Scrum Masters are farmers whose seeds are employees and whose crops are people.

Let me give a quick explanation of this. Think about any time you have called customer service or support. I think, that psychologically you begin this interaction by looking to a person who is skilled and trained to help you. If you get the help you want, you thank that person for their help and leave with a smile on your face.

All to often, when that customer support or service goes poorly, we are left upset and thinking, “That person couldn’t even do their job.”

In other words we begin this interaction looking for a person, and being disappointed in an employee.

When we think of the word employee, or what image that word conjures in our minds, it is generally unfavorable. Maybe it is someone working in fast food or a clerk at the DMV. It is never the doctor that saved someone’s life, or a fireman that saved you from a fire.

So, what does this have to do with Scrum Masters? Well this image we have of employees comes from a real place. It comes from an idea of how people should act and behave in companies that turns people who may be trained and skilled, into gears in a larger machine who get to say, “If I did my job, everything is fine,” and be rewarded for it.

Scrum Masters take up the challenge of entering a company that is built to dismantle people into their tasks and skills, and through mentoring, coaching, and leadership let the employees around them heal back into the highly skilled and trained people that we have always looked for and craved to make our lives better.