BONUS: David Marquet on the book Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Building Leaders

Captain L. David Marquet, author of Turn the Ship Around!, joins us in the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast to discuss the lessons learned from his stint at the Santa Fe, a US Navy submarine that, when he took over, ranked last in retention and operational standing.

How do you turn around a ship that is going south? When people leave quickly, you don’t even keep the little knowledge gathered in the team. Just like in our organizations today, the Santa Fe was losing key people and have very low morale. This was the moment when Retired Captain David Marquet entered the ship. The Santa Fe was about to change, and Captain Marquet shares with us the key moments in that story as well as very practical tools you can use as a Scrum Master to help your team go from follower to leader.

Acknowledging what you don’t know and still being a leader

Leaders are expected to know a lot. In fact, in the US Navy submarine captains are put into school for 1 year before taking office in the ship. Captain Marquet shares with us the moment when he gave his first order and was made aware that his order was impossible to carry out.

Many leaders do this, but are never told by their subordinates that the order is impossible to execute. This moment of understanding led Retired Captain David Marquet to start a new practice aboard the Santa Fe: being silent to allow people to express their intent. Later on the Captain and his crew developed the “I Intend to” method that is described in his Turn the Ship Around book, and enabled the major transformation in the ship: from 1 leader and 134 followers to 135 leaders on board. This simple technique can dramatically unlock the capabilities of your organization and your team.

Captain Marquet also shares the simple techniques that allowed him to make the “I intend to” approach work. Listen in for the details.

Giving up control, the key to self-organization and a major challenge for leaders today  

Leaders are leaders because they are able and willing to take control of difficult situations. And they add value by helping their teams face and resolve difficult situations. However, the challenge is that when we do take control, we immediately send the message to the team that they are not supposed to. How do we get out of that pattern? Captain Marquet shares with us his approach, an approach that he uses today with leaders all over the world. Practicing giving up control is one way we can learn to unlock the power of the organizations and teams we work with.

Listen in to learn about this simple, but effective practice and how it can help you – as a Scrum Master – let the team raise up to the challenge. To take ownership on their own. This simple technique alone can trigger the process of self-organization

Audience question: how to deal with bad apples?

As a Captain in the Navy, Captain Marquet had to deal with all kinds of people and in situations where there was no other choice. You can’t fire a person while you are at sea for 6 months. That person can be a key to a future critical situation, so we need to make sure everyone can contribute to the challenges we face. How do you do that when there’s a “bad apple” in the team? Captain Marquet reviews with us his approach to tackling that kind of issue that we will have to face, sooner or later, in our Scrum Master career.

The audience question was submitted by Alexandre Thibault, a previous guest on the podcast.

The real role for leaders in organizations

George W. Bush famously proclaimed “I’m the decider!” But is that really the role of a leader? How about the role of the leader as the one responsible for the structure, the system where the teams and individuals perform their work?

Captain Marquet challenges us with the idea that we, as leaders, are responsible for the system of work. The structure and methods of interaction and collaboration. While the people in the team or organization are responsible for the real work. The content of the work. If we don’t follow this simple approach we end up micromanaging outcomes as Captain Marquet says.

Be authoritarian in the system of work, but decentralize decisions about the work content.

Act your way into a new way of thinking

How can we bring this kind of change to our organization? No change can happen without the attention and focus of the leaders in the organization. And in this aspect lies one of the key insights of the book by Captain Marquet: “Instead of trying to change mind-sets and then change the way we acted, we would start acting differently and the new thinking would follow.”

The story that Captain Marquet conveys in his book is a striking example of how you can change culture in an organization, and radically improve results with simple, and sometimes counter-intuitive, lessons on leadership.

About Captain L. David Marquet

Captain David Marquet (pronounced: MAR-KAY) was assigned to command the nuclear powered submarine USS Santa Fe. The Santa Fe ranked last in retention and operational standing. He literally “turned his ship around” by treating the crew as leaders, not followers, and giving control, not taking control. This revolutionary approach not only took the Santa Fe from “worst to first” in the rankings, but also created more subsequent leaders than any other submarine. Stephen R. Covey called the Santa Fe “the most empowering organization [he’d] ever seen” and wrote about Captain Marquet’s leadership practices in his book, The 8th Habit.

Captain Marquet is the author of Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders.

This was Fortune magazine named it the #1 must-read business book of the year, and USA

Today listed it as one of the top 12 business books of all time.

David Marquet is here to share with us the powerful message that in highly effective organizations, leadership is not for the select few at the top; he will share with us how he and the crew of Santa Fe developed a way to create leaders at every level.

To find out more, visit Captain Marquet’s site, buy Turn the Ship Around!

You can link with Captain L. David Marquette on LinkedIn and connect with Captain L. David Marquet on Twitter.

 

EXTRA BONUS! 🙂 Captain David Marquet’s Leadership Nudges available for you, right now and for free!

You can go to youtube and subscribe to Captain Marquet’s leadership nudges. Short videos about key aspects of leadership that the shares with you every week. You can subscribe to Captain Marquet’s leadership nudges on his website, or follow the channel on youtube!

 

Here’s one of my favourites for you to watch: 1 minute to make you a better leader!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC5jmEgg6pI

Samantha Webb suggests: be an agile paramedic, go where the pain is

When we start our role of Scrum Master in a new team or organization, Samantha suggests, listen first. Pay attention to the interaction, the way people relate to each other, the language they use. When you know where the pain is, be an agile paramedic. Go where the pain is, help the teams reflect and find their real pains, and possible solutions.

Samantha also shares with us a specific retrospective format that helps teams find where they are not following the Agile principles and values. You can use this format to help teams reflect on what is preventing them from growing.

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Samantha Webb on the critical importance of retrospectives

When it comes to defining success, Samantha shares with us a moving story that starts with a piece of feedback she once received from one of her team members. That’s what success looks like. But how do we get there? Samantha shares how she uses the retrospectives as the engine of learning for teams. And as a tool to help ground the teams in the core ideas of their agile journey, so that they can get back to basics when necessary.

In this episode we discuss Agile Retrospective ideas, as well as Samantha’s retrospective format that helps Scrum Masters grow the agile adoption in their teams.  

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Samantha Webb on how to improve performance of organizations with your facilitation skills

Scrum Masters are facilitators by definition. However, some might think that facilitation alone is not enough to have a large impact. Well, Samantha proves those people wrong by sharing with us a story of how she was able to help a team, and an organization greatly reduce their time-to-market by focusing on her role as a facilitator. She shares with us tools and ideas on how to bring improvement ideas to reality by working with the team and stakeholders, with plenty of facilitation mixed in.

In this episode we mention Queueing Theory, which helps us understand how to speed up our processes; the LeSS framework for large scale Scrum; and the book Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Samantha Webb on the part-time Scrum Master anti-pattern

Many organizations look carefully at where their people spend their time. This is, in general, a good thing. Problems start when we don’t give our people the chance to succeed. A very common anti-pattern in this context is the part-time Scrum Master temptation. We believe that a good Scrum Master can handle more than 1 team. But do we know the problems that come from that? Can we recognize the anti-patterns that result in time to avoid bigger problems? In this episode, we discuss the anti-patterns that result from part-time Scrum Master assignments so that we can detect those in time and avoid them if possible!

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time, she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Samantha Webb on how to succeed with Agile Transformations

Samantha shares with us a story of how agile transformations sometimes go, the pitfalls, that anti-patterns, and also what we need as Scrum Masters. Once we reach that level where we have our own skills in place, there’s still a lot of anti-patterns we must face and overcome in organizations in the middle of an agile transformation. We discuss agile transformation for organizations as well as for us: Project Managers on the journey to be Scrum Masters.

During this episode, we refer to the books Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher et al and Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn.

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time, she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

BONUS: Stefan Wolpers shares the results of the Scrum Master Salary Survey of 2017

There was an article in early 2017 stating that Scrum Master is one of the top 10 best paid jobs in IT in the USA (LinkedIn Data Reveals the Most Promising Jobs of 2017)

This inspired Stefan Wolpers to do a survey on the salaries that Scrum Masters can ask for world-wide. From this survey came the Age of Product Scrum Master Salary report of 2017.

According to the Scrum.org and Scrum Alliance websites we have now more than 500 000 Certified Scrum Masters or Professional Scrum Masters. With these kinds of numbers, it is clear that there is a demand for our profession. So what does that mean? How is the breakdown between countries and women vs men employed in this profession?

A more equal opportunity profession?

According to the report that Stefan compiled, there’s no significant difference between women and men when it comes to salary level. However, even if the profession has more women than the overall programming/technical professions, it is still a male-dominated profession (30% of people that replied to the survey are women).

When it comes to education, having a bachelor or similar degree plus hands-on experience seems to be the right level of qualification for aspiring Scrum Masters. Having one certification makes sense, but according to the survey there’s no significant effect of having more than one certification.

Finally, the organizations that hire Scrum Masters seem to be firmly rooted in the Product Development industry. Which begs the question: when will Scrum break-out of IT and product development? What is your view?

Agile PMO? Or waterfall with a bit of Scrum splashed on it?

An interesting aspect of the survey is that it reveals that many Scrum Masters are under the PMO (Project Management Office) umbrella in most organizations. We discuss why this is and what this might mean in terms of the Agile adoption process in certain organizations.

There are currently many different options as to how to govern software development in product organizations. We have SAFe, LeSS and other scaled framework and Oikosofy’s own Agile Portfolio Management governance framework. The Project Management paradigm is however, still the dominating paradigm, and we discuss what that might mean.

If you are interested in more details, and all the data from the Salary Report, you can download it in the Age of Product website.

What did you think of the results? Are they coherent with your experience?

 

 

About Stefan Wolpers

Stefan has been working as agile coach and product owner for fast growing, mainly Berlin-based startups for about 10 years. He is writing on hiring agile practitioners, Why agile fails?, and curates Age of Product’s “Food for Agile Thought” newsletter.

You can link with Stefan Wolpers on LinkedIn and connect with Stefan Wolpers on Twitter.

Karthik Nagarajan suggests: turn every Friday into a retrospective day

How do we learn how the system affects our teams? We study the system and the effects on our teams. And how do we do that? Why, retrospectives of course! Karthik shares his recipe for frequent retrospectives and suggests: turn every Friday into a retrospective day.

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Karthik Nagarajan on the metrics we can use to assess our impact in the team and organization

What is the value the Scrum Masters are bringing in to the organization? Of course the investors and management are going to ask this question. I would too if it were my company. So we need to be able to show how we are helping the teams and the organization grow and become better. How do we do that? We measure the impact of our work, and Karthik shares with us some of the metrics we can use to show the stakeholders around us what it is that we are contributing to.

In this episode we discuss experimentation and evolutionary change using Popcorn Flow, a continuous improvement approach developed by Claudio Perrone.

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Karthik Nagarajan on how games can help you change the organization

Karthik had a challenge. He needed to prove the benefits of Agile and Kanban to a team that wasn’t ready yet. Luckily he was aware of the Kanban game and he started showing the team how that works. Listen in to find out how the game helped him convey the benefits for the team, and help them visualize what the future could look like once they adopted Agile.

 

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.