What is Agile Leadership?
Agile is the act of an organization creating an enabling environment for self-organization; an environment consisting of teams that collaborate and learn from each other while relying on quick feedback from users, focusing on quality and learning continuously.
The agile leader balances structure and disorder and does not micro-manage teams. Rather, they are allowed to independent but with a sense of responsibility to their company. This system allows teams to have the freedom of making their decisions and also respond to changes and opportunities faster.
An agile organization requires leaders and teams to organize and manage their work and also measure results. This requires that everyone in the organization be involved as it will bring about profound changes in the way work is done and also in the results that will be achieved as the teams pursue the defined goal.
1. Agile Leaders foster Constant Learning
Speaking of feedback, that takes us to our next step. The basic principle of agile work is to show at every step on how a team can achieve its goals even more efficiently and fastly. Either in sprint review meetings or through retrospectives, agile teams share various lessons they have understood at frequent intervals.
Throughout this, agile leaders function as a catalyst by practising continuous learning on the basis of new insights and mistakes. This is a regular part of their daily work, and they even start by looking at themselves.
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2. Agile Leaders Focus on Real Success
In today’s time all industries, big or small, are undergoing transformational processes, and the aim to become self-centred. The allegations of transformation objectors have no limits: What has been gained should be preserved, change has some limits and businesses should not be endangered.
Agile leaders are not convinced by these arguments and instead work on what counts, namely creating a minimum viable product (MVP) that is honed step by step. Don’t measure success according to the HiPPO principle that is Highest Paid Person’s Opinion, but on the basis of end users’ feedback and their result evaluation.
3. Agile Leaders eliminate Roadblocks for the Team
Agile leaders have internalised that the expected results are gained when their team has the maximum possible freedom of action, and when reaching the overarching goal is prioritized over the personal sensitivities of some.
To this end, managers should not only be able to motivate employees but also to empower and encourage them to work independently and do not let critics distract them from reaching their end goals. Though, this is not performed in a monthly status meeting or a review session annually. Empowerment and motivation need to be given afresh every day such that in Scrum, every sprint ends up with a detailed review.
4.Great Agile Leaders Uphold the Agile Manifesto
If you are leading an agile team, you should know the Agile Manifesto and understand how to implement it effectively. Reading it once won’t make any difference. You will need to come up with the example of adapting to the reality as per changing plans. Being a leader, this will be like giving room for the team so that it can correct their problems. This can either mean coaching or you have to adapt according to the working software on the ground.
Being a leader who has emerged as an assigned leader, you are likely to have some information and priorities that don’t go with following the agile manifesto.
People developing the software may not be aware of ongoing political issues within the enterprise.They may feel difficult understand shareholder concerns or critical dynamics of board meetings. You need to navigate using skills that result in areas outside software development. However, you are not following the Agile Manifesto if these concerns overrule the manifesto’s principles without consideration.
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5.Great Agile Leaders Easy to Connect
To be successful, leaders must learn and understand how to establish connections with teams in their organization. Being able to inspire and create a collaborative environment is what sets them apart and this is based on their ability to connect. One of the ways to do this is through leading by example.
Before a leader can connect, they have to be self-aware and understand themselves including their emotions. These help them to put themselves in check and when there is a need to empathize with a colleague, they can.
Another way they can connect is by being upright and acting with integrity, consistent and being committed to their team members and their welfare.