7. The Team Leader

 

The Team Leader

Revised: 19 May 2016 by @GreatJackal

Arguably one of the most enjoyable positions in Damage Inc, due to direct exposure and interaction with Members, and generally the first Command Position for a Junior Officer, the Team Leader is a critical part of the Damage Inc structure. Most people have a basic understanding of what a Team Leader does in DI but this topic will seek to explain an in depth version of what a Team Leader does,

Key Responsibilities Explained (From Officer Charter)

1. Command the Team in accordance with DI policy and Code of Ops and to help achieve the goals established by respective Division HQ.

– Ensure you understand every facet of the Code of Operationss in detail. Dont just read it, understand it. For you to be able to lead a team by the guidelines and policy set within this clan, you must understand the Code of Ops.

– Find out what your Commander wants you and your team to do. Ensure you get the “What” “When” “Why” from them, and if your unfamiliar with the task ask the “How” as well.

– Use this information to write your OWN objectives to the Team. If you unsure on how to do this, have a look at the Monthly Objectives issued by the Leader in the Opium Den for a good template. You should, as a good officer, have your goals in writing on forums, and just edit/update the topic as time goes on. Its also good when you have a teamspeak meeting you can refer to the Goals/Objectives topic for your team.

 

2. Train and Mentor Team Members and ensure their progression through the member ranks by encouraging them to meet the requirements.

– If your members dont go to Morning Tea, its up to you to find out why and get that fixed. You should want your team to advance/progress in DI, so help them do so.

– If one of your members are not up to the skill level you need to them to be, you should spend time to train them. Run through some stuff 1 on 1 with them, as well as group training, to bring their skills up. Do not run them down for not being at a good enough standard. The golden rule is: New Players to a game are some of the most loyal in the clan world, and everyone who is new can be trained to be masters. So do it.

 

3. Provide regular DAILY feedback to the Division Commander and Vice on the status of the team (Activity, Strength, any issues etc)

– This is very important. You should not have to be nagged to provide information, you should push it up yourself, every day. Key topics are Activity (self explanatory), Strength (is your team platinum (moba)? or heavy carders (shk)? Any issues you may have with your members such as discipline etc.

– You should also communicate daily with your Commander about the progress of the objectives they have given to you. Dont wait for them to ask, just tell them that you are 80% complete with the task and that you should have it done by tomorrow for example.

 

4. Enforce Chain of Command in the team, by ensuring your members come to you or your 2nd-in-Command first before messaging the Commander or higher.

– This one is self explanatory. If your members bypass you/your 2nd-in-Command, it generates overwhelming amounts of work for the Commander. You must always seek to resolve stuff at your level, and only if its too complicated/requires more attention should you escalate it higher.

 

5. Enforce discipline within Division (especially TeamSpeak and forums).

– As an Officer, you are able to strike members. You are expected to do so when they do not abide by the Code of Ops. If you let one member get away with something, others will follow suit. DI prizes itself on its discipline and loyalty, like such of what the Roman Legions used to be, dont allow that standard to drop.

 

6. Monitor Members daily and report anyone due for promotion to Companion, Senior etc. to the Vice of the Division.

– Spend the 20min a day to go through each and every single profile of your member on the forums. Check to see if they meet the requirements for the next level promotion, and if they do, tell the Vice of your Division. This means a lot to your members if you care about their progression. If your a selfish Team Leader who doesnt care, not only will you bring heat down on yourself from your superiors for failing to do your job, but more importantly, your members will not respect you.

 

7. Setup and run Team Events in accordance with DI HQ Event requirements.

– If your a Team Leader of a MOBA/FPS etc game this is especially important. If your team is not participating in Events that are official and organised (which includes the handout of event tokens), you are not helping your Commander maintain their Division Compliant. You should run at least 1 x per week, but if your MOBA etc it should be several. Its a good idea to find out what timezones everyone is to ensure you try and get the best time for maximum attendance.

 

Understanding Team Command

Team Command is generally the first level of direct responsibility a junior officer would be given over members. Command is a rewarding job in DI, and its only occurs at three levels (as demonstrated below). The three Command Positions are Clan Leader (Clan Command), Division Commander (Division Command) and Team Leader (Team Command), with all other positions in a support role to each level of command. The role of support is to support those charged with command. Its their sole purpose to make those in command at their level look good and well supported. At the Team level, the 2nd-in-Command is responsible for ensuring the workload is not too heavy on their Team Leader by assuming some of that responsibility. Its critical for those in support to be pro-active, and as a Team Leader you must empower your 2nd-in-Command with responsibility and authority to make decisions on your behalf. Never micromanage or force all decisions to be made by you only. Trust your 2nd-in-Command to make decisions as well.

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Your Team Setup & Structure

Teams will look different depending on the game at stake. In a game like SHK or other MMO’s your team should be around 10-15 people (small teams are ineffective) whereas a game like Dota2 or LoL it would only be 5 with maybe a reserve player or two. Either way, The Team Leader should appoint their 2nd-in-Command immediately on taking command of a Team, trying to ensure you pick someone that has some leadership experience combined with game experience of that particular game is your best choice. It should not be the Division Commander or Vice choosing your 2nd-in-Command. Its YOUR team, therefore YOU should decide who your 2nd-in-Command is.

However if the ideal person with both qualities is not available, ensure you prioritize someone with prior leadership experience or even someone with leadership potential over someone who is just good in that game. Leadership is the most valuable trait for those in command and support positions, with ingame skill only secondary in importance. Dont make the mistake of picking someone who is excellent ingame to be your 2nd-in-Command but they cannot support you because their not leaders. That is a rookie mistake that is made too often within clans.

 

Team Management

Awards & Achievements

Its critical that you and your 2IC recognize and reward great effort by your team. Everyone in this world operates on incentives, and when you give people incentives to do well, chances are they will do well. A good sign of an effective team is regular communication and public recognition (through posts) of great achievement and the awards those people received for their great achievements. You should, as a Team Leader, aim to give at least 1 x honor star per week to someone in your team. This is a guide only and can be more or less depending on circumstances, but dont fall into the trap of never giving any of your hard working members awards and recognition. If someone did something extraordinary you can recommend them for higher awards to your Division Commander / Vice, but in most cases an Honor Star is a great “thank you” for recognizing our best members.

Rank & Events

Ensuring you have set events for your team to attend, you can give them Event Attendance tokens to add to their profile. This is a milestone of activity and allows members to progress to more senior ranks within the clan. Remember, incentive for members is key, and if you are a good Team Leader you will ensure your members attend events and get the attendance marked on their profiles. You should check their profiles often, to see if they have met the requirements for advancement to the next rank, and if that is the case pass it to your Division Commander / Vice so the member can be listed in the end of month clan announcements for promotion. Remember, being promoted to the ranks of Companion, Senior, Veteran or Ace is a big deal and hard to achieve, so ensure you make sure your members get this the moment they meet the reqs. You should also encourage them to achieve these ranks.

Objective Management

The last important facet of Team Management is setting objectives for your team. Its important that every second of the day your members know exactly what they are meant to be doing and how to do it and by when you want it done. You also need to explain, most importantly, why you want them to do it (how it relates to the Team objectives and how that fits within the Division Objectives). Members want to know HOW their little bit in the clan helps the clan overall. If you give them a shitty task, they will still get it done if they know that doing it significantly helps the Division, or even the Clan objectives. Team Leaders often mistake how critical these bits of information are. Experienced members dont always need the how (as this may come across as micro managing), but the what, when and why allows them to make their own decisions on how to get the objective done in the most effective and quickest manner.

Technical Expertise

As a Team Leader, there are some things you must know how to do. DI has a raft of platforms and tools that are there at your disposal to ensure you run your team like a well oiled machine. Things you must know as a Team Leader are:

– Knowing how to give an Award / Event Attendance
– Knowing how to assign TS rank/groups
– Knowing how to edit topics (especially MDR)
– Knowing how to strike a member

All Officers in DI have moderation skills and can do these tasks on TS / forums. If you are unsure how to do them ensure you raise them with your Division Commander or Vice so you can be taught. Going into your division without these technical skills puts additional and unwanted strain on your Division Commander and Vice, so if you dont know, ask and learn!

Recommended Battle Rythm:

You can choose to run your Team how you choose, within the limits of the Code of Operations of Damage Inc. But if you are not sure how / what to do on a daily / weekly basis, here is a recommended guide to get you started which you can modify as you become comfortable:

Daily Tasks:

– When you log on, check with your Commander or Vice for any updates from that day or for changes to the objectives they previously assigned to you.

– Check the MDR to ensure the information displayed about your Team is accurate and up to date, if it isnt, inform your Vice of the discrepancies, and fix it.

– Check on your members progress from the objectives you have posted in your Division Subforum. You can do this check by either talking to them on TS if their online, getting them to post daily in your objectives topic, or to PM you on forums. The latter two are preferred because it means you will get the update even if they are not online. Take note of who is doing really well, you will award them later. Those who are not so good, talk to them and find out why.

– Check with your 2nd-in-Command if any admin/member issues have occured, if yes, deal with them if your 2IC hasnt already.

– Check your members profiles to see if they have the Events/Honor Points/Requirements for promotion to the next rank, if yes, inform your Vice immediately. Also check to see when they were last online (in their profile), and if its more than a couple of days, msg them to find out why.

– Check the Away section as well as the Clan Management (under the “Other” menu tag), to ensure none of your members are on Probation or Away, and if they are, you are aware of it and can inform your Command and Vice who is counting on you to keep them in the loop.

Weekly Tasks:

– Update your Team Objectives topic, and assign new tasks using the What/When etc as discussed above, ensure your members know you have done so by either poking or pming them. Encourage discussion over the tasks, and if someone has a better way of doing it, hear them out.

– Post your Team Update, discussing things like progress, updates ingame and achievements/awards.

– Check to ensure you have an Official Event scheduled for the week, either as part of your Division, or for your Team only. Ensure you inform your Members about it (best to do it through forum PM), but a topic in your Division Subforum will do also

Conclusion

Leading a team can be very rewarding, especially when objectives and goals are completed and morale is high. The key thing to remember is to be pro-active. Dont wait to be told what to do, just go out and do it. If you have a good idea in your team, try it out and see how it goes. Having a good experience at Team Command, will set you up well for higher Commands.