June 8, 2022

[VLOG] 8 Hats The Scrum Master Wears As A True Leader Who Serves

Hey what's good this week awesome people? I hope your team are creating something amazing for your customers. Something has been disturbing my mind and I wanted to share it with you. Btw, have you noticed that the Scrum Guide described the Scrum Master as a true leader who serves? This was change from what was initially called servant leadership. The word "servant" is not widely accepted in some cultures but it's also misunderstood in some cultures. I have been in many situations where people in the company just picked the servant part but yet dismissed the leader part. This misunderstanding often manifested into turning the Scrum Master as the team personal assistant who only works at the team level. Other misinterpretation is turning the Scrum Master as a junior Agile Coach who have a narrow knowledge about agile. Of course none of those two misinterpretations are true.

Even though I really love the concept of servant leadership as I have shared on my blog post that I wrote five years ago but I personally think that leadership is leadership. We do not need to put an additional noun i nfront of "leadership". Yes! I personally think we don't even need to come up with the term agile leadership. Back then when Robert Greenleaf share the concept of servant leadership to the world, he wanted to put a contrast between servant leadership and other type of leadership like authoritarian leadership, autocratic leadership, machiavellian leadership, etc. Greenleaf wanted all leaders not to press their people but instead to elevate their people to a greater height. But we are in a different era now. Leaders are those who serve their people. Their people choose to work with them and love working with them.

Being a Scrum Master is hard as it's not a science, it's an art. A lot of people don't really like that, because they expect to be told what they need to do as a Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, we need to be able to dance in the moment. We need to swing in the groove. Sometimes we need to improvise. As a Scrum Master, I wish there is a step by step cookbook that I can just follow. The reality is, to be an awesome Scrum Master requires trying and failing again and again until you have a thick skin.

In the Professional Scrum Master course, we take participants through several case studies how Scrum Master respond to a situation in the company using 8 different hats as the guide. I made a video that explains these hats so they can use it as a reminder after the training. Many participants who attended PSM class told me now they know what makes the Scrum Master different to other roles after going through the exercises and after watching the video. So today I'd like to share the video to the wider Scrum.org community. After watching this video, as a Scrum Master which hats do you use less frequently or maybe even never? As a Scrum Master, in what area would you like to improve? Have a great week folks. See you in the comment section. :)

Oh, just in case you missed it, I also made a follow up video that visualise how the Scrum Master uses those 8 hats which has received lots of positive feedback. Make sure to watch it too.