image: © Richard Vignola (CC BY-NC-ND)

According to the Scrum Guide, “The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team”. What does it mean to be a servant-leader? Do I want to be a servant leader, if so, what does it take?

My initial plan was to do some research, and write a short summary here. While reading, I found that thinking of servant-leadership was more valuable if I’d be able to formulate what it means, to me personally, to be a servant-leader to my teams. So that’s what I ended up doing.

Servant-leadership emphasizes increased service to others; a holistic approach to work; promoting a sense of community; and the sharing of power in decision making.

Robert K. Greenleaf

More than knowing and understanding what servant leadership is about, being a servant-leader is about creating a personal view on servant-leadership it self, take this view to heart and start living by it.

These are my takes on servant leadership, in no particular order. I’ll try to live by them. I’ll fail often - but I promise I’ll do my best and keep trying.

As a servant leader …

I will respect people, appreciate them for who they are and help them see and reach their potential.

I will support self-organization and shared decision making.

I will welcome feedback.

I will be gentle and patient.

I will not understand empowerment

  • I will help people discover the power that already is within them.

I will not enforce my will on others.

I will not expect people to follow

  • a leader is chosen by those who choose to follow.

I will work to create a safe environment

  • an environment safe for failure and success.

I will lead by example.

I will follow

  • but never blindly and always cautiously.

I will lead by looking ahead, anticipating, inspecting and adapting.

I will credit others for their contributions and effort.

I will help the team reflect on its own behavior, its working agreement, its values and its principles – and help the team adjust either one if appropriate.

I will empathize.

I will take pride in helping others grow.

I will actively listen and be aware with all senses.

I will be firm in my beliefs

  • yet open-minded for other points of view.

I will be persuasive but never forceful.

These were my takes - what are yours?


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