It was interesting to know about discussions Pete Deemer had with would be CSMs in his recent certification class. It was both inspiring and matter of feeling proud as he beautifully described how relevant Gandhism (Gandhigiri in lighter sense) is to the role of ScrumMaster.
Below text is what Pete posted in scrumdevelopment yahoogroup:
For those who weren't in the class, the question was asked "How can the ScrumMaster have any power or influence, since the team doesn't report to them, and they don't have the authority to give orders?"
We talked about how in the absence of "managerial" authority, a ScrumMaster can still have enormous influence. But it's earned influence, and it comes from gaining the trust and the respect of the team, by serving them zealously, and protecting them courageously. This isn't the cheap authority that comes with an fancy job title; it takes time and work to grow, but it's a lot more hardy and deep-rooted. And we talked about models for this out there in the world – starting with Mahatma Gandhi, a man who through courage and a spirit of selfless service changed the course of history, all without ever having a high title or powerful position.