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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: "Good leaders have great vision"

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  • Tobias Mayer
    Thanks, Diana. Good to get your input on this. I enjoyed the Shared Leadership paper and found it a very interesting concept. I also enjoyed reading
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 2, 2005
      Thanks, Diana.  Good to get your input on this.
       
      I enjoyed the "Shared Leadership" paper and found it a very interesting concept.  I also enjoyed reading "Women's Leadership: A Different Style" at http://www.futureworksconsulting.com/resources/Newsletter_WomnLship_010401.pdf
       
      What I draw from this is that a "shared leadership" model is perhaps one stage further on the leadership path than a "servant-leader" model.  Indeed, it would seem that shared leadership, as described in the paper, particularly the "Share All" model, emerges from a situation where a leader recognizes him/herself as a facilitator, rather than a controller (or hero), and makes space for team growth and ownership. 
       
      Heifetz's doctor, described on pp12-13, is a good example of this: 'She uses her considerable expertise not to craft a solution but to frame the questions by which the people with the problem achieve the resolution for themselves'. 
       
      I'm not sure we are saying such different things, Diana.  In the passage from my earlier email: A team with a servant-leader is more likely to reach full empowerment sooner, and thus be sustainable even when the leader departs, 'full-empowerment' can be equated to 'a shared-leadership state' - not identical concepts, but there are many similarities.
       
      I take your word that a servant-leader model does not work in business, but would like to consider a slight variation on that: the leader whose intention is not to be a servant, but to "be of service".  There is a subtle difference here, but an important one: the latter is a little more pro-active.  The "being of service" concept was alluded to by at least one women in the "Women's Leadership" paper, and (as I understood it) is the principle practiced by Heifetz's doctor.
       
      I don't know if a service model of leadership works in the business world at a high (exec) level.  I have never seen it tried.  I have seen the service model work well lower down in a business organization, and I have also seen it work extraordinarily well in a very large non-business organization.  You are right, in that it should not be directly equated with women, but I do think it requires traits that lean towards the more feminine sides of our natures.
       
      I liked Raelin's concept of "leaderful" groups:
      'He characterizes leaderful behavior as concurrent, collective, collaborative and compassionate in contrast to conventional leadership that he notes as serial, individual, controlling and dispassionate.'  Interestingly, the former set of behaviors require many of the qualities described by the 25 women interviewed in the "Women's Leadership" paper as representative of their style of leadership.  The latter set clearly do not.
       
      Tobias


      DianaLarsen <dlarsen@...> wrote:
      Tobias and all,

      Characterizing the heroic leadership style as opposite of servant leadership and equating
      servant leadership with a feminine style is not accurate and somewhat misleading. For one
      thing, servant leadership is not a business leadership model. Experience shows when
      people try it in a business setting and it doesn't work, they resort back to the heroic. Not
      helpful.

      Those on this list who want to learn about Shared Leadership, which is more appropriate
      for a business setting and certainly more appropriate for self-organizing teams,  I'd like to
      point you to a paper written by Sharon Buckmaster, my business partner. In it she explores
      the various types of shared leadership being discussed in research circles and points out
      the benefits and downsides of each.

      You can find the paper at our website on the publications page:
      http://www.futureworksconsulting.com/fwcpubs.html
      Scroll down to the bottom of the list to download a pdf of "Shared Leadership."

      Diana

      Diana Larsen
      www.futureworksconsulting.com   503-288-3550

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Tobias Mayer <tobyanon@y...> wrote:
      > I'm inclined to agree with James.  There are different types of leadership roles, different
      levels perhaps, which are summarized nicely in James' last paragraph.

      > What I found interesting here is the use of the feminine pronoun in the description.  I
      had a conversation at Agile2005 with someone who claimed that the "Agile mindset" was
      ideally suited to female leadership.  She described female leadership as essentially
      different to male leadership (and a reason that may not be apparent in current corporate
      culture is that many women are simply emulating men).

      > Perhaps the "lead from the front" pattern is a very masculine, ego-driven approach to
      leadership.  Lets face it, it is more glamorous, this image of charging at the head of your
      troops, taking the first bullets, and maybe even dying a bloodied hero for all the world to
      remember.

      > The servant-leader approach (the "get out of the way" pattern) is a less glamorous one;
      servant leaders are more likely to be forgotton than remembered.  It is more of a nuturing
      role, and as such requires great listening skills, great compassion and great humility - all
      of which are attributes more often found in women than men.

      > The troble with the "lead from the front" approach occurs when the leader departs: there
      is no one to lead the charge.  A team with a servant-leader is more likely to reach full
      empowerment sooner, and thus be sustainable even when the leader departs.

      > Perhaps this level of leadership is the next stage in our evolution.  So far from being, as
      Rick suggests, "an outdated view of leaders", this type of feminine-leadership is possibly
      the future of leadership in the Agile world. 

      > Tobias
      >
      <snip>
    • Jeff Sutherland
      There was an excellent interview with 95 year old Peter Drucker on NPR this evening. Drucker invented the discipline of management and is viewed as the wise
      Message 2 of 16 , Aug 2, 2005
        There was an excellent interview with 95 year old Peter Drucker on NPR this evening. Drucker invented the discipline of management and is viewed as the wise old man of the business community. He has been advisor to senior leaders in the world's largest corporations for decades.

        His comments on leadership were striking. In terms of charismatic leadership, he stated that the best of the last century were people like Mao Tse Tung and Hitler who destroyed their countries through obtaining absolute power. In the business communities he has seen many similar failures. Leadership in this sense is to be avoided in so far as is possible.

        Good business leadership is a servant leadership style where the CEO serves the interests of the corporation, the stockholders, the employees, and the community. Particularly in a knowledge society which he thinks we are living in, the knowledge workers are professionals who do not want to be led by a commanding style. Even the military understands this.

        The problem with knowledge workers is that they tend to be devoted to their profession and building their personal knowledge so they tend to be solitary. The challenge of the servant leader is to form them into a team as almost everything important in business is achieved through teams with a common goal and larger vision that they can commit to. Too much management intervention in the form of directives makes building a high performance team impossible.

        In 1983, I began training management teams in Drucker's way of thinking. Particularly his book on Innovation and Entrepreneurship was highly relevant to software development leaders. When we formed the first Scrum 10 years later, the servant style of leadership was the norm. So Drucker could be viewed as an early influencer in the formation of Scrum.

        If you want to get it from the source, check out:
        http://www.onpointradio.org/shows/2005/08/20050802_a_main.asp

        Jeff Sutherland
        Certified ScrumMaster Training

        On 8/2/05, DianaLarsen <dlarsen@...> wrote:
        Tobias and all,

        Characterizing the heroic leadership style as opposite of servant leadership and equating
        servant leadership with a feminine style is not accurate and somewhat misleading. For one
        thing, servant leadership is not a business leadership model. Experience shows when
        people try it in a business setting and it doesn't work, they resort back to the heroic. Not
        helpful.

        Those on this list who want to learn about Shared Leadership, which is more appropriate
        for a business setting and certainly more appropriate for self-organizing teams,  I'd like to
        point you to a paper written by Sharon Buckmaster, my business partner. In it she explores
        the various types of shared leadership being discussed in research circles and points out
        the benefits and downsides of each.

        You can find the paper at our website on the publications page:
        http://www.futureworksconsulting.com/fwcpubs.html
        Scroll down to the bottom of the list to download a pdf of "Shared Leadership."

        Diana

        Diana Larsen
        www.futureworksconsulting.com   503-288-3550

      • Boris Gloger
        Hi, just my to comments: Before we start discussing different leadership models we definetely should start thinking about what is a leaders, and what are his
        Message 3 of 16 , Aug 2, 2005
          Hi,
           
          just my to comments:

          Before we start discussing different leadership models we definetely should start thinking about "what is a leaders, and what are his characteristics."
           
          Norm told us at the Agile 2005 that a leader has four important characteristics:
           
          Vision
          Persistance
          Confidence
          Optimism.
           
           
          Tells us that the difference between a manager and a leader is really simple to see:
           
          They have two different responsibilities:
           
          Leader
          Great leaders rally people to a better future! (The concern about a group!)
           
          People want from a leader, that he/she shows _clearly_:
          whom we seek to serve
          where are our core strengths
          which score shall we focus
          which actions must be taken today
          so that our better future comes true.
           
          Manager:
          Discover what is the uniqness of someone and capitalize on it!
           
          I personally like this clear differentiation because now we can discuss in which way one person is able to work both roles.
           
          And the most important aspect of this for me: A leader wants to taken uncertainty away from a group.
          One of the worst fears of people.
           
          And if she/he does this -- great: then there is not need to discuss women or man leadership anymore.
           
          Boris
           
           
        • Schiel James - SHS Malvern
          No, don t worry, Paul -- you were clear. My point was simply that there are different style of leadership that can be used at different times (thus, the
          Message 4 of 16 , Aug 4, 2005
            No, don't worry, Paul -- you were clear.
             
            My point was simply that there are different style of leadership that can be used at different times (thus, the concept that these styles are situational in nature).  Sometimes leading from the front (or within) is the appropriate move. Sometimes, in the case of a high performing team, there's considerable resentment created when the leader leads from within.
             
            Espousing servant-leadership as your only way to lead (or worse, doing so because the "big boss" method didn't work) is most certainly a knee-jerk reaction that will lead to trouble. Diagnosing the current condition of your team, however, and modifying your style to one that best fits their current condition, however, is solid leadership.
             
            Jim
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Paul Tiseo [mailto:ptiseo@...]
            Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2005 1:40 PM
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] "Good leaders have great vision" - Tobias Mayer

            James:

             

            I’ve been thinking that, in hindsight, I didn’t make my point clear. By “in front” I meant within or part of the group. Actually absolute coordinate position doesn’t matter. J

             

            The use of “in front” implied some sort of “do as I do” approach.

             

            Espousing servant-leader just seems like the knee-jerk, pendulum-swing response to the problems of the common autocratic management that many weak managers fall into.

             

            As by dad used to say: “Lead by example.” More technical applications are concepts/patterns like “ArchitectAlsoImplements”.

             

            __________________________________
            Paul Tiseo
            ptiseo@...

             


            From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Schiel James - SHS Malvern
            Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 9:46 PM
            To: ' scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com '
            Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] "Good leaders have great vision" - Tobias Mayer

             

            I suspect that when people talk about getting out of the way, they're really referring to "servant leadership" (see www.greenleaf.com/leadership/servant-leadership/what-is-servant-leadership.html).  Many leaders see this is getting out of the way -- in other words, having set the direction and vision and motivating the team, it seems like the leader gets out of the way to let the team succeed. When practicing servant leadership, the leader devotes herself to serving the needs of the team. She develops, coaches, and trains her team. She works to improve collaboration and trust.

             

            To many, this feels like "getting out of the way" because they don't necessarily stand in front (as in, anywhere but the front is "out of the way").

             

            For a Scrum Master, this may or may not be the best way to handle the Scrum team. This is where situational leadership techniques are important. However, for a strong, performing team, servant leadership works best.

             

            Jim Schiel

            Certified Scrum Master Trainer

            Siemens Medical Solutions

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Rick Cochrane [mailto:rick@...]
            Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 11:06 PM
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] "Good leaders have great vision" - Tobias Mayer

            Paul,

             

            I couldn't agree more!  Could it be that the sentiment of "leaders should get out of the way" is borne of an outdated view of leaders (i.e., high-level managers)?  I.e., taking that view of leadership, sometimes I wish they would get out of the way too.  :)

             

            But one thing that I've had mixed success with convincing clients at the beginning of projects (but not in the middle or end) is that my role as architect/team lead/etc. is most effective when remaining connected to the real work...  Many clients want to box that role into a "draws fancy pictures but doesn't code" corner, which can be a huge mistake. 

             

            You need to gather the best, and allow them to be their best - absolutely.  But it's also invigorating for a team to see someone push ahead at the front on some areas, while simultaneously not making it feel like an endless game of chase.

             

            Take care,

            Rick

            -----Original Message-----
            From:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com ]On Behalf Of Paul Tiseo
            Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 8:32 PM
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] "Good leaders have great vision" - Tobias Mayer

            Why do so many people on this list think a great leader “gets out of the way”?

             

            My definition of a great leader is one that has a vision, gathers the best troops and then leads by being in the ranks and at the front, not shifting out of the way.

             

            __________________________________
            Paul Tiseo
            ptiseo@...

             


            From:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Doug Smith
            Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 7:02 AM
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] "Good leaders have great vision" - Tobias Mayer

             

            I would add that great leaders use that great vision to point a team in the right general direction....and get out of the way! Allow the team to gel and self-manage. And on occasion gather together to assess where the team is, how they got there, whether there needs to be a mid-course correction, get out of the way again, and let the team go....repeating until the goal is achieved.

             

            In the world of scrums, this leader is played by the person in the role of scrum master. This person is much like a catalyst in a chemical reaction. Catalysts can affect a change in the rate of the reaction without being consumed in the reaction. Catalysts can be positive or negative with regards to affecting the rate of change. A great leader affects change without being consumed by the change. Suggest, step aside, and follow.


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