Survival kit for leaders in an agile environment
Leading in an agile environment means giving responsibility and autonomy to every part of the system. This results in the possibility that everybody can be a leader, at least if they want to take on that role. Whether it is at a company level, within a team or a tribe: some leadership qualities are often a requirement for employees within an Agile organization. But is everybody cut out to lead in an Agile context? Some people might have a leadership role in the hierarchical system, but fail to lead when they switch to Agile. If you want to know whether you could be an Agile leader, take a look at our checklist for truly Agile leadership:
I am not afraid of change
I know how to communicate in a powerful way
I motivate and inspire
I am open to external perspectives
Do you think you tick all the boxes?
Let’s have a closer look at what it takes to be an Agile leader:
1. I am not afraid of change
Agile leaders do not fear change, they embrace it. If you know that change is imminent, you prepare for it, you don’t shy away from the changes. Proving that you are willing to make a change and endure when changes are made will show your team that you are an Agile leader. Change takes guts, and by having the courage to change, you will strengthen other people’s belief in you as a leader. They will see you as an innovator, a person to turn to when they want to make a change themselves. Change is effective, both for you personally and for your entire company.
2. I know how to communicate in a powerful way
As an Agile leader, you must know how to get your ideas across. Be clear in what you expect of your team members and what goals and values are most important to keep in mind. An Agile company needs effective communication to stay up to speed and to deliver results. By communicating clearly and powerfully with people, both quality and speed will increase. By communicating effectively, you can eliminate miscommunications and thus reduce the risk of making errors which would slow down your company.
3. I motivate and inspire
Ticking off this box is essential when you aspire to become an Agile leader. You must always be convincing. A true Agile leader has a mission for the company or team and has the ability to convince others to help achieve this mission. You should be an excellent motivator and inspire others to achieve greatness. You will not only inspire them to help you, but you will also give them the opportunity to find their own goals and obtain them.
4. I am open to external perspectives
In an Agile organization, a leader never leads alone. Ivory towers are a thing of the past. As an Agile leader you consider the opinions of others and have an external focus. You are also able look beyond your own company and look for expert opinions on problems that you might encounter. You know that you don’t know everything and you are not afraid to ask for an external perspective on your company or your leadership. Of course, asking for advice does not mean you follow others’ opinion without reflection. Nevertheless, you value feedback and you have a flexible mindset.
So, do you feel like these four statements fit your personal leadership style? Then you have what it takes to become an Agile leader!