Co-CEO & Chief ScrumMaster for Scrum Alliance
Melissa Boggs is a Culture, Agility, and Leadership Coach with 10+ years of investment in the agile movement. A Certified Enterprise Coach with an MBA, Melissa blends education, experience, and enthusiasm to work closely with leaders on their most challenging business problems. Through training and coaching, Melissa encourages executive leadership to expose and understand the hidden strengths and weaknesses that exist within their culture, and how they can amplify what is best about the traditions, habits, and behaviors in their org. Most of all, she helps leaders and employees alike to introduce joy and inspiration into the workplace.
Since 2001, Melissa has embraced experiences in leadership, business, and product development. Her experience with applying, consulting, coaching, and training agile values and principles spans executive teams, software teams, marketers, and educators in domains such as healthcare, public education, e-learning, security software, government agencies, and communication technology. As a consultant and as an executive, she has consistently embodied the Scrum values, and additionally holds dear her personal values of Courage, Empathy, and Creativity.
Melissa is a Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC), Certified Team Coach (CTC), Certified Agile Leader 1 (CAL1), Certified LeSS Practitioner (CLP), Kanban Management Professional (KMP I), and a Project Management Professional (PMP). She holds an MBA in IT Management and a B.S. in Information Technology from Western Governors University. While each of these represent a significant milestone along her journey, none of them signify an end to learning or are a substitute for experience and knowledge. From each of these milestones, her most important takeaways were the relationships she was fortunate to forge in their pursuit, and the motivation to continue learning in service to others.
In addition to her experience and education, Melissa possesses a deep understanding of the values and principles of organizational agility, organizational change, leadership agility, and proven expertise in enabling organizations to reach their full potential. She is a regular on the speaking circuit, sharing stories and experiences about culture, sustainable pace, and supporting organizational change. In January 2019, she was invited to put her principles into practice in executive leadership at Scrum Alliance. Melissa Boggs is the Co-CEO/Chief ScrumMaster for Scrum Alliance, building and guiding an organization in pursuit of joy, prosperity, and sustainability for all workplaces worldwide.
From Coach to CEO and Back
It’s not an easy job to be a coach. It’s also not easy to be a leader. Coming from a corporate background, Melissa serves both as a coach and leader. After becoming a Co-CEO, her perception of coaching leaders changed. What do leaders think about coaches? And what coaches need to know about leaders? Let’s hear from someone who’s wearing both hats.
- Coaches catalyze transformation. However, change also requires support from others.
- Leadership is not onboard. It’s challenging to make changes in the organization. If the behaviors are reinforced or rewarded by leadership or something opposite to what you want to accomplish, then you’re going to hit a wall. To create a change, they need a coach. But the coach always needs the leader.
Dear Coaches: The Three Letters to Coach from the Leader.
What are the things you, as a leader, wished a coach knew?
- Letter #1: For leaders, every decision is laden with nuance and complexities. What are the leaders’ problems and fears?
- Letter #2: The authority of a leader is not unlimited. Leaders do feel constrained at times. When coaching leaders, consider the limits of their authority, both explicit and implicit.
- Letter #3: There is a fear factor, an immense responsibility to get things right. Coaches can consider the competing values, competing priorities, and the loneliness of bearing that alone. Coaches can help leaders to harness these fears and turn them into energies.
Due to the confidentiality in the agreement between coach and leader, coaches can be the sounding board when they feel the burden and can’t share with anyone. This is the time when you create empathy.
Self-reflection for Leaders: What would your client say they wish they knew?
Dear Leader: Three Letters to a Leader from Coach.
The three things I wish you knew.
- Letter #1: Acting on something simply because the coach “said so” never leads to meaningful changes.
Melissa’s #1 Coaching Tip: Powerful questions are not always the answer either. You do need to balance the experience with questions that help leaders to get solutions themselves.
- Letter #2: I need your engagement to make meaningful changes.
Melissa’s #2 Coaching Tip: Leaders will not engage unless coaches show them the value of their engagements and how it helps.
- Letter #3: It’s strange to be on the outside. In coaching, you are expected to keep an objective in neutral stands.
Melissa’s #3 Coaching Tip: Coaching without an agenda is not coaching without emotional investment.
Self-reflection for Coaches: What would you share with your client that you haven’t?
Melissa’s three key elements related to identifying the difference between a leader and a coach’s perception:
- Complexity of the Leadership vs. Thinking Outside the Box in Coaching, Leaders seeking answers vs. Coaches exploring, Leaders thinking Inside the Box vs. Coaches thinking Outside the Box.
- When you’re a Leader and a Coach: Learn to blend and balance both coach and leader’s internal perspectives. Become better at both.
Melissa’s #4 Tip:
- When you have complexity as a leader, think outside of the box as a coach.
- Seek exploration as a coach when you need answers as a leader.
- When you look deep inside as a leader, step outside as a coach and think objectively.
- You can, as a coach, step outside and still have the inside knowledge of a leader.
One Last Note from the Coach & the Leader.
Dear Coach, you may not hear this enough.
Dear Leader, I see you.
Did you miss our conversation with Melissa? Watch the entire video here for more key takeaways and an insightful Q&A session our participants had with Melissa.
A big shoutout to Melissa Boggs for sharing such unforeseen perceptions of a leader and coaches both!
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