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Agile Leadership: Guiding Teams with Vision and Versatility (From PM to PSM 08)

February 27, 2024

For Project Managers transitioning to Scrum Masters, redefining leadership is a pivotal aspect of their journey. The project management principle "Demonstrating Leadership Behaviors" aligns closely with the Scrum ethos, emphasizing the importance of effective leadership in fostering team success and positive outcomes. In Scrum, leadership transcends traditional authority, focusing instead on adaptability, understanding team dynamics, and living the Scrum Values.

Potential dangers for project managers, just picking out two from my experiences

  • Equating Leadership with Authority: Project Managers may associate leadership with command and control. In Scrum, however, leadership is about influence and facilitation, goal setting and decentralized decision making, not authority.

  • Inflexible Leadership Style: Project Managers might be used to a one-size-fits-all leadership approach. Effective leadership in Scrum requires adapting your style to meet the diverse needs and motivations of team members.

Leadership in a Scrum Context

  • Serving Leadership: Scrum Masters embody serving leadership, focusing on the needs of the team and the project over their own. This involves facilitating team processes, removing impediments, and supporting team growth.

  • Adaptability and Flexibility: Scrum Masters understand that different situations and team members require different leadership approaches. They are adept at changing their style to suit the context, always aiming to bring out the best in their team.

  • Living the Scrum Values: Scrum Masters lead by example, setting the tone for the team's interactions and decision-making processes. 

Steps you can take as Project Manager to transition to a professional use of the Scrum framework:

  • Develop a Serving Leadership Mindset: Focus on serving your team rather than directing them. This involves active listening, empathy, and a commitment to team development.

  • Learn to Adapt Your Leadership Style: Gain insights into various leadership styles and learn to adapt them based on team dynamics and project needs. Engage in training or mentorship to refine this skill.

  • Model Desired Behaviors: Demonstrate the behaviors you wish to see in your team, especially the Scrum Values of commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect.


Transitioning from a Project Manager to a Scrum Master requires a shift from traditional leadership to a more adaptive, serving-leadership approach. It's about influencing and inspiring your team through example, understanding, and adaptability. As a Scrum Master, your leadership is pivotal in creating a positive, productive, and ethical team environment.

Next Steps

Start by reflecting on your current leadership approach and how it can align with Scrum values. Seek opportunities for leadership development, specifically in areas of servant leadership and adaptive leadership styles. Remember, effective leadership in Scrum is about facilitating success and inspiring your team towards excellence. Let’s lead the way to a more agile future together.

Exploring this project management aspect within Scrum reveals a complex relationship between project management skills and agile practices which we only just touched upon. Project Managers can bring valuable expertise to a Scrum team, but realizing its full potential only happens when the skills are adapted and applied to each unique Scrum Team’s context.

I hope you find value in these short articles and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.


If you want to take a deeper dive into the concepts we are covering in this blog series, then surely check out our Professional Scrum Master workshop. We have some scheduled in the coming period.


Don't want to miss any of these blog posts? Have the “From PM to PSM” series weekly in your mailbox.


Wishing you an inspiring read and a wonderful journey.
Scrum on.






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