Management Lessons From WoW – Lesson #1

After leading a guild in World of Warcraft for quite some time, I realised there is a lot in common between leading a guild and managing in work place. As I am getting more and more management responsibilities, I find that it is helpful sometimes to apply what I have learnt from leading a guild. I decided to put down it in words, and perhaps it might be interesting to revisit these in the future and see whether the lessons learnt are still valid.

Lesson #1 – Motivation

Motivation in WoW comes in many form. This is especially evident when in a raid. Different people raid for different reasons. Some raid because they find it fun, some raid for the loot, some raid for the comradeship, and some raid because they like the idea of working in a team to defeat the bosses. Knowing why each and every single guild member’s reasons to raid will give a guild leader a pretty good idea to motivate the guild member to turn up for the raid.

Getting guild members to turn up for raid is make even more difficult by the mere fact that the guild leader has no control over the members’ actions. The guild leader is not their boss who is the one doing their performance evaluation at the end of the year or paying them a monthly salary. As such, playing hard will not be a good idea to ‘force’ the guild members to come for raid. Motivation is the key. And knowing why the guild member raid will give the guild leader a pretty good idea on how to motivate this guild member.

In work place, it is slightly easier given the fact that the manager usually has some kind of authority over his subordinates. However, being too hard on the subordinates will sometimes create resentment, and subordinates may just do the bare minimum if they feel that they are being mistreated. I find that motivation works much better than actually imposing one’s authority on the subordinates.

It may be just a meal, or it may be just be a praise, knowing what drives one to work harder, better, and longer, usually gives me a pretty good idea on how to motivate someone. I also discover that for the same person, different motivation is required at different times. It could be just the promise of a free lunch this time, but the next time, it could be a challenge issued for him to get the system to work better.

Motivation works on myself too. Understanding what drives me allows me to motivate myself in various situations.

Thus conclude this lesson. I will write the next lesson when I feel like it.

Oscar Winner Who Plays WoW

Here is a Oscar winner who plays World of Warcraft, is a Guild Master (GM) of a raidng guild. His guild has just completed Sartharion-3 drakes up. For those who do not play WoW, basically it is one of the hardest encounter in the game right now.

His interview on his Oscar and his WoW is here.

He is a good proof that it is possible to strike a healthy balance between career, family and gaming.


.. have been busy handling two projects at the same time. Going home drained, and no matter how much I sleep on the weekends, there seems to be a huge sleep debt that I just cannot clear.

We did extremely well on the first session of Karazhan on Friday night, breezing through the whole instance and nine bosses within 4 1/2 hours. One shotting every boss, even manage to down two new bosses Nightbane and Illhoof. It was a very major achievement and I personally do not think it might be repeatable again. Anyway it gave me time for the whole of Saturday and Sunday to do other things. The guild started another session of Karazhan with alternates and players that could not get into Karazhan in the first place.

It seems like managing the guild is even harder than managing in workplace. So I was not surprised to see the research paper from IBM that says the future business leaders will come from the online worlds. The research paper is a fascinating read. 

The possibility of working overseas next year is getting more and more real, and I might have a choice of the place where I want to be. I will see how the events develop in the next few months.

United Nations of Warcraft

I found out today that one of the newer recruits of our guild in World of Warcraft is from the country Belarussia or the Republic of Belarus. He was recruited by our Supreme Being Guild Leader to keep the only Russian player in our guild company.

I did not even know that the country Republic of Belarus even existed. With the Russians, Canadians, Americans, Asians, Australians etc in our guild, our guild is fast becoming United Nations. What a wonderful way to understand other cultures!