Quaestor

From Wikipedia of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood, an online Star Wars Club
Dark Jedi Brotherhood
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Seneschal
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Consul
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Quaestor
Aedile
Battleteam Leader
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The Quaestor is the head of his House and oversees it's administration. His lieutenant or next in command is referred to as an Aedile.

See: Organizational Chart

Position Overview

Typically, most Quaestors will have served as a Battle Team Leader, an Aedile, or possibly both before taking the reins of a House as Quaestor. This experience as a leader in the lower levels of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood will be invaluable to the new Quaestor as he steps into this new role. The demands and responsibilities of a Quaestor is the first true test of a leader’s abilities within the Brotherhood. It is at this level that those who seek higher levels of command either prove themselves as worthy of such authority, or show themselves lacking.

While this may sound very daunting don’t let it dissuade you from taking on this great challenge. The position of Quaestor is one ripe with reward and enjoyment to go along with the great amount of work and dedication. If you truly give it your all, surround yourself with capable people, and use good judgment your time as Quaestor will be one that you look back on with fond and fruitful memories.

Expectations of Quaestor

Every Quaestor has a different idea of what it means to be a Quaestor. While this may not be the answer you are looking for it does allow for a good amount of flexibility and innovation within the position itself. What may work in one House may fail miserably in another. It is this dynamic that forces a Quaestor to develop his own philosophy of leadership and House management skills within the confines and context of the House that he currently leads.

With that in mind, here is a list of various tasks that you may look forward to doing during your time as Quaestor:

  • Preparing a vision statement for your House to rally around
  • Constructing a list of goals for your House to accomplish
  • Selecting an Aedile and Battle Team Leaders
  • Developing the fictional background of your House
  • Running House-wide competitions
  • Weekly reports (what items you include in your report is highly dependent upon your relationship with your Aedile)
  • Member development
  • Conflict mediation

Difficulties of Quaestor

This is the question that when asked most Quaestors would probably laugh because there are so many difficulties that they deal with that they would not know where to begin. Let’s take a quick look at some of the more common problems that Quaestors face and then some of the skills needed to deal with these situations.

  • Problem Members

Everyone has those members who see it as their mission in life to cause trouble and not help the House out in any way. How do you handle them? First, get the other leaders involved so it’s not seen as a “you vs. them” thing. Let the Clan Summit know what’s going on and have evidence ready to back up your claims. Try to handle the situation as calmly and privately as possible (don’t go off on them on IRC or email), but be firm and don’t let them run amuck. Remember, this club is about having fun and when members driving others off because of their actions and behavior they don’t need to be a part of this club.

  • Inactive Leaders

At some point in your leadership experience you will either have a subordinate or a superior go AWOL without anyone having any idea about what happened to them. This is a very frustrating experience for everyone involved, but there is a lot we can do to minimize the damage done.

As a Quaestor, if your Aedile or Battle Team Leader goes missing do your best to get in contact with them right away. After you have exhausted all means of communication don’t let them stay in the position for long while being AWOL. Fill the position with someone who can be counted upon to be active and not leave without saying anything. If that person comes back let them know your reasoning for why you did what you did, but stick behind your decision.

If someone in the Clan Summit goes AWOL do your best to pick up the slack where they left off. Don’t let the Clan suffer because someone has gone missing. Keep a good appearance in public, not criticizing them in front of everyone, but get in contact with your superiors and do your best to make sure everything still gets accomplished.

  • Inactive Membership

This is the bane of all leaders and the thing that usually drives them out of their leadership positions. In an ideal world everyone who joined would be active in something, finding their niche within the DB and doing their best. However, we all know that only a relatively small percentage of people who join actually stay for any length of time. Most join, are very active for a while, and then disappear. What can we do about this?

Second, ensure that there is plenty for new members to do. Don’t miss out on that eagerness they have when they first join. Draw them in and then get to know them. They are more likely to stay if they have a personal relationship with the members and leaders of the House.

  • Miscommunication/Lack of Communication

It is very important to keep an active public presence in the House. As a Quaestor it is almost necessary that you are regularly on IRC in order to get to know people and handle any situations that arise right then and there. Make sure that you send out information over email and the message boards as it will encourage your members and more activity will come from them. Finally, it is vital that you send out a regular weekly report to the membership. Like it or not, most people will judge you based upon the frequency and quality of your reports. The members will consider you more active and will likely be more active because of it.

Suggested Skills

Patience

There are times when all of us are at the end of our rope and we just want to tell someone off to make us feel better. If something happens that gets your blood boiling don’t respond to it right then. Take some time, cool off, and come up with a calm, reasoned response. You will be better off for it and the situation will have a better resolution.

Dedication

Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Meaning, sometimes we all get lost in the day-to-day crap that has to get done and lose sight of the big picture. We get bogged down and feel like nothing is getting done. It is in those times that you need to step back, take and honest evaluation of where you are as a House, and then drive on to the goal. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and your goals won’t be accomplished that fast either. Stay dedicated and don’t give up when you think things are at their worst.

Foresight

As the leader of your House one of the biggest things you need to remember is not to concentrate on where you are today, but where you eventually want to lead people to in the future. Plan for the future and have a strategy to get there. This foresight will help fuel the passion within you when things look bad and you don’t know what to do next.

Delegation

Even the best of leaders can’t do everything by themselves. Take heed and “know thyself”. Know what you like doing and what you are skilled at doing. Also, know how much time you have. Don’t take on too much and not be able to do it. Find those people you trust and get them to help you. Both you and the House will be better off because you did not try to get it all done yourself.

Effects of the Position

The effects of your actions as Quaestor are felt throughout both your House and your Clan. The importance of this position cannot be overstated and you should be a bit humbled to be given the opportunity to lead at a level that the vast majority of members in the DB never will. Knowing this should motivate you to do your best and consider your actions and words before they happen, as they will have far reaching impacts that you could never have foreseen.

With the words of caution out of the way, know that the position of Quaestor is also one that is very exciting. You have the opportunity to run competitions involving a good number of people, to develop the next generation of leaders in the Brotherhood, and to have a say in the success of your House and Clan. Be creative, be innovative, and be dedicated, and your name will become synonymous with the success of your House.

It is at the House Summit level that most leaders in the Brotherhood are either made or broken. Are you the leader of a well-established House with active members? Strive to push them to limits they never thought they could achieve. Have you stepped into a House that is in complete disarray? Bring order to the House and create a foundation that the future success of the House will build upon. Whatever situation you find yourself in do your best and push your members to do theirs.

Position Organization

Direct Superiors: Consul and Proconsul

Direct Subordinates: Aedile, Rollmaster, Battle Team Leaders

Other Working Relationships: Other Quaestors and Aediles

The Quaestor reports directly to the Clan Summit, comprised of the Consul and Proconsul. Depending on each individual Clan summit this relationship will work differently. Some Consuls will see the Quaestor reporting directly to them with the Proconsul acting merely as an adviser to the Consul. Other Consuls have a more egalitarian view of the Clan Summit and see the Proconsul as more of their equal in the decision making and reporting aspects of the job. Find out how your Clan Summit likes to operate and adapt to that style as much as you can.

Aediles

How do I best utilize my Aedile and Battle Team Leaders? This is one of the best questions that a Quaestor can ask himself. How to best utilize the talents, skill and passions of your Aedile and Battle Team Leaders will go a long way to making your tenure as Quaestor both successful and a positive experience. There are as many answers to this question as there are Quaestors in the Brotherhood, but below are listed a few of the different philosophies that are used in the Brotherhood today.

  • 50/50 Relationship

Typically seen when the Quaestor and Aedile have gone up in the ranks together and have roughly the same amount of experience, this Summit runs the House like more of a two-man committee. This allows them to bounce ideas off each other and share the responsibility and accountability that comes with leading the House. The lines between the Quaestor and Aedile become very blurred and they sometimes alternate a lot of the duties that need to be accomplished by the House Summit.

  • Leader/Assistant

In this arrangement there are very strong and clear boundaries about what it means to be the Quaestor and what it means to be the Aedile. Usually, everything begins and ends with the QUA. They are where the buck stops and everyone knows this. Some may construe this to mean that the Quaestor is a mean-spirited little despot, but in some instances it is very good to have a very clear leader. Oftentimes in this relationship the Quaestor will seek out an Aedile who best balances his weaknesses and the tasks that he does not have time to accomplish. However, even if this is the style of leadership that the Quaestor chooses to employ, a good Quaestor still realizes that a strong bond of trust must exist between him and his Aedile in order for the House to be successful, so treating them like servants is never a good option.

  • Master/Apprentice

This relationship is seen a lot when an experienced member is the Quaestor and a new up-and-comer is the Aedile. The Quaestor is seen as taking the Aedile under his wing and teaching him the ropes. A lot of time the Aedile will be given what some would consider menial tasks in order to learn the basics and grunt work of leading a House. Other times the Quaestor will give the Aedile specific tasks to perform so that they can learn and begin to master a certain aspect of House leadership.

These are just three different examples of how the Quaestor/Aedile relationship can work. There are many more out there and numerous variations upon these three. The key is to know yourself, know your Aedile, know what you want to accomplish as a House, and then decide how you and your Aedile can best work to get the job done.

Battle Team Leaders

Once again, the use of Battle Teams, and thus Battle Team Leaders, within a House is something that can be argued about until we are all blue in the face. How you ultimately decide to use them depends largely upon your goals and the members you have. Let’s take a look at a few possibilities.

  • Activity Producers

Some Houses use their Battle Teams as mini-Houses to run competitions and ensure that the members always have something to do. In this scenario most of the members of the House are in a Battle Team and the Leaders of these Teams can run the range from experienced members of the Brotherhood to new members trying to break into the leadership ranks.

  • Elite Groups

Within most of us is a desire to stand out above our peers and have our names known. Having your Battle Teams act as a sort of reward for hard work, activity and skill can be a huge motivation for a certain population within the Brotherhood. The people who act as the leaders for this still of Battle Team are often more experienced and very active.

  • Training Grounds

A third option for how you use your Battle Team Leaders is to make the position a training ground for members who have shown leadership potential. Pick a good Guardian or Jedi Hunter who is eager to get his feet wet and prove himself and give him the reigns of a Battle Team. This can be a good place for him to excel and prove he’s ready for the next level or a great learning experience where he can see where he is lacking and improve himself.

The Battle Team Leaders are vital to the success of your House. Use them wisely, develop them, and then let them do their jobs. If you pick good ones and then work with them they will not only give your members a lot more to do, but will go a long ways to accomplishing the goals you have set out.

Position Checklist

  • Previous to appointment:
    • Read the notes and take the Leadership tests offered in the Shadow Academy (at a minimum at least read the notes).
    • Read reports from Quaestors in different Houses in the Brotherhood.
    • Ask any questions you may have about what it’s like to be a Quaestor in the Brotherhood and what issues have arisen lately.
    • Start to develop your own written philosophy of leadership.
    • Start making a list of goals you would like to see done during your tenure.
  • Immediately following appointment:
    • Get in touch with the Consul and Proconsul in order to get to know them and find out their expectations for the House.
    • Get to know the members of the House (This is especially important if you were brought in from the outside).
    • Email the old Quaestor and find out as much as you can as possible (competitions, projects, active members, problems).
    • Within a day or two send out an introduction email to the House letting them know who you are and a little about yourself.
    • Make sure you have access to all the important stuff you’ll need (message boards, websites, IRC, mailing lists).
  • Within two weeks of appointment:
    • Get to know the status of the House, who the key leaders are, and who you need to keep an eye on.
    • Set your goals for the House and a strategy for how you will accomplish them.
    • If you don’t have an Aedile get with the Clan Summit and devise a strategy for selecting one.
    • Get an idea on the status of the Battle Teams and work with the Battle Team Leaders on anything lacking.
  • Weekly tasks:
    • Write a House report and send it to the members of the House and the Clan Summit. What information you include in the report depends a lot on what you decide with your Aedile. However, as the Quaestor you should concentrate on the big picture and seeing that the House is moving forward in accomplishing your goals.
    • Stay in contact with the key members of the House (Aedile, Battle Team Leaders, Rollmaster) to ensure that they are accomplishing their tasks.
    • Maintain high visibility through all communication media.
    • Develop the leaders underneath you and the rising members in your House.