OSS Leadership

Two quotes, one orator, one message today.
1. “Managers muddle – leaders inspire. Leaders inspire with clear vision of how things can be done better.”
2. To empower your people is “to turn them loose, and get the management layers off their backs, the bureaucratic shackles off their feet and the functional barriers out of their way.”

Jack Welch.

Just like yesterday, today’s blog is led off by a Jack Welch quote, but this time it’s with two rather than one to form a common message.

When it comes to managing OSS teams it’s obvious that a manager (read a micro-manager or bureaucrat) can’t possibly capture all the vagaries and complexities of an OSS project to then be able to dictate details to their team. An OSS team must be overseen by a leader, not a manager, who can inspire with a clear vision and have confidence in the team to come up with creative ways to overcome the vast array of obstacles that will arise.

The challenge comes from directing the creativity to ensure it doesn’t stagnate in paralysis by (over)analysis. There are so many ways to skin a cat, or OctopOSS in this case, and no single “right” way so it’s often essential to choose a direction and move on.


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