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Why am I a coach?

29 December 2010

Why am I a coach?  In my CSC application in 2007 I wrote: “My vision and passion is to bring the benefits of Scrum and Agile practices to a wider audience.”  That continues to be the reason today.

I am blessed in that I am able to do something with my time that I love and have the opportunity to encourage others to do.  I am fortunate enough to see people find in their work lives meaning that had been lost to them for a dozen years. More than a few have said they will never return to their ‘old’ ways of working. So I am a coach because I love to see others gain the confidence to develop their potential and explore their dreams.

As a coach, I work with various teams and individuals in multiple organizations. Each person and situation is unique, even if some patterns do emerge. This mosaic of experiences feeds my learning antennae and provides me with energy. I learn at least as much from clients as they learn from me. So I am a coach because learning something new or more deeply every day is what fuels my engine.

Something I think we have all experienced is how hard it is to integrate ideas that are fundamentally different into our current paradigm. It is little wonder, therefore, that newly minted ScrumMasters fresh from their 2-day CSM class struggle to lead their teams down the Scrum path, littered as it is with obstacles to acceptance. So I am a coach because coaching is the only technique I know of helping teams and organizations to gradually internalize Agile thinking, and to be able to use it to embrace this new life of continuous improvement.

With the increasing adoption of Scrum and Agile methods in IT organizations and beyond, boundaries of scale and range are being broken daily. And as we move beyond early adopters and into larger environments, the responses we provoke are both scary and fascinating. Luckily, I have found Organizational Development consultants who have been meeting these challenges for decades and have tools we can use. So I am a coach because I love to look beyond the boundaries of Scrum and fill my toolbox with complementary techniques.

In my ongoing journey to become the coach I hope to be, I have had the privilege of journeying with some awesome people in our community, notably the partners with whom I work daily, but also the luminaries I meet at conferences and in discussion groups. The interactions we have had taught me about myself and remind me that every good coach is foremost a servant. So I am a coach because I just love to spend time with like-minded people.

We would all love to achieve world peace and eliminate world hunger; however my own abilities to do so are minute. It is my persistent observation that organizations suffer the most heinous forms of dysfunction due to broken value systems. I believe our community can play a role in helping people reestablish values in their lives and in the workplace. And I believe this can result in greater understanding, tolerance and sharing. So I am a coach because I cannot bring world peace, yet I can make a tiny difference that counts.


Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

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Lyssa Adkins, CEC,CSP,CSM,CSPO,REP, 12/30/2010 12:56:12 PM
Bravo, Peter! Beautifully said.
Mohammed Shaik, CSM, 12/30/2010 11:51:08 PM
Gary Morgan, CSM,CSPO, 1/3/2011 11:01:33 AM
Peter, I really connected with your reasoning for "Why you are Coaching". Nice Job !! Gary
Siegfried Kaltenecker, CSM,CSPO, 1/5/2011 11:56:06 AM
What a grand opening of a new year of experiments! For sure, I┬┤m with you that coaching is very much about passion, vision and values. And, as your article impressively suggests, about poetry as well ;-) (My favorite is ΓÇ£This mosaic of experiences feeds my learning antennae and provides me with energy.ΓÇ¥)
Good news at the beginning of 2011: according to your article, I┬┤m a lucky guy as well. Working as a coach, I am able to make a lot of tiny differences in the lives of people by helping them to discover defensive routines, by facilitating constructive conflict resolution processes, by igniting better communication practices, by serving as a role model for critical self-reflection, and the like.
No wonder I┬┤m with you that agile coaches and the agile community as a whole can play a role in helping people reestablish values in their lives and in the workplace.
However, in order to keep our feet on the ground, there are some basic questions to be raised: What exactly does a value-driven approach to coaching look like? How can you learn to balance your passion with pragmatic skills? Which are the skills you need to be helpful in a specific situation and still have a visionary perspective in mind?
Recently, Lyssa, Rachel, Liz, Bent and others have provided very helpful answers to this kind of questions. Still, I´m looking forward to more and fresh answers…
Warm regards from Egypt
Paulo Rebelo, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 1/10/2011 6:01:08 PM
Perfect, Peter! It's all about passion and serving. That inspires me to moving forward bringing Scrum and Agile to companies and individuals.

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