[ubuntu-my] Leadership

Syamsul Anuar anuar at vastalux.com.my
Mon Jun 23 19:24:41 BST 2008

Salam and Greetings to all,

Just giving my 20 cents here.

An open source community and a company is different. 

In company (just like the one that U and I work now), people are paid to
do things. If you ignore orders with no good reason, you can be
penalized by your boss. Why? because he's the one paying your salary and
a company is not a welfare organization. Your boss can be a lousy
leader, but you must take note of him and cannot ignore his order,
because he's the boss. You can leave the company and look for other job
if you dont think he's the right boss for you.

However in a community such as open source there is also a leader, but
the worker or community as we called them have different dynamics. In
open source the leader have the authority but the follower (i.e.
community) have a bigger say in matters, because they are volunteers.
Volunteers spend their time for free on the project because they love
the project and its up for the leader to foster and motivate the
community to keep it coming the innovation, bugs-hunting etc. However,
if the community thinks, the leader.. well sucks and as of no-use, they
can just either veto to change him on flee away to other projects and
other interest as they are not paid to oblige and force to do what they
dont want to do.

It is this different dynamics that sometime some corporate player or big
companies fails understand in the open source world. Companies that
donate their code cannot expect free-labour and dictate all the
community into line, and similarly lousy leader cannot expect all the
community to have as what he wish. It is not as straight forward as most
of us thinks.

Thats why leading an NGO and voluntary type of organization is harder
and it takes a lot of effort to do so. 

Also leadership and technical skills is sooo much different. Take Albert
Einstein. He's the most genius of all genius, but to be fair can he runs
the biggest Linux company in the world and generating profits? I beg to
differ as most of the time a great leader and a great technocrats cannot
live in the same body. Likewise, Steve Jobs is not the best engineer in
Apple but he's a natural born leader and manage to take apple to new

Thats why I suggest an open vote to choose leader as we the community is
the one that spend most of our time on the project collectively than one
single person can muster to. 

IN EUROPE IN 2008 :-)


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