Mast Kalandar

bandar's colander of random jamun aur aam

Sun, 19 May 2013

Role Playing

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The three tags above would be seen as a succession! Those who administer educational institutes can learn to avoid feeling frustrated by learning from (for example) those who administer large Linux distributions.

The following quote from Adam Wilkinson found via Linux Weekly News makes it clear:

You're working on a massive project that involves hundreds/thousands of people. It is not possible, however you organize such a project, for everyone to have a voice in everything. It is not possible to subject every decision to some kind of public review process. It is a statistical certainty that things you disagree with are going to happen. This is something you need to reconcile yourself to. Of course you can raise your voice on topics that concern you, and of course we can try to make our processes as open as possible, but however we do things, stuff you don't like is going to happen, and you've got to be comfortable with that, or you're going to get frustrated and burnt out very quickly.

This applies equally to the lowly worker as to the leader of a project. The former is more likely to figure this out than the latter! If leaders do not recognise contradictions between proposed policies and the ground reality, the smallest issues will often escalate to the highest level---and the leaders will have to deal with them.

Everyone has ambitions that go beyond the role(s) assigned to them---goals that require various resources beyond those available to their assigned role. As a leader, the precious resource is time and so one way to try to extract such "extra-curricular" goals is by dumping work on someone else (typically a lowly worker). The lowly worker might respond by "papering over" problems until one day, they blow up.

However, this is not called "playing a team game", it is "playing a game against your team-mates". Team players do not play zero-sum games against their colleagues and compatriots.

A lowly worker can work "outside the system" to pursue a private project. A leader does not have such a luxury and must step outside the leadership role to achieve a private goal.

This is not to say that one should not have such goals---far from it. In fact, no matter how democratic, transparent and other such good-ness (that you find in) an organisation, there is always a use/need to explore "the fringes of normality".

So everyone should play their role(s) to the best of their abilities ... and once in a while, take a break and step outside for a breath of fresh air!

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