The Art of Compromise

To compromise is to make a deal where someone gives up part of, or all of its demand.

In human relationships “compromise” is frequently said to be an agreement that no party is happy with, this is because the parties involved often feel that they either gave away too much or that they received too little.
-Ye Olde Wikipedia

Since this is really not a secret anymore and rumors suck, I’m going to go ahead and talk about it.  Perhaps having it out in the open will help-perhaps not.  If nothing else perhaps someone else can learn from the situation.  I’ll try to portray it in as neutral as a tone as I can.  In no way shape or form do I intend to villainize anyone involved.

GMing is hard work.  Many people eventually give up and move on-either disbanding the guild or handing it to a successor.  If I recall our history correctly, Steve isn’t even the Brotherhood of Oblivion’s first GM.

Anyway, sometime back in…November, I believe, Steve gave in to the stress of GMing and handed the guild to me.  I am not the best GM.  I try, but I have my weaknesses just like anyone else.  I hold things together through as much charm as skill.   But only a few months later Steve started to…regret his decision.  He’d had time to relax, let go, and step back and see things.  The guild meant a lot to him, and being a mere officer wasn’t satisfying the itch.

Enter Instant Sucky Situation.

You’ve handed someone-a RL friend, even-your guild.  They seem to somewhat relish leading it and aren’t doing a bad job but you want it back.  You know it.  They know it.   You know you should probably let it go but damn it, the guild means a lot to you.

What would you do?  As either party?

If it was anyone else asking for the guild back, I’d tell them to go to hell.  But it’s Steve.  Even though we sometimes don’t see eye to eye, he’s our friend and lives across the damn street.   The guild does mean a lot to him.

If he wants it back and I don’t want to step down, the “obvious” solution is co-GMing.  I’ve co-GMed before, and gotten backstabbed.  I’ve watched previous guilds be co-GM’d by two and even three people and those were…not rousing successes.  I’ll openly admit that I’m dubious about doing any such thing even with Steve.

But in the end…I care about people.  Often I care far more about other people than myself, to my own detriment.  I don’t want Steve unhappy.  Even though this compromise, this feeling out leadership together and figuring out if we can do it without wanting to shank each other, is not my favored solution…oh, well.

Compromise: where you get some of what you want, but not all of it.

Will it work in guild leadership?  Er…we’ll see.

ETA: For now, I retain the sole GM title.  This is more of a…behind the scenes co-GMship at the moment.  If I think it is in the best interests of the guild to not go through with this, then we won’t.  It’s just an…interesting situation all around.

Now I am going to use…a few more ellipses…just to annoy…Pixelated Executioner.

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  1. #1 by Oasic on March 10, 2010 - 6:09 pm

    Is there any way to split the responsibilities up?

    For example, one co-GM takes on recruitment and forum posting/news spreading, while the other does raid postings and raid leading. Those are just examples of responsibilities, but basically one person is in charge of a particular task (or arranging that the task is done by officers) and the other co-GM can give help or their opinion but devote most of their time to their own tasks.

    Just a thought.

  2. #2 by Sainthood on March 10, 2010 - 6:29 pm

    I’ve witnessed a similar situation in an old guild as an officer. This sort of leadership negotiation thing can be shaky especially at first, my only thought would be to stay open with each other. Any issues you swallow to avoid drama will only get worse as time goes by. Best of luck!

  3. #3 by youyankityoutankit on March 10, 2010 - 6:36 pm

    With the right people, co-GMing can be a dream I’d think.

  4. #4 by Ambrosine on March 10, 2010 - 6:40 pm

    @Oasic -That is kind of what we’re doing? It’s a matter of figuring out who does what.

  5. #5 by puggingpally on March 10, 2010 - 7:11 pm

    Good luck with it, I hope the two of you are able to work it out in a satisfactory way.

    I inherited the GM title of my guild too – except ours just plain out left, which I guess is much easier. If such an assumption is ever “easy.” It sounds like for the most part you’re communicating well with each other. I do hope it works out!

  6. #6 by Xuna of /sigh Ragnaros /sigh on March 10, 2010 - 8:02 pm

    Idk… its pretty difficult to just hand out something you invested so much time and effort putting into shape…

    That it is what most artisans must feel. they shaped the thing just to the best of their skill, just to be handed to someone else. It’s like letting a kid go…

    damn it… I wanted to be helpful but ended wrongly.

  7. #7 by Brangwen on March 10, 2010 - 9:09 pm

    I co-gmed very successfully for years. The key to co-GMing is to communicate, and never undermine each other. If one makes a call, sure discuss it in private, but even if you disagree, NEVER disagree in public. Ever. Support your coGM 100%

    But communicate communicate communicate. So very important.

  8. #8 by Miss Medicina on March 11, 2010 - 1:53 am

    Wait, wait, hold the phone….


  9. #9 by The Renaissance Man on March 11, 2010 - 4:57 am

    The main reason why I don’t think that co-GMing a guild is really feasible is because it’s not supported by the client. In the end, one of you is going to have the ability to demote or kick the other, and the other will not be able to reciprocate. In the end, because of this, the co-gm exists due to the sufferance of the true gm. He’s nothing more than an officer with an especially fancy hat.

    Really, there’s two possible avenues you can take here. You can let him be GM, or you can keep GM. If you decide to keep the GM hat, then you have to decide how much power you’re going to invest in him, and if you give him the hat, you have to accept whatever diminished role he grants you.

  10. #10 by Kotakh on March 11, 2010 - 9:33 am

    …charm eh? … anyway, keep looking, your spine must be lying around somewhere ;)

    Let’s hope its gonna work. Once each GM responsabilities are made clear between you, plz make sure to let the rest of the guild know exactly whos boss of what.

    I need to know who i have to bitch to!

  11. #11 by crankyhealer on March 11, 2010 - 10:34 am

    I can see why you’re miffed. He handed the guild over to you in fact, but he didn’t hand it over in his own mind. He views the guild as “his”, which is why he wants it “back.”

    And you’re thinking “you gave me this THING… a job.. and now that I’ve done the heavy lifting, you want to swoop in and take over?” You may even feel like you were asked to essentially “babysit” the guild while he was gone… because he never viewed it as “yours.”

    Screw what he wants, or what you want. Ask what is best for the GUILD and do that.

  12. #12 by Ambrosine on March 11, 2010 - 10:36 am




  13. #13 by theerivs on March 11, 2010 - 11:03 am

    I find you very charming, like a cobra with it’s hood open ready to strike.

    Anywho…Co-GM can work, but to be honest Steve, and you are very opinionated people, and probably going to butt heads..ALOT.

    I hope it works out, I really does. I dare not say what will happen if it does not.

  14. #14 by Firespirit on March 11, 2010 - 11:10 am

    LOL @ charming – Be nice to amber. She will demote you!

    As far as co-gm’ing goes, I am one of three co-gm’s of our guild. There were two for the first two years of the guild (coming up on our third anny!!!!), but they both had to take extended breaks, and decided that a third was in the best Interest of the guild, since the first, by and large, is now HUGELY casual and around at strange times of the day/week. The second just got burned out I think. He was the “cool” gm, everyone went to him. The first GM being the “father” figure – you only went to him when something was REALLY wrong.

    Since I have come on, I have become, what I like to think of, as the Rockstar GM, I think to the satisfaction of the other two. I am the most visible, always talking, always chatting, always on when most of the guild is on. Always playing around, and having fun. I handle the responsibility, more by diffusing situations, rather than going through “mediation” or scolding. Maybe this seems like it is a little immature, but at some point the guild needs someone they can relate to, not just another authority figure. And I am quite capable of pulling rank if I need to, I just prefer not to.

    Ive been at it for 8 months, and so far, its worked out great, and continues to.

    As Brangwen said, the key is communication. We have an open custom channel just for us. And ALWAYS support the other’s authority. Never ever undermine the others decision. If there is a decision to be made, make it as a team, and even if you disagree, disagree in private. You are the unbreakable defensive line. If you show weakness, People will go after it like a blood hound.

  15. #15 by Ori on March 11, 2010 - 11:24 am

    As long as you both appear to agree on things publicly, everything should be fine.

    If the guild gets to see you two disagreeing frequently, that’s when there might be problems.

  16. #16 by Fricassee on March 11, 2010 - 12:29 pm

    Our current GM basically shamed the old GM into giving him the guild. The funny thing about that is that the old GM is an RL friend of the current GM, and he didn’t want to lose real friends over an electronic title.

    This situation sounds millions of times better than the shit our current GM pulled.

  17. #17 by Alas on March 11, 2010 - 1:59 pm

    Having done the co-GM thing myself – with my husband, of all people – I can say that I don’t think it works as well as having a single GM and then officers. In our case, I am way more invested in the game overall and the guild in particular. At just…. exists and is the nice face of the guild. Nothing wrong with that, but the GM needs to be a little more goal-oriented, I think.

    I do think that the former GM giving up the title shows a lot of where he is in relation to being invested in the guild. He stepped down. If he was going to do that, it should have been all the way down, imo. Remaining an officer was only going to keep him involved in the governance of the guild, no matter how peripherally. And then, of course, having the final say in what’s going on in the guild is going to seem more attractive once out from under the burden of… y’know… actually running the thing.

    All of that being said, part of me thinks that your claim is better. But I also agree with Cranky. It’s not really about you or him or what either of you want. If you both have the good of the guild in the forefront of your minds then there’s going to be a solution in there somewhere that you can both live with.

    Good luck!

  18. #18 by Shadowhisper on March 11, 2010 - 2:31 pm

    It really depends on the situation between you two and the officers of course don’t forget them they are part of that spine that keeps the guild and you upright [you being the head ;) cough cough]. What do they say, I know from reading your blog and some of your officers that you have different view points (on various subjects), pester Ky and see what he thinks or Eviscerate well all of them actually blogger or otherwise. See where they stand and ask the pointed questions will this work for the guild, will it hurt the guild, and will it hurt our team.
    I know being GM is hard and sometimes you hold to much on yourself trust me I know, my officers seemed to take a disinterest in doing much even before I took the reigns from the last GM… you cant do everything! I burned out… being GM.. raid lead… councillor… discipliner… recruiter… etc. something has to give.
    Maybe this can be a blessing, in a friends guild that I was in for a bit and an officer in they were a duo GM team and it worked well, really well but they also used voting among the officers, and they would text each other and us sometimes too… but to be a broken record it only works because they talk so much, and your lucky/unlucky you live on the same street! Just don’t head over and beat him too frequently lol.
    Think of the Guild too because its that body of ppl that is your biggest concern, can your Guild run effectively with both of you, and I hope that if it does become a duo that one person doesn’t want to step down again… that would be a little too much unnecessary change, make sure he wants it and all of it not just the cool parts but the shitty head desking problems too, cause its not all roses and bunnies!

    Good Luck :D

  19. #19 by Aoladari on March 13, 2010 - 10:04 am

    Isn’t that like selling a broken playstation to a pawn shop, the pawn shop fixes it and then suddenly you want it back because it’s working again?

  20. #20 by Voink on March 13, 2010 - 3:59 pm

    [i]And then, of course, having the final say in what’s going on in the guild is going to seem more attractive once out from under the burden of… y’know… actually running the thing.[/i]
    This times a million.

    Aol’s statement kind of rings true to me as well – Steve gave it up for good reasons, if he wanted to stay GM he should have stayed GM and asked the officers to step up for a while during which he could have recharged his batteries.

    I’ve seen this situation happen in another game where the GM (which would have stood for gamemaster in that circumstance) gave control to a group of 3-4 people which included me, stayed out for a year, and then suddenly started questioning everything we did privately and then publicly.

    Without going into details, I have more faith that you and Steve can work things out. There have been several excellent suggestions here and since you’ve both done this before you should both have an idea of what not to do.

    Good luck!

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