Since the beginning of my WoW time, nearly 4 years ago now, I have recognized that I am never content to be a player who logs on, piddles around doing something for themselves for a half hour then logs off. I want to be part of the action. Part of contributing to making the guild a more fun and successful place. In short, I'm a player who gives a damn.
And sometimes, I wish I weren't that player.
Why? Because in my grass-is-always-greener scenario, I imagine how freeing it must be to selfishly evaluate every raiding opportunity from a "what's in it for me?" standpoint. To loot whatever you can equip (others needing an upgrade more than you do or having worked for it longer be damned.) How easy it is to never look at a process that's not going so well and think "I could help fix that." To be a happy grazing guild member, asking with faux innocence what the guild is going to do with the runed orbs in the gbank that you've noticed languishing there.
But try as I might, I am never that person.
Instead, I often raise my hand to help, usually with tasks raiding / recruitment/ profession related since that's where I have the most experience to offer. I've done class leading in multiple guilds, and framed recruitment strategies as well. The latter is a personal favorite since I did it IRL for a 5,000-member non profit for several years and understand what it takes to recruit and motivate volunteers to give their time and effort for the good of a greater whole.
I don't volunteer IRL or in WoW to see my name in lights or to have folks toady to smooch my butt. I make these efforts because I find it to be very much personally rewarding to spend my time in a manner that creates something positive that is larger than myself -- be that an experience or an organization. I like to apply what I have learned from the game and IRL and help make a difference.
Sometimes, the passion I have around these topics has ruffled some feathers. But any organization that wants to do things they way they've always done them and that views a person raising their hand to help as them being pushy and not knowing their place is an organization in which I am a square peg being jammed into a round hole.
Good leaders are not afraid of change, and recognize the value of having passionate, enthusiastic helpers. I look for those types of organizations for my RL work and my WoW guilds. And I have successfully found them more times than not. But that hasn't been due to luck -- it's been to doing the self-reflection to recognize that is what I want in order to be happy, and being willing to take a leap of faith and to be willing, when necessary, to fold my cards and walk away.
Life is far too short to be unhappy. Or bored. Or wistfully dreaming about things working out differently. And thus, I keep at it. Proposing new ideas, and trying to keep things moving in the right direction whenever I can. And not-so-secretly-hoping to see more folks get fired up and do the same.