Good Coach, Bad Coach

 ‘To have great poets, there must be great audiences.’ – Walt Whitman

Whitman’s quote made me think. What if we were to re-write his quote in an Agile Coaching context? It would probably read something like this: ‘To have great coaches, there must be great teams.’ Where are these great teams? More importantly, where are these great coaches? As an Apprentice Agile Coach, I’m looking because I want to learn from them.

What does Agile mean to you?

Almost everyone I meet these days say they’re agile. Increasingly often, such folks also introduce themselves as Senior Agile Coaches or Agile Experts.

For me being agile is aspirational. That’s because Agile is all about Continuous Improvement. A true Agilista is always learning. And so while I try to be agile every day, I don’t always succeed. For me, the term ‘expert’ and ‘guru’ are the antitheses to being agile. That’s because those two words imply someone who knows everything there is to know about a topic.

In my experience, the danger with being an expert or guru in something is that this usually means you’ve stopped learning. If you have to have all the right answers, you can’t be wrong. If you can’t be wrong, you don’t make mistakes. If you don’t make mistakes, you limit your learning.

Teams Beware!

Someone who is truly agile cares more about learning than they do about being right. Beware of coaches who claim they are agile, yet have to ‘win’ arguments by effectively saying ‘My way or the highway.’ That way lies a long and lonely road. Do you care enough to be a lifelong apprentice?

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