“True leaders” are for cults; Scrum Masters should continue prioritising servant-leadership and leave the labeling to others

Two men talking to each other in the cockpit of a rocket ship, from Paramount Pictures’ 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact
Two men talking to each other in the cockpit of a rocket ship, from Paramount Pictures’ 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact
Still from Star Trek: First Contact in which two characters discard pompous labels to focus on getting things done

In describing the Scrum Master, the 2020 Scrum Guide swaps out the term “servant-leader” for the label “true leader”. I think Scrum Masters should stay clear of assigning themselves that new moniker and keep aspiring to servant-leadership. Here’s why.

Small change, big word

Who speaks like that?


Graphic of many lines of ‘shaking hands’ emoji
Graphic of many lines of ‘shaking hands’ emoji

Stepping up to the plate


Screenshot of a computer desktop, with a numbered set of application windows to illustrate the facilitator’s POV of a webinar
Screenshot of a computer desktop, with a numbered set of application windows to illustrate the facilitator’s POV of a webinar
The facilitator’s POV of a live webinar

Workshops vs webinars

Thomas van Zuijlen

Facilitator & Scrum Master

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