Servant Leadership; Lessons Learned from the Military

Servant Leadership; Lessons Learned from the Military

Abstract:

More companies are adopting the Scrum methodology of Agile software development. They jump in and start learning about the three roles – Product Owner, self-directed development team and Scrum Master. They may even bring an Agile Coach in to help them learn Scrum. The roles and responsibilities of Product Owner seem straight forward and understandable. The roles and responsibilities of the development team are known and understood. Although there are some questions around the “self-directed” part. And then there is the Scrum Master. Issues arise about the nature of the role. Is the Scrum Master really just another name for project manager? And issues arise over who should fill the role of Scrum Master. Is it really a full-time job? Should the Product Owner and Scrum Master be the same person?

Key expectations of the Scrum Master include, in no particular order:

The Scrum Master is a facilitator

The Scrum Master is a coach

The Scrum Master is custodian of the framework

The Scrum Master foresees, heads-off or removes impediments from the team

The Scrum Master uses a Servant Leadership style.

 

That last bullet, Servant Leadership is a concerning one. Some managers think Servant Leadership is too lose. The supposition is no one is really in charge. Again – who is the project manager? Who is developing the development team into a self-directed team? To counter concerns, ten lessons learned from the military‘s experience with “Servant Leadership” will be shared.

There has not been a lot of discussion of “Servant Leadership” in the military until just recently. And there has never been only one style of “military” leadership. However “Principled Leadership” as taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point has a long, successful history in the military.  

To use the military experiences we will first discuss and compare Servant Leadership and Principled Leadership to establish a parallel between the two.

We will define and discuss Servant Leadership by going back to, what is widely acknowledged as, the modern genesis of Servant Leadership – Robert Greenleaf’s 1970 seminal essay, “The Servant as Leader”.

Then we will define and discuss Principled Leadership as taught at West Point and detailed in Larry Donnithorne’s book, “The West Point Way of Leadership”.

Having established the similarity between Servant Leadership and Principled Leadership, we will look at Lessons Learned from the military.

 

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

 

Servant Leadership; Lessons Learned from the Military

OUTLINE/STRUCTURE:

  1. Intro
  2. Scrum Roles
  3. Scrum Master Role
    1. PMI Agile certification skills and domains
  4. Servant Leadership
    1. Greenleaf definition
    2. Tenants
    3. Concerns
  5. Principled Leadership
    1. Donnithorne definition
    2. Tenants
    3. Myth of Patton style of military leadership
  6. Comparison of Servant Leadership and Principled Leadership
    1. Point by point comparison
  7. Lessons Learned
    1. Ten examples/anecdotal data

References:

                Adkins, Lyssa, Coaching Agile Teams, 2010.

                Donnithorne, Larry R., The West Point Way of Leadership. 1994.

                Greenleaf, Robert K., The Servant as Leader, 1970

Learning Outcome

 At the completion of this Talk participants should ...

have a good understanding of what Servant Leadership is,

have a good understanding of what Principled Leadership is,

and understand why Servant Leadership is the "type" leadership the Scrum Master should be employing.

Target Audience

New Scrum Masters, Individuals who aspire to be Scrum Masters, Senior Leadership (Managers, VP's ...)

schedule Submitted 10 months ago

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