Agile leadership – rewarding right behaviour & acknowledging success

Doughnuts - Amy - Flickr Commons

Doughnuts, Amy, Flickr Commons

What are the questions great Agile leaders ask themselves about acknowledging success and rewarding right behaviour?

My previous blog explained how great Agile leaders support learning, as coaches, business drivers, purveyors of purpose and enablers. How do these four roles shape leaders’ approach to acknowledging success and rewarding right behaviour?

Applying the coaching lens to entrenching success and rewarding right behaviour, great leaders ask: Do I teach individuals and teams that it is important to acknowledge and celebrate success?

Applying the business lens to entrenching success and rewarding right behaviour, great leaders ask: Do I measure the success of individuals and teams simply by their output, or by their focus on activities that relate to the core value stream?

Do I bring doughnuts when we get through a tough story or sprint? Do I know when my teams have got through a tough story or sprint?

Laugh you may, but what I’m emphasising is a leadership style that recognises the connection between acknowledging people’s effort and business success.

Do I wait until release of a product to acknowledge the effort of those involved, or do I thank my team regularly?

Applying the purpose lens to entrenching success and rewarding right behaviour, great leaders ask: Do my people feel valued? How do I know this?

Applying the enablement lens to entrenching success and rewarding right behaviour, great leaders ask: Do I reward people who resolve problems across the entire value stream?

I guess the antithesis of this is managers who reward people who do whatever it takes to get something across the line, regardless of whether it creates other issues, such as technical debt, poor staff morale or unsustainable processes.

I perceived the joy on a fellow’s face this week, when a leader acknowledged how the work he had done directly contributed to relieving a bunch of problem tickets in a service delivery queue. It’s not hard to acknowledge success and reward right behaviour. Are your leaders doing this?

Read on to learn the questions great Agile leaders ask to drive innovation and continuous improvement.

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