LinuxSA Leadership Considerations

Grant Petch gpcs at internode.on.net
Wed May 22 18:12:23 CST 2013


I'm not going to disagree with you in your comments below, and have
always been a strong believer that leaders should lead with humility &
with a serving heart putting the needs of others before my own, and have
not struggled generally in doing so.  I started in leadership when I was
in my late teenage years, firstly in the Naval Reserve Cadets which
obviously used the Navy/Military style of leadership, and secondly in
Christian youth groups and other church leadership areas.  The skills
that I've learnt over the years have served well, I will admit I'm not
perfect, I've made my share of mistakes like everyone else has over the
years.  There is always room for improvement, and I'm willing to learn
new things and ways of doing things, making sure that others have the
opportunity to have their say and how they can offer their skills too.

There has been a reason as to why I've had issues with communication,
however I'm happy to further discuss this off list due to the sensative
nature of the matter.  I struggled most during my early teens, but have
made good improvements over the years, and sure can make more :)

Grant

On Wed, 2013-05-22 at 17:39 +0930, David Lloyd wrote:
> Well,
> 
> [Back on the list AGAIN].
> 
> On 22/05/2013, at 5:03 PM, Grant Petch <gpcs at internode.on.net> wrote:
> 
> > I've just found this -
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benevolent_dictatorship
> > 
> > To me is only a slight improvement over direct dictatorship.
> 
> When the group was under the "Benevolent Dictatorship" of the previous leader, i.e. Geoffrey Bennett, it seemed to do quite well for itself; let me have a little bit of chronology here:
> 
> 1. Matthew Tippett and Geoffrey Bennett start the group
> 
> It grows. They're the organisers.
> 
> 2. Matthew gets busy or what not leaving Geoffrey to run the group.
> 
> It continues to grow. Eventually, the group itself quietly bestows the role of Benevolent Dictator on Geoffrey - this is something that you earn.
> 
> 3. Geoffrey starts a new job/business and someone else takes the reigns.
> 
> Things change.
> 
> ...
> 
> As I've outlined in a previous e-mail I think there's forces beyond our control which have made Linux and a lot of open source become more mainstream and caused many user groups to face the question of relevancy. That is the obvious reason.
> 
> One interpretation of Jesus the Christ is as the Suffering Servant. To conform to Jesus' values, instead of becoming a dictator and lording it over others (Mark 8-11) you serve them in humility, putting their needs above your own.
> 
> This conception of the Suffering Servant is very close to what a Benevolent Dictator does - they lead by example, by service and for the good of the community they serve.
> 
> There is one difference. Obviously, the current BDFL (Benevolent Dictators for Life), e.g Larry Wall, Linus Torvalds, are not God. So how do they get that role? They serve the communities that they have created or become a part of (it's easiest if they've created it). They don't take that role - it's foisted on them because the community entrusts them as the leader. It's a role that is earned.
> 
> Perl is one of the most well known elder programming languages (or messes!) out there. Python has a huge following and is used in all walks of life, from linguistics to game programming. Django, the web framework, is well loved and used many places. PHP is one of the most ubiquitous web programming languages (that many accuse of being a mess but it's very successful). And of course Linux has been one of the most beloved upstart of an operating system out there and has some followers who do act like religious fanatics.
> 
> ALL of them are led by a Benevolent Dictator for Life - it's not a bad concept and it works.
> 
> That said, I'm like Icarus flying towards the sun - there's an elephant in the room and I think we all know it.
> 
> DSL
> 
> PS. Stop taking our conversation off of the LinuxSA mailing list - it makes things awfully opaque.




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