[hackerspaces] That one person...

Ross Smith rsmith at i3detroit.com
Wed Mar 2 22:06:27 CET 2011

I might be in the minority here, but the problem I heard in our
anonymous person's message was not "one person with initiative against
the rest of us" but "personality clash that intimidates the rest of us
from trying."

> Arclight is 100% right on this. Do you really want to give somebody the boot
> because they're the most productive member of the group?
> In our space, the people willing to step up and get things done generally
> get to make unilateral decisions (to a point). Maybe it's a very American
> viewpoint, but in my world, results count.

We call it "Do-Ocracy" - rule by the people who get off their asses.
It's definitely good to have.

Don, I take it from your message that you don't have many "apprentice"
type members - ones who want to learn but are hesitant to get in the
mix.  They just want a class or a chance to be told what to do so they
can overcome some fear.  These are the people who get curb-stomped
when a strong personality breezes in and shakes everything up.
They're the first ones to back off and wait for things to calm down
before they try their unskilled hand at a project.  If things never
settle down, they just leave the organization or anxiously accept that
they aren't good at much.  I don't think they're weak for not being as
forceful - just ordinary.  And they aren't getting better at what they
want to learn if they're stifled.

Our space is a mix between a social scene, a playground for the strong
personalities, and a training ground for the noobs who want to get
their DIY on.  In this set-up, the goal of our leadership is to make
everyone feel safe enough that they can come out to play, without
(foolishly) trying to obstruct the big players from exerting
themselves.  Hopefully that makes sense.

> Someone with this much energy and passion should be encouraged to take a
> leadership role, not marginalized.

It also may be that the person in question *is* a leader at the space
that others are too spooked by to confront.

Ross Smith
i3Detroit President

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually
right." -- Henry Ford

More information about the Discuss mailing list