People will leave despite how much they love a place, its mission, and its
volunteers at the point it becomes too painful for them to stay. And no one
can make that decision for them. While the support of one's colleagues goes
a very long way, it is necessary but not sufficient. I have been watching,
even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to go
in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt unsupported
and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
"normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.
Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
permissible in the organization. It is part of the leadership obligation to
create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people to
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Dan Andreescu <dandreescu(a)wikimedia.org>
This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
from Engineering won't be long now.
I hope you're wrong, Ori. I hope people have the presence of mind, like
you say - despite the dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
among each other. And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does not
*really* matter. People screw up, but this is a movement. And this
movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.
I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
commitment to the amazing community we serve.
If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction. Just to
be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so much.
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