This is sort of long and rather complicated. I'm currently in a guild that I like but has had a leadership problem. In late Wrath/early Cata, we had a medium-sized, friendly guild who aspired to be a casual raiding guild. It was run by a guy we'll call X. X was a pretty good guild leader -- he sponsored events and would sometimes run dungeons. We were, for the most part, a great little guild with potential to be a great little raiding guild.
This all changed when X went to another server. At first he left leadership to Y, but Y soon left and leadership ended up all of a sudden in the hands of Z. Z was not a level 85 and rarely participated in the guild. He would not log on for weeks and this made it difficult to have a functional guild. As a result, people left in droves, many of whom had been important parts of the guild before the leadership change.
Two of the most active players who logged on regularly were myself and my sister, B. We tried to do things as a guild but we didn't have enough active players to regularly form a guild group, even with just 3 people. Sometimes Z would log on after 29 days, just in time to prevent us from kicking him. After a few months, we finally did take back leadership and B became GM.
Hi, Frustrated. Your instincts are serving you well here, in my opinion. By masquerading as a different guild leader on a secret alt, X has shown you that he is fully capable of deceit in order to get what he wants. That raises all sorts of red flags. He also didn't do the guild any favors during his tenure as absentee guild leader Z.
We're both busy college students, but we tried to sponsor events and dungeon runs. Unfortunately, this has become extremely difficult due to many of our highest level and active players leaving. We started recruiting and just now have gotten our guild to stop bleeding members. My sister B wanted to rename the guild and give us a new image so we are no longer known as "the guild whose GM left to play on a different server". Unfortunately, within the past week, my sister has gotten busy with schoolwork. If she is gone for much longer, she would consider giving temporary leadership to me, as I log on almost everyday. This is bad timing because, just a few days ago, the old GM X came back.Literally, one of the first things he said to me was that he wanted to be GM again. He seemed insulted that B would take leadership of "his guild", even though he left it in poor hands. I like X, but I was a little surprised by his attitude. He even went so far as to count down the days until he could kick B (which, ironically, we did for Z!)
Furthermore, I also learned that Z was his alt. It was X (who we thought was someone else named Z) who we wrestled the GMship from in the first place. X/Z logs on after months of absence and wants everything to go back to the way it was. He doesn't want to rename the guild or allow B to follow through with her plan. We were finally recovering from X/Z's actions, about to get a new name and a fresh start, when the old GM comes back. B seems to be willing to negotiate (she hasn't logged on lately because she has had several exams), but I'm not sure this will end well.
X is a knowledgeable player and has several alts he wants to bring to the guild, but I don't know if we can trust his leadership. He let us down before, why wouldn't he let us down again? I also don't like the attitude that he has displayed to the people who have taken over leadership of the guild in his absence. B is my sister, is a capable person, and wants to take the guild in a new direction, but she isn't sure she has the spare time to do it. X, however, seems to have the time but may repeat his past mistakes. I'm caught in the middle of this. I have put a lot of time and love into this guild--I'm exalted with the guild and I have contributed the most total XP to the guild (over a guild level worth!). What should I do? I don't want to leave, but I'm not sure I'm going to like what will come out of this.
Not his guild anymore
Let's get one thing clear up front: You don't owe X anything. The way he left -- and then the underhanded way he took back control of the guild with an unidentified alt -- means that he does not deserve to lead this guild. He has no legitimate claim to it anymore. Don't feel guilty if you refuse to give in to his requests. This guild belongs to the people who supported it in his absence.
If you decide to promote him back to guild leader, you are taking a huge risk that the same problems will arise. It's not worth it.
One possible solution would be to bring him back as an officer only. If he has the time to help the guild, he can do that without being the guild leader.
Offering him that compromise will also tell you a lot about his intentions. If he insists on having the guild leader position, he doesn't actually want to help as much as he says he does. He merely wants to be the top dog again. If he truly cares about the guild, he will accept being an officer so he can do that.
Obviously you should keep him on a very short leash. If he shows any signs of undermining the other officers, and your sister in particular, then demote him or kick him. In an officer role, he doesn't have to support your sister's plan to revive the guild. However, as long as the other officers agree with her, he has to accept their decision.
Is it worth it?
If you think that the potential drama is worth adding a player of his caliber, then by all means give it a shot. On the whole, however, you will probably be better off without bringing him back into the guild at all. After everything that's happened, I don't just see the trade-off being worthwhile. Sooner or later, there's going to be trouble.
If you need more help from other officers to keep things going while your sister is so busy, you can find other members to help you. Don't hand the guild over to him simply because the two of you can't run it on your own. Seek assistance elsewhere.
Recently, Officers' Quarters has examined how strong new leadership can create a guild turnaround, the pitfalls of promising more than you can deliver, and lessons learned from Scott's own guild demise. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.