Department of General Studies:
1 – Introduction
As members of the Brotherhood, our immediate goal is to advance as quickly as we can, and it is this goal, in many cases, that brings us to want to lead. Should you choose to apply for a leadership position, then you will be pitting yourself against a number of your peers; places are limited.
This course does not pretend it will teach you how to be the most successful and prosperous leader the DB has ever seen. Experience as a leader is the only real way to become an effective leader. This course aims to instruct you in how to manage your unit (be it a Battleteam, House or Clan) efficiently.
2 – What You Should Know
First and foremost, a leadership position is one of responsibility. By applying for, and receiving, a leadership position, you make yourself responsible for the unit, all its members, and all its leaders. You take on a personal responsibility for ensuring that your members are having fun all the time, and you put yourself in their service. If you are unable to handle responsibility, then a leadership position is not for you.
Secondly, leadership entails commitment. In recent times, leadership turnover in the DB has been unacceptably high. Although circumstances often conspire against us, you should endeavor to be able to hold your position for an extended period of time – usually the longer the better. If you know you have a major time constraint in real life now or in the near future, then you should think twice about applying for a leadership position.
Thirdly, it is important that you have good communication skills. As a leader, you will be expected to liaise with Dark Council Members, long-standing and new members of your House/Clan, and other House/Clan leaders. You should be able to formulate opinions and give them without causing offense. You should be approachable and able to solve problems, and you should be able to help mediate if necessary.
A Leader should be responsible, committed, loyal, and selfless, and should have good communication skills.
3 – What the Job Entails
Before applying for a job, you need to know what it entails. This is a quick breakdown (followed by a more in depth analysis of each section) of your administrative function:
- Weekly Reports
- Weekly/Monthly Evaluations
- Structure and Appointments
- Awarding / Recommending Medals and Promotions
- Competition Organization
- Welcoming New Members
3.1 – Weekly Reports
Your weekly report should be sent to all your superiors, including your House and Clan summits as well as those you command (Battleteam, House, or Clan members depending on your position). Clan reports, specifically, also need to be sent to the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master as they are your DC liaisons. All reports should be submitted/uploaded to the Dark Brotherhood database.
Reports are crucial because they ensure your unit is kept up to date with events as they happen, and your superiors remain well informed of what you are doing. Your superiors need to see your reports so that they can make sure that everything is running well, assess any problems, and help you fix them before they become an issue. A Clan Report has frequently been little more than an amalgamation of the House Reports, with important news picked out and set in a section titled “Clan News” at the forefront of the Report. With all reports, however, it is often best to be as original as you can. Don’t feel that because your predecessor did things one way you have to do the same. There is no absolute recipe for successful report writing, though sections you should include are:
- News from DB, Clan, House, and Battleteam (a link is frequently enough for DB related news)
- Competition Section
- Summit reports
- Roster (copy and paste this from djb.com)
There are plenty of reports on the DB database, so read a few from different people if you want to spice up your reports. And be sure to keep your reports short (in terms of both word and file size) and to the point. If you have any question about how you should form your reports, talk with your direct superior.
Below are some good report formats from around the Dark Brotherhood:
Weekly reports are one of the most basic, but important, aspects of leadership. They are not only a source of external news for your unit, but also a source of news for your superiors. Reports should be informative, yet personalized.
3.2 – Weekly/Monthly Evaluations
Activity tracking is a way of keeping an eye on how your group is operating. This is something that should be documented, whether in your reports, or simply for your own information and that of your House/Clan summit members. Why? Because if you don’t keep an eye on what members do over a period of time, you may pass them over for promotions they deserve. You should have some sort of document (Word, text, Excel, etc…) where you list the various activities of your members on a weekly basis. Weekly activity tracking sections are also a common feature of some leader’s reports, and are a practice that should be encouraged.
Activity Tracking Records should be kept for members so that you can keep an accurate view on what members have done. It can be included in your report or simply kept for your own and your superiors information. Inclusion in a report is preferred.
3.3 – Structure and Appointments
As a leader, you will be responsible for running your Battleteam/House/Clan to the best of your ability. There may already be a set structure for your unit and you may choose to follow that. There is generally nothing stopping you changing it however, if you have a better idea. However you must be sure that you ask your leaders and your members before you do so. They may prefer the system the way it is, and in some cases there may actually be circumstances preventing you changing the system.
Appointments can be a tricky business. You may choose to advertise a position in the hopes of bringing fresh blood to your group, or you may have someone in mind already. Whichever way it happens, you need to be sure that you are able to work with your chosen appointment, and that that person is able to fulfill the tasks you need from him. If you plan on opening up the position to applications, write down a list of required, desired, and preferred skills each applicant should have. This will not only make selecting someone easier (eliminate everyone who do not have the required skills, which, depending on the position, could be up to half of the applicants), but will also allow you to defend your decision better (people who think they deserve the position but are not selected will inquire as to why they were not chosen). Before you select someone, consult your Clan summit or the DC (depending on the position) as they may have some insight or advice on the various applicants and who would serve best in that position. Remember, your superiors will also be working with your appointee, so heed what they sa