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The Agile confessional podcast - The sin of pride

Fellow agilists, I recently took part in the Agile Confessional podcast with Giles Lindsay. This podcast explores the agile sins people have committed in a confessional format and for me, there have been many. I have fortunately been granted absolution for my agile sins, however as penitence, I agreed to confess my 7 agile sins on video to all who wish to hear them.

You can hear the podcast here; Pride

I have been guilty of committing the agile sin of being prideful. Pride is often categorised by arrogance and hubris. A belief that your own opinion or solution is more right than those that others provide. It could be a reluctance to even consider alternatives because you're so certain that something you've tried before, will work again. I have certainly been guilty of this, particularly in my early days as a Scrum Master. I've also been guilty of being overly proud of my own accomplishments as opposed to the accomplishments of others. I have since learned to measure my own success based on how I help others achieve great things. As agile coach with a consulting & and self employed background, it's often a requirement to be a great sales person. A story teller. You're expected to articulate your achievements, what results and outcomes you specifically brought about. People want to know you can talk the talk & walk the walk. Some of this is circumstantial of course and a consequence of both the appraisal and interview process where the questions asked are focused on your own doings. Helping teams become more efficient, helping organisations transform and become more agile.. These are outcomes expected of me, but they aren't the things I am most proud of. The things I'm most proud of are the stories that people tell me about how I've helped them. Whether that's mentoring someone through a tough time in their life, helping a budding scrum master secure a role, or helping a team engage with one another on a personal level. These are the things that drive me to continue doing what I do.

Watch the video here;

How can you avoid committing the agile sin of being prideful?

  • Learn about the power of neurodiversity - Innovation and learning is a consequence of neurodiversity. Read Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed for more detail and science behind this. Understanding how a wealth of ideas from multiple sources and healthy conflict can improve yourself as well as others.

  • Rely on data over gut instinct or previous knowledge - Seek data to support your assertions. Don't allow yourself to become the dangerous cousin to the HIPPO - The ZEBRA - Zero evidence, but really arrogant

  • Measure your success by how well you help others - Turn the mirror inwardly. Seek feedback from the teams you work with and ask how you can serve them better.

The next agile sin video will feature the agile sin of being envious. Don't stop believin folks

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