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Is Paul Orwig Suffering From Tunnel Vision?

09 Mar 2012
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tunnel vision n (ca. 1942) 1: constriction of the visual field resulting in loss of peripheral vision; 2: extreme narrowness of viewpoint: narrowmindness; also : single-minded concentration on one objective – tunnel visioned adj

  Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 1996

Some leaders perceive they can, by force of will, ensure the intended consequences of their actions – even in the face of mounting evidence that the outside forces (e.g. competitors, regulators, economic conditions, customers, or community) are not reacting to their expectations “correctly.” Greek tragedians referred to this failing as “hubris” – the overwhelming pride that blinds the tragic hero to the consequences of his/her actions. The audience can clearly foresee the inevitable fall from a great height, but the tragic hero is blind to all but his own intentions.

 If you have not yet had the opportunity, I suggest you read Paul Orwig's latest communication in the Joomla Leadership Google Group.

I have discussed Paul Orwig's singular focus on restructuring Open Source Matters, Inc. (OSM) so that there is no oversight of this board and so that OSM will have complete control over all aspects of the "Joomla! project" in several previous blogs:

 If you read his most current discussion in the Joomla Leadership Google Group, you will find it is entirely focused on the assumption that he will ensure the passage of the proposed reorganization at J and Beyond in Germany in May. How can you tell? Easy enough, all discussion of what various workgroups are needed for center on how to structure everything once it is approved. No discussion or workgroup is even proposed on furthering discussions on whether the reorganization should even go forward. He also seems to be deluded in thinking that the J!People discussions that previously occurred centered around positive ideas for the restructuring. My goodness how far off base can you get?

The following negative leadership attributes seem to be dominating OSM.

1. Having tunnel vision. While a horse with blinders is an effective work beast, leaders with blinders and tunnel vision can be very narrow minded. This can lead to the lack of morale and the decreasing productivity in the organization. Having tunnel vision means that a leader is so focused on one thing that he forgets other aspect of organizational operations.

2. Allowing false pride to ruin relationships and productivity. A weak leader can easily consider himself as the organization's biggest resource and thus fail to delegate and trust others to do the work for him.

3. Forgetting that he/she is also a leadership resource. Such leadership mistake is costly because no second-generation leaders are developed, which leads to succession problems in the long run.

4. Creating unnecessary resistance to changes they want to implement. If you want change in the organization, you have to win the stakeholders first because they will be the first to implement such changes.

5. Sticking to pre-set plans rigidly. Plans are good. But if they prevent you from dealing with present-day and unexpected occurrences, expect your ship to crash in no time because of your rigidity.

6. Failing to consult with other stakeholders. Consultation is a powerful practice. It can lead to new insights and new ways of looking at things. If you fail to consult, you alienate the very people that should have been able to help you.

7. Forgetting to send the right messages. Verbal messages are not the only thing at stake here. Even inaction and silence can communicate tons of messages to people around you.

8. Engages in dualities and divisive decision-making. Synergy is important in the organization. While it may be difficult to get consensus all the time, divisive decision making does not serve the organization at all!

9. Fighting with stakeholders instead of doing some peace-making efforts. The desire for control may be inherent for some leaders but fighting is counter-productive and will lead to further problems.

What do you think? I welcome your comments.

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David Huelsmann

Dave Huelsmann was Treasurer of Open Source Matters, Inc. from 2008 to July, 2010 and Joomla Forum Global Moderator from 2005 to November, 2010. Now retired, he was a senior healthcare executive who managed large and diverse clinical laboratory, radiology, electroencephalography, and centralized patient transport operations/departments in both not-for-profit and for-profit companies throughout the United States.

Dave was a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam while attached to Seabee battalionmcb71

Read more about Dave Huelsmann

0 # Andrew Eddie 2012-03-14 16:06
"Single-minded concentration on one objective" - sounds like a website I know ;-) I guess if it's ok for you, it's ok for other's as well :eek:
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0 # David Huelsmann 2012-03-14 16:23
Hey, welcome back Andrew! Nice to have these little chats every now and then.

I would guess you are absolutely correct. You could characterize this website as having a single-minded concentration on seeing that OSM steps up to seeing that Public Oversight is served. I will willingly concede that one to you. ;-)
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0 # Andrew Eddie 2012-03-14 17:05
So, the other boards you've been involved in, did they have a community oversight committee that could hire and fire the board?
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0 # David Huelsmann 2012-03-14 19:06
Nope. Can't say they did.

Of course, can't say those boards failed as miserably as OSM in the Public Accountability department either. :sad:
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0 # Andrew Eddie 2012-03-14 19:25
So the Joomla Community Oversight Committee is doing a good job at electing the right people to the board and keeping them publicly accountable?
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0 # David Huelsmann 2012-03-14 19:32
Can't say that! If they were doing a good job, I wouldn't have anything to blog about! :P
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0 # Andrew Eddie 2012-03-14 20:05
Just feeling there is a distinct absence of criticism towards the CoC on your blog who would seem to be the real culprits in this tale of deception and woe. Let's be honest, if we are trying to find the real power players with the most to gain, that's where the rot and the real conspiracies start right?
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0 # David Huelsmann 2012-03-15 09:15
Absolutely! And, if you will review the blog Open Source Matters, Inc. Board Deficiency Summary, you will find I do consider that the CoC has been deficient in their oversight responsibilities. They certainly should have used their power to remove and add board members to at least ensure that the Public Accountability disclosures occurred as promised.
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