Helpful tips for being a better Servant-Leader

By Numan Ahmed – Delivery Lead

servant leadership

In the world of Agile delivery if you are a Delivery Lead or Scrum Master one aspect that truly is important is the idea of Servant leadership. This approach involves putting the needs of team members first, helping teams develop and perform effectively and is a best practice here at Crimson Macaw as it allows us to ensure a smooth delivery for our clients.

The Delivery lead or Scrum master lead by serving. Many organisations adopt this principle over the traditional command and control approach.  The Servant-Leader can be vital for any delivery team as a protector from distractions; to team coach and to provide the team with the tools needed to achieve goals.

Here are a few helpful tips that I have learnt on my journey as Servant-Leader.

Lead from the Front

This approach ensures all members of the team understand the vision and common goals for the projects/products they will be working on and understand what the work means for them, the client and the overall business.

Communicating this needs to be done with the upmost enthusiasm and be as clear as possible, everyone on the team should all have a shared understanding and enthusiasm for the work.

Lead from the Back

Always provide support and help to the team members who may be struggling.  They may not tell you this directly however this is where you need to understand the members of your team and pick up on the signs (for example, it may be speed of work, change in behaviour etc). Examples of help can be one-on-one Agile coaching or steering team members to Principals and Tech Leads for further support to tackle problems. It’s important to remember to really listen to the team members and provide encouragement when they need it most.

Lead from the side

As a Servant-Leader you should foster a supportive and collaborative space for your team to work. The team should always be encouraged to be transparent, courageous and work together to achieve the goals set out. Ensure the team have all the tools they need to be self-organising and always remember to celebrate their successes; this could be delighting a client with an amazing show and tell or overcoming a difficult challenge.

Final word

Hopefully the above tips are useful for anyone starting their Servant-Leader journey, but these tips are also relevant in any role of Delivery lead, Scrum Master, Project Manager etc.

It’s one of my most rewarding aspects of being a Delivery lead here at Crimson Macaw.

Want to know more about how we use Agile? Check out our The Importance of Agile Blog or get in touch with us here.