Today is my last day in CEJUG's leadership team. A journey that lasted for tireless 8 years or something. I'm not sure about the exact date I became Jug Leader, but I remember very well how it happened. I was attending a CEJUG coordination meeting at Fortes Informática because I was helping them to organize an event. Right after the meeting, Felipe Gaúcho invited me to co-lead the group, which was unexpected but very pleasant. I accepted immediately! Felipe is not among us anymore, but I am eternally grateful to him for this incredible opportunity.
I'm not leaving because I'm tired or bored. I'm leaving because CEJUG needs renovation. It needs to change its philosophy, its soul. I'm the oldest one in the leadership team, thus I'm a dinosaur in terms of community management. My mind still believes in some practices that don't work anymore and the community is not growing as it could grow. Fresh and valuable ideas usually come from new people with a vision to help others to develop their technical capabilities. I'm sure there are a lot of people like that out there and I wish they get my place and move on faster.
There is a CEJUG's rule that promotes ex-leaders to become advisers for the leadership team. It is a sort of recognition for the great services provided to the group. But I'm not accepting even that. To give advices to a future leader is like bringing back the old way of thinking. That's what I'm trying to avoid. Advisers are not so active anyway. I don't remember the last time I received an advice from them. Actually, it ended up becoming a definitive leave for them too. Eventually, my departure will motivate other members of the leadership team to take the same initiative, if they have the same feeling I'm describing in this post, of course.
Sometime ago, a friend of mine was excited about CEJUG's community and he asked me what he has to do to become a JUG Leader. I told him that it's not so difficult, but it requires patience and a lot of work. That's because CEJUG is a meritocracy, where you are recognised according to your contribution to the community. The recognition is basically promoting you to the leadership team, then you have more power and resources to make things happen. It takes some time because we wanna make sure that you won't give up easily and you will just continue working as hard as before.
The problem is that there is no glamour in the role of Jug Leader. New leaders probably realised that it's more a labor of love, donation and dedication than a professional achievement. Some people love that, like I do, but most people don't. Perhaps new leaders won't find motivation for the merit in this meritocracy model. The excitement may last for a few months and then, even the free time will be occupied with other priorities.
I have been proud of my role as a Jug Leader, not because of what I did for the community, now and in the past, but because of what I feel for them and what I was willing to lose for them. I will keep this feeling in my heart. You may ask me why I'm leaving since I'm still in love. This is like a relationship that doesn't work. When your love is not reciprocal the best thing you can do is set your love free.
If you want to be the next CEJUG Leader, be aware of the need for passion, donation and dedication, with or without professional achievement. In addition to that, read a very interesting post on John Yeary's blog about the definition of a Jug Leader.
By the way, I will continue as a humble CEJUG member, trying to help people there with their technical questions. Meanwhile, I'm working on a new open source project! I'm going to launch it here soon and maybe it will end up in a new, large and successful community! ;)