What if a change in leadership strategy could transform your business? At first, such a claim may seem too good to be true. However, agile leadership is very real. And its potential to supercharge your workplace is equally real.
Unfortunately, many of the CEOs and managers who would most benefit from agile leadership don’t know enough about it. Are you interested in helping your own business reach its full potential? Keep reading to discover what this change in leadership style and strategy means for you and your business!
What Is Agile Leadership?
Our guide will cover important information, including the importance of an agile approach and what it can do for your workplace. First, though, we need to answer a basic question: just what is agile leadership, anyway?
The basic definition of agile leaders is that they put more of a focus on people rather than processes and procedures. In terms of management, this typically means working alongside employees, encouraging creativity and innovation, keeping everyone on task, and handling obstacles with grace.
As a leader, you may already be doing much of this. But think about some of the bosses you have had before who simply barked orders, tried to handle too much on their own, and then blamed employees for their own failures.
When your own company embraces agile leadership, it has to be more than one or two managers changing their approach. Instead, the company should embrace agility from the CEO on down in order for your business to receive the true benefits of agile leadership that come from shared risks and shared rewards.
Why Is Agile Leadership Important?
Now you know a bit more about what this type of leadership is. That brings us to the next logical question: why is agile leadership so important for your business?
One reason is that effective leadership saves money. When all employees are invested in the right outcomes and have managers keeping them focused, your company can achieve all of its goals and more with both efficiency and effectiveness.
This leadership style can also reduce employee turnover and boost employee performance. By definition, agile leaders involve employees in major decisions and give them plenty of room to innovate and experiment. This level of involvement helps workers feel valued and empowers them to stick around the company for a good, long time.
Speaking of employees, this leadership style is particularly effective at encouraging teamwork. And it can help your workers collaborate like never before (more on this later).
Finally, agile leadership done right helps your company outpace the competition. When you’re willing to innovate and adapt, you’re going to leave companies who are stuck in their old ways in the dust!
Comparing Agile Companies To Standard Companies
Agile leadership sounds good on paper, but it can still be difficult to understand how it works. To help you understand, we’re going to compare an agile company to a standard company.
A traditional business operates with a “top-down” leadership model. Orders come down from CEOs and other upper-level executives. Workers are left to simply follow these orders, and managers have little to do but enforce those orders.
In a vacuum, this wouldn’t be a bad strategy. But every business faces unexpected challenges and changes. And if upper leadership is slow to respond, or doesn’t properly know how to respond, the entire organization suffers.
An agile company, meanwhile, adopts a more decentralized approach in which managers and workers have more flexibility and agency to adapt. Since these workers and managers are closer to the ground than executives are, they may better understand challenges and changes and be able to formulate new strategies and approaches. And if workers and managers are empowered and authorized to respond without waiting for new guidance from the top, they can effortlessly turn unexpected obstacles into unexpected opportunities.
Primary Traits of Agile Leaders
By now, you probably aspire to be an agile leader, but you don’t know how to get started. But here’s some good news: you’ve probably encountered some agile leaders over the years and didn’t even know it!
What are the primary traits of agile leaders? One of the terms we prefer to use is “generative.” You can tell someone is a generative agile leader if they are invested in creating a culture where every employee continually learns and grows.
You might have already figured out that agile leaders tend to be adaptive and have good communication skills. It’s not enough that they simply perform well on their own: a good leader communicates in a way that helps others adapt, excel, and succeed.
Finally, an agile leader is someone who has one very important trait: curiosity. Good leaders should have an open mind when it comes to new ways of looking at problems and new ways of creating opportunities. At the end of the day, such leaders are willing to turn even the biggest failures into chances to learn and improve.
Agility Breeds Collaboration
In the wake of COVID-19, more businesses than ever switched to remote work. And these businesses quickly learned the importance of employee collaboration as they struggled to remotely connect employees and conduct business as usual.
However, many traditional companies struggled with this transition to remote work because they did not have a workplace culture of collaboration heading into the pandemic. Because of this, many workers were slower to adapt, leading to businesses posting major losses and, in some cases, going out of business.
This is where agile leadership comes in. Agile leaders involve employees in decision-making and solicit ideas from everyone in the company. And whether working remotely or in-house, agile leaders foster solid communication between different team members and divisions.
When done well, agile leadership encourages employee bonding and teamwork better than any trust exercise because it encourages bridging and cooperation every single day. And as we noted before, your workplace benefits from better employee retention and better employee performance.
Agile Leadership: Your Next Move
Now you know what agile leadership is and what it can do for your business. But do you know who can help you bring agility to your entire organization?
We specialize in helping companies just like yours to reach their full potential. To discover what we can do for your business, contact us about our business agility coaching today!