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"If your actions inspire others to dream
more, learn more, do more and become
more, you are a leader.”
-- John Quincy Adams
Over the next 4 minutes, perform the following:
• Think of a time when a boss came along and took over
the decision or task that you were doing
• Write down –
– How did you feel?
– What impact did it have on your work?
• Now do the same thinking of a time when your boss
gave you freedom of authority on the decision or
task, but perhaps removed issues in your way. Answer
the same two questions.
1. A person responsible for controlling or
administering all or part of a company or similar
organization: "the sales manager".
2. A person who controls the activities, business
dealings, and other aspects of the career of an
entertainer, athlete, group of musicians,...
director - administrator - superintendent - principal
contrast this to…
1. The person who leads or commands
a group, organization, or country.
2. A person followed by others.
chief - head - conductor - guide - captain
Illusion of Control
Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline
Accomplishing Things as a Leader
Getting Things Done
"The most valuable "currency" of any
organization is the initiative and creativity
of its members. Every leader has the
solemn moral responsibility to develop
these to the maximum in all his people.
This is the leader's highest priority."
--W. Edwards Deming
Lessons from Organizational
Development & Psychology
• Our ‘Others’ Are Knowledge Workers1
– Knowledge work consists of non-routine decision-
making; combination of convergent, divergent, and
– Examples: architects, engineers, lawyers, scientists, and
• Routine decisions/labor can be motivated in carrot
& stick methods, but creative work is motivated
through Autonomy, Mastery, & Purpose4
1 Peter Drucker, The Landmarks of Tomorrow
2 Reinhardt et al, Knowledge and Process Management
3 Thomas Davenport, Thinking for a Living
4 Daniel Pink, Drive, reflecting on learning from MIT studies
So if Passion comes from
Autonomy, Mastery, & Purpose…
…how do we accomplish things through others?
By aligning direction…
…through clear, shared vision and…
…helping them achieve in that direction.
This is the crucial set of elements for the Servant
What is Servant Leadership?
“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the
natural feeling that one wants to serve…. Then conscious
choice brings one to aspire to lead.
That person is sharply different from one who is leader
first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual
The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme
types. Between them there are shadings and blends that
are part of the infinite variety of human nature.”
– Robert Greenleaf, The Servant as Leader
The Servant Leader
Will = Intentions + Actions^ ^
What I Say What I Do
James Hunter, The Servant
Leadership Prime Directive:
Leadership is a trust.
Intentions must match Actions.
William Cohen, Stuff of Heroes blog
So Ask Yourself…
• How many times have you heard “my door is
open, I want to hear your issues” only to NOT
see any offer of support or help to those that
brought the issues to them…
– They are undermining their will service
connection, which undermines their authority
– End result: they can only direct people and hope
they do what is said in the way that they mean
is Essential to Scrum
Scrum Master is present to –
– Maintain Team Focus – “what is the most
important thing we should be doing?”
– Facilitate Discussions – powerful questions
– Remove Impediments – what is in our way?
Agile is built w/ Servant Leadership
“Build projects around motivated individuals.
Give them the environment and support they
need, and trust them to get the job done.”
Some Scenarios to make this more ‘real’; for the
• Select your comfort level in delegating the
need or issue; you may keep this to yourself.
• With that in mind, what are some things you
can do to help serve those you are entrusting
to do the work?
Delegation Poker by Jurgen Appelo
The Budget Crater
An inquiry has asked “what will be the
impact on project X if their budget has
to be cut by 25%?” This project is
under your purview.
Release Planning Review
A project manager has just returned
from their RPR and reports that she
failed getting it passed when she
presented to the CIO.
A crash recently occurred on a high profile
application and it is now not available. As a
manager, you just became aware of this
when this application’s primary customer
What Does a Servant Leader Do?
The following guides can help you hold back from natural
tendencies to step in…
• Build in team learning give teams time*
• Facilitate thinking, but don’t provide “the answer”*
• Act as a networker to connect people with knowledge that
• Help in prioritizing the use of common “pools” of talent or
resources that could become overburdened if not
• Research ways to make the organizational “system” work
faster | operate more reliably | produce better outputs
• Shield the team from harmful or distractive dynamics
*Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline
Manage the System
Jumping into Team
to Help Resolve Issue
to Help Resolve Issue
• Direct Help
Frederick P. Morgeson,2005,
“The External Leadership of Self-Managing Teams:
Intervening in the Context of Novel and Disruptive Events”
Leadership Intervention in
For the next 3 minutes, write down something you have
done recently that may have
• removed authority from another,
• where your intentions and actions didn’t match,
- OR -
• where you could have facilitated arriving at a solution
rather than directed an outcome
Also write what you could have done differently.
Keep this to yourself, but place it nearby on your desk for
a week as a reminder of how things could have been.
“There is no more noble occupation in
the world than to assist another human
being -- to help someone succeed."
--Alan Loy McGinnis