According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce, 85% of workers in America are disengaged. Rigid management styles are the number one cause of job dissatisfaction.
Becoming an agile leader is challenging and requires practice, especially if you come from a traditional way of doing things. If you are leading an agile transformation it is crucial that you develop a new mindset. Look for help and coaching while embracing design thinking and business-model innovation. At the end of the day, agile leaders are people, too. They also need a lot of coaching and continuous training, learning, and improvement.
Differences between traditional management vs agile leadership.
Agile leaders help people to feel safe and they don’t have the time to micromanage. On the contrary, they encourage the team to learn and improve and encourage cross-functional collaboration. Agile management focuses on the customers. They know how to prioritize and improve performance day by day and how to navigate the uncertainty while quickly making decisions.
Leading in an Agile Way
Maintain Resilience. Resilience is not a trait that people are born with. It comes with believing in yourself in times of adversity and challenges. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions. Remember that popular expression ... "life is not what happens to us, but what happens within us."
Think Strategically. Let’s be clear here, you don’t need to be part of the leadership team to think strategically. If you want to become a strategic thinker it is important to take some time away from your day-to-day responsibilities and get to know the big picture. Get familiar with your organization's short and long-term goals and keep an eye out to identify opportunities for you and your team.
Being Able to Deal with Frequent Disruption. The bigger the disruption, the more time you and your team should retrospect on what needs to be happening before, during, or after an unexpected event. There’s not a secret formula to getting back to full capacity at work. Keep the context in mind, anticipate what you can, give some permission for recovery, and communicate your plans and processes to your team so you're better prepared in the future.
Keep Listening. Listening to and observing your team, market, partners, and even competitors are keys to agile leadership. Be ready to hear what needs to be heard and then do something meaningful with that information.
Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable. No excuses, don’t give up, and surround yourself with similarly determined people. The truth is that embracing uncomfortable situations in a group that cares for you also creates a powerful bonding experience.
Change is hard and sometimes painful, but one thing is for sure, agile leadership always leads to a flexible, collaborative, and self-organizing environment, which is the kind of leadership that we all need in this constantly changing environment.