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From Prescott Nasser <>
Subject RE: Fwd: mentoring individuals as well as projects
Date Wed, 01 Feb 2012 17:10:22 GMT
From: Marvin Humphrey
Sent: 2/1/2012 8:06 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: mentoring individuals as well as projects

On Wed, Feb 01, 2012 at 01:54:18PM +0000, Ross Gardler wrote:
> My point is that when we help guide individuals who demonstrate a
> willingness to contribute those individuals often grow in capacity.

There was a memorable post on another ASF list a few months ago which compared
Apache's decentralized leadership model to that of military organizations and
contrasted it with the stiff hierarchical model common in the corporate world.
It linked to an article which studied the question of why "military service --
particularly service in the crucible of combat -- is exceptionally effective
at developing leaders."[1]  The article author's answer, in part:

  Secondly, military leaders tend to hold high levels of responsibility and
  authority at low levels of our organizations.

Top level PMCs at Apache are largely autonomous, but when it comes to binding
votes on releases, podlings are wholly dependent on IPMC members whose
attentions often wander.  Our future PMC members do not "hold high levels of
responsibility and authority at low levels of our organization" -- instead,
projects have a boolean "graduated/not-graduated" property whereby podlings
move from having no autonomy and mandatory supervision to having near-total
autonomy and scant supervision after graduation.

I believe that we would develop better future PMC members if PPMC members were
encouraged to earn partial autonomy for their podlings by earning a binding
vote for themselves.  Serving alongside Mentors encourages podling contributors
to think like Mentors, exercising "servant leadership" and devolving
responsibility within their own projects.

Presently, we do not often take advantage of this opportunity to expand the
"capacity" of these "individuals who demonstrate a willingness to contribute"
within the "crucible" of incubation -- to our podlings' detriment and our own.

Marvin Humphrey


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