some leadership thoughts

Karsten 'quaid' Wade kwade at
Mon Feb 11 14:26:38 UTC 2008

I want to throw out a couple of quick thoughts after some recent

We haven't done the best job in enabling leaders in this project to
become leaders *of* this project.  For example, there is a fair bit of
institutional knowledge scattered across the DocsProject pages and
within my brain, Paul's brain, etc.  Any new leader is challenged by
that; becoming aware of all the subtlety of why and how we do things in
Fedora Docs is a real challenge.

Our focus has been on enabling new writers, and I think we've been
fairly successful at making that work (look at all the great content
work happening right now.)

But when it comes time to enabling leaders to step forward and lead,
small parts to large parts, there are some gaps.  For example, what
actually are the responsibilities of a 'Lead Writer'?  I know in my own
head, and maybe you do, too, but are they the same thoughts?  Etc.

Ultimately this makes it hard to attract new leaders to the steering
committee or to grow a leader who can take over the project as the
Chair/Docs Project Lead.  When I took on this role some years ago, the
explicit goal was to get the project going and get out of the way,
making room for others to lead from within the larger Fedora community.
For the most part, that goal has not been accomplished.

This is not to say, "I'm tired of Docs and I want out."  Actually, I've
never been more excited to be a part of this team!  But I don't want to
keep all the fun to myself.

Recently I've been talking with some of the other steering committee
members (Paul, Bob, John) about how to improve on this.  One idea we've
had is to create a new position (Vice Chair).  This position is intended
to last for six months, at which point the person should be elected by
the steering committee into being the Chair for the project.  A Chair
would then sit for a fixed period of time (12 months?), which gives
enough time to bring another person up through the Vice Chair and be in
position to be the next Chair.

Anyway ... just wanted to get these ideas out there for larger
discussion.  At the least, let you all know, "There is room in the
leadership circle for you."

- Karsten
"Sometimes the best way to lead is by getting out of the way."
Karsten Wade, Developer Community Mgr.
Dev Fu :
Fedora :
gpg key : AD0E0C41
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