After supervising Conquest and watching it grow to where it is now over the past 7 years, I wanted to take an opportunity to share a few things that I picked up. If you’re not a raiding guild, some of these might not apply to you.

On Raid Leading

Manage time and expectations – Know what your group is realistically capable of.
Schedule breaks as needed – At least one every 2 hours. More often than not, they’ll come back refreshed after a quick drink and a stretch.
Don’t yell – At least, not with the mic open.
Your raid moves as fast as the slowest learner – How you handle that is up to you.
Cut down on unnecessary explanations in bosses – Keep things simple and straight to the point.
Stress repetition and practice – Develop a rhythm and a pattern especially when it comes to movement and cooldown use.
Know when to call wipes early and when to stretch attempts – Repeated exposure to mechanics helps even though the attempt might be futile.
Look ahead to the next boss – Have an idea for the requirements of the next encounters and gear the raid appropriately to handle it
Keep your guild focused – Players can always socialize later or on trash.
Remember the definition of insanity – If there’s no visible progress, stop everything and take 5 minutes to read and watch other videos.
Script the encounter from start to finish – Especially true on encounters with different phases. Where should players be? What should they be doing?
Verbally repeat everything on progression bosses – Give them confirmation. Saying things like run out, stack in, move left, or square help to reinforce that what they’re doing is right.
Practice and roleplay movement – Do it before encounters but don’t hesitate to do it mid-pull when the boss is active.
When learning, on the fly correction helps – Helping people see what they’re doing during the encounter is the best time.
Use players as examples of what not to do – Treat every mistake as an opportunity to learn for everyone.
Have a contingency in place – Did a kiter die? Whose next? Do you have backup soakers?
Forgive individual mistakes but stop tolerating repeated ones – If someone needs to be benched, do it. They’re only going to piss off the raid more with repeated failures.
Know when to ease off the gas – Yes, you want to light a fire under your raid but recognize when it’s just a bad night.
Run meters and logs – You need real time information on the raw numbers so you can make the best choices on your roster throughout the night. People have off nights. Do them a favor and give them a mercifully short night.
Don’t invite friends just because they’re friends – Invite them into your raid because they’re good players and you know what they can do.
You have the last say in everything – It’s okay to open the floor to discussion, but you have the final word.
Determine if the strategy being used will kill the boss – The current strat might help you live longer but will it solve the DPS and enrage check?
Figure out if the strategy used within the skills of your raid – You’re not Blood Legion, Paragon, or Midwinter. Some strategies might not work for you.
Make a damn call – If you’re wrong, you’re wrong. But make one anyway. At least you’ll learn what not to do in the future.
Ensure that you start on time – People respect consistency. People also don’t like having their time wasted.
Ensure that you end on time – Going over a few minutes is generally acceptable if it leads to a kill.
Track attendance – See who’s late or absent consistently.
Announce what the roster is and who is on standby early on – No need to keep everyone waiting all the time.
Lay out what the plan for the week is

On Your Guild

 Do not make decisions based on your emotions – You might be really angry and pissed off, but that’s no reason to make an impulse decision.
Try to recruit multiple players of the same class and role – Give them a fair chance. Plus it provides insurance in the event players have to drop out. Never stop recruiting. Competition helps.
Major policy changes can wait until you’re between patches or expansions – Things like raid times, loot systems, and big philosophy or policy changes can wait for the lull between major content drops.
Once you decide on a loot system, be consistent about it – Adhere to your DKP rules or loot council policies as best as you can. Stick to them and make no exceptions.
It’s easier to say no to a prospect than it is to remove them later when they’re already entrenched – Seriously evaluate a player on their application and their trial period. If someone doesn’t make the cut, then drop them. Don’t wait to drop them until it’s too late.
Remember that there are real people behind those raid frames – Don’t lose sight of this.

On You

 Have fun – Don’t lose sight of why you’re playing this game and why you’re doing what you do.
It’s okay to not have all the answers – It sucks not knowing everything all the time, but that’s where the challenge is. There are many resources out there. Use them.
Take a break from time to time – It means skipping out on the alt run or taking the periodic week off and handing over the reins.
Treat every mistake as an opportunity to learn – Make efforts to correct it quickly.
Speak clearly – Some players will have a hard time understanding you, guaranteed.
You will never make everyone happy – Accept it and stick to your principles.
When it comes to people, listen to your gut – It’s usually right. Trust your instincts. Some people give off a bad vibe but it’s hard to place why.
Don’t let things get personal – Take a step back and separate yourself potentially explosive situations. Remain objective as possible.
Cultivate a network – Make friends with other GMs on server (or even off server).
Don’t be the worst player – Aim for high success rates in completing mechanics or sit yourself.
Learn as much as you can about everything – At least, have a basic understanding.
Don’t be afraid to tell people that they are underperforming – Some people truly do not know that they could be playing potentially better.
Don’t yell – Losing your temper and being frustrated is okay, but don’t queue that mic.
Be skeptical, but listen – Question everything that’s said to you, but keep an open mind. Sometimes a proposed idea might actually work.
Know the type of player you’re aiming to recruit – Design the ideal raider and their qualities. Isolate the traits that you don’t want. If an applicant has too many negatives, don’t pick them up.
Constantly assess and analyze everything (your players, your strategies) – Are they working well? Are they consistently playing at the level that’s needed?
Do not delegate vision or policy changes – It’s your guild. You’re the one with the final say. Keep the input.
Be visible and available – Players want to know that you’re around.
Be prepared – Make sure you have consumables and know of your role.
Don’t sweat the small stuff – Not everything is an emergency.

On the Officers

 Delegate what you can – You might not be GM one day. Plus it helps stave off burnout.
Officers won’t always agree with you – Listen to them before making a decision. Then make the call that’s best for the guild.
Talk to your officers – Get their read on activities for the week. They’re also the thermometer for the guild.
Make each officer’s role and responsibility clear – Don’t have officers for the sake of it. Everyone has a purpose.
Make time for them if needed.
Promote players who want to advance the guild and not just themselves
Don’t rush the decision when it comes to promotions or demotions – Sleep on it.
Cut down on the micromanagement – You chose your officers for a reason. Tell them what you need done and let them do it.

On the Web

Keep your guild website updated – Try to aim for once a week if not a few times per month. Progression and patch notes?
Keep your recruiting information and forum posts accurate and up to date – Every new kill means an hour spent updating threads, macros, and templates.
Stay up to date on any custom software or platforms you use for your guild’s site – Helps cut down on security breaches. Or try using Enjin or Guild.
Have links and videos of strategies posted so anyone can view them – On your forums, have the latest information on bosses ready and encourage players to contribute.

On news and information

Stay informed on patch notes and class changes – Particularly on which classes are strong.