Archive for January 2010
After reading that post I began to consider my own personal experience in meetings over the last dozen or so years and decided to add an addendum to the communication node problem that was so eloquently detailed in the Mythical Man Month by Brooks.
The problem with Brooks’ theory of intercommunication is that it doesn’t take into account the “Number of Managers” in any given meeting. He assumes in his calculation that all nodes in a communication network are equal. This is a mistake. All nodes are not equal, as anyone who has sat through a meeting with more than one manager participating can attest to.
“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.”
Abraham Lincoln may have understood trust and community better than anyone in the history of the United States. He knew that maintaining trust meant having the people’s confidence… and with confidence you can lead. I can’t imagine having to make the kind of decisions that he did, but I can imagine how important maintaining the people’s trust must have been to him through that period in history. Every leader must have his community’s trust to be effective.
Building and maintaining trust stems from two elements, transparency and action, one without the other will not work, but together they have proven to be a winning combination for instilling the necessary confidence to effectively lead.
Originally published in Open Source Business Resource January 2010
“…success comes entirely from people and the system within which they work. Results are not the point. Developing the people and the system so that together they are capable of achieving successful results is the point.”
Recently, that quote stirred some controversy among my peers. The part about “results are not the point” was hard for some people to understand and come to grips with. Aren’t results always the point? Well, as with most things, “It depends”. The people and community that evolve around an open source software project will ultimately determine its success. Even if the core team launches the project with spectacular productivity and results, this phase of evolution will be fleeting if the necessary processes and community to make the project a long lasting success are not put into place.
This article presents some of the actions open source community leaders can take to ensure not only results, but a system that encourages productivity and longevity.