BONUS: Modern Management trilogy by Johanna Rothman

In this episode, we talk with Johanna about some key insights and tips from her latest book series: Modern Management.

In this episode, we talk about the latest books from Johanna Rothman, which she collectively called “Modern Management” trilogy. 

The trilogy comprises three parts: a) Practical Ways To Manage Yourself, b) Practical Ways to Serve and Lead (Manage) Others, c) Practical Ways to Lead an Innovative Organization.

We start this episode, by talking about one critical transition for Scrum Masters: from expert to coach. When we start our Scrum Master journey, the focus of our work changes from delivery to helping others succeed with delivery. In that transition, we need to learn to manage ourselves and our work differently. Johanna shares insights from her book “Practical Ways to Manage Yourself”, which includes many stories and tips that Scrum Masters can take advantage of. 

How to overcome the “I’ll do it, I’ll be faster” Anti-Pattern 

Scrum Masters that have a background in the technical area they work in will often be tempted to think that they would do something better or faster than the team members. That’s a common pitfall for Scrum Masters as well as managers. Johanna shares some of her own stories, and how she learned to serve the team.

Serving the team is one of the key areas for development in our careers as Scrum Masters, and only when we learn to serve, are we ready to help others – managers and leaders – to also take that serving attitude towards the teams.

How can we improve as Scrum Masters?

No one is perfect. We know that all of us will face difficult moments, it’s the focus of our Monday episodes, after all! As Scrum Masters, we must then make an effort to continuously improve our practice and our skills. In this segment, we talk with Johanna about the techniques we can use to ensure that we keep focusing on improving. From self-reflection techniques to ways to build feedback gathering into our routines. There are many ways for us to keep focused on improving. 

Helping managers escape the “Player-Coach” anti-pattern

Those of us who follow sports are familiar with the “player-coach” anti-pattern. When a coach is also a player, they will be tempted to jump into the field and play themselves, therefore losing perspective and the ability to help the team from the outside. Scrum Masters need to be able to help managers escape that anti-pattern. 

When managers work with 3+ team members, they lose the ability to be both individual contributors as well as be the coach they need to succeed. 

In this segment, we talk about the signs that we, or managers, might be falling prey to this anti-pattern and share tips and techniques to overcome this anti-pattern.

Managing people, the challenges, and lessons learned

The final segment of this episode is about the managing people aspects that we must keep in mind when helping the managers we work with. As Scrum Masters, we must empathize with managers and understand their work. In this segment, we share some of the common challenges managers face, and how Scrum Masters can help them succeed.

About Johanna Rothman

People know Johanna as the “Pragmatic Manager.” She provides frank advice—often with a little humor—for really tough problems. She helps leaders and managers do reasonable things that work.

She has written many books. At least 13 if my count is right.

She also writes articles for all kinds of places, including Better Software, IEEE Software, and Cutter IT Journal to name just three. She’s keynoted on five continents and is not sure (yet) she wants to go to Antarctica.

Johanna can help you create projects, teams, and organizations that work.

You can link with Johanna Rothman on LinkedIn and connect with Johanna Rothman on Twitter. 



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