[DRAFT] Leadership in Guilds and Elections

Authors: Samina, Rebekah, Tonyolendo, Erik_Knobl, kempsterrrr.eth, marc.wolovim.eth

This is a proposal that seeks to enact definitions regarding how Guilds elect their leadership and about the role itself. It defines the following terms:

  • Definitions and Inclusion
  • Rewards
  • Term Lengths
  • Process for election

Definitions and Inclusion

So far, each guild has one leader. Research done in the DAO has shown that members are open for more leaders if it’s needed. The proposal states that each Guild can have more leaders with defined responsibilities, depending on the decision they take. Each guild will determine the roles that best serve their goals. A few examples of leadership roles could include:

  • Guild Manager. Its duties involve the management of the projects of the Guild, removing blockers for its members, helping projects stay organized with efficient decision making, keeping the guild moving forward, and planning of short and long term goals in coordination with the guild, while aligned with the overall DAO goals.
  • Talent Coordinator. Its duties are focused on increasing the engagement of its community, providing regular updates, and hold regularly scheduled forms of communication and office hours, safeguarding the interests of the community, and ensuring contributors of the guild are rewarded. Responsible for welcoming new members, organizing meetings, scouting for new talent, and finding members with available bandwidth.

Guilds are encouraged to modify and adapt these roles to their needs, after internal discussion. Coordination with Ops Team during Season 0 and 1, and the Elections Team afterwards will be needed in order to make changes to the roles.


Each leader will receive a fixed monthly reward for its services, as defined by the budget of each season.

Term Lengths

Each leader will serve for one full season with the option of reelection. Seasons are defined as 3-4 months periods, followed by an offseason period. In case a Guild Leader steps down from a role, or a proposal to remove a Guild leader from their position succeeds, the remainder leader will assume the totality of operations until a new election is called.

Process for election

The following are the steps for elections in the Guild:

  • Eligibility. Every owner of at least 1,000 $CODE is eligible for election. It is required the candidate has contributed to at least one project.
  • Time. Elections can take place during offseason to prevent impact on the goals of each season, however, guilds are encouraged to define the dates of their elections.
  • Organization. Core Team and Ops Team will be in charge of setting up the process during Season 0 and 1, with the mandate to assemble an Elections Team in the Community Guild before the end of Season 1. The key responsibilities of this group are to:
    1- Coordinate all DAO elections.
    2- Undertake targeted recruitment activities for all elected positions when election terms are nearing a close, coordinating with the DAOversity Team to ensure that guild operations are composed of diverse candidate pools. We believe this is the best method to encourage diversity in the leadership roles.
    3- Facilitate leadership transitions (multi-sigs, passwords, relationships etc…).
  • Nomination. Two weeks before the election, a 7-day period for nominations will be open, and candidates will be able to nominate themselves during this time, presenting the documentation required in the call. The DAO will then open another 7-days period to allow the community to know the candidates, by participating in specific Elections Meetings called by organizers of the elections, and post their ideas and proposals in the Announcement Channel.
  • Vote. Members of each Guild will vote via a Snapshot vote. Voting will be open for a full week.
  • Delivery. Once the vote is defined, the elected Leaders will assume the leadership of the Guild once the new season starts, and the previous leaders will step down, according to the process defined by the organizers of the election.

This is looking good!

I think we should look to generalize a bit more and move out specifics to give guilds more flexibility. Specifically:

  • “The following are the default roles proposed” are probably not needed, but rather allow the process to be used for any role.
  • “Elections should take place during offseason” we could remove this to avoid needed an addendum if we do not have an offseason in-between seasons.

I wonder too if we should require true governance votes instead of “vote via a Poll using the sesh.fyi bot” since these are ongoing, rewarded positions.

Can you clarify, will this be days 1-7 to self-nominate, then days 8-14 to “get to know” the candidates?

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Yes. I will try to make it more clear.

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Thanks. I will edit to try to reflect these suggestions.

Me and @kempsterrrr have been talking about the poll vs snapshot issue, but you are correct, these involve rewards.

Nice to see this process start to get defined. I think i broadly agree with the approach here but something that are worth exploring in a lot more depth imo:

  • Guild roles. I agree we need some standardisation but i’m not sure we’re thre yet to define those and need to open up further conversation on this. I’d personally fell the guild leader role broken down into it’s various parts and generally reduce the scope of guilds to a social mechanism for onboarding, supporting, activating, connecting people with shared skills and interest and funnelling them towards projects where most of the work is done. Trying to get my thoughts down in this in more detail to share in the next few days. Definitely like the concept of a talent coorindator in that structure

I have also been thinking it could be a really good idea to have some kind of gating for people to be able to perform certain roles. How did you get to the $1,000 CODE number and did you consider anything else like maybe a role based thing whereby someone needs to pass some kind of onboarding to get the role?

cc @willblackburn

Given roles will need to be ratified @ the snapshot level in budget applications I think role restricted sesh bot votes would be best for voting for guild level roles. It helps decentralise responsibility to the guilds and reduces the number of proposals that need to pass through snapshot. With all the new processes we’re discussing I worry the DAO will get governance fatigue and the less that is therefore required to go through snapshot the better imho.

:revolving_hearts: Nice to see this all laid out like this! Thanks.

It might be nice to have the elections a few weeks before a guild leader officially steps down, so the guild leader is still accountable, they can help ‘work-in’ the newly elected person - like a short apprenticeship. This will ensure a smoother transition for the responsibilities of the new person and cause less disruption for the experience of all the guild members and its processes.

Think about the difference in the conversations it produces within the guild. “I wonder who will get elected as guild leader?” And then quite suddenly, they are just there. The alternative: “Such and such got elected and are officially taking over in a couple of weeks.” And then you as watcher can see yourself or another in that position and think of the types of questions you would ask, or things you might do differently…Okay, I’m rambling… :rofl:

If the process is a more transitional model like this, as opposed to a sudden change of lead, it could encourage more people to come forward for the lead position / encourage more people to nominate others for a lead position because it offers this built-in insurance policy. Some people have the outward confidence to jump into a leadership role - that doesn’t necessarily make them great leaders. Some folks would make great leaders, but are not the type to show this initial outward confidence.

So in a sense promote the culture of decentralisation more. What we want to encourage [in my mind] is empowerment, so ideally we would want to be changing the leads every season. We have this built in mechanism to appreciate the work someone has done and take ‘the easy way out’ by voting them in again. We were born into hierarchical structures and our instinct is to follow them - the societies most of us grew up with. With the DAO structure, sociocracy, holocracy, etc, we have the chance to break that and we have the simplicity of a token, or other methods to do that.

In my mind it’s about making implicit changes in the culture, to where we get to a point where we celebrate deliberating and voting on these issues and hopefully one day we get to a point where we get the opposite of governance fatigue that @kempsterrrr rightly alluded to.

My 2 gwei

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I like this idea. Some questions:

How was this number calculated? I think I understand the logic, but it would be nice to have that formalized for transparency.

There should be some cost impact to a guild leader that steps down from a role before their term ends. It impacts the community and the remaining leader(s). If we expect remaining leader(s) to take on the workload, whatever rewards were budgeted to the departing leader should be distributed to the remaining ones.

There should probably be some conversation about that person’s future ability to take on a leadership role. Bottom line, leadership roles should be treated as high impact/high responsibility positions that require commitment.

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Yes. These are fine ideas. The current proposal leaves that part to the organizers of the elections, and this may change. How would you recommend we include this?

The basic allocation for regular members will range between 759 and 400 $CODE. Early Contributors are expected to have more than that. The idea is having Early Contributors as initial Guild Leaders.

Yes, thank you. Good one. We need to specify the fallout of one Leader stepping down. Any suggestions on this one?

Bringing those election dates forward by a few weeks, I would say, and therefore creating more time for awareness and normality of changing leads. So with implementation, nothing different, just timing. :slight_smile:

Rotate continents for guild leads with an eligibility specification such that the incumbent and elected leaders of a guild cannot be based on the same continent.

It sounds weird, but I think there’s value in doing so, particularly at this growth state.

  • It will likely amplify merit and decrease proximity biases.
  • It will motivate active members to engage cross-guild if they seek a leadership position.
  • It will accelerate the ‘globalization’ of the DAO.


  • makes everyone from the same continent as the current guild leader ineligible for being elected for that particular guild
  • the massively represented continent on governance channels might cry

Also, there might be room for more than 1 guild leader… maybe.

Yes, this idea has been discussed to increase diversity. The original idea was to have 2 leadership roles, one man, one woman, to start with.
We asked women of the dao for their opinion, and the response was that there could be some backlash at the forced option, and that it would be better for diversity to have the dao actively search and encourage diverse candidates, and that’s how we ended up with the current version.
The discussion, however, is still going.


This is more for future elections. But some food for thought.

How would we assess the performance of a guild manager or a talent co-ordinator? As seasons go on, it would be useful to have some form of performance guide/ goals / assessment review for the members to understand how the guild leader has performed.

Sometimes reputation weighs more importance than knowledge in web3, and it’s something we need to avoid doing/prevent ourselves. A strict review process of performance can help accelerate that, and ensure that those who are knowledgeable and have the right skills are in the correct position.

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Yes. We haven’t started touching on the issue of accountability. And frankly, not sure where to start. Who would be in charge of it? Each individual? A special team? core/founders/ops team?

I think this is best to try with experiments, but I lean towards more a ‘special’ team that is unbiased towards other members so that there is a fair reviewing process rather than individual members. This team can focus more on the assessment process and identify the best ways to review guild leaders, and over time we can build a strict framework for the responsibilities of a guild leader. The duties are somewhat vague, and over time they will become more apparent, but with an analytical approach to assessment, we could help fasten that.

Looking at different DAOs, you can see that MakerDAO has built a reputation for having a strict framework for their delegates which seem to be working. Over time, they are adapting it to ensure that it is up-to-date. We could follow a somewhat similar process for guild leaders.

On-going meetings throughout the season with each guild to review and identify how they are doing as leaders is a great way to see how leaders will reflect and adapt. I can’t see an individual managing all of this because reflections assessments can be quite a daunting task for a sole person, especially if we have it for each guild.

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A recall procedure is probably enough.
Guilds can set their own objectives and evaluate themselves. People should be capable to hold each-other responsible… but here I might be overly optimistic.
I’m totally against an “empirical evaluation” unless we’re paying these people a salary and bootstrapping a hierarchical organisation where guilds are corporate departments. Please someone lmk if that’s the case.

Reputation is a byproduct of repeated value-adding interactions.
Not perfect, but more fair and democratic than any possible knowledge benchmark. But maybe I misunderstood or fail to imagine how can knowledge be legitimate criteria for evaluating people in a DAO.

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A devil advocate here :slight_smile:
Is the guild lead role so generic that it can be defined this way? I know I am comparing apples to androids, but as a director of engineering in a regular company, my accountability and job was completely different from the leads of marketing or product management.