Absent Leadership

On WardsWiki after the Patterns people had done their thing, and the XP dignatories came and went, there has not been a dominant force to fill in the vacuum. Maybe AbsentLeadership is one of the more serious CommunityProblems.

But it is very imprudent to claim prima facie that AbsentLeadership is one of the WikiProblems.


LeaderShip : AbsenceOfEvidenceIsNotEvidenceOfAbsence?

"There is no governor anywhere." -- Chuang Chou, a Chinese philosopher from the 4th century BC.

Was he speaking out in admiration of "no leader" but lots of SleepingInPublic type "leadership evidence"? This may well be the highest compliment that an AbsentLeader can receive.


See also list in WikiHistory about "this site has been known as a definitive site for..." (2005 version)


Leadership is not ownership, nor is it being in the position of guidance which a director might exhibit, it is rather taking the lead, organizing an effort, rallying the participants, and providing the incentive, to accomplish some goal or mission. A wiki can have many leaders, and this wiki has been made available by its owner who has chosen a simple set of rules, expecting those who use its facilities to observe. One cannot complain that Ward is responsible for those who choose not to follow the guidelines which allow freedom of expression within bounds, nor that he should change the rules. It is incumbent upon those of us who do follow the rules, to continue to do so, and to apply peer pressure upon those who do not.


The first thing I thought of when seeing this title was the strategy I observed being successfully employed by what I call the Eventual Surviver Type. Whenever a critical day was at hand, this leader was always absent due to pressing personal business, medical, family, or holiday (the proximity of which seems to engender deadlines). If things went well in his(her) absence, the remark was always something linke: "I knew you could handle this!", but if something went wrong, of course, no one could point a finger of blame towards the AbsentLeadership! If things went wrong enough, someone present who made any decision in the leaders absence could become the scapegoat and might even be dismissed or demoted. Have you observed anything like this?
See: The art of war by Jackie Chan

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