These are some GUIDELINES and SUGGESTIONS to help you succeed with Dragonflight. I'm not your boss, these aren't orders.
What I actually AM, though is the day 1 guild leader of Poison Clan, who guided the guild from rank 1 through rank 20 without EVER requiring a single donation. no influence, no AD, no shards, no nothing. Players were never required to attend DF. They came because they cared about each other and wanted the guild to grow. I know the struggles you are going through - I went through them, too.
At one point, after a total roster rebuild, I took all new players, put them through "red dragon boot camp" to teach them how to do it... and they got it. And they grew stronger and stronger. A few higher geared players joined in and took us to the next level. Then Alliances came out and we were able to team up with more players. Then we were strong enough to do it all by ourselves.
Here are the things that worked for us...
One note - I can't tell you enough how much "jumping," see below, helped us - when running DF at full strength, we were able to get in 10 or 11 bells in two strongholds, in just a few minutes more than it took us to do 5 bells in our stronghold, waiting for the Wizard.
1) If you can't solo 4 dragons, team up with another guild. Split up the dragons however you like, but agree before you're supposed to ring the bell.
2) When it is time to ring the bell, ring it. Even if you don't get 4 kills on the first bell, players will straggle in. The quicker you are in firing off bells, the better your results will be - players get excited when it is fast paced and you get a lot of work in - that is why jumping between strongholds works so well - you don't wait 5-15 minutes for the wizard to pop back up. It used to be that the wizard would show up 10 minutes after the last bell was rung, but in the last couple of builds, I've seen it take over 10 minutes from the last dragon killed - that is too long for players to wait around when dungeons are calling them.
3) Repeating for emphasis - don't make players wait - fast, well run DF breeds success. Even if you have an early kill, can't quite kill all 4, or just are regularly getting 3 - keep it fast, keep positive in chat, and the players will improve.
4) Make sure you've got players filling your roles - two anchors to kill dragons, players to kill empowers (might be anchors on your first two, up to you)
5) don't ignore the synergy between well built groups when dividing up your players. A lot of guilds insist on sending melee to red/blue and ranged to green/black. A party of 4 dps with one tac GF or a power share OP is worth 10 players split between melee and ranged. Clerics don't have to be in a party to buff multiple groups. Have one or two strong clerics at each "army" as a minimum.
6) Use a keyboard in chat to help direct your players. You are the conductor, not the orchestra. let them make the music. When a dragon gets to 20% (or 30% if you have strong dps killing the lizards), start typing the message to go to the next dragon. Watch both "armies," but try to have another officer leading the other side of the fight who also has a keyboard. REMEMBER - type twice in guild and alliance chat. Also, don't feel bad about using Alliance chat too coordinate your dragonflight - Alliance chat is for alliance business and dragonflight is your alliance business. Anybody who complains to you can see me about it and I will set them straight.
7) Send your strongest "army" to Green or Black, then switch to the other of those two. Send your weaker players to Red/Blue starting at Red. When the stronger "army" is finished, they can race to Blue. Blue is a "revolving door of death," so even if you end up with more than 20 players there, Blue will cut the numbers down. You can also have ranged players outside of the circle, killing empowers - this makes it easier to stay under 20 and keeps the dragon from getting buffs!
8) If you don't have quite enough players to split into two groups, then start at green, leave an anchor at 3-5%, run to black, leaven an anchor at 3-5%, run to red, repeat, and kill at blue. Maybe you have enough for 2, or 3, maybe all 4, but give it a try and see what you can do.
9) If your anchor can't quite handle whittling down the dragon, have a second player hang back long enough to get to 1%, 0% if they're really good, and then join the next group. Another strategy is to leave two players there.
10) Never leave a 15k or higher character as an anchor if you can help it. 12-13k should be able to handle it - it is better to leave two 12k toons than a 15k who can be beating up the next dragon.
11) Don't waste time ringing the next bell. If you're jumping, get to the next stronghold and ring it. Players will LEARN to go faster and get there on time. They have 60 seconds anyway. Always announce in ALLIANCE chat what the stronghold you are jumping to is - then jump and ring the bell.
12) Reach out to Poison clan officers - they are all on Slack. Many of them have run hundreds of dragonflight events. they have very strong characters, they have experience, and they are friendly, good people who are with us because they want you to succeed. Any of them could go to a huge alliance of 20s but playing with you is more fun. Give them a chance to help you!
I can't emphasize these points enough:
A - Fast pace - keeps players occupied. Slow pace leads to players leaving for something more interesting. They care, they want their guild to succeed, but you have to respect their time. It is a game, after all.
B - Organize - the more organized you are before you ring the first bell, the better your results will be. Make sure you announce your anchors and empower killers in Alliance chat. If players know who is supposed to do what, they won't do as much freelancing. If they DO freelance, make sure your anchors know to tell you so you can message that player or call out for one of their officers to help you (if they aren't in your guild). No guild leader in this alliance wants their players to hinder you, or to have other players hindering them.
C- Don't be afraid to team up - other guild leaders have the exact same struggles you do and there is strength in numbers. We're all friends with the same goals - to get our guilds stronger! The alliance is about helping each other! Don't forget to reach out to Poison Clan officers - these players are lizard killers and know all the tricks!
D - If you have lower item level players at green, PLEASE send them to RED instead of Black. In fact, if you have a strong team, let them start at black while the lower geared players hit green or red. Every time a player is killed at Black, a soul puppet is raised and this is a NIGHTMARE when low item level players swarm it. The high level players can catch up at red or move on to blue as needed after killing black. Don't set yourself up for trouble you can avoid :)