I'm sorry to see you go. I can understand being fed up with a situation
that makes you crazy. The project will be poorer without you.
I've been in a similar situation as the one you are in now. It was a
very difficult, but rewarding job. Ultimately, it was frustrating,
because, like you, I disagreed with how things were being managed, and
like you, I wound up leaving.
Since Dan has said he'll be leaving the position of project manager, I
hope you'll think about getting involved again at a later date.
I think I stated my opinion badly, perhaps. What I meant was that
someone in the project has to have the final say. That's mostly what I
meant by not being able to have a democracy. I didn't mean that the
project manager should run rough shod over others in the groups or their
feelings. As you've pointed out, it's important to listen to people and
accept persuasive arguments. I've only been here a brief time, so I
don't know how well Dan has done at that. I tend to give everyone the
benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my concerns. I wish you well in
all you do.
Eric Lavarde wrote:
> Hi Ray,
> I didn't want to spend too much time on this decision, because we had
> similar discussions in the past, and I've just got enough, life is just
> too short for me to face the same kind of issues in my leisure time as
> in my professional life.
> But I think, I owe you an explanation in your effort to solve things.
> So, here it is:
> 1. In real life, I'm a project manager, and quite good at it. I won't
> share my rankings, you will have to trust me on this point. I'm used to
> have 10 to 20 people working for me without me having much "hierarchical
> power" over them because they come from different organizations within
> the company, i.e. I can only use "management by influence" to get things
> my way. And it appears that it's a setup very comparable to the Open
> Source environment. I'm not saying that in order to get a job, but to
> show that I think I know what I'm talking about.
> 2. I definitely do not agree with the statement that a project
> manager/leader needs to be a dictator, on the contrary. I take often
> decisions, but I argument them, and I do my best to only take them if
> nobody else can take them, and to make it clear that I'm ready to revise
> my decision if someone comes with good arguments. My role as a project
> manager is not to take decisions, but to make sure that decisions are
> taken, if possible the right ones (just joking!).
> 3. "If nobody else can take them" is just about delegation: if you're
> responsible for a piece of work, you've got also the right, and the
> duty, to take the decisions required for this piece of work. As a
> project manager, I possibly need to be informed and might have concerns
> if those decisions have an impact on other aspects of the project, but
> else I'm happy if I don't need to look into everything.
> 4. And, last but not least, each member of a project is important, and
> has the right to get his/her work respected. To take a picture from our
> society, the garbageman is not very highly considered but it stinks when
> he stops working, and he has the right to be respected, and he has
> (let's face reality, he should have) the right to take the decisions
> necessary for his job.
> Back to our project: I don't have a problem to be the garbagem... eeh
> package-man of this project, but I want my work to be respected, and
> when a decision needs to be taken concerning this aspect of the work, I
> inform everybody and ask for confirmation but I expect that it remains a
> formality, especially if it doesn't influence anybody else. Mind you, if
> someone has arguments or needs clarification, I don't have an issue, but
> Dan's reaction was far beyond this.
> So, I've taken my time to take my decision, I don't think I've
> misunderstood Dan, we've had similar arguments in the past, and Dan
> didn't improve on these aspects, which have already been brought to him,
> so I don't change anything to my statements about his behavior, and I
> don't revise my decision to stop working under his so-called leadership.
> Have nonetheless a good night/evening/morning/day,
> Ray Benjamin wrote:
>> I'm really sorry that you're so upset. I think past history plays a big
>> role in what's going on and that everyone here has a hard time getting
>> past old resentments and grudges. That's too bad. You are all very
>> talented, as is shown by the work you've managed to do together.
>> Regardless of the resentments and bad feelings, you've all managed to
>> work together as a team to produce some fine software.
>> When you are already angry at someone, it is easy to misinterpret an
>> email, which lacks emotional signals like facial expression or the tone
>> of voice. It's also easy to take exception to things that you might
>> ignore in a face-to-face encounter. On the other side, it's easy to
>> write insulting comments to someone you don't have to face - one of the
>> most unfortunate side-effects of this kind of communication.
>> Every project leader has to be a dictator. You can't run a project as a
>> democracy. That doesn't mean the leader should ignore the other people
>> on the project. In fact, it's vital that he listen to their concerns and
>> incorporate their wishes into his decisions. But in the end, one person
>> needs to have control, or you get chaos. Because the project leader has
>> to make decisions, he is going to make some that anger team members.
>> He's going to make choices that some people disapprove of, because no
>> team is ever composed of people who all think alike.
>> I think you've both said things in email, that you might not have said
>> in person. I also think that you have both chosen to interpret things
>> the worst possible light, rather than accepting the possibility that you
>> might simply have been misunderstood. My advice is that you both should
>> apologize for the insulting remarks, and try to clarify things that were
>> This started with a very minor issue, if you think about it. Don't let
>> anger run your life. Don't let it take away something you love.
>> Eric Lavarde wrote:
>>> Hello everybody,
>>> I needed some time to think about it but I don't see the point of me
>>> spending my leasure time on FreeMind, loosing my nerves on an autocratic
>>> and arrogant project director.
>>> I would ask you to remove me from the developers' mailing list. If there
>>> are questions, feel free to contact me directly, but there are some
>>> people with whom I don't need to be in the same room or on the same
>>> mailing list.
>>> There were good times, I learned some things, and I don't regret the
>>> time involved, so thank you for this, and I wish you well,
>>> Dan Polansky wrote:
>>>> Hello Eric,
>>>> I am unsure whether you understood what I meant when speaking of
>>>> relationships in contrast to substance. I only meant that my mail was
>>>> not addressing the merit of the thing but rather the relationships in
>>>> the project. I meant that I did not discuss the version numbering
>>>> scheme; I was discussing the way in which you have addressed your
>>>> proposal to the team. I had found your way insolent.
>>>> I have been told that relationships should be separated from the
>>>> technical topic, but not ignored. I have been told that relationships
>>>> should be treated too.
>>>> When I have received your initial email, I felt strange. I did not
>>>> understand it, I have seen no examples, and it seemed overly
>>>> unprofessional, difficult to read. Also, it said that unless I protest,
>>>> I am bound to something. I felt need to make this a topic of itself. I
>>>> felt need to clarify that there are certain roles and relationships
>>>> between people and that certain styles of communication are inappropriate.
>>>> So again, it is inappropriate that you assume passive approval. I
>>>> completely disagree with this. Whenenever you do it again, I declare
>>>> with this email ahead that I disagreee with any of your suggestions
>>>> formulated in this way.
>>>> Best regards,
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