Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
Some got it, some don't. What makes a good leader in MMORPGs? Well after having served a great many Masters and other various rogue powers over the years I can tell you with complete certainty it's not your level or the ability for you to grind harder then the next guy, and it's not money or the ability to create a website.
A good leader of men is a person willing to make sacrifices not only for himself but for the greater good of all. A person who is benevolent, fair, and just. Someone with a firm hand able to see past his own ego and include others in the workings of the guild or community in which he means to create. To be able to trust is a scare commodity, and allowing people to have personal ownership of the same ideas you have come to believe in or create for others, personal investment in what's at stake and a overwhelming feeling of camaraderie in a private organization of like minded peoples.
This elite membership should be a place where each individual is valued and considered a equal among many when considering motivation and goals. While ranks might define each person individually, each should feel as though they are contributing and gaining benefits for membership, each position should feel unique or specially created for the needs of the many. Each person should be able to look upon their leader and know that he has their best interest in mind.
Leadership in any organization, community, guild, or clan should in essence befriend those they mean to rule and treat each person as such. Though a good leader will also know when lines need to be drawn, however this should always be scrutinized from the perspective of the membership and not from that of your own personal perspective using your ego as the basis. Most failed leaders have seriously erred in this aspect, they seem to think they are always right regardless of the facts, and generally fall as a result into a selfish state of mind.
"Well it's my guild, it's my idea, I'm the highest level, I found that Item, or the I made you and I can break you" mentality is usually the first phase. Consequently they may write policy, laws, or charters in which they can never be argued with or replaced. Another tactic of poor leadership is the one where by said Guild Leader will dismantle the physical aspects of the organization both outside and inside the game, and "take his ball and go home."
In answering the question of whether it is better to be loved than feared, Machiavelli writes, "The answer is of course, that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved." As Machiavelli asserts, commitments made in peace are not always kept in adversity, however commitments made in fear are kept out of fear. However, a prince must ensure that he is not feared to the point of hatred, which is very possible.
It is the last point of Machiavelli that is best served here, if your membership begins to hate you, you must be compelled to ask yourself why.
What is virtue? Beneficence towards the fellow-creature. Can I call virtue things other than those which do me good? I am needy, you are generous. I am in danger, you help me. I am deceived, you tell me the truth. I am neglected, you console me. I am ignorant, you teach me. Without difficulty I shall call you virtuous. But what will become of the cardinal and divine virtues? Some of them will remain in the schools.
What does it matter to me that you are temperate? you observe a precept of health; you will have better health, and I am happy to hear it. You have faith and hope, and I am happy still; they will procure you eternal life. Your divine virtues are celestial gifts; your cardinal virtues are excellent qualities which serve to guide you: but they are not virtues as regards your fellow-creature. The prudent man does good to himself, the virtuous man does good to mankind. St. Paul was right to tell you that charity prevails over faith and hope.
But shall only those that are useful to one's fellow-creature be admitted as virtues? How can I admit any others? We live in society; really, therefore, the only things that are good for us are those that are good for society. A recluse will be sober, pious; he will be clad in hair-cloth; he will be a saint: but I shall not call him virtuous until he has done some act of virtue by which other men have profited. So long as he is alone, he is doing neither good nor evil; for us he is nothing.
He goes on to say, "The man visited by ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for realities is an enthusiast; the man who supports his madness with murder is a fanatic." -Voltaire, (François-Marie Arouet)
The idea here being any leader willing to so casually throw away his membership is in fact only concered with himself and his pride, and any leader who paints himself the saint and godsend to a chosen organization by documenting his rise through self promotion is not truly working for the greater good and is destroying his credibility in a effort to seem empathic.
"The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot." -Mark Twain
"Avarice, envy, pride,Three fatal sparks, have set the hearts of all On Fire." -Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
In closing I would have to say that Mark Twain and Dante said it best. I have worked under good leadership from time to time, however good leaders are few and far between, and there have been many more bad one's then good one's. I was fortunate to have come across one of the few good one's, Bardaji has been my Captain for well over seven years now, and while I haven't always been able to game with him, we do strive to hook up at points and I am always amazed by his leadership qualities. As old friends do, I've come to respect him a great deal and I dedicate this article to him.