Lately Iʼve been reflecting a lot about what success means as a coach. At first, I was thinking things like: a transformed organization, teams of teams getting better at delivering solutions together, Scrum Masters that are coaches to their teams. And sometimes thatʼs true. Sometimes those things are success to a coach. But sometimes those things are unattainable or just a bit lofty considering the circumstances we find ourselves in. We often find ourselves in places where a transformation strategy is stalled by a culture. We even find ourselves in places that say they want to change but perhaps they arenʼt being honest with themselves about what that really takes.
Iʼm going to offer some things that Iʼm defining as success even though they may seem small. Giving just ONE person hope that things will get better. Helping ONE person find their voice on a team. Giving ONE person the confidence to try. Enabling ONE person to find passion in a role thatʼs new for them. Facilitating TWO people to see each other differently and learn more about one another. Earning the respect of ONE person that is difficult to get to. Lowering the wall of just ONE person on a team so they can be more open to their teammates. Teaching ONE person new skills they need to more confidently execute their role on the team. Leaving a lasting impact for change in just ONE personʼs mindset.
We often forget that the success can be measured in terms of ONE. And while that might seem small or insignificant to some, it can be life-changing to that ONE. That ONE person can positively affect ONE more person and so on. Eventually, you see the tide swelling and that ONE becomes MANY and the organization truly transforms.
True story. The day after I drafted this post I received this text from a friend who started out as a developer on the very first team I Scrum Mastered. He’s changing the world as an Agile Coach now.