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Scrum Master as Servant Leader

Updated: Apr 4

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”- Lao Tzu

Scrum Master as Servant Leader

SAFe Scrum Master

A person who leads and coaches Agile teams and helps train teams on Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), Kanban, and Safe to ensure adherence to agreed Agile processes after completion of the Scrum Master certification process. It also helps to remove roadblocks and create an environment for strong team dynamics, continuous flow, and constant improvement.

How does Scrum Master entail to serve as a leader?

A leader is first and foremost a servant. Everything starts with the urge to lend a hand. A leader is very different from one who leads as their primary role, which may be a result of a desire to acquire power, material belonging, control, and authority within the organisation. Servant leadership is fundamentally different from traditional leadership, which places the leader at the top of the hierarchy and the employees at the bottom. In contrast to traditional leadership, servant leadership places the followers at the top of the hierarchy and the leader at the bottom. Leaders who believe that they should serve others and their community rather than seek power for themselves are known as practising servant leadership. This leadership approach emphasises empowering staff members, aiding others in reaching their full potential, and assisting subordinates in bettering themselves. It is a way of thinking and a set of behaviours that improve people's lives, help organisations grow, and eventually make the world more fair and compassionate. It's a revolutionary way of living and doing things that can improve society as a whole. Collaboration, trust, empathy, and the ethical use of power are the main focuses of servant leadership. Instead of dictating what workers should do, servant leadership helps people rediscover their sense of agency and realise their full potential to accomplish goals. Empowering others is a key component of servant leadership, and when done consistently, it may improve morale, boost output, and lower staff turnover.

Using servant leadership with the Agile Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto's guiding principles place a strong emphasis on servant leadership. The Agile values "individuals and interactions over processes and tools" and "customer collaboration over contract negotiation" speak of placing collaborative engagements at the centre of all work done, serving other team members instead of one's interests, and maximising team productivity by fostering individual development and helping each other out. Manifesto concepts centred on servant leadership includes: "Build initiatives around motivated people”. Trust them to do the job and provide them with the atmosphere and support they require, and remember that "business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project”. These guiding principles are also built on helping others and cooperating closely as a team to achieve great performance from each member.

Key functions of servant leadership revolve around:
  • · Put others first, not oneself.

  • · Not using titles as leads.

  • · Consistent leadership.

  • · Assisting individuals in growing and reaching their full potential.

  • · Compassionate supervision of team members.

  • · Encouraging true team ownership.

  • · Making use of a team's combined power.

Characteristics of a Servant Leader Scrum Master:

The characteristics listed below are those of a servant leader who is transitioning to the Scrum role. Although many people possess these qualities, anyone can learn how to use them in a team environment.

The team's professional Scrum Masters should have an empowering and motivating nature. The group should work toward its common objectives. However, the Scrum Master should be compassionate and maintain a balance between each team member's professional and personal development.

1. A Scrum Master leads the team, but the position carries no real authority. The Scrum Master must always practise the virtue of servanthood and ensure that his team always has access to him, taking care of their requirements and involvement in the project.

2. The Scrum Master will work with a team and advance the goals of that team, not his own. The Scrum Master enters the picture when the team's agenda is not clear, which happens frequently. The team's master must ensure that everyone is working diligently and with a clear agenda.

3. The team must work as a unit if they are to realise their full potential. The servant leader who will assist in fostering relationships with the many teams inside any organisation is the Scrum Master. Collaboration within the team will improve attention and aid in the development of relationships. This is essential for the project.

4. A professional Scrum Master should also possess several additional qualities. He needs to encourage the team members and communicate strongly with them. Professional Scrum Masters will fully fulfil their role if they are available to the team when they require emotional support.

“Serving people means growing their capacity and implies that everyone can contribute.”- Juana Bordas

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.

Connect with us at to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. We provide various SAFe certification courses along with DevOps, Scrum, Agile Coaching and more trainings. Write to us at for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.



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