The Power of Scrum for Olympians, Entrepreneurs and Solopreneurs

Download my 5 Reflection Frameworks Template >>

What do the Scrum Framework and an Olympic journey have in common?

Turns out, quite a bit.

I was trained by, and am now coached by, Ferzeen Anis who is one of only 360 Professional Scrum Trainers globally.

In this interview for the community, Ferzeen and I discussed the lessons we’ve learned applying Scrum to help build my business and the parallels in my Olympic journey.

We explore the alignment of core principles such as coaching, feedback, planning, adaptation, reflection and recovery.

We also discuss how these principles are applied to entrepreneurship for small teams (even as small as 1) in order to create the conditions for sustainable, high performance, learning businesses.

And finally, we take a look under the hood of how I run my days and weeks.

Key takeaways

  • How an Olympic experience translates directly into Scrum

  • How to Scrum helps to focus on doing what truly matters

  • What “Done” means in entrepreneurship and how this drives accountability

  • How the Scrum events such as daily huddle, retro, review and planning (and mindfulness) help to switch roles in small teams.

  • Practical ways the Scrum framework and complementary practices have helped entrepreneurs.

What frameworks do you find most useful? I’d love to hear in the comments.


Click to download my 5 Reflection Frameworks Template >>

Introvert, Extrovert or both?

Have you ever lingered in the bathroom at a social event to take a few extra minutes to re-gather yourself?

Have you ever found that working alone was much more productive?

Or, on the flip side, that working alone was much less productive?

I can definitely answer “Yes” to all three.

If you’re looking to understand why you answered these questions the way you did, then “Quiet – The power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” might help…

I first saw Quiet’s author, Susan Cain, speak in Boston at Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing conference. Her presentation really struck a chord with me as Susan discussed the role and importance of introversion in our business and personal lives. (I’m looking forward to sharing a video interview with her in a second post soon.)

Like other writers I love, Susan insists we question the status quo of how we interact. In a business context she urges us not to accept that any single path will be the silver bullet to the best ideas and best results.

The business lessons for me from the book/presentation were these:

  1. Be yourself.
    While we each have a baseline personality type, we all have some introvert and some extrovert in us. Both need to be nurtured. Having read the book, I’m now including more quiet time in my schedule to restore my energy levels. Interestingly, by allocating the quiet time, I’m enjoying the social time much more.

  3. Be flexible in how you approach your work and your work space.
    Rework by Jason Fried and David HH really opened my eyes to the concept that you rarely do your best work at work. In fact, the work you are trying to ship or even stages of that work, may dictate which environment suits you best. Choose silence at home alone, a café with people around but no interruptions, a meeting room with a handful of people or your entire team. (This blog post for me is best done in silence at home)

  5. In a meeting – consider others’ introvert/extrovert styles to get their best.
    Giving introverts more time to prepare for group meetings was one really useful tip from Susan. And if you’re chairing the meeting, ensure everyone is heard – don’t just take the loudest opinion, go digging for the best one.

So take the time to consider where you lie on the spectrum of Introvert and Extrovert and consider how you can use this knowledge to get the best out of your team and yourself.


1 VERY simple way to get MUCH more out of your day

One of the things I love doing with Bluewire Media is helping others get the best out of themselves and getting the best for themselves. (I strongly believe you can’t do one without the other). I’m sure this is why I enjoyed the Native Genius session so much.

But how can you get the best out of others, if you can’t get the best out of yourself?

This is why I’ve become fascinated by Tim Ferriss – New York Times #1 best selling author of The 4 Hour Work Week which I read and loved. (His latest book which I haven’t read is The 4 Hour Body.)

The 4 Hour Work Week title is a bit misleading. At the end of the day it’s not about only doing 4 hours of work per week and doing nothing else. It’s about doing 4 hours of “work” (the stuff you don’t really like that much) per week and dedicating the rest of your time, energy and focus to those things that you love doing, that drive/challenge you, that make you leap out of bed each day.

I would highly recommend reading this book – it is literally a game changer. [Or try the articles on his blog]

In the meantime, here is 1 small, immediately actionable task from the book I’ve put in place that has dramatically changed my days:

Everyday, set only 2 priorities for the next day before you leave work or go to bed.

These are the 2 most important things you want to get done, not necessarily the most urgent and certainly not an entire to do list (although you can keep one elsewhere). The key here though is to do it before you leave work or before you go to bed. This means you’ll wake up with a sense of purpose and clarity about your day. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me.

Try it and let me know how you go. I’ll be very interested to hear.