A good leader must deliver results and engage people. For that, however, he must develop and put into practice a set of interpersonal skills. Therefore, it is necessary to have agile leadership, which becomes essential for the job market that is constantly evolving.
With so many changes, the implementation of new practices within an organization is not easy. Especially with the digital transformation coming in without knocking on the door. That’s why the agile leadership manifesto was created.
Its purpose is to encourage organizations to enter the agile universe more easily through an agile transformation. The role of the leader in the VUCA world is essential for the formation of high-performance teams.
In this article, you will find out some reasons to apply agile leadership in your team to create more efficient results with good leadership.
The best way to lead is by example
Agility, in the context of the business world, is not about a leader who is physically agile or who adapts to new situations. The object of agility is not the leader, but the led organization.
The speed of adaptation to changing market conditions is a better analogy for agility. Survival and prosperity of the company adapting to the competitive environment.
Agility’s natural enemies are bureaucracy, complexity, and the status quo. How to simplify products, processes and structures are big challenges for agile leadership.
Transformations, revolutions, independence of countries with or without violence are part of human history. What is different is the speed that the new technologies made possible to generate the VUCA world (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity).
What is agile leadership?
Within the work environment, leaders must quickly adapt to new business needs and new management models.
Agile leadership is increasingly needed in the market, which needs professionals who are always aware of changes and propose quick and innovative solutions. In addition to anticipating possible events that could affect the company.
What are the skills for agile leadership?
Agile leaders demonstrate 7 essential leadership characteristics, which include the ability for two distinct pillars: producing results and engaging people.
It is necessary to adapt to all these strategies to ensure that the company always stays ahead and is successful.
1. Produce results
The first dimension focuses on the ability to produce results. There are 4 features:
Modern employees want a culture of regular communication and direct conversation, along with expectations of how to excel. These elements build trust, which is the foundation of great teamwork and the key to attracting and retaining the best talent.
Being responsible means acknowledging both your losses and your victories. Such leaders not only have their mistakes, but they learn from them and feel empowered to take responsibility for the good results they produce.
Never before have so many companies actively encouraged employees to act as entrepreneurs at work.
Intrapreneurial leaders motivate others to think, imagine and act in a bold and entrepreneurial way, to take ownership of ideas, and innovate within the organization.
Focus on the future
Agile organizations avoid hierarchy, incrementalism, and the security of resting on past successes. Leaders need to be agile enough to jump from opportunity to opportunity in the future.
2. Involve people
The second dimension focuses on the ability to engage people. Check out the last 3 features:
Build a smart team
HR departments are traditionally focused on individual employees: recruiting them, developing them, and evaluating their performance. You will see a new skill emerging. Developing collective intelligence through the practice of improving team performance.
Inclusiveness, or inclusion, is about creating, from scratch, teams and project groups that represent and include many different voices. This process begins with the possession of cultural intelligence.
This means understanding how people of different genders, races, and nationalities solve problems, propose solutions, and take advantage of this for your company’s competitive advantage.
When looking to the future, companies provide easy ways for employees to upgrade skills and capabilities and are rewarded with a longer-lasting workforce.
Companies that practice agile leadership are already starting the hiring process. They exhibit a cultural fit, no matter how well qualified someone may be. Culture is the glue that links the agile and leadership dimensions.
Secrets of agile leadership
The first and perhaps most important secret for the good functioning of agile methods is the humility of the leaders who propose to participate in this project.
Listening to feedback from employees who also participate in the project is essential for the leader to maintain the constant qualitative growth of the product/service in question.
Adapting to the new is also a core competency for the process. Because constant evolution depends on breaking paradigms and traditions. Therefore, it is necessary to leave “my way of doing” to “the best way of doing”. Which often doesn’t mean the same thing.
The agile leader who knows how to listen to feedback from his team and is also able to adapt to the new is already halfway there. However, he cannot always be dependent on market changes and employee advice to bring about change.
Agile leadership needs to possess a keen eye-sight ability. To be able to work in the present with an eye fixed on the future. Always looking to where your current actions will result.
In a nutshell, this type of leadership must always have a plan of where to go. However, you should know that this plan can and should change as things come up along the way.
The leader must have contact with all sectors of the company. Understanding the technical part of agile methods is important for the good development of agile leadership.
However, not having the skills listed above is the same as hiring a salesperson with dozens of sales courses, but who lives in a bad mood and provides poor customer service.
Don’t delay giving feedback, especially when new projects are at stake. Don’t wait for the sprint finals for that to happen and rethink long meetings. In other words, give feedback whenever necessary and anywhere.
Changing the way of giving feedback on activities to the employees a little, decision making tends to be faster and the adjustment in activities too. This cycle of short, constant feedbacks is able to correct mistakes and make everyone operate on the same page.
Finally, agile leadership needs to leave a channel of communication open so that subordinates also feel free to do the same.
A leader or senior executive didn’t get into this position for anything. So it’s important that they share knowledge. Share tips from relevant books or articles in the company’s communication channels and create this knowledge exchange culture.
Agile leadership must turn a long meeting into a work session. In it, the focus is on the decision. Even if there are conflicts and diverging opinions, these meetings should have a more flexible agenda and everyone should leave them aware of their responsibilities, deadlines, and the purpose of these tasks for the smooth running of the projects.
It is responsible for motivating its team in a humane and engaging way, taking into account that everyday changes will be faster and more dynamic. Also, it requires speed in decision-making to foresee probable problems and identify new opportunities for innovation.
Digital technologies have revolutionized the way of working and changed the expectations and realities of teams. Leaders need to be decisive and respond to business expectations.
The only way to be able to cultivate the above competencies, stimulate work and increase the team’s organizational performance is by training leaders. Thus, it is possible to have agile leadership and create conditions to achieve a balance between employee satisfaction and the organization’s success.
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