Heroes…

Linus Torvalds demonstrates humbleness, which makes him a different kind of hero. Tom Heuerman contrasts heroic "leadership" with heroic journeys.
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Tony has been blogging on the subject of Heroes. His first nominee is Linus Torvalds – he quotes this paragraph from coverage in Wired:

Torvalds is a work-at-home dad with no formal management training. He confesses to being terribly disorganized. His approach to voicemail is to let messages stack up and then delete them without listening to any. His memory is so lousy that he can’t recall whether he was 6 or 8 or 10 when his parents divorced. And he’s awfully absentminded: We are heading out the door for lunch when Torvalds suddenly remembers that his wife is out and that if we leave his kids will be home alone. Then there’s his ambivalence about his role as Linux’s leader. “I don’t have a five-year agricultural plan,” he says. “I don’t want to dictate: This is how we’re all going to march in lockstep.” Yet the 12 years he’s presided over an unruly group of volunteer programmers is worthy of study by those who teach leadership inside the world’s finest MBA programs.

….Once you start thinking more about where you want to be than about making the best product, you’re screwed.”

I like this.

This coincides with the arrival of the latest pamphlet (Personal Leadership) from Tom Heuerman, always a thought provoking read. He writes:

Our traditional model of leadership looks for the hero to lead us in times of chaos and crisis. In his book Leadership James MacGregor Burns described heroic leadership as a relationship between leader and follower in which followers place great faith, often unfounded, in the hero’s ability to overcome obstacles and crises. The followers avoid personal responsibility by projecting their fears, aggressions, and aspirations onto the hero as a symbolic solution to the conflict inherent in transformation.

Heroic leadership is to be distinguished from The Hero

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