I was once working with a peer agile coach and we were discussing the role of the coach within agile teams. His view was that it was as a “soft, encouraging, influencing” role. That at its core agility is about the team. And the team in this sense is…self-directed.
He also emphasized that taking a more direct or prescriptive approach in our coaching would be anathema to good agile practices. That it was draconian and dogmatic.
He was actually a leader of this firms coaching team, so he had tremendous influence over a team of ten or so agile coaches. I was one of them and I sometimes struggled with his view and approach.