Adrian Lander: The Agile Guru – Not!

Reblogged with permission from Adrian Lander, the original author of
this content. Originally published on LinkedIn, August 6, 2017.


The Agile Guru – Not!

I was in shock, the other day. Really.

Yes, me getting shocked, after so many years in practice, hardly a believable start of a real story.

But it really happened, in front of my eyes. And I was in shock, for just a bit.

It was a clear demonstration of some of what is so wrong with a common way of “implementing agile”.

I saw someone with the title of agile coach being called “Guru, sir”. By his student. And he did not change that. His Ego and Power ATM just opened up to accept the dollar notes.

I had to reach for the toilet (virtually).

Respect is good. So is politeness.

But even more independence of the coachee. Core responsibility for his / her own decisions with the coachee. Avoidance of group think and following.

I see little cults, sects, I see worship, all around “agile”. I see “Certified Agile Leadership”. ROFL.

Proven leadership is not a 2 day thing. It is a journey of continuous challenge. You can not buy it. Certainly not from a non-practitioner doing text book training for money on the latest fad.

Sure, I had quite a few people wanting to “follow” me, “learn from the best” (they said, not my words).

I politely told them off.

In their own interest.

Agile is not about creating little Dictator Jugend communities. Or another Jim Jones sect. It is not about getting status. Not about creating a continuous flow of ego and ATM satisfying donations in whatever form. It is not about locking in people.

I want to help people think independently and solve their own problems.

I empower them to shoot at my ideas. But rather develop their own ideas and invite me to shoot at them. Fail fast. Deliver true value soon.

Agile “gurus” are the worst. They need status or money or both. Quite a few of them need to be aligned with a training & certification body, a community, a cult. As they can not make it on their own (anymore). They do not practice anymore. Training, speaking, being followed and invited made their life just too easy.

It is sad to see people going from talking about Scrum revolution, to become cult leads, living on training and workshopping only. Never practicing. Creating fake realities of Certified Scrum Enterprise Coaching and Certified Agile Leadership.

The people that said they would shake up an industry just created another selfish, greedy, lazy industry.

Oops – I feel a toilet break coming up.

That is not my agile.

What’s your agile?

Are you in for the money, the status, do you want to become a “guru”? Or do you really want to help people and do what it takes to gain that ability? Pi-shape as a practitioner, through real practice.


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Many thanks to Adrian.


Published by Marshall Guillory -

Information Technology professional, transformation leader, agile evangelist & coach, change agent, scrum master, servant leader and more...

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