How to Tell If You Are Destined to Be the House Boss or If You Are Just Being Bossy
I have a confession to make. My character’s house had the worst leader ever. The person was obnoxious, self-centered, and cared about one thing – making himself look better no matter who he stepped on as he climbed the ladder to success. I am ashamed to admit that the character was one of my own, and the time he served as house leader ranks as one of my all-time lows in all the time I’ve ever spent gaming.
The worst part was that I could not even see that he was being so overbearing and driving people away. It was not until most of the house membership left and that I woke up and saw the negative results of my actions, but by then it was too late. Adding insult to injury was the fact that the house secretaries were not even willing to take over when I decided to quit.
4 Musts for People in Leadership
If this sounds familiar, then perhaps you also had a leadership experience that proved you were better at being bossy than being the boss. Whether you are in a leadership position right now or planning a future in roleplay politics, here are some tips to help avoid you suffering through the same misfortune that I experienced.
Try to Be Patient – Leaders are patient people. Even if you are watching someone designated as your aide fumble through something you could do in half the time with twice the efficiency, if you do not give them the opportunity to do it for themselves then they will lose interest. If the end result is not what you had planned, it is not the end of the world and the person doing the work might surprise you – it could be a better end result!
Stop Trying to Be Perfect – The main reason why people are bossy is because they want things done right. When you are leading a group, mistakes within the group reflect poorly on the leadership – and that person is you! Your way is not always the perfect way, and it is certainly not always the best way. Sometimes it is better to suck up your pride and your desire to have everything done your way, the perfect way, and let someone else have a turn at leading.
Spend Time with People – People support those who they like and trust. But if you spend all your time holed up in your office, they can’t get to know you. And if people don’t know you, then it will be difficult for them to like and trust you. In return, spending time with people helps you get a better idea of who you can trust. This is important when building the next generation of leadership within your house or other organization.
Communicate with Membership – Whether you are having a full house meeting or just making a news post to the members of your house, honing your communication skills will go a long way in making people feel like valued members of the house. When disciplining members for misdeeds, then be sure and treat them with respect even if you are on the verge of ousting them. Even if they are unhappy now, you will leave them with a better lasting impression for it.
Ask for Feedback – Meet with your council of house secretaries or other leadership positions within the organization and discuss the state of affairs. Discuss future goals, and what you would like to see membership accomplish. Meetings are also a good time to discuss things that need attention, like an unruly house member or a change to house requirements. But also talk with new members to the house. When a member of leadership descends from their pedestal to talk to the younger members of the house, it makes that person feel important and keeps them coming back.
A Final Tip
So you think you are ready for leadership? Ask people whether or not they feel you would make a good leader. If they say no, ask them how you could improve. Even the harshest criticisms should be taken as constructively as possible to avoid flying off the handle, or worse a full-blown confrontation. When people see you are serious about wanting to serve your house, then they will be more likely to vote you into a leadership position.
About the Author
Seth Grayson’s older brother introduced him to his first MUD game when they were teenagers and he has been playing ever since. His characters boast a great deal of leadership experience, some of which he once used on his personal resume in real life. When he isn’t playing his favorite Iron Realms Games or studying for his next college exam, you can find Seth whipping up lattes behind the counter at the local coffee shop.