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Why Be Bad When You Can Be Good?
[03/13/2006] [Okami Cio Cio]

There are many people who run for office and see only the privilege and ignore the responsibilities - or worse, think that the responsibilities are less important than the privileges.

When in office, one of the first things to remember is that you're setting an example to others of how to perform the duties of the job. When you do well and serve as a monitor of how to be, you not only help your park for the reign you've committed to, you also help show folks how to behave for future reigns.

Remind yourself that when you are the monarch, you're there to work. Yes, you're also there to have fun, but getting done what needs be done should always come first. Having fun is part of your work, as others seeing you having fun will set a positive example and mood. Part of your pleasure can also come from seeing others enjoy themselves.

Being a monarch is a juggling exercise. You're keeping your balls aloft while trying to entertain everyone around you. At the end of the day, you will seldom please all the people all the time, but if you keep focused on doing what your job entails, as well as make an effort to see that the little things in your park are being attended to as well as the big things, you'll have pleased most of the people.

One of the first things to do as monarch is to put your own ego and desires aside. Your efforts will be appreciated much more if you focus on what your players want rather than hold tightly to what you want. If you wish to focus on an aspect of the game that your players have snubbed, try and sell them, don't force them. If you want to see better reeving on the field but your players are ambivalent, invest a friend into helping you make a show of what better reeving will do to improve the game.

Whenever you can, work with others in your park. Sure, in a small shire the monarch often ends up doing almost everything, but work with your other officers and see that they can share in the responsibilities as well as the "job satisfaction" of seeing the players are entertained. Letting the other officers do their job also gives you the chance to focus on your duties.

Having goals for you reign is an excellent way to stay focused, but be ready to alter the goals depending on what your park really needs. Want to increase the coffers and hold lots of fund-raisers, but what the park really needs is a huge recruitment push? Combine the two plans in a creative way - have the scout's guild sell cookies and combine their efforts with a demo. Stay flexible and be willing to take the input and help of others.

I hear the complaints of "so and so won't award me my Smith because they don't like me." Many times awards become a huge flashpoint for the quality of a monarch's service. Communication with folks in regards to awards can help staunch these problems. When a populace member recommends his friend for an award you don't think they deserve, explain to the recommending party your reasoning. If a person is complaining that he doesn't have his next award, talk with him and find out why he feels he deserves the award. It may change your mind, or you may be able to change his.

Remember that this is something you are doing because you want to. Don't forget to take some time away from Amtgard, a hiatus from the email, phone calls and other stresses. Get time in with your family, or maybe some "me" time. And when it is time for Amtgard, schedule yourself time to arrive at your park early. Rushing all the time will not only wear you down physically, but emotionally as well.

Yes, the six months spent in office result in a lot of work. Many of the issues the average monarch deals with are forgotten by most folks within a couple of weeks of the next Monarch stepping up. However, if you're a real bad monarch, people's memories are longer. Being a good monarch isn't impossible. In the end, doing a good job simply requires unflagging good cheer, determination and dedication.

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