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The   Keeper of
   Secrets
Leslie Hawthorn — @lhawthorn
          FOSDEM 2013
How to be an effective leader

   when everyone talks to you


      …but expects you not
      to talk to anybody else
These are
  my opinions only.

Your mileage may vary.
       Greatly.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/birgerking/6908909031/
There is No Cabal
…but there are
a lot of people having
   one to one
         ~ or ~

  small group
     discussions
Isn’t that a Cabal?
one to one
         ~ or ~
      one to few
     conversations
are not always harmful
When is something
   a secret?
We are social
                                                        creatures, so it’s in
                                                        our nature to talk
                                                        about things that
                                                        matter to us.




                                                        We talk about
                                                        them a lot.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29010088@N02/2711420294/
While we all
                  understand that
                  we’re not supposed
                  to discuss certain
                  topics, we do so
                  anyway because
                  we fundamentally
                  require the input
                  of our peers.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinothchandar/7675396528/
Some ‘Secrets’
      are Really Great
           Consider a donation
        to the OSUOSL Beer Fund
                       [URL REDACTED]
Use your favorite search engine to find OSUOSL beer fund

            Full disclosure: osuosl.org is my former employer.
          I do not benefit from the beer fund for many reasons,
                    including my preference for whiskey.
Some secrets are
 relatively innocuous…




             http://www.flickr
                        flickr.com/photos/mamchenkov/448409220/
If we accept that discussing the things
   that matter to us is human nature,
      how can we tell if something
         ought not be shared?




           http://www.flickr.com/photos/7914713@N05/3395188917/
What about the things
   people don’t say

…but are still blindingly
      apparent?
Ostensibly, if someone comes
to you with information about
something that bothers them,
  chances are they want you
    to do something with
       that information.
Capable
 leaders...




        http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjornmeansbear/4680634219/
Creating empathy and inclusion
   requires understanding —
     not just what to share,
       but how to share it
          the right way.
Case Study:
When You Have to Share,
  but You Ought Not
Contributor
in critical path
is having
a bad time,


 …but doesn’t
  want to discuss it widely
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/67776729@N06/6417063815/
Simple cases of difficult
circumstances start to feel
like deliberate discourtesy




                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt/1631494/
Despite their irritations, few
folks are willing to be direct
about their concerns....




                             http://www.flickr.com/photos/howardlake/4850758742/
“ Why Your
  Community
  Leaders Deserve
  Combat Pay”

 …will be the topic
 of a later presentation


          http://www.flickr.com/photos/helloturkeytoe/4635903792/
How to ...
     1) Encourage disclosure
     2) Ask for permission to
        disclose in such a way
        as to keep all parties
        comfortable
     3) Encourage community
        to be direct but kind
        with their concerns


             http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjornmeansbear/4680634219/
Case Study:
The Person Who Just
  Doesn’t Get It
Some folks are
quite good–
hearted


    …but their
  actions harm
 the flow of the
         project
Project members understandably
get cranky and waste cycles if
they feel like they have to spend
much of their time herding errant
fellow volunteers
                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/23155134@N06/8023566962/
We have excellent and well
 documented processes
    for sharing code.
There is no manual
 to teach us how to share
our emotions, frustrations
      and concerns.


    (   This is not entirely true, see the Resources
          section at the end of this presentation.     )
Despite their irritations,
few are willing to be direct
about their
concerns…




                       http://www.flickr.com/photos/howardlake/4850758742/
This technique is
ineffective at best




                http://www.flickr.com/photos/11742539@N03/5844531939/
Handling these situations
 quickly and effectively is
          messy,
     uncomfortable
and incredibly necessary.
How to ...
                               1) Correct education
                                  issues
                               2) Suggest other ways
                                  contributor can be
                                  effective
                               3) Be willing to ask
                                  people to move along


http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjornmeansbear/4680634219/
In Brief:
Negotiation Theory
    for Geeks
Negotiation Theory
       for Geeks
             ~ or ~

How to avoid project bankruptcy
   from community leader
       combat payments
   (a.k.a. leader burnout)
Having conversations with
            your friends is easy




See http://hawthornlandings.org/2011/08/02/negotiation-avoiding-the-vale-of-suck-starts-with-you/
We needlessly assume other
    conversations must be painful




See http://hawthornlandings.org/2011/08/02/negotiation-avoiding-the-vale-of-suck-starts-with-you/
Be Willing to
   Ask
  for What
  You Need
●   Ask the other party what they need
    to be successful
●   Find common ground
●   Reach agreement
●   If you cannot reach agreement, find the
    most optimal solution for both parties
●   It is OK to not reach agreement
Practice Radical Honesty

     Radical honesty
           !=
   being a tactless jerk
Behaving Diplomatically

    …is not the fine art
   of being disingenuous.
Do you want
to be right?
    ~ or ~

 Do you want
  to win?
A few bits of radical transparency from LH
●   I learned how to use vi and   ●   I’m up to about 1,000 lines of
    Unix at the age of 3.             Python now and I still don’t
    I remember precisely squat        relish coding. I’d rather talk
    about how either works,           to the other humans so you
    except ls and ls -a.              don’t have to take the
                                      context switch hit.
●   Being an active listener,
    effective leader, and         ●   This is my second FOSDEM
    confidant is exhausting           closing keynote where
    and sometimes painful.            someone else prepped
                                      my slides. Thanks to
●   Having difficult
                                      Garrett LeSage &
    conversations with people
                                      Pawel Solyga!
    scares the every loving
    fsck out of me, too.
The Only
Secret
You Need
The secret to being an
  effective community leader is
genuinely caring about the health
  and well being of your project,
 your community members, and
    your fellow human beings.
…even especially when they
 annoy the crap out of you.
Thank you!



   Questions?
Leslie Hawthorn — @lhawthorn
     hawthornlandings.org
The Legal Bits
   This presentation is licensed CC-BY-3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


   Please reuse, remix and share widely.
Resources
●   Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture:
    http://www.cmu.edu/randyslecture/
●   David Eaves’ Blog:
    http://eaves.ca/
●   The Center for Non-Violent Communication:
    http://www.cnvc.org/
●   The Harvard Negotation Project:
    http://www.pon.harvard.edu/category/research_projects/
    harvard-negotiation-project/
●   Gabriella Coleman, Coding Freedom
    http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9883.html

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The Keeper of Secrets: The Dance of Community Leadership

  • 1. The Keeper of Secrets Leslie Hawthorn — @lhawthorn FOSDEM 2013
  • 2. How to be an effective leader when everyone talks to you …but expects you not to talk to anybody else
  • 3. These are my opinions only. Your mileage may vary. Greatly.
  • 5. There is No Cabal
  • 6. …but there are a lot of people having one to one ~ or ~ small group discussions
  • 7. Isn’t that a Cabal?
  • 8. one to one ~ or ~ one to few conversations are not always harmful
  • 9. When is something a secret?
  • 10. We are social creatures, so it’s in our nature to talk about things that matter to us. We talk about them a lot. http://www.flickr.com/photos/29010088@N02/2711420294/
  • 11. While we all understand that we’re not supposed to discuss certain topics, we do so anyway because we fundamentally require the input of our peers. http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinothchandar/7675396528/
  • 12. Some ‘Secrets’ are Really Great Consider a donation to the OSUOSL Beer Fund [URL REDACTED] Use your favorite search engine to find OSUOSL beer fund Full disclosure: osuosl.org is my former employer. I do not benefit from the beer fund for many reasons, including my preference for whiskey.
  • 13. Some secrets are relatively innocuous… http://www.flickr flickr.com/photos/mamchenkov/448409220/
  • 14. If we accept that discussing the things that matter to us is human nature, how can we tell if something ought not be shared? http://www.flickr.com/photos/7914713@N05/3395188917/
  • 15. What about the things people don’t say …but are still blindingly apparent?
  • 16. Ostensibly, if someone comes to you with information about something that bothers them, chances are they want you to do something with that information.
  • 17. Capable leaders... http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjornmeansbear/4680634219/
  • 18. Creating empathy and inclusion requires understanding — not just what to share, but how to share it the right way.
  • 19. Case Study: When You Have to Share, but You Ought Not
  • 20. Contributor in critical path is having a bad time, …but doesn’t want to discuss it widely http://www.flickr.com/photos/67776729@N06/6417063815/
  • 21. Simple cases of difficult circumstances start to feel like deliberate discourtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt/1631494/
  • 22. Despite their irritations, few folks are willing to be direct about their concerns.... http://www.flickr.com/photos/howardlake/4850758742/
  • 23. “ Why Your Community Leaders Deserve Combat Pay” …will be the topic of a later presentation http://www.flickr.com/photos/helloturkeytoe/4635903792/
  • 24. How to ... 1) Encourage disclosure 2) Ask for permission to disclose in such a way as to keep all parties comfortable 3) Encourage community to be direct but kind with their concerns http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjornmeansbear/4680634219/
  • 25. Case Study: The Person Who Just Doesn’t Get It
  • 26. Some folks are quite good– hearted …but their actions harm the flow of the project
  • 27. Project members understandably get cranky and waste cycles if they feel like they have to spend much of their time herding errant fellow volunteers http://www.flickr.com/photos/23155134@N06/8023566962/
  • 28. We have excellent and well documented processes for sharing code.
  • 29. There is no manual to teach us how to share our emotions, frustrations and concerns. ( This is not entirely true, see the Resources section at the end of this presentation. )
  • 30. Despite their irritations, few are willing to be direct about their concerns… http://www.flickr.com/photos/howardlake/4850758742/
  • 31. This technique is ineffective at best http://www.flickr.com/photos/11742539@N03/5844531939/
  • 32. Handling these situations quickly and effectively is messy, uncomfortable and incredibly necessary.
  • 33. How to ... 1) Correct education issues 2) Suggest other ways contributor can be effective 3) Be willing to ask people to move along http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjornmeansbear/4680634219/
  • 35. Negotiation Theory for Geeks ~ or ~ How to avoid project bankruptcy from community leader combat payments (a.k.a. leader burnout)
  • 36. Having conversations with your friends is easy See http://hawthornlandings.org/2011/08/02/negotiation-avoiding-the-vale-of-suck-starts-with-you/
  • 37. We needlessly assume other conversations must be painful See http://hawthornlandings.org/2011/08/02/negotiation-avoiding-the-vale-of-suck-starts-with-you/
  • 38. Be Willing to Ask for What You Need
  • 39. Ask the other party what they need to be successful ● Find common ground ● Reach agreement ● If you cannot reach agreement, find the most optimal solution for both parties ● It is OK to not reach agreement
  • 40. Practice Radical Honesty Radical honesty != being a tactless jerk
  • 41. Behaving Diplomatically …is not the fine art of being disingenuous.
  • 42. Do you want to be right? ~ or ~ Do you want to win?
  • 43. A few bits of radical transparency from LH ● I learned how to use vi and ● I’m up to about 1,000 lines of Unix at the age of 3. Python now and I still don’t I remember precisely squat relish coding. I’d rather talk about how either works, to the other humans so you except ls and ls -a. don’t have to take the context switch hit. ● Being an active listener, effective leader, and ● This is my second FOSDEM confidant is exhausting closing keynote where and sometimes painful. someone else prepped my slides. Thanks to ● Having difficult Garrett LeSage & conversations with people Pawel Solyga! scares the every loving fsck out of me, too.
  • 45. The secret to being an effective community leader is genuinely caring about the health and well being of your project, your community members, and your fellow human beings.
  • 46. …even especially when they annoy the crap out of you.
  • 47. Thank you! Questions? Leslie Hawthorn — @lhawthorn hawthornlandings.org
  • 48. The Legal Bits This presentation is licensed CC-BY-3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Please reuse, remix and share widely.
  • 49. Resources ● Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: http://www.cmu.edu/randyslecture/ ● David Eaves’ Blog: http://eaves.ca/ ● The Center for Non-Violent Communication: http://www.cnvc.org/ ● The Harvard Negotation Project: http://www.pon.harvard.edu/category/research_projects/ harvard-negotiation-project/ ● Gabriella Coleman, Coding Freedom http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9883.html