Agile & Lean Leadership
When leaders create an environment of respect and mutual influence among their teams, the funnel of innovation grows. In such an environment there is a shift from a fear-based culture to a generative culture, and people are not constrained by psychological safety concerns and are able to share ideas freely without judgement.
Believe it or not, you can learn to foster this innovative environment in your own organization. All you have to do is learn the techniques to recycle process efficiencies, constantly reassess project value, and inspire your team to help their ideas thrive – in other words, adopt the values of Agile leadership.
What is an Agile Leader?
Agile leaders demonstrate servant leadership and create environments for people to experience purpose, mastery, autonomy, and happiness. These leaders use the Agile coaching mindset, language, and actions – as well as agile and lean values and principles – to create innovative cultures. When you encounter a team with an Agile leader, you will often see an abundance of ideas, as teams and individuals are empowered to maximize their potential.
What Agile Leaders Do
There are many qualities that Agile leaders must master if they are going to lead their teams well. The first of these is empathy – the center of servant leadership and design thinkers. Agile leaders demonstrate empathy for the people entrusted to their care, as well as their internal and external partners. Empathy allows Agile leaders to welcome diversity, equity, and inclusion on their teams. Through their agile coaching, these leaders can become allies for their team members, allowing people to bring their whole self to work.
In addition to empathy, Agile leaders must be engaged with their teams. Agile leaders are not stuck in their offices or cubicles; he or she gets up and takes a Gemba walk to experience what people are doing to help the organization thrive. This allows them to connect with the people producing value for the organization and to learn first-hand about the challenges that are blocking success. Agile leaders are able to understand the day to day activities of their teams and not just rely on vanity metrics.
Finally, Agile leaders must value accountability. Holding others accountable and standing accountable for commitments are healthy signs of mutual influence and leadership. Teams hold Agile leaders accountable to deliver on commitments and Agile leaders reciprocate by doing the same.
Ultimately, the end goal of Agile leadership is to delight customers and allow employees to have a sense of purpose and pride in their craft.
Are You a “Leaderless Leader”?
While Agile leaderships is an important skill to help an organization thrive, some leaders suffer from the “leaderless leader syndrome.” In these scenarios, there is an absence of leadership to help steer the organization through volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) times – which ultimately limits business agility in the organization.
Read our latest Blog on the leaderless leader syndrome to learn more. If you want to avoid experiencing leaderless leader syndrome in your organization, check out our Agile leadership courses. Becoming an Agile leader will help you empower teams to lead change as needed.