delivis: Nope. I improvise.
    Ahm: RL father: makes "everyone feel included" Daros: "man that Daros guy was damn cool!"
    Sanger: Sherman. Napoleon (slightly). Galroth's charisma. Snapp's humor. Vanaith: Various.

  12. Who do you think are other good leaders (in game/out of game)?

    Gisli: Sanger, Candide, Snapp, Galroth, others Galroth: "Sanger, Gisli, Odlaw, Delivis, Durgan, Bombarta, Peroden, Ketu, Clapperoth, Darlini, Laaug, Lensar, Sloane (aka Dragonslayer), Ravus, Cep, Oda, Rosso, Vinas, Leria, Zhadow (Vanaith) and Snapp (I love the detail of Snapp's maps / raid plans, and his near flawless execution of them)."
    Candide: Snapp: "Delivis, Gisli, [also Candide], Durgan was a hell of a leader." "Galroth." "Peroden, Odlaw, Sanger, Sloane" "Ravus" "Rosso" "In albion I admire Vinas chess-thinking plans" "Maybe [Mahatmas] Ghandi. How can a leader hold millions and millions of people in peace like he did... is beyond me."
    Logard: "I like being out there with Gisli, Snapp, Sanger... a few others" Delivis: "Anyone who is a longtime leader in game is good; Gisli, Galroth, Snapp to name a few...."
    Ahm: "Galroth and Snapp come to mind." RL: "I would say individuals who sacrifice their time and positions of power to help others. [e.g., Bono of U2]" Daros: "the best leaders I have seen are those passionate enough to keep playing forever and ever... but also JUST understanding enough to not be complete assholes. Granarc was like that, and so was Durgan. Galroth is possibly one of the best leaders" RL: "Patton kind of fits that description. He was a crazy bastard, but just sane enough to be a good general."
    Sanger: Galroth, Snapp, Gisli, Craemma, Durgan, Peroden. Teulu, Rosso, Sloane. Vanaith: Galroth. RL: Some WWII leaders.

  13. Any more comments on your own style of leadership (and/or "followship")?

    Gisli: "Don't try to be a RvR leader in DAOC unless you are a "leader-type" person. It doesn't come from nowhere." Galroth: "I really have grown to appreciate those people that I play with in the mornings.... I would not consider them followers so much as people sharing a thirst for having some fun together."
    Candide: Snapp: "Have fun in game! :)"
    Logard: "I am of the opinion that people want to be led, not told how to do every little thing, just told what the big picture is and what will be done to accomplish the task at hand." "I like being the right hand man, but not the central figure most times." Delivis: "Hmmm..nope.." "come[...] judge[...] for yourself"
    Ahm: "A person is judged by thier words, but more importantly by thier actions..." "Leadership is also only as good as the people around you, without the officers and guildmates around me, midgard would not be the same, nor would I." Daros: "When I lead, i did my best to keep my mind on my men as well as the task at hand...."
    Sanger: Reliance on scouting intel. Talk to gank groups. Hurting enemy over RPs. Vanaith: Making sure things that need to get done get done, whether as leader or follower, so as to accomplish the night's goals.

  14. Bonus question: Some of you role-play while leading. Any comments on the role of roleplaying with leadership?

    Gisli: "If you are comfortable doing that, go for it. I don't think it helps or hurts." Galroth: "...I believe it plays an integral part in Leadership and in having fun out there."
    Candide: Snapp: "I try to role play, but not the the extent that it will ruin a raid." ""But I do roleplay somewhat to lighten up a tense moment.... [Because I'm a troll] I am allowed to fart! :)"
    Logard: "I'm not honestly sure if roleplaying plays a big role while leading, but I do enjoy following more when a leader does." Delivis: "You cannot say everything that needs to be said ina game and maintain to roleplay." "I use roleplaying however, especially the 'dumb troll' persona to make the raiding atmosphere light, or to soften the blow of defeat...."
    Ahm: "Role-playing makes the game a little funner, I think everyone should try and stay along those lines.. most of the time anyways :)" Daros: "[Role-playing] allowed me to be serious and patient enough I think. Normally im pretty silly ;)"
    Sanger: "can add a lot of humor and fun to the raid or action" Vanaith: Very hard to do while leading, but makes things more fun.

  15. Do you think leadership in DAoC has had positive (or even negative) effects in you and your Real Life? If so, in what way?

    Gisli: Rewarding but very time consuming and stressful. Overall plus. Galroth:
    Candide: Snapp: Not really.
    Logard: No, it's the other way around. Delivis: Time commitment is negative, but other effects positive. Synergy: Learn from both virtual and RL to make both better.
    Ahm: Daros: Took up too much time. RL comes first.
    Sanger: Positive; made game more fun. Vanaith: Fun: "bad day of RvR is better than any good day at work"

    Note: this question was asked separately, after the first fourteen, and hence received fewer responses.

  16. If you have alts that take up leadership, do you find that followers treat you differently when they don't know it's "you"?

    Gisli: Yes, of course. I even switch to "leadership" character. Galroth: [Editor's Note: Galroth's alts are all named Gal-something.]
    Candide: Snapp: Yes, harder.
    Logard: Yes, definitely. Name matters. Delivis: Name association is important.
    Ahm: Daros: Not personally, but have heard of it.
    Sanger: No, but not that much data. Vanaith: Mostly avoids the problem.

    Note: The strong majority of leaders indicate that the "name brand" is important. (This is one of my theories as to why Battlegrounds feel so disorganized: lack of long-term community name recognition.)

    Note: this question was asked separately, after the first fourteen, and hence received fewer responses.

DAoC Leadership Resources