What is servant leadership anyway?

10–12th May 2017 at thestudio

A 90 minute Tutorial by:

Gez Smith


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 has been working with agile for over 12 years, for clients including 10 Downing Street, the BBC Trust, Lloyds Banking Group and Glastonbury Festival. Currently the Global Head of Agile for HSBC, responsible for scaling agile across multiple countries and business areas, he writes, vlogs and podcasts extensively about agile leadership, recruitment, HR, transformation and communications.


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