🤝 How to be a good association member or leader

  • Hello everyone,

    Let's create evergreen guidelines together for association members.

    These tips and thoughts can be seen as something you would show (link) to a new member, and to help you align yourself to be the best member you can be. Good doesn't automatically mean following all the commands made by the chair, and Bad doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to make your own decisions and have fun.

    Join this thread by sharing what in your opinion makes a good member, or a bad member when it comes to associations. Let's then add the best suggestions to the Associaton Member's Table below. And feel free to make suggestions to change any of the table comments.


    Leaders Leaders
    Chair always names deputies, so that the association will never suffer if the chair is away and decisions must be made. Chair who makes him/herself indispensable and sole decision maker, and leaves the game without naming a successor or deputies.
    Chair or a designated deputy actively seeks for new active members while making room for them based on member inactivity. Chair who does not consider the life others have outside the game. Real life responsibilities come first.
    Chair who promotes someone to the position of deputy because of merit. Position of authority should be given to those who can put the team first, and not to those who did well playing solo. Chair or Deputy is not ready to discuss or change his/her opinion. Puts own pride before the good of the association.
    Chair who loves to manage a team, and leads people to be the best RN players they can be, steering towards the goals of association. Chair who thinks they earned the spot by being the best or most experienced player instead of being the best team player has a wrong attitude.
    Chair is prepared to answer the most critical questions, or has made sure which of the Deputies can give the answers. Deputies are not given or have not taken a certain set of responsibilities based on their competence or interests. Chair has not named callers, diplomats, recruiters, strategists, night watch, entertainers etc. whatever roles the association needs. Deputies feel useless.
    Chair designates two of their most trusted or active deputies as sitters, to make sure the association can still function if chair is away. Chair who does not share responsibilities and micromanages everything. Chair who does not trust others would have answers or valuable feedback.
    Chair has clearly stated the expected code of conduct in the association (association forum post). Rules or guidelines that members are expected to follow. This way new members can right away decide if they should make their home here. Chair who expects certain actions and behavior from members, but does not communicate these expectations clearly, leading to uncomfortable situations where members need to defend their actions and receive unexpected negative feedback.
    Chair who treats everyone equally, everyone is judged equally and fairly. Decisions are made for the good of the team. Chair who puts him/herself, or their favorite members above the rules and guidelines set for everyone else. Decisions are made for the good of the chair or their favorite group of members.
    Chair follows how everyone is doing, acting and reacting to know who can be depended on the most and what are the strengths of your association. Chair or deputy who gives orders they would not follow or act on themselves. Orders like 'transport the worst good' when the member clearly needs money for a critical station building upgrade. Not prepared to lead by example.
    Chair who thanks for a job well done. This is especially important when it comes to new members; motivating and steering, making them feel like important part of the team. Chair who never thanks, never mentions the good decisions and actions others made to boost the performance of the association.
    Chair who makes sure a player can enjoy the rest of the round when the time has come to demote or remove a member from the association. Chair chooses their words carefully and shows class. Chair who removes or demotes a member without telling them first why, or at least trying to tell them via private message. Chair who uses foul language when removing a member from the association.
    Members Members
    Helps the Chair and other members of the association fulfill the goals with positive attitude. Member, no matter the position, who publicly shames or blames another member instead of taking the discussion to private or using general language on public channels.
    Avoids using strong language in the heat of the moment, when a more calm approach would work better. Considers the actions of others might not be because of selfish interests done on purpose, but because of lack of experience or knowledge. Does not share his/her knowledge of the game with other members, even if this would benefit both the player and the whole association.
    Tries to contribute and participate in team efforts, because everyone else does the same for you. Does not join efforts like bidding for a worker, but instead avoids this by focusing only on solo progress.
    Keeps asking questions and learning whenever something is unclear. This will help everyone to catch up and helps make better decisions in the future. ...
    ... Breaks the majority of a friendly association knowing this would lead to investment war and everyone would lose.
    Is ready to question decisions of the Chair and Deputies, and asks questions (even the stupid ones). Uses disrespectful language when disagreeing with decisions made by the team.
    ... ...
  • Chairman:

    - First of all; everyone has a life outside the game. Real world responsibilities come first. This is a game. keep this in perspective.

    - If you're there because you think you're the best player and therefore deserve the chair - then you have the wrong attitude. You're there to manage the team, and should instead, try to be the best leader. Let your members become the best players, through your ability to steer them in an effective manner, to accomplish the associations' goals.

    - Promote someone to the position of deputy because of merit - not because they have "x" stars, or "x" number of rounds played, etc. No one should be in a position of authority, unless they have demonstrated that they care more about the team as a whole, than their own personal position.

    - Designate your two most trusted (and active) deputies as your sitter(s). Make certain to toggle all the options in the sitter menu. If something happens to you, at least the association can still function, and one of the deputies can take over in the meantime.

    - Clearly state in your associations' forums the expected code of conduct, and/or rules, and/or guidelines, that each member is expected to abide by, while belonging to the association. That way new recruits won't be shocked by the way you operate, and can quickly make a decision if this association is a place they can be comfortable with - depending on their play style. (Alternately; advise them of this before accepting their application, if you don't want people leaving immediately after joining.)

    - Each deputy should have a field of expertise and/or competency, and/or responsibility assigned. Examples; caller, back-up caller, diplomacy, recruiting, teaching, night watch, bar tender (moral), strategist, etc. Give them something where they feel they play a role in the functioning of the association (because they should rightly do so). Each deputy is an extension of the chair (you). If you do all the work, you get burned out, and your deputies will feel somewhat useless. So; learn to share the responsibilities, and delegate.

    - If you are going to be the "tough" type of leader, then also be "fair". Everyone gets treated equally, by the same criteria for judgements. If you're going to be the "laissez-faire" type, then you better have an already veteran crew of players, who can pretty well act on their own, or some deputies that can keep people going in the desired direction. Else, the members will eventually just do what they think is best for themselves, and you'll lose cohesion and not get anything accomplished.

    - When you give an order, watch how your members act/react. Go through their train schedules, etc. Look to see if they're following, or not. Learn which do, and try to figure why some don't. Try this a few times, so you can see which members can be depended on, most of the time. This will give you an idea as to the "strength of the team". Then you can figure if some actions are feasible by your association; like initiating rivalries, tracking to another city, hauling power on leveling, etc.

    - Whenever it comes time to make "the big decision(s)", then always make it in consequence for what is best for the entire team - not just a few members - and especially not for your own personal position.

    - If you don't know, or have doubts, or are unsure about something - then by all means ask your deputies, or your members, what they think. You might just learn something, and also learn which members want to get involved and/or be helpful.

    - Reward good behavior / conduct. Especially to new players, nothing makes them feel better, than when the boss thinks they did well - and recognizes it. If you have a hard time saying something nice (for whatever reason), then designate a deputy to do so. He/she can say something like "I mentioned to the boss how good you're doing", or something like that.

    - Discourage bad behavior / conduct. Point it out in your forum in a "general way". Say "there are some members doing 'such and such' a thing wrong, or against the proper functioning of the intended goal, or are not helping with worker auctions", etc. Don't call them out by name. Hopefully they'll recognize that they are the ones being addressed and correct it. If it repeats itself continually, then message them, or have a deputy do so. If there is no response, or it continues, then you'll likely have to kick them from the association (then usually, all of a sudden they will "wake up" and message you, as to why you kicked them!).

    - Lead from the front - or by example. Don't ask for, or order, something that you won't do yourself. If I'm going to ask my team to haul the worst paying good, from way out in the boonies, so that we can finally level the Land Mark - then I schedule my trains doing that first - then I ask the team to do so, and/or follow me. If you're going to expect the rest to do the dirty thankless jobs, then you do them too - and so do your deputies.

    - Keep calm, don't pull a fit in the forums if someone did something stupid. I know; if someone would have put in just another 100k for the worker, we would have got him. I know; if someone would have just followed the call, we would have won the city competition. I know; if someone would have bothered checking the time of recalculation, we would all have gotten the GH. I know, I know, I know... Get up from your chair, get a drink, go outside for some air, compose yourself. Then come back and state what action (or lack of) has disappointed you (to put it mildly). I know it's hard, and often frustrating, but what can i say, other than: I know...

    - If you get to the point where you actually feel that someone has to be either demoted, or kicked - then message them first. Clearly state the reason(s) why you are taking such action towards them. I know that you feel the player is a jerk, or an idiot, or a griefer, or just plain doesn't care. But that doesn't mean you have to be either. Show some class. Message first - then kick them.

    - At the end of the day, think about how you performed as leader. Would you want to have someone like you as your own boss? If no, then correct appropriately your ways, as to the reason why.

  • I wouldn't say that you can't be a Chair and also be one of the Best Players though. Normally a Chair leads through experience, they can help because of that experience, they can make the right decisions because of experience.

    Would also like to raise the fact that if you have a strong Leadership teams, you won't need to allocate roles because if you have the right team you can walk away and trust they will do everything you need too. If you need to tell them what to do before you go for 24 hours, you haven't got the right Leadership team.

    GAM - Leader

    Be willing to put aside personal difficulties with a Player for the sake of your Association/team, personal opinion of someone shouldn't question that players ability or place in the team.

    BAM - Leader

    Making decisions that damage your Association, with the intention of doing so.

    Being consistently inactive - yes we have deputies, but the Chair should also play an active role. Sure go on Holiday and take a break, but if you reach a point that a Deputy is running your Association demote yourself and pass the Chair to the person you believe could lead your team to their strongest.

    GAM - Member

    Contribute to workers if/when you are online, this includes those you may not necessarily benefit from yourself because remember you are a team and at points other members are going to purchase workers you need, and you aren't going to be there.

    If you're unsure of why something is done in your Association, ask the question why? So that you are able to understand if similar decisions are made in future.

    Seen other people doing something, but can't understand why? Ask them the question, learn from them. You'll become a far better Rail Nation Player by taking knowledge from people.

    BAM - Member

    Sure ask questions about decisions, bring your opinion to the table. BUT know where to draw the line between bringing an opinion, and trying to change a Decision.

    Being disrespectful because you disagree with a decision made by your Leadership team.

    Being asked to bid for a worker, and doing things such as City Connections, Tracks, Buildings with the intention of not bidding on a Worker.

    Emziie. :)

    Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction. <3