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For lack of a better page name, here are a list of types of non-contributors, duly stolen from SamRuby's [presentation] to ETech'04:

At least for Meatball, our MeatballMission states that we only prefer doers rather than talkers. That's just here, but in the wider world, the same is true. While talking is doing in many cases, such as organizing people, the point is that you have to actually take responsibility for your ideas and the world you wish to create. You need to work on the solutions to the problems you create, even if that's a matter of finding and motivating someone who knows how to solve the problem. BarnRaising has a lot of roles of varying skill sets and skill levels, but we all must be focused on the SuperordinateGoal of getting the barn up, and we'd rather do that as joyfully as possible without wasteful interference.

State your problems, state your desires, but then also work on them. Take pride in yourself, and take charge of your goals. Sam also lists the following contributor type:

Great. You may be moving in the wrong direction, but at least you're moving.

See PoliticalAction for more. Contrast AdoringFan.

Leader burnout

The related AdvoGato article, [Chewing up and spitting out our leaders], describes the result of a growing body of NonContributors. One good quote from the thread is described on Wiki:RemoteStrangulationProtocol. Some other good bits from the thread:

The frustration of these leaders is incredible. One solution often given is to LimitGrowth, but that just isn't tenable after you cross TheTippingPoint, and in a way it's a waste of your time if your work is ignored. Other solutions are to switch to a GatedCommunity and burn off TheCollective of NonContributors. But at a certain point you will spend all your time fighting your own momentum rather than enjoying it, and thus it is also a waste of all that time you put into the project.

RadicalInclusiveness has a point. As a leader, your job is not to build any more, but to focus on including all these people in a process they don't really belong to. Finding them roles is a challenge, but it can be done. Many OpenSource projects suggest they contribute in different ways, like giving money, or submitting bugs, or maintaining documentation in return for assistance. That's a fair balance.

However, as a leader, you didn't really get into this project to do this, so maybe you should hand off the leadership to someone more willing to manage this so you can get on with what you really want to do. If you can find such a person, you're very lucky. Otherwise, you will have to spend time training TheCollective to include as many people as it can.

Of course, there are some difficult people who push people away with every breath. Some people actually act in bad faith towards you for whatever reason, even if they think it is for good reasons (which may or may not be selfish reasons). You can try to LimitTemptation and not be a target they will try to bring down, but that only works for so long. After that, you're just going to have to be smarter than they are. Sadly, that is punishment for doing a good job. Even if you work hard to find creative FairProcess for them, you cannot possibly be expected to heroicly solve everyone's problems. But at least it happens to everyone who crosses TheTippingPoint, so you're in good company. Maybe we can collect solutions here.

CategoryDifficultPerson


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