I've been coaching teams and managers along their path to Agile for years and, during all that time, the theme of what Agile leadership really is, why it's so important and how fragile it is has always been very dear to me.
In this talk I'd like to share some of my insights and lessons learned on the field but, most of all, I'd like to suggest that Agile leadership is much subtler and pervasive than what we think.
Let's face reality: we are all grown up in a post-industrial, mechanistic collective culture and, when faced with a problem, most people would turn their attention to some kind of "fix" to the problem.
We can see this "fixing tendency" in many leadership approaches that are available out there, which focus on the techniques you should use to influence others in ways that you fancy.
Also, the concept of leadership itself is tainted by our fascination with power (narcissistic leadership), sacrifice (the hero syndrome), altruistic service (servant leadership), control (dictatorship) and ultra-liberal values (extreme "democracy").
Finally, leadership is also frequently related to specific organizational roles.
In this talk I'd like to take all that in account and add that leadership is, first of all, a personal journey of self-discovery, self-awareness, empathy and compassion — all of which we need to be connected with ourselves as well with others, before we even start to think how and when we want to influence, from a leadership position, our environment.
And if we want to manifest leadership in an Agile context, then our leadership must be aligned with the values and principles that are typical of an Agile culture.
I'd like to discuss all that, relate some real-life story from my long Agile coaching career and provide practical advice to leaders and to those who are in a position to help others manifest their leadership.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
- Organizational change cannot be forced
- Organizational system dynamics strongly influence individual behavior (with example)
- Understanding over convincing
- The practice of active listening as a mean to systemic understanding
- Practical tips
The importance of listening and self-awareness skills as a foundation for learning and adaptive (Agile) organizations, with organizational examples and practical tips.
Team members, Agile Leaders, Agile Coaches