Servant Leadership is NOT just for Scrum Masters!
The Scrum Guide clearly spells out for us that "The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team." This begs the question, "What about the rest of the Scrum Team? Why aren't we encouraging them to lead by serving as well?" In the Agile community, much effort is given to thinking about and discussing how the Scrum Master can be a better Servant Leader but little is given to how the same thing might apply to the Product Owner and the Development Team as well!
In this workshop we'll examine how our attitudes towards Servant Leadership really ought to apply to all the Scrum Team and how the most effective Product Owners and Development Team members will also model Servant Leadership to the rest of the team. We'll examine the foundational principals of the Servant Leadership model and see how we can apply these throughout the team. Participants will be asked to question their own roles within the Scrum Team and challenge each other to employ a more servant-based approach to their responsibilities.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
In this workshop we will examine what it means to be a Servant Leader both in a general context as well as within a Scrum Team. As much has been written about how Scrum Masters reflect Servant Leadership qualities, this workshop will focus on how those same qualities should be present in the Product Owner and Development Team roles as well. Participants will be presented with the 10 Characteristics of a Servant Leader as defined by Larry Spears in his article “Practicing Servant Leadership”. We will then work in table groups to see new ways in which we can apply these characteristics towards Product Owner and Development Team roles.
The 10 Characteristics are:
Commitment to the growth of people
I anticipate the program unfolding as follows:
:00-:10 Introductions and welcome plus check-in exercise (Ask table groups to define what Servant Leadership means to them)
:10-:20 Introduce the 10 Characteristics from Larry Spears article and provide a brief description of them within an Agile context. Attendees will be given a mind map handout to follow the information and make their own notes.
:20-30 Discuss how these Characteristics apply to each role and how we may be missing out on the full potential of our teams by ignoring them.
:30-:40 "Troika Consulting" - attendees will form groups of 3 for this exercise. One person will pick a characteristic they consider the most difficult to live out and explain why. Alternatively they could also choose to pick how one is lacking in their own coaching style or in their teams. Then this person will turn their back while the other two consult on how they can overcome this issue. The group rotates all through all 3 as the client.
:40-:45 Ask class to commit to at least one characteristic on their handout that they will commit to adding or improving in their own teams.
- Identify the foundational principals of Servant Leadership and how they support the Agile values and principals.
- Commit to at least 1 concrete way to model Servant Leadership as both a Product Owner and as a Development Team member.
Prerequisites for Attendees
Attendees should have a basic knowledge about the three Scrum roles