A multiple regression showed that the Achievement and Socializing motivations are the best predictors for whether a player enjoyed being in a leadership role (r-squared = .17). On the other hand, the Relationship and Mechanics motivations are the best predictors for who was an actual guild leader (but this regression model was much weaker, r-squared = .05).
The disparities between desired and actual leadership are interesting. Even though younger, male players find leadership positions more enjoyable, this does not bear out among actual guild leaders. The shift in motivations is also intriguing. Perhaps we're seeing the difference between group leaders and guild leaders - the former more likely to be chat/social-oriented and the latter more relationship management oriented. The next step seems to be to explore whether guilds with male leaders are different from guilds with female players in terms of guild size and casual vs. hardcore.
Perhaps those younger men feel they would enjoy leadership without actually understanding what leadership entailed? It would be interesting to see if there's any correlation between actual guild leadership and those younger men.
Also fascinating would be to see if there's any relation between real gender of guild leaders, apparent gender of their characters, size of their guild, and the length of their leadership period.
Are female guild leaders (real or apparent or both) more inclined to creating a guild with a more social focus, while male leaders focused on creating a guild that achieves high goals and concrete results - be it in raids or PvP?
I want to point to the fact, that quite often the actual guild leader doesn't play a very active role in the daily life of the guild. He or she more of the "spiritual leader", while officers of the guild are ones who may play crutila role in progress or regress of the guild.
There are two possible reasons for women to enjoy leadership positions less than men. One is that they might not want the leadership positions as much as men do. The other is that leadership positions may be less enjoyable for women because female leaders find their leadership decisions disputed or second guessed more often than male leaders.
Given that the actual proportion of female guild leaders is no smaller than that for males, the second explanation may be the more likely.
I was a guild leader for one year in the game dark age of camelot. GM is a tough roll, people look at you for guidence but then critisize the job you do, its a no win situation really. And in the times we live today women hold so much responcability that they may want a break from. Being a single mother going to school and work i look to games as my release.
I've been a (female) GL for a while and I must say that - next to suddenly having 15 children ;) - it was a very great emotional experience!!
Yes it was very demanding at times, but that you're so connected with people from the other side of the world in this fashion was simply wonderful!
I fall into the "is, but does not enjoy" category. For me, it was all centered around Mechanics. I was nominated to the class officer because I spent a great deal of my free time studying up on the inner workings of the class, but I did not like actually leading people. Guild leadership is much more about managing and balancing people and keeping them happy than blatant flaunting of power. I'd rather just pew pew.
You talk about enjoyment of guild leadership role by age, but I don't see a simple info of what ages guild leaders are.
Wanting to be a leader and actually being a successfull leader are two very different things. So the discrepancy is not that odd.
Being female and a guild leader I can say this. I do enjoy the status, I enjoy being hardcore and I like setting up advanced goals. A lot of females GM's that I meet are hardcore players.
However, I look at myself as a facilitator for the group. I'm there to make sure the group as a whole succeeds and can progress. This include listening to people, understanding what motivates them and making an effort to make people feel good about themselves. I've never found myself questioned because of gender so far. And I've never, ever felt myself threatened in my position.
I suspect that leadership style might vary between gender.