Servant Leadership is still a thing...

And we should learn about it.

A peer sent me an article on a thing called Host Leaderhsip. Posed as a replacement for Servant Leadership.

I often feel that when someone have some new revolutionary idea that replaces a tried and true powerful idea it should be scrutinized. I love it when I start to work with organizations and the talented individuals that work there challenge and scrutinize the organizational change that I may represent. We can have debate try experiments and compare results. This feels right. If I were to disregard what their current context was, I think I would struggle with success in the breadth of my encounters.

Here was the question that I was asked.

Have you seen this article on leadership:

I like his concept. I believe that while he references "Servant Leadership", he may not have read it (the book). The author seems to miss the true meaning and deep purposefulness of Servant Leadership. Often people miss the original theological grounding and foundation of Servant Leadership.

Here is a quote from the chapter on Servant Leader in bureaucracy.

  • "I suggest these five words-beauty, momentaneity, openness, humor; and tolerance-as marking some dimensions of a lifestyle that is rooted in an inward grace: sensitive and aware, concerned for the ever-present neighbor, both the well-fed one next door and the hungry one on the other side of the earth, seeing and feeling what is right in the situation."

Here is a quote from the chapter on Servant in Business

  • In addressing businesses, therefore, with the intent of encouraging a greater voluntary striving for excellence as servant, I am mindful of the special conditions under which businesses operate, as distinguished from other institutions. A principle is suggested: When any action is regulated by law, the incentive for individual vidual conscience to govern is diminished-unless the law coincides With almost universally held moral standards."


  • "Let me suggest to the reader that the assumptions he examined-both ined-both about the making of profit and about undertaking to compel service by law. Is all that we want from profit-making business the lowest price we can exact? In my own efforts to help business to become more serving I feel that I am contending with a popular view that price is all. Personally, I would prefer to pay a considerably higher price if thereby the institution could become substantially more serving to all who are touched by its actions."

I like the host leader concept, but I think the servant leader has a higher purpose. I am thankful to my peer. This made me go back and reexamine how I interact with my people and my clients. I will try to be better about this in the future.

We have an entire world to change. ..


Leading Change is Different Today

I found this on the Twitter. Thank you Jason Little!

I wanted to show my execs another executive board. I read the article though, and saw some differences that Jason Little had with "Leading Change" by John Kotter. While I still believe that leading change is powerful. I do want to consider "How has our world changed in 20 years that makes us look at change differently?".

For us, I really think 4DX stuff ( is the right framework. I still struggle with losing the vision at scale.

On top of this, creating the sense of urgency is actually the hard part to me. If it is a moving target that changes bi-monthly, how seriously will your organization take it? If it is uninspiring, the same problem.

I really only wanted to pull out the image and what it was getting across. I walked away with another organizational challenge. Thanks Jason Little... :-/

Below: A change initiatives executive information radiator

  • major obstacles for the change
  • stories and quotes from people affected by the change
  • trending ‘health’ stats from teams across the organization (team happiness, stakeholder happiness, team quality, how well the teams feel their being supported by the organization)
  • what objectives are being worked on in the current month

Inspired to create

I have always wanted to do development, but I am soo not a detail person. Every few years I learn the basics of a language and realize that making the mega game that I have in my head is very far away. I then tend to find myself attracted to something else that take my time, attention, and energy.

I have been inspired recently by my son discovering Scratch. A programming language from some brains and MIT specifically targeted towards younger developers. My 8 year old created a fully functional game that is published. Amazing... He did this after attending a workshop hosted by a 12 year old girl. It was a 4 hour workshop and my son stayed attentive the entire time. Again Amazing!

I am now hearing the siren call of trying again to delve into the world that allows me to create my ideas. This week as WWDC Apple announced Swift, its latest programming language. It claims simplicity and speed. They had me at Hello World. I plan on giving it a shot. I got the iOS and Mac developer kits. I am hoping there is enough training between videos on the site, the free PDF, and online learning to support me.

I am pretty sure that there is no local user group yet. I may have to start one if not. What I can do is gather people, inspire, and help them move in a direction. I am hoping to find that the skills and talents I have in strength will help me with the ones that I need to improve. I can also see this helping me in acting as an Agile Coach. I will get that one step closer to some of the people I work with. 


Scrum Gathering 2014

Last year I attended two agile conferences: Scrum Gathering 2013 and Agile 2013. I enjoyed both events tremendously. I am much better because of my time there. I have to say that they were expensive. I pay for my conference travel, admission, and hotel. I take vacation to go to these types of events. I do a comparative of these events with my local agile communities of practice. I am lucky enough to be a part of one of the largest communities of practice in the country, and it is powerful. We have incredible voices, ideas, presentations, workshops, and conversations. We are a series of regularly scheduled conferences. Good conferences...

This year I decided to attend Scrum Gathering 2014 and opt out of Agile 2014. When I compared the two last year, I paid about $3000 more for Agile 2014, I do not think that I got comparative value for the difference. Scrum Gathering is a smaller conference but I was a powerful event. Scrum Gathering 2014 was not the same as 2013. There were different "big names". I was very much looking forward to Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd. Their area of work has been an important focus for me lately. Different is not less. It's just different. I had two events that I looked forward to when seeing the agenda. One did not turn out well for me and I am not going to call the presenter out. My favorite was Love Agile: Life in Scope by Shannon Mason. The blurb was "Many of us practice Agile methods or principles every day but stop once we leave the office. But why? Let me show you how to take it home!" It was magnificent. She was totally involved with the audience and brought life experience into the delivery of her material. She had great passion on the subject and it was very apparent in the outcome. 

The food was great across the city and I could post about that by itself. I think for the most part I was more interested in spending time in New Orleans and being immersed in its culture than I was with the conference. I received a good piece of interrogative advice. "What will you do to make it better next year?"



It is tomorrow

Today was the second day of Scrum Gathering 2013 Vegas. I was most impacted by the presentations called Stop Gambling, Embrace Your Agile SuperpowersLarge-scale Agile Program and Portfolio Management Using Scrum. The superpowers event was influenced strongly by Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins work on the Coaching Agile Teams class. It was very powerful and had true emotional investment from the participants. I would love to see that happen again. The program and portfolio management session was a clean and simple take on the SAFe framework. The simplicity  in delivering the content deserved an award. I would love to see that presentation delivered elsewhere. 

I had the chance to visit Gordon Ramsay's Pub and Grille. I loved the burger there. I also was able to spend some time at the House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay casino. That was really fun. There was swing dancing tonight.

I can't wait until next year! I'm taking my scrum bag and going home.