Leader and manager, what is the difference? Is there any? People are often mixing these terms up so let’s make it more clear.
Firstly, managers shall be leaders. That’s where the confusion is most likely coming from. But leaders are not just managers, leader is not a position, anyone can be a leader. In an Agile organization where hierarchy is becoming less important, we take more focus on leadership than management. There is no authority given to a leader. They gain it by their actions and behaviors and by their service to the people around them. Leaders could be anywhere in your organization and their power grows by respect of others. Managers, on the other hand, are often associated with decision making, and certain power which must be given to them.
Leaders are key to any Agile organization. The more leadership is in the organization, the more likely the mindset will change and the Agile transformation will become successful.
“Leaders need to change first. The organization will follow. “
Don’t wait for anyone, you are the leader you can change today. Agile is not about practices, rules, or processes. Agile is about the different way of thinking, different way of approaching things, different mindset. And it’s all in your hands. You are the leader.
To continue with my agile adoption story… The company started to realize that Scrum is not any silver bullet. It’s much more complex than that. But John is really upset. He did all what he could to make it better. But maybe the people inside his company are not good enough to make it. And it’s so simple, just follow the process and keep the practices. What’s the point? But even John must admit he doesn’t know answers to all the problems his Scrum Master is putting on the table, so he finally agreed to give it a next try – let the Scrum Master to get a certification.
Let’s make a certification
So next week the Scrum Master is sent to the Certified Scrum Master Course, CSM, to become an expert. With high expectation from the training he supposed to understand all the difficulties of Scrum from that time and he should be able to adopt the Scrum methods in a way the company needs. Nonetheless in nine out of ten cases the Scrum Master understand the theoretical ideal case of Scrum implementation, get some idea of how is should be, however, when he try to apply it in the company or even change outside company environment he must admit that “Agile is not for us”. We are different, we have too complex product, we are too big/small to implement agile. Our customers are like this and that, and you know, agile is great, just for a different company.