I have been playing this game for well over two and a half years. In that time, I have learned a considerable amount about leadership. The most surprising revelation for me personally is that I seem to have a knack for assessing people and their motives. I was never what you'd readily call an asocial outcast, but neither was I one to jump at the chance to socialize, so this particular talent pretty much hit me out of the blue. It's also proven remarkably helpful in playing what is primarily a social game. Of course, I'm no genius, so I didn't spring to power and lead my alliance to glory from the outset. I rose up through the internal and diplomatic ranks rather slowly in the scheme of things, but this has given me a very interesting perspective on Cyber Nations politics. I've interacted with most of the larger figures as both leader in a small, fairly isolated alliance and from much stronger footing, from the losing and winning side of massive wars. Overall, it's been a very illuminating experience.
From that experience, I've managed to mentally break leaders down into a couple categories based on how they came to power. There are those who take on a job because no one else will, those who take on a job because they want to help their alliance, and those who take on a job because they like the authority that comes with it. For the first group, the job is a burden taken on of necessity. For the second, it is a means to an end. For the last, it is an end unto itself. I started my CN career as the last. It is, by far in my opinion, the worst. After achieving that top position and retaining it for a while, I stepped down and took a break. That was probably the best move of my CN career. During my hiatus, I found it next to impossible to stop working for the alliance, whether I had a position or not. Eventually, I reentered government, but no longer from the perspective of the third but of the second. I was doing the work anyway, and having the authority of a government position made my job easier.
Upon reflection, that is what a leader needs to be, and that is not what most alliance leaders are. The overwhelming majority lead from a desire to wield authority for authority's sake. I've been in that position myself and it makes it much easier to spot for having done so. It is readily apparent in the way some people use power as if it were a toy designed solely to amuse themselves at the expense of others. By no means is this all alliance leaders, or even a majority. It is, however and most unfortunately, a hefty fraction. This is not to say these leaders are necessarily incompetent. It takes a certain amount of intelligence and skill to lead even a moderately successful alliance. It does mean that there is fairly rampant abuse of power, something I suppose that is to be expected in a situation in which abuse of power carries to real consequences for actual lives. Unfortunately, that misuse of power makes for a most ineffective leader because priorities become grossly misplaced. Most often, the individual in question puts their own needs ahead of those of the alliance they are supposed to be leading, to the detriment of all.
In the next series of entries, I intend to outline, based on my own experiences, pretty much everything that is wrong with leadership in the current political climate.