Easy Peasy Agile Leadership

Easy Peasy Agile Leadership

Photo: D Sharon Pruitt, Flikr

I work in Agile transformation, and the truth is, it’s not so easy peasy teaching leaders to change their style. The thing is, the effort to change leaders’ mindsets is worthwhile – it enables Agile teams to thrive.

Traditional managers think like this…

  • I am the manager of my people
  • My team looks to me to solve their problems
  • I shape how individuals and teams work
  • I reward individuals and teams who do whatever it takes to get over the line
  • I expect individuals to develop a learning plan, and if time and budget permit, I support them achieving it
  • I endeavour to reward team achievement at the end of a project, and individual achievement at performance reviews
  • I encourage individuals and teams to innovate, but there’s rarely time to do so

 Agile leaders think like this…

  • I lead through vision, but support as a servant
  • I set the mission, but decentralise problem solving
  • I trust individuals and teams to shape how they work
  • I reward individuals and teams who work at a constant sustainable development pace
  • I am a driver for development of learning opportunities, and make time for my people to achieve their goals
  • I acknowledge the achievements of individuals and teams spontaneously, and encourage celebration of success
  • I foster an innovation culture of cooperation, risk sharing and acceptance of failure in order to learn

What case do you put to leaders to make their mindset Agile?

Agile Leadership:

  • Supports teams working Agile, so we build better products and release more frequently
  • Emphasises continuous improvement, so teams become more productive
  • Increases sharing of best practice, so we keep upskilling our teams
  • Gets teams working at a sustainable pace, so there are fewer absences
  • Enables happier, more autonomous humans, so we retain our people
  • Builds an engaging workplace, so potential employees choose to work for us

If leaders in your organisation still aren’t convinced, then think about quantifying the benefit of better products more frequently, more productive skilled teams and retaining great people!

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