The first 50.5 weeks of 2010 have been interesting, to say the least. My experiences in 2010 can best be summed up in a single word: educational. I've learned a lot this year!
One important thread wove its way through my 2010 experiences...
Relationships Are Everything
How we interact defines community. Relationships define community. Our community is more than the sum of our members. Trust and respect are the capital of community. And just like money, this capital can be invested, exchanged, spent, earned, traded, borrowed, blown, or burned.
I have to admit: I saw a lot of SQL Server community capital burned this year. There's no way to sugarcoat this: If, as a leader, you demonstrate disrespect and distrust for members of your Tribe, you will lose followers.
I was approached at the PASS Summit 2010 by a ranking Board member. He pulled me aside to share the following:
I used to tell people who want PASS to change that they should run for the Board. I can't say that anymore.
I complimented him on an astute observation.
It's possible the comment was meant as hindsight regarding the denial of Steve Jones' candidacy for the PASS Board 2010 Elections slate. Or it could have been a way to communicate to me "Don't bother running for the Board". Either way it's ok. What's done is done. Three paragraphs from the end of the afore-linked post, I put in writing that I will never seek election to the PASS Board of Directors. I restate and reaffirm that here.
(SQL) Saturdays With Andy
When Andy Warren (Blog | @sqlAndy) and I discussed the future of PASS at SQL Saturday in Nashville, I expressed my sentiment that the PASS Board crossed a community tipping point by denying Steve Jones the privilege of appearing on their ballot for the PASS 2010 Board election. I believe this action caused irreparable harm to the organization's credibility in the SQL Server community and, for this reason, I declined when I was asked to serve on the PASS Election Review Committee. Andy maintains that PASS Leadership can be coaxed back into a relationship that recognizes some semblance of the community reality that exists outside PASS Board meetings. We disagree.
So it's time to be...
2011 is a new year. I'm pouring my love of community into a couple new endeavors. One of them is SQLPeople (LinkedIn | Facebook | @SQLPeople). The website is live but, at the time of this typing, not very useful to the public. That will change.
"What Is SQLPeople?"
That's an excellent question. I think a better question is, "What will SQLPeople become?" Right now it's a Facebook page, LinkedIn group, and Twitter account - all private. They will become (more) public 1 Jan 2011.
It's a website with a splash screen. And yet... and yet, there's the promise of more. SQLPeople can be whatever we, the SQL Server Community, want it to be. If nothing else, SQLPeople is already something important: an alternative.
SQLPeople: The Blog Series
I've interviewed several SQL People in our community and will be posting those interviews throughout 2011, beginning in January. The folks are people I selected. Some, because everyone knows their name and work; others, because they're doing cool work in their community; and still others because, well, just because. The SQLPeople blog series is a way to help you get to know all of them a little better.
I've been dreaming about SQLPeople for a while. There's more to come, I promise!