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Angela Johnson: Secrets Leaders and Coaches Should Know

Episode 86

About Angela Johnson: Angela Johnson calls herself “professional people geek.” She is a Certified Scrum Trainer, Agile Guide and author of The Scrum Master Files, Secrets Every Coach should know.

She has 25+ years of experience working with teams and leaders in both project management and Agile environments. Angela started her career in technical support, quickly advancing to programming, database administration and project management. She realized that her passion was not in Gantt charts and status reports but in helping people work together more effectively within organizations. Becoming a Scrum Master enabled her to serve teams.

In 2010, she founded her company to bring Agile education and coaching services to a diverse group of start-ups, Fortune 100 and 500 companies. Angela identified that the best way to learn more about the highs and lows of Scrum adoptions was to immerse her own company into this way of working. In 2014 she renamed the company to Collaborative Leadership Team and began the same journey her clients were undertaking.

Collaborative Leadership Team uses Agile to manage the company and has the privilege of serving others in a variety of industries including: software, hardware, services, marketing and more. The breadth and depth of CoLeadTeam’s experience extends beyond Scrum and includes Kanban, eXtreme Programming, Facilitation and Organizational Change for Business Agility.

Angela is a Certified Scrum Trainer®, and a Certified LeSS Practitioner. She holds a Masters of Business Communication from the University of St. Thomas. She believes her greatest roles are mom, wife and teammate.


In this episode, Jordan and Angela Johnson discuss:

  • Problems that are universal to organizations

  • The relationship between autonomy and psychological safety

  • The four values of the Agile Manifesto

  • Practicing radical daily transparency

Key Takeaways:

  • Scrum is all about not having somebody hierarchical above you telling you what to do and when to do it. It's a self-organizing self-managing team. A leader’s job is to create alignment and make sure that everyone across the board is able to implement new strategies like scrum and agility.

  • In order to introduce autonomy and personal responsibility in an organization, the environment has to become psychologically safe and people are able to openly bring up problems that come to light.

  • Being agile is all about your organization’s ability to pivot or adapt. Here are the four values of the Agile Manifesto: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan.

  • The key to cultivating an agile team is to practice daily radical transparency. For you to be agile, and be able to pivot in time to prevent a disaster or seize an opportunity, you’ve got to know where your organization is.

“The leader has to set the tone and be very clear - because people will make things up in the absence of clear direction. ” — Angela Johnson

Connect with Angela Johnson:

Jordan Goldrich

Your host, Jordan Goldrich, grew up in a loud New York family and once lost an executive position because of his style. He is co-author of the Amazon Best Seller, Workplace Warrior®: People Skills For The No-Bulls**t Executive, Chief Operations Officer, Master Corporate Executive Coach, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. His guests are part of his international network of Workplace Warrior® executives, master corporate executive coaches, and thought leaders. Each guest will engage you in conversation about their successes, mistakes, and solutions. You will get strategies for being completely authentic, while you fulfill your commitment to your organization, build positive relationships, and take performance to an even higher level.

Connect with Jordan Goldrich: 

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