The Scrum Master as a Driving Instructor 🚗
Updated: Apr 7
Do you remember when you got your driving license? How was your instructor? Did you have only one instructor? Was he the one that helped you get your driving license?
For me it was a real journey to get my driving license. My first instructor had nothing to do with teaching; he was there just for the money. I only attended two lessons, as I completely didn't resonate with my instructor, I decided to quit and try out someone else. What struck me at this first experience was the car, a very very old Dacia 1310. After the first driving lesson I had sore muscles, I could not move my hand due to the rough gearbox. However, I learned later how important this experience was in my evolution.
My second instructor was a bit better. His motivation however was still money, but he was trying also to be nice. The car this time changed to Peugeot 307, I felt like flying and I really wanted to learn driving. I took the written examination, but failed badly the practical exam. After the failure, I was depressed and did not think about getting the driving license anymore.
My third instructor was the key. He was a good man and he loved his job. This is why he was able to inspire me every day and driving became for me a passion.
I did not pick a fancy car, I decided for a Dacia Logan, a middle trade. I did not get sore muscles, but also did not feel like flying. At this time I realized this did not matter, it is the Leader that inspires you that matters. I did not learn to DRIVE, I learned more about the pleasure to travel, to be flexible, efficient and careful while commuting from A to B. My Driving Instructor was the Leader who showed me the importance of driving, the challenge it calls for, the attention to people’s lives, giving me trust to do it myself and involving less.
He was doing this while building a relationship, caring about the people next to you, not just doing it for money. With his attitude, he won more money, as I also recommended him to other 3 persons that obtained the driving license, as I did. Yes, I did it! I got it!!
So, what does the Scrum Master has to do with it? There are many similarities between the two of them. The Driving instructor, just as the SM, he is a Servant Leader: he allows the people to drive the team car by themselves; they have the WHEEL and control the SPEED.
They will look into the MIRRORS to notice risks and use the BOARD BUTTONS if they need to change the atmosphere in the Team Car. However, you probably noticed that the instructor’s car has two pedals one for break and another one for accelerating. In case something goes wrong with the Team Car, it is the Instructor that pushes the break to stop it.
Same, the SM is the one who guides the team, listens to them, empowers them to make the changes they need, but when things go into the wrong direction, he/she is there to correct them.
Team Car symbolizes the challenges we have with different teams. Sometimes you cannot drive the car you have dreamed about. We wish to have great teams, where people get along together and there are no conflicts. However, this is something we cannot change, it is a challenge for all Scrum Masters, to drive various Team Cars, get sore muscles, or feel like flying. We need to balance and support everyone, no matter what. Any Team Car can get you from A to B, even if you need to get out of the car and push it.
Nobody said that the Scrum Master role is easy!
Good luck and drive safe!
Photo on undraw.co