16 - 17th June 2016
etc.venues St Paul's, London, UK

What is servant leadership anyway?

Gez Smith Bunny Picnic Ltd

Session type: Tutorial
Session duration: 90 minutes

Slides from session

The slides used for this session are available to download from here.

About this Tutorial

One of the biggest challenges in agile adoption is getting senior leaders to adapt to the new ways of working, where their sense of power and control is threatened, and they have to place their trust in others instead.

Agile often talks about needing people to adopt a servant leadership approach, but what does that really mean, and how are they meant to do it? People tend to assume it's just about a scrum master clearing blockers, or t-shaped people mucking in to help with work outside of their usual areas, but in reality, servant leadership is far more profound, with consequences that stretch way beyond the team, even beyond the organisation itself.

This session will provide a fascinating overview of the key elements of servant leadership thinking, alongside practical advice and exercises for you to take back to your organisations and start being servant leaders yourselves. It will cover a brief history of leadership thinking, the 10 principles of servant leadership, why servant leadership is about the health, happiness and freedom of those you work with as well as society more generally, why servant leadership is essential to building trust, and why agile needs the traditional organisation hierarchy pyramid to be turned on its head.

Along the way you'll learn why the best way to improve bad work may be to give it tons of praise, how full body listening can leave you exhausted without saying a word, and the real reason why you find some people intensely annoying.

This is an interactive session, but you won't need more than a pen, some paper and a willingness to do a little thinking.

About the Speaker

Gez is a certified scrum master and certified scrum professional who has been working with agile for over 10 years, for clients including 10 Downing Street, the BBC Trust, Lloyds Banking Group and Glastonbury Festival. After 2 years' postgraduate research into agile at Bristol University, from the perspectives of strategy, organisational change, leadership and marketing, in early 2016 he published his second book, titled 'Agile Marketing: The Incomplete Guide'.