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221 - Value In The Trenches - Meta-Cast

Episode 221

221 - Value In The Trenches

What happens when a leader returns to the trenches? Not just for a day, a sprint, or a month. They commit to operating in one of their earliest roles again for numerous months. Josh is doing just that. Listen and find out why this would be a good move for you to try.

You listened to the intro, right? Here's the link Josh was talking about.

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Transcript
Josh Anderson:

I'm I get all my shit done.

Josh Anderson:

Let's go.

Josh Anderson:

I don't care where you're at.

Josh Anderson:

Let.

Josh Anderson:

No just it's, it's just, it's a, it's a never ending.

Josh Anderson:

All right.

Josh Anderson:

Never ending.

Josh Anderson:

Let's take a breath.

Josh Anderson:

It's about Bob.

Josh Anderson:

It's about Bob.

Josh Anderson:

Let's

Bob:

breathe in Josh and breathe out.

Josh Anderson:

Episode 221.

Josh Anderson:

Josh goes back to the scrum master role, find out why, how and the value

Josh Anderson:

it's provided him and you know what.

Josh Anderson:

Everybody should probably take a step back.

Josh Anderson:

Go back to the grassroots and understand where things are at.

Josh Anderson:

If you haven't done that in a while, Hit the pause button and do that.

Josh Anderson:

It'll make a huge difference.

Josh Anderson:

All right before we get started.

Josh Anderson:

You guys know Josh released NFTs, right?

Josh Anderson:

Oh, you didn't.

Josh Anderson:

Well, There is a link below in the show notes that'll get you to everything

Josh Anderson:

Josh has going on, and it is.

Josh Anderson:

A lot.

Josh Anderson:

So look forward to getting feedback on that and hope you enjoy the episode.

Josh Anderson:

as we discussed in previous episodes.

Josh Anderson:

Josh's career has been interesting tumultuous to say the least this summer.

Josh Anderson:

I landed myself in a scrum master role Ooh.

Josh Anderson:

For the past couple of months and for probably through the end of the year.

Josh Anderson:

And that's been

Bob:

interesting is that, is that end of the year.

Bob:

So that's like a six months St.

Bob:

Is the school semester.

Bob:

As you and I talked about it, I'm really curious as to like

Bob:

what you've learned from that.

Bob:

Well, it

Josh Anderson:

it's been interesting because I came in guns blazing.

Josh Anderson:

Like I'm the guy in charge, which I have been for a decade and instantly

Josh Anderson:

trying to make all these changes, cuz it's like, okay, this is wrong.

Josh Anderson:

This is wrong.

Josh Anderson:

This is wrong.

Josh Anderson:

This is.

Josh Anderson:

and most of it wasn't even about the team.

Josh Anderson:

It was about the organization and we needed this.

Josh Anderson:

So did you,

Bob:

did you come in like that?

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

See, that's what I would guess about you.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

And if you're a leader, there's nothing wrong.

Bob:

yeah.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

If you're a leader, there's nothing wrong with that.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

In fact, that's right, right.

Bob:

But if you're a scrum master, Uh, so I'm really curious.

Bob:

How, how did that work for you?

Josh Anderson:

Uh, well, an architect in the first meeting, just you could

Josh Anderson:

tell he was really not happy with me.

Josh Anderson:

Really?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

So I set up a meeting, I'm like, okay, what's going on?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And he's like, you can't do this.

Josh Anderson:

I'm like, what do you mean?

Josh Anderson:

Like, these are the things we need to do.

Josh Anderson:

And it was okay.

Josh Anderson:

So you're coming in on a 18th month project with like four months left.

Josh Anderson:

Oh, you know?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And we've done a lot of work to get here and we're wrapping things up.

Josh Anderson:

Oh.

Josh Anderson:

And we're a little nervous about changing things at the

Josh Anderson:

end when we're near the finish.

Josh Anderson:

um, so then the head of the engagement also set up a call with me the next day.

Josh Anderson:

He's like, so I heard the first day was interesting and I said,

Josh Anderson:

yeah, I was just doing what I do.

Josh Anderson:

I was doing my thing.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Like that's what I do.

Josh Anderson:

He was like, I get it.

Josh Anderson:

I understand Josh.

Josh Anderson:

We just need you to be a scrum master.

Josh Anderson:

Is

Bob:

that, what is that?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And he's like, everything you're saying is right, you are 100%, right.

Josh Anderson:

We could and should do those things.

Josh Anderson:

But right now where we are, we need to just like put our head down and do this.

Josh Anderson:

And every fiber of my being.

Josh Anderson:

does not like that.

Bob:

I wonder, I wonder, like when you said that I was wondering like sped, oh

Josh Anderson:

man came to me,

Bob:

you know, and it would SP me as well.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

I mean, I could maybe do it, but that's my deep.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

You and I are wired that way now.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Maybe like 20 years ago, we weren't quite wired that way,

Bob:

but now we're wired that way.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

So it took me a while to keep my mouth shut.

Josh Anderson:

What I've been paid to do for the past decade, decade and a half is

Josh Anderson:

come in and fix as many things as possible, as quickly as possible.

Josh Anderson:

So, yeah, I was just rock it and rolling like that.

Josh Anderson:

And then to have to flip that switch very quickly was difficult, but I did it.

Josh Anderson:

I got it done.

Josh Anderson:

Now I can tell you, I feel myself rebounding a bit and like, I think just

Josh Anderson:

the general, uh, Desire to drive positive change and all the different directions.

Josh Anderson:

I see that I can have an effect across the organization.

Josh Anderson:

I feel it sneaking back in, but I'm doing it in a much more subtle approach.

Josh Anderson:

That's why I was wondering

Bob:

yeah, like a stealth approach.

Bob:

And not directing your face.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

So

Josh Anderson:

what I've been doing is various leaders across the organization

Josh Anderson:

because they're working through the planning for 23 and what that looks like.

Josh Anderson:

And I said, Hey, and you're planning for 23.

Josh Anderson:

Have you talked about this?

Josh Anderson:

You think maybe this is something that you wanna talk through

Josh Anderson:

and I just offer to help.

Josh Anderson:

And so then I have the opportunity to lay these things out in front of them

Josh Anderson:

as like a buffet of like, Hey, here's.

Josh Anderson:

That I think could work having been here for a couple of months.

Josh Anderson:

Right.

Josh Anderson:

Um, I don't know if I'm gonna be here in 23 or what's going on, but

Josh Anderson:

here's, here's things that I think you might want to think about yeah.

Josh Anderson:

In the coming months as you plan.

Josh Anderson:

So I still have, weezled my way back into, um, trying to drive change and, but it's

Josh Anderson:

a, every direction I could advisory role.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Right, right.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

So that, so that's that that's taken me a couple of months to number one.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, dampen my desire to change, uh, and then find ways to enable

Josh Anderson:

that to happen without, or with much less disruption than I usually

Josh Anderson:

have as I'm driving these changes.

Bob:

I mean, one of the things in your defense and, and not

Bob:

that I'm trying to defend you.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

But, um, the role of the scrum master.

Bob:

So when they say, I just want you to be a scrum master,

Bob:

I'm sort of riffing off that.

Bob:

It's like, do you really know like a scrum master is an organizational coach now

Bob:

maybe 95% of them don't do that initially.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

But you, you have that well-rounded capability.

Bob:

Mm-hmm like you came in the door with that.

Bob:

So if you look in the scrum guide, for example, it's not just coach the team.

Bob:

Right, right.

Bob:

It's coach the organization.

Bob:

So you were doing some of that mm-hmm so it, I'm not ch I'm not telling you

Bob:

that you were wrong or they were wrong.

Bob:

I'm just saying they may not know.

Bob:

Like they hired a great scrum master.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

So be careful what you careful what you asked for.

Bob:

Yeah, yeah.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

Because that is the role.

Bob:

Yep.

Bob:

It

Josh Anderson:

is part of the role.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And, and, you know, I, I'm super grateful for the folks that got me in

Josh Anderson:

there and it's been super welcoming.

Josh Anderson:

It's just, I've had to adjust in different ways and I've adjusted in the past.

Josh Anderson:

So it's been a good lesson for me that.

Josh Anderson:

My hammer that I've been using.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Isn't always the tool that's necessary.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, and, and, and to do a better job.

Josh Anderson:

As I walk in the door and look at the landscape and then map

Josh Anderson:

out and approach, instead of always doing the thing that I do.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Bob:

But I bet it was abrupt because that is your typical.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

It would be my typical style.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Like I would be like a bull in a China shop.

Bob:

If I went in as a scrum, ER, I mean in a positive way, I wouldn't be

Bob:

trying to, you know, destroy anything.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

But it would still be, you know, if I found impediments and things

Bob:

like that, have you, are they aware of your capabilities?

Bob:

And so, so if you offer them, you could turn it into a pool system.

Bob:

It sounds like you were kind of

Josh Anderson:

that's.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

That's what I'm trying to set up, um, is spending time with

Josh Anderson:

leaders across the organization.

Josh Anderson:

And, and there are some that are pooling, you know, a as, as we've spent more time

Josh Anderson:

together than then, then they'll reach out and say, Hey, I'm thinking about this.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

For some of the team makeup in future years, What do you think?

Josh Anderson:

How would you do it?

Josh Anderson:

You know, I mean,

Bob:

I think it would be silly even without even a scrum master, without

Bob:

as much experience as you have.

Bob:

I think it would be a good practice for folks to tap into

Bob:

their, I haven't seen that enough.

Bob:

Mm-hmm probably out there of, of maybe the scrum masters.

Bob:

Aren't setting it up, like here's your smorgasboard of stuff and pulled in.

Bob:

But I haven't seen a lot of folks like use smoke, scrum

Bob:

masters as like a, an advisor.

Bob:

Um, I

Josh Anderson:

don't think.

Josh Anderson:

it's interesting.

Josh Anderson:

What I've seen in the industry.

Josh Anderson:

I don't see people viewing the role as that.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

You know, it is team focused and, and,

Bob:

and like delivery focused.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

And tactically focused.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

So that's almost a waste depending because scrum master's coming in.

Bob:

Uh, I mean, my daughter Rianne mm-hmm, pivoted in with 15

Bob:

years of, or like leadership experience, not in, not in tech.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

And.

Bob:

And, you know, now I think they're tapping some of that, but she, and

Bob:

then she took an entry level or a startup actually a scrum master role.

Bob:

And it's like tapping into that experience, uh, is probably a

Bob:

missing, depending on the scrum master mm-hmm is, is sort of a,

Bob:

a missed opportunity, I think.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah, it does feel, and, and I know this is how many

Josh Anderson:

organizations role, uh, pun not intended, but it's like, this is the role.

Josh Anderson:

Do that job stay in your lane.

Bob:

You know, it is, I, I, it is like that, right.

Bob:

Mm-hmm I, I see that.

Bob:

So often I'm in the middle of teaching a cow class and I may I'm a, and, and

Bob:

the, where this org, it's a private cow class with an organization.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

So a captive leadership team, not, not all the senior leaders,

Bob:

but tech and product leaders.

Bob:

And, um, That message might even help them of switch from that, stay

Bob:

in your lane to getting things done.

Bob:

Mm-hmm right.

Bob:

And leveraging everyone's capabilities.

Bob:

Uh, most organizations is still it's.

Bob:

It's a construct of what org charts and job descriptions, right?

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Yep.

Bob:

And just patterns.

Bob:

And stay in your lane and it's not just the leaders doing it.

Bob:

People see, that's the thing with you.

Bob:

You couldn't stay in your lane,

Josh Anderson:

right?

Josh Anderson:

yes.

Josh Anderson:

That's correct.

Josh Anderson:

No, no, but

Bob:

most, most people in a scrum master role are gonna stay.

Bob:

This is my job description.

Bob:

Mm-hmm this is, is what they're paying me.

Bob:

So it's not just the leaders.

Bob:

It's the dynamic of the per of the individuals as

Josh Anderson:

well.

Josh Anderson:

Mm-hmm and, and, uh, PR I am much more comfortable rocking the boat yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And saying, or doing things that could be detrimental to my future yeah.

Josh Anderson:

At that job.

Josh Anderson:

Um, but I it's like, I can't, I can't turn that off.

Josh Anderson:

The really good thing though, is that as typical issues come

Josh Anderson:

up, I don't flinch at all.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

You know, it's.

Josh Anderson:

I catch myself smiling as people are throwing these challenges out at me.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And it's like, okay, well here's, here's the allow me to retort, you know?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And so we work through it and, and the, uh, confidence and

Josh Anderson:

willingness to Wade into the really.

Josh Anderson:

Messy stuff.

Josh Anderson:

Yep.

Josh Anderson:

Is a bajillion.

Josh Anderson:

That's a technical, I mean, that's a big number.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, times higher than it was when you and I met.

Josh Anderson:

When I, when I first was a scrum master at Teradata.

Josh Anderson:

Right.

Josh Anderson:

And doing that for the first thing,

Bob:

were you, and I'm, I'm asking this with a smile on my face.

Bob:

Is it, was, was there any humbling that happened?

Bob:

So were you humbled in any way, like you had an assumption and

Bob:

you're like, you know, I've lost.

Bob:

I've lost touch with the little, you know, the small folks I've been a

Bob:

leader to, you know, so was there any humbling like that you reflected on,

Bob:

you know, and said, you know what, I, I lost my empathy for scrum masters.

Bob:

I renewed my empathy or something like that.

Bob:

No, not humbling in a yeah.

Bob:

In a malicious way, but any revelations that you have?

Bob:

No,

Josh Anderson:

I I've.

Josh Anderson:

I've always, no, I can't say I've always valued the role, but since.

Josh Anderson:

Dude, I value the role, uh, and what I've seen for the past few gigs in a row.

Josh Anderson:

Um, and, and this group's trying to not let it happen is scrum masters are this

Josh Anderson:

kind of weird thing that float out there?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And they don't know what to do with them.

Josh Anderson:

Um, This group has a person that's like, Hey, you were leading the scrum masters.

Josh Anderson:

You own agile across the board.

Josh Anderson:

It's your responsible

Bob:

return that if you will, to this person yeah.

Bob:

Who's guiding the scrum, like ahead of the scrum masters.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Okay.

Josh Anderson:

And, and, and I I've seen few.

Josh Anderson:

organizations dedicate a person to do that.

Josh Anderson:

It's usually an and issue.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Of like, oh, I've got, I've got the engineers and a scrum master or PO right.

Bob:

Well, providing that guidance to me is a maturity step.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

For them.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Okay.

Josh Anderson:

So, but there've been many places where it's

Josh Anderson:

just, they're just kind of there.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And they, um, just kind of wander the earth without much

Josh Anderson:

guidance and do the best they can.

Josh Anderson:

And then the organization doesn't know how to measure them.

Josh Anderson:

And it just gets it, it gets bad for both sides.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, but this group is not doing that, which is, which is really nice to see.

Josh Anderson:

They're really invested in it.

Josh Anderson:

So that's a, that's a positive it to me.

Josh Anderson:

The humbling experience was that second half of that first day.

Josh Anderson:

And then the second day where I was like, oh God damn it.

Josh Anderson:

Why I, I knew what this role was.

Josh Anderson:

Yep.

Josh Anderson:

Josh, why did you do that?

Josh Anderson:

You know, just

Bob:

thankfully they, they, they talked to you about it, right?

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

It sounds like they really stepped up.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

And had a real time hard, crucial conversation with you.

Bob:

Mm-hmm and given that right.

Bob:

Or, I mean, other other folks would've.

Bob:

You know, ignored it.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

And not like you.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

And let you go or whatever, mm-hmm or not, not address it at all.

Bob:

So you continue to piss people off, but it sounds like the

Bob:

leaders there really stepped up.

Bob:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

It, which was perfect because I could see that they were

Josh Anderson:

willing to have the tough conversation.

Josh Anderson:

I was willing to jump into it too.

Josh Anderson:

So exactly very quickly we established that, Hey, this is an open communication.

Josh Anderson:

That we have, and we're gonna work together and when something goes

Josh Anderson:

wrong, we're gonna address it quickly.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Um, and that's helped over the following, um, weeks, because what happened is,

Josh Anderson:

uh, some of my, you know, large swings.

Josh Anderson:

Frustrated the PO and frustrated other people.

Josh Anderson:

And so then it was quick and easy for them to like get in a room virtual

Josh Anderson:

or not, and say like, all right, so here here's, what's driving me crazy.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

How about we tackle it like this?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And then we move forward as a group and we're in a much better spot.

Josh Anderson:

So it's a good group of people that I'm working with that has enabled that.

Josh Anderson:

To happen to both say like, Hey dude, chill out.

Josh Anderson:

And then let's work through this.

Josh Anderson:

As we move

Bob:

forward, as you're talking, it reminds me, you you've always

Bob:

impressed me as a feedback or a feedback receiver artist.

Bob:

Mm-hmm right from when I first met you, which is rare in a lot of

Bob:

people and rare in leaders and rare.

Bob:

But, but that's, I think that's doing you a good service here.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

So it's not just them giving you the feedback.

Bob:

It's you being receptive to it, not getting defense.

Bob:

And then doing something with it.

Bob:

Right, right.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

I can, I can see that really like, sort of that's a key and,

Bob:

and, and that would be rare.

Bob:

A lot of people struggle with getting that kind of feedback, being receptive

Bob:

to it, taking action on it and

Josh Anderson:

stuff.

Josh Anderson:

And the sad part is some people don't get the feedback.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Which again, is the thing that we just talked about about how, how great it

Josh Anderson:

is that they quickly put it out there.

Bob:

Yeah, yeah.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Is it, is it a cake walk for you?

Bob:

And so I would say, you know, Josh you're like this super

Bob:

coach super leader, super AIST.

Bob:

I mean, you could, you could probably do this in your sleep, give you 52 teams.

Bob:

Um, and you could scrum master a hundred mm-hmm . And so what I'm looking for

Bob:

I'm exaggerating clearly, but is, you know, is it a cake walk or what are

Bob:

the challenges, you know, that, that you're uncovering that make you, uh, it

Josh Anderson:

it's.

Josh Anderson:

in the role.

Josh Anderson:

Not so, yeah, yeah, yes.

Josh Anderson:

With the company, but in the role.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah, with the, with the scrum master role, it's definitely easy.

Josh Anderson:

Um, as I talked about, there are things that have come up that I know in the

Josh Anderson:

past and engineers raised something.

Josh Anderson:

I didn't have a good response and I stumbled and fumbled through it.

Josh Anderson:

And now I've stumbled and fumbled through enough that, uh, whatever

Josh Anderson:

they threw at me, I've, I've had a chance to Wade through it.

Josh Anderson:

So.

Josh Anderson:

that is certainly easier.

Josh Anderson:

What I find myself doing is I'm much more patient than I

Josh Anderson:

used to be as a scrum master.

Josh Anderson:

I am much more capable of getting the snowball rolling and watching

Josh Anderson:

it grow and get bigger and bigger.

Josh Anderson:

And if I, and if it's starting to go off into a ditch, I can give it

Josh Anderson:

a little bit of a tap and being a lot more comfortable with that than.

Josh Anderson:

Was when I first started the role, because I felt like I really needed

Josh Anderson:

to drive this change quickly and that ultimately created resistance because

Josh Anderson:

I was trying to force people yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Into stuff.

Josh Anderson:

And now, again, the thing that I've worked on in the past, if you listen for

Josh Anderson:

quite a while, is trying to get better at celebrating the little wins along the way.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And I'm capable of seeing those more and actually laying them out in front

Josh Anderson:

of me, like, okay, so this is gonna.

Josh Anderson:

Then this is gonna happen, then this is gonna happen.

Josh Anderson:

And you know, we'll go off course a couple times.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Josh Anderson:

But at least like to know in my brain, like, all right.

Josh Anderson:

So the next checkpoint for us yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Is when the team does this, without me saying a thing and just like

Josh Anderson:

letting it happen over a sprint or two, instead of trying to force

Josh Anderson:

it in that refinement meeting,

Bob:

you've inspired me a little bit here from the point of view

Bob:

of, and I'm gonna try to find it.

Bob:

It's like be a scrum master.

Bob:

You get abstracted.

Bob:

Like, cuz I have gotten abstracted, there's this notion of getting the weeds

Bob:

with someone and do it for a little bit.

Bob:

Not that I'm gonna be a permanent scrum master.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

But like doing a three month St with a real team, like with real work.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Like I interact with real teams as a coach, but I'm not with the team.

Bob:

Mm-hmm like, I, you know, and I don't, I'm not meeting them where they are

Bob:

like, like what resonates with me is you have to meet the team where they.

Bob:

You have to, you have a privilege of being Josh Anderson mm-hmm right.

Bob:

And typically you just like, make things happen.

Bob:

Now you have to sort of pull that down, meet them where they are be

Bob:

patient and, and, and do whatever incremental change you can.

Bob:

Um, that would be a good exercise for any coach.

Bob:

I think, to go get in the weeds every once in a.

Bob:

Uh, and, and sort of throttle your head back and, and understand what it's like,

Bob:

like what it's like in the real world.

Bob:

I, and that's sort of asking that I might that's, what's resonating with

Bob:

me, but sometimes we can get abstract.

Bob:

I feel like I can get mm-hmm maybe you don't, but I feel like I can, I

Bob:

get abstracted from the real world, not too much, but enough, but I'm

Bob:

talking about like the, in the trenches teams and the craft they

Bob:

have to go through and the hard.

Bob:

And the history that they've done.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

That that's that's um, that's been really healthy for me is to

Josh Anderson:

get another checkpoint on where.

Josh Anderson:

teammates are when they get dropped in an agile shop.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Because there's employees of the company, there's a couple contracting companies

Josh Anderson:

that are mixed in it's a sizable company.

Josh Anderson:

Exactly.

Josh Anderson:

And so people end up on teams and they have their own, like baggage

Josh Anderson:

is not the right word, but they have their own path to here.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

So they have been through things and they have expectations

Josh Anderson:

of how agile our scrum works.

Josh Anderson:

And this is what we do.

Josh Anderson:

This is how we communicate all those things.

Josh Anderson:

Seeing that and understanding what folks have lived

Bob:

through, see that's the value for music or I'm also recommending

Bob:

every coach, like do that.

Bob:

It's almost like a mini reboot camp or something.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Uh, I'm sure my eyes would be widened and it, and it would change.

Bob:

It would give me another lens.

Bob:

Another sort of perspective.

Bob:

Mm-hmm in my coaching.

Bob:

I go in again, I'm not bad, I'm not good, but I go in, I'm

Bob:

like you, I want to affect.

Bob:

And I'm, I'm being incentive to do that, but I want to affect global change.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

And, and I, even though I know, you know, I try to meet

Bob:

people, try to do relationships.

Bob:

It's not the same.

Bob:

And I think that would be a great learning experience.

Bob:

Anything else you wanna share about it for?

Bob:

I mean, the audio I want to.

Bob:

You know, scrum master is anyone who's in a scrum master role,

Bob:

listening, something you could share.

Josh Anderson:

One of the things that has enabled me to quickly

Josh Anderson:

gain trust, ah, with the engineers.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

As a person coming out of the woodwork, like, no, they have no idea.

Josh Anderson:

He dropped you in.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

There's like, Hey, here's this guy, Josh, he's your scrub master now.

Josh Anderson:

Go get 'em exactly.

Josh Anderson:

Um, is just a willingness and capability to build that rapport with them.

Josh Anderson:

And.

Josh Anderson:

my technical background has helped because there have been times where in refinement

Josh Anderson:

or something we're talking through.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And I was like, well, why don't we just use a queuing system?

Josh Anderson:

Right.

Josh Anderson:

Like that's what it's built for, you know?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Things like that.

Josh Anderson:

And so then I, I get in the dialogue, you get some credibility.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

But, but, but not a driving force and a decision.

Josh Anderson:

Creating options and allowing people to think about things.

Josh Anderson:

Um, and then just a willingness to be the goofy guy, right.

Josh Anderson:

And to throw stuff out.

Josh Anderson:

And like, we actually had a, um, we had a team lunch, you know,

Josh Anderson:

and that was not anything that they've ever done before, but.

Josh Anderson:

most engineering teams, you get 'em together on zoom for a lunch

Josh Anderson:

they're gonna eat, and they're gonna want to get back to writing code.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

You know, it's like, this is a hassle, all it, you know, this is the thing.

Josh Anderson:

So working to have those icebreaker discussions and just trying to get them

Josh Anderson:

to loosen up, which many of you do that?

Josh Anderson:

Um, but really investing in it, not severe to it, not, not having it be.

Josh Anderson:

Um, Hey, I gave it one shot.

Josh Anderson:

We were in a meeting.

Josh Anderson:

I went five minutes.

Josh Anderson:

I could see their eyes were rolling and I gave up yeah, right of

Josh Anderson:

really pushing through that, uh, because you'll get the grumbling

Josh Anderson:

and the eye rolls and all of that.

Josh Anderson:

But you know, the value of creating the connection because

Josh Anderson:

all of these individuals will likely, never meet each other in.

Josh Anderson:

. So how, how do you begin to endear folks with that?

Josh Anderson:

Uh,

Bob:

what I'm hearing is like relationship building.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Investing in relationship building, um, as a leader, I mean, you can do that,

Bob:

but you, you are in the power role.

Bob:

Mm-hmm . So they have to build relationships with you right.

Bob:

More than you have to build, you have to be open to it.

Bob:

So this has flipped that onto you.

Bob:

Right?

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

You've had to be the seeker of relationship building.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

I

Josh Anderson:

technically have no power.

Bob:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Bob:

You have no that's that would be creepy.

Bob:

Scary for me.

Bob:

I mean, typically.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

And now I, I don't have leadership.

Bob:

You've been in leadership roles, but I have gravitas power.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

Mm-hmm I, I have, mm.

Bob:

Like the history that I bring, my, my experience that I bring and,

Bob:

but that's power that's privilege.

Bob:

Um, that's, that's part of the scrum master for me.

Bob:

I gotta find a place where no one knows about me.

Bob:

All I am is an old guy.

Bob:

I, I, you know, I need a little funds to get to retirement.

Bob:

Please take me on is a scrum master.

Bob:

That would be a.

Bob:

Come up.

Bob:

I mean, that's a, yeah, that's a great landscape for me to try that.

Bob:

I'm sure I would learn some rich lessons.

Josh Anderson:

You could come and work for me.

Josh Anderson:

I'll keep you in your place.

Bob:

Would you put, would, would you take me under your

Josh Anderson:

wing?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And I would put you in your place and oh, I, yeah, I have no doubt.

Josh Anderson:

I don't care how many books you've written, sir.

Josh Anderson:

I

Bob:

that's.

Bob:

I know you don't even have to say it, right.

Bob:

Can I get you a cup of coffee, John?

Bob:

Yes,

Josh Anderson:

please.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah, please.

Josh Anderson:

I don't even like coffee, but go and get

Bob:

one.

Bob:

If I, if I can get it for you, you you'll let it sit there in front of you.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Quickly, uh, anywhere else we want to go with this episode.

Josh Anderson:

What do you think?

Josh Anderson:

No, I, to me, this is something that we've talked about in

Josh Anderson:

the past about the value of.

Josh Anderson:

Living in the trenches.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

On a regular basis.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Um, I was in a situation where I needed what I could get

Josh Anderson:

as quickly as I could get.

Josh Anderson:

I have some friends in the space like, Hey, cool.

Josh Anderson:

We can get you in this.

Josh Anderson:

Yep.

Josh Anderson:

It's not what you've been doing, but we know you'll do great.

Josh Anderson:

Yep.

Josh Anderson:

Just.

Josh Anderson:

And we know you need a paycheck, right?

Josh Anderson:

So like, can you do this?

Josh Anderson:

And I said, absolutely.

Josh Anderson:

Um, so I was lucky enough to be in a spot where this could happen.

Josh Anderson:

It wasn't an intentional move for me, but it is something that as

Josh Anderson:

we're talking, it's something that probably should be intentional for.

Josh Anderson:

Leaders across the board because you do lose

Bob:

touch.

Bob:

Yep.

Bob:

I'm thinking years ago I would send my, I mean, I would join a team mm-hmm , you

Bob:

know, we might lose a scrum master or something, or we might grow by a team.

Bob:

So I, we would need someone to fill in temporarily and I would do that.

Bob:

and I haven't done that in years.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

And it would, it really matured me.

Bob:

It really grew me and I have, I have, I have a lot of chops, but

Bob:

it just gave me a, a perspective.

Bob:

It gave it brought me close.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

To proximity.

Bob:

And my takeaway for this episode seriously, is I'm gonna look

Bob:

for an opportunity not too long.

Bob:

Yeah.

Bob:

Cuz I, I, but, but I wanna look for an opportunity where I can, where

Bob:

I can join a team or something, uh, and just do work, do honest.

Bob:

Scrum master work at the lowest level of serve team

Josh Anderson:

and see what I learned.

Josh Anderson:

And, and the thing that you need the most is for that team to give you feedback.

Josh Anderson:

Like I was given.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

We, we would ask that if you're a member of that team that you don't clam up yeah.

Josh Anderson:

That maybe you even lean in more.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

That's, that's good advice.

Josh Anderson:

All of those things.

Josh Anderson:

So if you're not a leader and you're listening to, to this and

Josh Anderson:

maybe your leader does listen to it and they wanna try it.

Josh Anderson:

The way you can help yourself by helping this person is providing that feedback.

Josh Anderson:

If they choose to go this path, because that feedback you give will benefit you

Josh Anderson:

over time, as eyes are opened or Reed.

Josh Anderson:

And now that's going to reenable some of the change that you maybe have been

Josh Anderson:

trying to drive or have been asking for.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah, didn't happen, but.

Josh Anderson:

It's seen and felt, and there's a new connection with you and the team.

Josh Anderson:

So now there's a greater relationship which equals trust.

Josh Anderson:

So now when you come to that leader and say, Hey, I think we should do this.

Josh Anderson:

It's more like, yep.

Josh Anderson:

Let's do it.

Josh Anderson:

I've been there.

Josh Anderson:

I've seen it.

Josh Anderson:

You're right.

Josh Anderson:

I trust you.

Josh Anderson:

Here we go.

Josh Anderson:

Yep.

Bob:

All let's take a forward.

Bob:

Can you let's do it.

Bob:

All right.

Bob:

For beautiful.

Bob:

Downtown C North Carolina.

Bob:

I'm Bob Galen.

Bob:

And I'm Josh Anderson

Josh Anderson:

shake and bake.

Bob:

Just

Josh Anderson:

do that again.

Josh Anderson:

Shake.

Josh Anderson:

Okay.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah, we kind of missed in bake.

Josh Anderson:

Take care of y'all.

Josh Anderson:

We had a whiff.

About the Podcast

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About your hosts

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Josh Anderson

Josh Anderson is a seasoned software professional with a passion for agile methodologies and continuous improvement. As one of the hosts of The Meta-Cast podcast, Josh brings his wealth of experience and expertise to the table. With a knack for practical advice and a penchant for engaging storytelling, Josh captivates listeners with his insights on agile methodology, team dynamics, and software development best practices. His infectious enthusiasm and dedication to helping others succeed make him a valuable resource for aspiring software professionals.
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Bob Galen

Bob Galen is a recognized industry leader and an authority on agile practices and software architecture. With years of hands-on experience, Bob brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to The Meta-Cast podcast. As a co-host, he delves into topics ranging from agile fluency to organizational transformations, providing listeners with invaluable insights and strategies. Bob's charismatic and humorous style, combined with his ability to simplify complex concepts, makes him a fan-favorite among software professionals seeking guidance on navigating the challenges of agile development. His passion for continuous learning and his dedication to helping teams succeed shine through in each episode of the podcast.

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