Ever since it was announced that the OpenStack TC training was going to be held at ZingTrain in Ann Arbor, Michigan, rumors began to fly that the TC would be opening a deli, or that there was to be a “Sandwich-as-a-Service” project in OpenStack. No, just kidding …

I had the honor of spending three days last week with several members of the TC and some ATC at ZingTrain, and attended a highly customized training session. While I had some initial misgivings about the fact that OpenStack had picked a company known mostly for its deli and mail order business, it took only a small amount of research to find out that the principles that ZingTrain teaches are in fact widely adopted all over the world in a variety of industries that have nothing to do with food.

The training we attended covered a number of topics that were extremely relevant to leadership in OpenStack, and they were all based on a management model called Servant Leadership. The training dealt with issues of leadership, stewardship, the bottom line change (BLC) process, visioning, and a number of other things.OpenStack Coffee

I think the training was awesome, and it was very well adapted to the kinds of problems and challenges that leaders (TC members, PTL’s, core reviewers, reviewers, and contributors) face in OpenStack because in most situations we are required to lead with no formal authority. This is unlike a situation with a manager and a subordinate where there is a clearly defined and formal authority (aka “pulling rank”) whereby the manager can require the subordinate to do something.

While we never really say it this way, we all realize that an effective leader in OpenStack is one who does not need to frequently exercise formal authority, and this concept is one that was reinforced several times during the training.

My special thanks to Colette Alexander who spent the past several months putting this training together, Ann Lofgren and Timo Anderson, our most excellent trainers, to Tom Root who spent a lot of time with us, and showed us around Maker Works, and to the OpenStack Foundation for putting this course together.

It think it would be awesome if the other members of the TC who weren’t able to attend this training get a chance to do that, and I earnestly hope that we’ll be able to put a lot of the things that we were exposed to at this training into practice in OpenStack. I certainly intend to do that in Trove, and in my interactions with others in OpenStack and Tesora.