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Officers' Quarters: Next in command

Scott Andrews
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Some people became guild leaders because they had a vision for a new type of guild or a new policy. Some just saw a need for better organization among a group of friends and took up the mantle. Some are elected. Some volunteer. Others have the position thrust upon them.

Such is the case for the author of this week's email:

Hi Scott,

I was recently given the GM position by my former GM who also happens to be our raid leader. He's cancelled his subscription as he's not enjoying the game anymore, and left everything to me. His leaving has caused other members to leave as well, for similar reasons. I can't fault them for not wanting to stay if they aren't enjoying the game.

I initially feared these people leaving would be the death of both the raid team and the guild (we are small, with few people playing other than to raid), but other members of the guild have stepped up and begun to help with recruiting to replace our missing raiders, and I am very appreciative of their efforts.

So my greatest problem at this point is that I never wanted to be GM or raid leader, and now I'm both.

As an officer, I would help guildies with quests or crafting, sending invites to alts and so on. I was perfectly content with this role, as I am one of the more active players. These days though, I am less than excited to login. What was a fun diversion and social experience is becoming a chore where I'm supposed to run everything.

I rolled an alt on another realm, on the opposing faction, and found a nice guild there. The intention was to just have a way to play and enjoy the game again without feeling the pressure of being in charge. I find that I am now more inclined to login to this alt than my main because the game is fun again. The complete lack of pressure (which is largely self-imposed I guess) is great.

I don't want to cause any more turmoil in my guild, and don't want to leave my raid team hanging, but if things continue as they are now, I can foresee myself quitting in frustration.

I don't really know how to deal with this without causing more trouble. Any suggestions?

- Not Enjoying Leadership

Hi, NEL. The good news is that you have plenty of guild members who are willing to pitch in. Not every guild leader is so fortunate. It could be worse.

It's not strange for you to feel this way, though. You didn't want the responsibility. You didn't ask for it. You shouldn't feel guilt or shame that you want to stop doing it. This is a very predictable outcome based on how you got both positions.

Besides, being a guild leader or a raid leader is a high-stress position. Being both is asking for burnout. I always recommend splitting these roles.

Not a life sentence

You've done your part in managing the community during this crisis, but you don't have to be the guild leader forever. Think of it this way. If your commanding officer falls in battle, and you're second in command, then you need to take charge in that moment for the good of your fellow soldiers. You need to get them through the battle safe, the best that you can.

You've done that. The worst is over. Now you can resign if you want to. You can ask for a new CO.

No matter what happens, your members will be grateful to you for keeping the guild and the raid team from collapsing after the old guild/raid leader quit.

Step down the right way

Start by informing your officers that you're feeling too much stress and not having fun anymore. You're burned out. Tell them what you'd like to do, whether that's returning to your old role or stepping away from the game or the guild for a while. Be honest with them that you don't want to resume these positions in the future.

Some will panic, but reassure them that you want to do this the right way. You don't want to repeat the mistakes of the guild leader who dumped everything in your lap.

Remember that it's not just your problem. You're not alone in this. You're not the only one who has to come up with a solution. Let the officers discuss it. As a team, you should all decide what to do next. Hopefully, other officers will volunteer for the roles that you're vacating.

If anyone is hesitant, ask them to try it out for a month. If they don't like it, someone else can try. No one should feel like they will be trapped in a position they don't want, like you did.

Once you've identified successors, then you can tell the rest of the guild that you are stepping down and why. Such an announcement is far less shocking and troubling when you've already got a solution to it.

I hope you can resolve everything without too much trouble. You've earned some leave time.

Officers' Quarters keeps your guild leadership on track to cope with sticky situations such as members turned poachers or the return of an ex-guild leader and looking forward to what guilds need in Mists of Pandaria. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to

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