In December, Liz Keogh, Eric Willeke, and Jean Tabaka got together at the Rally offices in Boulder. In only a day, they drafted a statement of beliefs and respect. If we all agree to follow them and respect each other, many of the rifts that have appeared in the Agile community in the past year will start to heal (see the comments under Jean’s post “Escalation” for examples of those rifts. Also see the Cutter 2010 predictions).
The statement is very simple:
I believe that communities exist as homes for professionals to learn, teach, and reflect on their work.
I challenge each community in the software industry to:
- reflect and honor the practitioners who make its existence possible;
- provide an excellent experience for its members;
- support the excellent experience its members provide for their clients and colleagues in all aspects of their professional interactions;
- exemplify, as a body, the professional and humane behavior of its members;
- engage and collaborate within and across communities through respectful exploration of diverse and divergent insights;
- embrace newcomers to the community openly and to celebrate ongoing journeys; and
- thrive on the sustained health of the community and its members through continual reflection and improvement.
I believe that leaders in each community have a responsibility to exhibit these behaviors, and that people who exhibit these behaviors will become leaders.
I am a member of a community of thinkers. If I should happen to be a catalyst more than others, I consider that a tribute to those who have inspired me.
”A Community of Thinkers” by Liz Keogh, Jean Tabaka and Eric Willeke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Please attribute to the distributor of your copy or derivative.
I would like to add to that an echo what Chris Matts and Olav Maassen have already said on the subject:
So what is the difference between Leaders and Leadership?
A leader feels like a commitment (something we only like if we have to):
“Do it this way if you want to be part of my club.”,
“My way or the highway”,
“You’re either with us or against us”
Leadership feels like an option (this is what we like as it allows freedom of choice):
“Here is a way you can do it, it worked for me in a certain context.”,
“You might want to check out X it seems related to what you’re doing.”
My goal is not to tell you how to develop software. My goal is to help you deliver great software and to challenge you to do more than you ever have before. Whether we use Scrum, XP, Lean, Kanban or some new technique doesn’t matter to me. What does matter is helping people achieve great things.