Running a Gaming Clan: Leadership Lessons From a Noob
Running A Gaming Clan: Leadership Lessons From A Noob.
“Hey, look at all those nifty acronyms people have attached to their handles and screen names. That’s really cool – I want one too!” That is exactly what I think runs through the heads of many people that join or create a clan. People want to feel like they are a part of something bigger than them. It’s just human nature.
With the next-generation gaming consoles tapping into an online gaming market that has existed for many of years on the PC front, gaming clans are arguably more popular than ever. For most, it’s just about hanging out with some people or being part of the most killer team and getting some big wins under the belt. Whatever way you chop it up, people are in these clans for selfish reasons. Perhaps they want attention, good stats, or want to make a living out of professional gaming. Motives vary all the time.
The nasty trend is this: you see many faceless gaming clans that come and go every day.People leave solid clans, where they may be appreciated and truly needed, just to make their own clan and get the ego rush of being able to boss people around. It is because of this that many clans fail. There is too much ego and the clashing becomes inevitable. To me clans and squads have two different principals. Clans have ideals that go beyond just competing or owning in any single game. They are bound by friendship, building up a rich legacy and history, and always establishing a principle-based leadership. Many gaming squads lack principles: it’s all about getting the best stats, dominating other clans, and perhaps employing the latest exploits to keep your competitive advantage significant.
To me, a clan, whether new or old, big or small, multi-game or single-game is only as good as its leadership. Again, this nasty ego thing comes up. People mistakenly assume that leadership is all about making people fear you and blindly follow anything you demand. The truth of leadership is that it is probably more about listening than it is talking. It is true that some people need to be micro-managed, motivated, and even commanded but, in most cases, people respond better to positive reinforcement and mutual exchange than they do drill-sergeant-style screaming.
By many standards, I can be considered a noob simply because I don’t taking gaming very seriously. I have fun with it and I try to make sure my guys do too. Our clan, [SSK] Shell Shock Klan™ is meant to be a clan that doesn’t take itself seriously in the sense that we know to have fun and still compete, stay organized, and keep the order. Sure, we get our fair share of eager beavers and know-it-alls but, with time and wisdom, systems and processes become a lot more turn-key and intuitive so things operate smoothly. I wouldn’t say I am the best leader but I’ve learned the worst things to do as a gaming clan administrator and some things that seem like “common sense” is really not regarded as such.