How to be a Scrum Master Your Team will Love

24 March, 2018

#WhyShaiWhy [Videos] Agile Develop Professional Skills Management Scrum

Many Scrum Masters struggle with getting traction in their new roles. There are two reasons for this:
1) they continue to have the ‘Project Manager’ mindset while the role is significantly different from what they were previously doing, and
2) two days of certification does not make a good Scrum Master.

These are crippling challenges to overcome.

In today’s video, I wanted to explore the idea that Scum Masters set the tone for their agile/scrum transition. It is their leadership, experience, and aplomb that plays a vital role in an organisation’s successful transition into an agile methodology. Your takeaway: Be a Scrum Master with Aplomb!

Servant Leadership does not fit everywhere

The idea of servant leadership leaves a lot of people scratching their heads and gazing into the unknown. While it’s not a new concept, our modern business practices often shun it as woo-woo new-age junk that yields no tangible results. I vividly remember the moment in a job interview many years back where I spoke of my leadership style being “servant leadership” – I immediately lost the hiring manager’s interest!

But there is a place for this particular type of leadership in organisations worldwide today – it’s in organisations with leadership that have realized that it is far more important than anything else.

Who else wants to hire a remarkable Scrum Master?

I thought you might!

Any HR professional will tell you that cultural fit will be more important (in the long run) than skills and experience. Why is this so? Because when a person can carry out their duties with aplomb, they self-motivate, self-assure, and self-manage. Why do we like all these “self” words? Because it means that this person can make magic with no one else’s help.

So when you are hiring for a Scrum Master, this is exactly what to look for:

  1. Someone who will show assurance in the face of uncertainty
  2. Someone who will work without draining another team member’s capacity, energy, or time
  3. Someone that will exude confidence (not that cocky I-know-it-all BS), but that cool, calm, and in control confidence that inspires others to be better and reach higher.

Because of the nature of the Scrum Master role, you need to look for someone with that magic. A person that will execute with perfect aplomb. A person like that in the Scrum Master or Agile Coach role will make your transition much easier. Less bumps along the way mean less time wasted on the unimportant and more time spent on delivering value to customers and stakeholders.

Do this now: Google ‘Emotional Intelligence’

So if you are a Scrum Master and you’re looking to expand your abilities, my advice would be this: take the time to understand yourself, because your biggest asset as Scrum Master is your emotional intelligence. This will give you the building blocks you need to be a phenomenal coach, leader, mentor, and change agent.

So what does it take to Be a Scrum Master your team will love? A lot! I’ll tell you how in the sub-titled video below. Because despite me not nailing the job interview I mentioned earlier, I know that I would not have fit into the culture of that organisation or team. These days, I recommend candidates to only take interviews after they have satisfied themselves that the organisation is a good cultural fit for themselves.

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