Leaders are Servants. Period.

I had the privilege of delivering the morning keynote at JoomlaDay Chicago this past weekend. I presented the State of the Joomla! Union talk, similar to the one in Sydney last November.

During the introduction the organizer (who did a great job), mentioned that it was great to have a few people from the "upper echelons" of the project with them today, and that I was one of them.  I have served as the Vice President of Open Source Matters for the past 17 months - my term expipres in October.  OSM is the board that oversees the financial, legal and trademark issues for the Joomla! project.

I let it slide as I took the podium, but I tried to deflect that thought later in my talk, and I thought about it on the way home.  We all have a tendancy to look at "leadership" as the upper "something".  The leadership of the Joomla! project are all volunteers and many give a LOT of hours each week to it.  But when any leader begins to think of themselves as "upper echelon", that's exactly when trouble beings.

Leaders are servants.  Period.

Simon Sinek says, "Leadership is not a rank or a position.  Leadership is a service to be given."  I like that.  I would add it's not a right, just because you hold a position.  Leadership is a responsibility.

serveThe self-entitlement, arroagance and moral collapse we've seen throughout history, and especially recent history, in the ranks of "leadership" is at least in some part due to people forgetting this principle (imo).  I mentioned it in my talk - the job of the new board in the project is to encourage and recognize volunteer achievement while promoting accountability and responsibility, provide a solid vision for the future and remove the roadblocks that keep them from meeting their goals within the project.  In that regard, they are servants.  Servants of the project; servants of the volunteers; servants of a bigger vision.

If we get THAT right, the Joomla! project will be in good hands.