What is a leader anyway?


I joined Clash of Clans back in February of 2015. I was introduced to it at a friend’s birthday party where some developers told me about this game. I was not so interested in it in the beginning, but when they told me that the game made over 1 million Euros of sales per day, I was at the very least intrigued and most impressed.

On the day after the birthday party, I downloaded the Clash of Clans and started playing. If you have ever played strategy games like Age of Empires, Total Annihilation, or Civilization, then you would love this game.

It is easy to play: build your village (or base), upgrade your troops, upgrade your buildings and attack other players. However, you figure out that improving and growing your village can take a very long time, to be honest, it takes an eternity. And when upgrading cool buildings and troops takes forever (up to 14 days for one upgrade), this is where Supercell has made its business profitable: in-app purchases of their virtual goods or currency: Gems (and how to get them).

Gems can help you grow faster, a lot faster. You can easily spend over 100 Euros on gems if you are not careful. Taking this into account, I decided on one golden rule for this game: never buy gems and just grow organically.


Gems are expensive…never buy them! ūüėČ

Anyone playing this game would tell me that this is a crazy idea and that I would grow impatient. My approach was and is to see what is possible to do without the steroids effect of gem purchases (sorry Supercell, I’m one of your worst customers!).

After a few months, I joined Clan Trip (invited by my friend Roberto Olea). I got introduced to the clan members and the clan leader Julio showed me how to improve my attacks. Some of the veterans in that clan showed me great tricks on how to get more resources and be efficient. The most important aspect that I picked up early on was to donate troops to the other clan members.

Donating troops is something that costs resources and members are reluctant to do this because you have the feeling that you will not advance. This is not true. Over time, your team members come to rely on you and your troop donations. I realized that this one habit (always donating) helped everybody else to grow faster and therefore, the whole clan grew faster and more powerful. You don’t realize this until months of improvements have passed by.

Becoming clan leader – learning leadership through gaming

My habit of donating troops became my main characteristic within the clan and everybody knew they could rely on me. At some point in 2016 or 2017, Julio stopped playing CoC (abbreviation for Clash of Clans) and asked me to become the clan leader. I was a bit surprised about it, but I knew I would be able to lead the clan. That was my hope.

At the beginning, it was difficult being accepted as the clan leader because there were other members that were older than me and felt that they had the right to become clan leader. However, all of them agreed that I was the only one to care for all the members and that my donations made a big difference. And so, I became the new clan leader and with a bit of time, I was also accepted as such.

What is a clan leader anyway? How do you lead? What makes you a good leader? I started to have these questions in a general sense. I really wanted to be a great leader, someone that could really help, support and motivate the clan (and have fun while at it). I soon realized that I needed to learn some basic principles of leadership and apply them in the game. Additionally, habits or characteristics of bad leadership lead to disastrous results, which I wanted to avoid at all costs. I did not want to become a boss and tell people what to do. Being a leader (of any organisation) requires one to become aware of new responsibilities and the role model you are for others. I did my homework and found authors like Simon Sinek (Leaders eat last), Admiral William McRaven (Change the World by making your bed first), and Niccolo Machiavelli (The Prince) that inspired me to become the best leader possible.

I truly believe that a clan leader is someone that cares for all its members, no matter where they come from, how experienced they are or how many mistakes they may make in the future or made in the past. Leadership requires patience, keeping emotions in control and learning how to find your centre (after getting upset of a failure or mistake). Keeping an environment of respect towards each other is very important to me and is something I wish for every member to be able to follow or do on their own.

I have learned a lot from the clan members, but I also have recognized that my father’s teachings have guided me in my behaviour as a leader:

  1. Have courage.
  2. Take responsibility for your mistakes and those of your team members.
  3. Be always respectful to everyone no matter their station in life.
  4. Be generous with what you have.
  5. Remember to forgive mistakes or failures and help others to do better next time.
  6. Be happy and live a happy life

This is what guides me in something as simple as a game. I have learned so much about myself thanks to all the clan members, whom I can call friends.

Next steps – going international

It has been over a year since I became the clan leader and the clan has grown to its maximum capacity (50 members). We used to be maximum 25 or 30 members and only half were active. This wasn’t great and I wondered what could be done to improve this.

Clan Trip was founded in Mexico and was only aimed for Mexican players. I decided to change this and convert the clan into an international clan. This changed the clan dynamics and now we have members from all over the world! It’s amazing and trying to communicate with members from countries like China, Indonesia, Russia or Poland can be tough. The great thing about this is that you never stop learning something new from other cultures.

And now I created the website for the clan members to find more information about the clan and their team members and have fun.

A little bit more about me (other than CoC)

I am from Mexican origin and currently live in Berlin, Germany. On a professional level, I am a manager and love to work in sales, key account management, partner management and procurement. I have a natural knack for meeting people, coordinating them and helping others to reach their goals.

Besides that, I love technology, gaming (because it’s at the forefront of innovation), photography (which helped me to pay more attention to detail), travelling (got this habit from my parents), meeting new people (I’m a natural diplomat) and enjoy organizing brunches for my friends. In the past six months, I discovered one of my latest passion for a healthy living and exercise (thanks to ketosis), which helped me lose tons of weight (27 kilos until now).

I studied international business and did an MBA in sales and marketing. My business background and curiosity for learning something new motivated me into creating this website. I am learning a lot about website creation, design, SEO, Google analytics and digital marketing. Challenging myself and learning something new is my true passion and it makes creating and maintaining a website a pleasure and an exciting journey.

I speak three languages fluently (because I grew up in 5 different countries): English, German and Spanish.
This is why the official “corporate” gaming languages at Clan Trip are Spanish and English.

On this note, to all the clan members:

Thank you for the vote of confidence and for letting me serve you as your clan leader!¡Gracias por el voto de confianza y por permitirme servirles como su clan líder!

To all co-leaders: Marius Fenix, Tavo Falfan, Misael, Chewy y Bearded chris mil gracias! Sin ustedes nunca hubiera podido lograr que el clan creciera tanto!

Clan leader
aka Hector Santillan

Contact me on instagram: Milonganiza

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