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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: Teams and Leads - where leadership lives (sermonette warning)
Date Thu, 16 Jun 2011 18:27:28 GMT
I think we should take Greg literally on this.  

There has been more discussion, and I see us coming together.  And there is work for us to
do in fostering leadership and having a successful and fulfilling project.

 - Dennis


I know, in my case, this will take some awkward and uncomfortable transformation of how I
see myself in the context of coordinated activities.  I'm already seeing, on the PPMC, that
it takes something to learn to function by consensus inspired by shared commitment rather
than other, often-personal considerations.  I say that it is mutual commitment that carries
the day every time.  (Everyone is here because they want to be, whether or not it turns out
to be what we were expecting.)  

Also, a crucial feature, and I see it reflected in subsequent discussion on this thread, is
that participants take *ownership* of the project.  (I don't mean possession or having it
be property.  I am not sure how ownership translates here.  It is the term I know for this.)
 It is our project.  That's also uncomfortable for some (certainly for me), because it means
making ourselves responsible for the outcome and doing so willingly.  It is a feature of teamwork
that all of the team own the team results as their own.

And for all of this, we must trust each other to govern ourselves and trust the process to
work rather than give in to whatever fears we might have about how things might go.  (That
is something this has in common with democracy.)  Team-mates do that, families do that.  Sometimes
communities and nations manage to do that.

It is also uncomfortable that we have no common history to rely on.  Misunderstandings will
occur often. We do not know each other very well, if at all, and are learning how to collaborate
as a new organization involving a different mix of players than may have existed in the past.
 We will doubtless shed some blood and tears together before we learn that it can all work
out and is working out (whether or not to our liking).  It is the (unarticulated) mutual commitment
that carries us through, just as it happens when there is friction in successful families.

I also notice something else in my exposure to the "Apache Way" in this short time.  There
is considerable attention on how we train ourselves and work to foster leadership in others.
 It is as if, no matter who comes and goes, there can always be a sufficient group of participants
having both the commitment and the preparation to carry on the project *and* continue the
cultivation and development of more participants.  It is that the project succeed, no matter
who the participants are.  And participants have a satisfying and fulfilling experience so
long as being here aligns with their commitments.


I've been in training exercises and leadership programs of one variety or another in the 50+
year course of my career and personal-development efforts.  One characteristic that I have
seen demonstrated is this: leadership arises and moves among the participants of a group effort
as the activity progresses and as discussions proceed.  It is not about "leader" but leadership
and that it is not fixed in individuals but in a response to a perceived opportunity, attention
on some issue, at-hand experience, and so on.  We all nurture leadership in how we sustain
the movement of the effort forward.

I think those who have worked in volunteer software teams and other volunteer activities have
seen this work (and have seen it not work when there were "leader" issues).  It also works
in organizations where teams have their own informal way of working and solving problems below
the attention level of management.  It might happen without being noticed apart from the team-mates
having developed a noticeable satisfaction in working together.  (Recall, in your own experience,
that it often did not start out that way.)

When I become too attached to my self-perceived role in something, I often remind myself of
this (though I have doubtless forgotten the accurate quote): "The spirit cares that there
be flying, not who the flyer is."  On a Yoga DVD that I exercise with on occasion, there is
this phrase that always makes me smile: "willful intent without attachment to the results."

[OK.  I promise to resist posting sermons.  This seemed important, because of the importance
that we all contribute leadership without having leader as some fixed role.  Maybe it doesn't
need to be said.]

-----Original Message-----
From: Christian Grobmeier [] 
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2011 01:42
Subject: Re: Teams and Leads (was: Proposed short term goals)

> I read, there is no single vision on how PMCs should run a project and
> the communities they host. So I think the community can
> create or better bring in its own customary constitution even it's
> hosted by Apache.
> is a little bit different from other Apache projects.
> That makes sense to gover it in a different way.

I agree that OOo might need some other things as other projects. I
also agree with the freedom a PMC has inside the ASF.

But before rules are established: the ASF is a meritocracy.

[ ... ]

I think there is need to name "workforces" like "translators". They
are - imho - pretty similar to components in commons. A workforce does
its work on a specific mailinglist. So, translators should have their
own mailinglist were they are not bothered with technical details.

What Greg wanted to express (or what I think he wanted to express) is,
that every committer in every "workforce" can vote and raise his voice
in the matters of the other workforce. This not really likely to
happen but might. For example, a dev guy can vote against a decision
in the translator workforce. On the other hand, every PMC working
mainly on the "translator" list might veto against a technical

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