Servant leadership is the most used (misused) term in the Agile world. If you check any people manager's profile or ask any people manager in the agile world, they would always describe themselves as a servant leader. But when you observe them you many times find the same age-old autocratic leader who is struggling to retain his/her relevance under servant leadership mask. This talk is to describe some life examples and drawing the similarity between the leadership that mother provides at our home.
Mindfulness, compassion, coaching and becoming the best friend for life are some attributes that will be explained.
In many agile forums it is said that role of people manager is diminishing in agile world. This talk will share a counterview to that belief and explain how a people leader's role has grown further and how we need expert life coaches as people leaders for our future agile world. 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

This talk will have 5 sections of equal importance.

  • Your mother is your role model: Drawing similarities between how mother provides leadership at home and how can we learn from her
  • Journey of a Servant Leader: Life experiences (Stories) drawn from some successful people leaders and how they practice servant leadership
  • Mindfulness: How mindfulness can teach the most to become a good people manager in agile world
  • Life Coaching: How to become an enabler through questions?
  • 3G: 3 Signs of a successful Servant Leader


Learning Outcome

This talk will help you understand:

  • True meaning of servant leadership
  • What attributes we must focus on to become a servant leader in true sense
  • How can one prepare self to become a successful people manager in the agile world?

Target Audience

People leaders, Project Managers, Scrum masters and aspiring leaders.


schedule Submitted 4 years ago

  • Jutta Eckstein

    Jutta Eckstein / John Buck - With Sociocracy, Hierarchy Becomes Agile

    90 Mins

    Many agile teams suffer from the mismatch of agile and organizational leadership, with the latter being reflected by the organizational hierarchy. Based on self-organization and iterative processes, the agile teams run into trouble with the top-down steering of their environment. Consequently, agile proponents very often believe that a supportive agile organization should be structured without hierarchies, the so called “no managers” approach of “reinvented organizations.” Several companies in the agile field are experimenting with different organizational approaches that don’t use hierarchies. Yet, “no hierarchy” or “no managers” is not an option for many organizations.

    In this session we suggest using sociocracy as a solution that leaves the hierarchies in place in an agile way - an option the organization is free to choose. Sociocracy shows how hierarchies can actually be agile and can strongly support (rather than opposing) agile philosophy. It enables managers to become agile leaders. As a participant you will learn how the principles of shared decision making and double-linking are key to enabling self-organization. These principles convert hierarchies from linear to circular so that they support an agile mindset.

    Sociocracy is a way for groups and organizations to self-organize. Based on four principles (self-organizing teams, shared decision making based on consent, double-linking, and electing people by consent to functions and tasks), sociocracy provides a path for existing organizations to have empowerment and self-responsibility on all levels. Different than comparable methods, sociocracy allows companies to start where they are – with their existing organizational structures and the like. It seems to be a perfect fit for organizations that need to be truly agile (due to market pressure) beyond their IT departments and software teams.