Is there a life after leadership?
Today I did something I never thought I would have to do. I put my foot down and resigned as a guild officer. For the sake of my guildies who might read this blog (I don’t advertise that I have a blog, but I don’t keep it secret), I won’t go too much into details, but I would like to talk about what can go through someone’s head when they’re in this position.
On one side, I love getting involved. My guild is especially amazing at encouraging me. They follow along with my crazy ideas, they thank me after every raid I get together (I run most of the 10 mans), whenever I sound down I get a million “is there anything I can do to make it better?”s. I’m also a logistics and sorting freak, so I had guild bank managing down to a science, had a pally buff assigning algorithm and knew everyone’s WoW history. It never felt like work, it was fun, fun, fun.
One the other side, I was slowly realizing that I was being taken for granted and that our current leadership structure was causing a lot of problems. When I got publicly criticized for not doing others people’s work for them (this happened in public so I can post it!), I stopped dead in my tracks.
“What is my place in the guild?” came to mind. But it dawned on me that I knew exactly my place in the guild. Anyone who was involved in day to day stuff knew my place in the guild. But those that mattered had no clue. Since I wasn’t considered to be an equal, I had no voice and no opportunity to stand up for myself. (We have two officer ranks, I’m in the lowest one despite having to act pretty much as an assistant guild leader) Which left me with three options:
1) Pretend nothing was wrong and go on happily, after all I lead because I love to get involved, not because I want to be recognized.
2) Resign as an officer and just be a guildie.
3) Leave the guild.
Option 1 had been my choice up until now, but just because I don’t expect recognition doesn’t mean that I’ll accept to be treated as cheap labor. Option 3 was tempting, but it is irreversible (according to my beliefs). Nor do I believe that I’ll find a better raid leader than our 25 man leader, a better MT than ours or a better healer lead than ours. Plus, I love my guildies for the reasons I described earlier. A dear friend told me about option 2. We’d actually just had a couple of fellow officers use option 2 themselves. They seem so much happier and more relaxed now.
So option 2… I’m a structure freak. The whole thing that tossed me into the officer position was that I kept organizing stuff. I took over the pally buff assignments (7 buffs back then, it was big a task!) because I didn’t like the way it was done, I made a lot of suggestions about how healing assignments were handled because I didn’t find it optimal and so on. Could I handle giving up my control over the guild bank, over pally buffs, over raid slotting, over conflict resolutions requiring guild history information KNOWING that it would become a huge mess?
At this time, I don’t know. I also realize that I’m forcing our main raid leader (who is treated slightly better than me but who is also being taken advantage of) into a burnout.
How does one go about stepping down? I followed in the footsteps of previous resignees. A general email “goodbye and thanks for everything”, keeping reasons quiet, allowing everyone to draw their own conclusions. I made sure that two people I trusted had a copy of my thoughts, in case false assumptions were made. Not that I think anyone cares enough to discuss me, but you never know!
I’m looking forward to seeing how things will play out. Will the remaining leadership band together and start being, you know, leaders? Will they miss me and be ready to follow my terms? Or will we slow down and fall apart?
A few months ago, I would have been devastated to see our guild in such a position. Now, I’m excited. With my resignation, my devotion and commitment to the guild’s future have been placed on hold. Ever since I seriously considered option 3, I have nothing to lose.
Now I can just sit back, relax and think about nothing but paladin goodness.