Servant Leadership for the ScrumMaster

This article by Badri Srinivasan discusses the important notion of team leadership in Scrum and how the ScrumMaster should be a Servant Leader for the Scrum team. The article presents the principles of Servant Leadership. This is a philosophy and practice of leadership that is defined as “a management philosophy which implies a holistic view of the quality of people, work and community spirit. A servant leader is someone who is servant first and who contributes to the well-being of people and community.”

The ScrumMaster role in Scrum is a difficult one, as he has to deal with the apparent conflict between not managing the Scrum team but at the same time ensuring that the work gets completed within the committed schedule with customer satisfaction and keeping the team motivated. The ScrumMaster has to transfer leadership to the team and help the team members overcome the obstacles that make self-organization difficult. The article provides some skills that should be present for the development of servant leadership like commitment to the growth of people, building community, healing, listening, etc. The article concludes that “A key Principle of the Agile Manifesto – Build projects around motivated individuals, give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done – is again directly correlated with the servant leadership role which is committed to the growth of the people and the focus on empathy which enhances the competitive advantage.”

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