Towards a Culture of Leadership: 10 Things Real Leaders Do (And So Can You)
Leadership occurs as conscious choice carried out as actions.
Everyone has the capacity to carry out acts leadership. Therefore, everyone is a potential leader.
For leadership to be appropriate and effective, acts of leadership need to be tuned to the receptivity of those whose behaviour the aspiring leader seeks to influence. Tuning leadership requires the ability to perceive and discern meaningful signals from people and more importantly, the system and environment in which they work.
As leaders, the choices we make and the actions we carry out are organic with our environment. That is, leaders are often influenced by their environments in ways that are not easily perceived, and on the other hand influence their environments in ways that can have a powerful impact on business performance, organizational structures and the well-being of people. Leaders who are conscious of this twofold dynamic can greatly improve their ability to sense and respond to the needs of their customers, their organizations and the people with whom they interact in their work. The following list is one way of describing the set of capabilities that such leaders can develop over time. During the session, we will explore each in more detail, including pragmatic activities that you can start to introduce immediately into your own context.
- Create Identity: Real leaders understand that identity rules. They work with the reality that "Who?" comes first ("Who are we?"), then "Why?" ("Why we do what we do?").
- Focus on Customers: Real leaders help everyone in their organization focus on understanding and fulfilling the needs of customers. This is, ultimately, how "Why?" is answered.
- Cultivate a Service Orientation: Real leaders design and evolve transparent systems for serving the needs of customers. A leader's effectiveness in this dimension can be gauged both by the degree of customer satisfaction with deliverables and to the extent which those working in the system are able to self-organize around the work.
- Limit Work-In-Progress: Real leaders know the limits of the capacity of systems and never allow them to become overburdened. They understand that overburdened systems also mean overburdened people and dissatisfied customers.
- Manage Flow: Real leaders leverage transparency and sustainability to manage the flow of customer-recognizable value through the stages of knowledge discovery of their services. The services facilitated by such leaders is populated with work items whose value is easily recognizable by its customers and the delivery capability of the service is timely and predictable (trustworthy).
- Let People Self-Organize: As per #3 above, when people doing the work of providing value to customers can be observed as self-organizing, this is a strong indication that there is a real leader doing actions 1-5 (above).
- Measure the Fitness of Services (Never People): Real leaders never measure the performance of people, whether individuals, teams or any other organization structure. Rather, real leaders, practicing actions 1-6 (above) understand that the only true metrics are those that provide signals about customers' purposes and the fitness of services for such purposes. Performance evaluation of people is a management disease that real leaders avoid like the plague.
- Foster a Culture of Learning: Once a real leader has established all of the above, people involved in the work no longer need be concerned with "safe boundaries". They understand the nature of the enterprise and the risks it takes in order to pursue certain rewards. With this understanding and the transparency and clear limits of the system in which they work, they are able to take initiative, run experiments and carry out their own acts of leadership for the benefit of customers, the organization and the people working in it. Fear of failure finds no place in environments cultivated by real leaders. Rather, systematic cycles of learning take shape in which all can participate and contribute. Feedback loop cadences enable organic organizational structures to evolve naturally towards continuous improvement of fitness for purpose.
- Encourage Others to Act as Leaders: Perhaps the highest degree of leadership is when other people working with the "real leader" begin to emerge as real leaders themselves. At this level, it can be said that the culture of learning has naturally evolved into a culture of leadership.
- Stay Humble: Real leaders never think that they have it all figured out or that they have reached some higher state of consciousness that somehow makes them superior to others in any way. They are open and receptive to the contributions of others and always seek ways to improve themselves. Such humility also protects them from the inevitable manipulations of charlatans who will, form time to time, present them with mechanical formulas, magic potions, palm readings and crystal ball predictions. Real leaders keep both feet on the ground and are not susceptible to the stroking of their egos.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
- Overview of the "10 Things Real Leaders Do" as outlined above.
- Deeper dives into some of the more challenging concepts.
- Exploration of real-life examples and stories.
- Pragmatic exercises for improving leadership practice.
- Your understanding of the nature of leadership, customers, organizations and people;
- Letting go of your fallacious, preconceived notions of leadership;
- Freeing of your mind to explore new concepts and old concepts in new ways;
- Pragmatic tools that you can introduce immediately in your own context for improving your leadership practice.
Established, new and aspiring leaders.
Mentally prepare for a double-loop learning experience.
schedule Submitted 5 months ago
People who liked this proposal, also liked:
Scott Ambler - Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Delivery Handbook for Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW)Scott AmblerEnterprise Agile Transformation CoachDisciplined Agile
schedule 5 months agoSold Out!
We like to say that agile teams own their own process by choosing their way of working, their “WoW.” This of course is easier said than done because there are several aspects to WoW. First, our team needs to know how to choose the appropriate lifecycle for the situation that we face. Should we take a Scrum-based approach, a lean/Kanban-based approach, a continuous delivery approach, or an exploratory/lean startup approach? Second, what practices should the team adopt? How do they fit together? When should we apply them? Third, what artifacts should the team create? When should they be created? To what level of detail? Finally, how do we evolve our WoW as we experiment and learn?
There are several strategies that we could choose to follow when we tailor and evolve our WoW. One approach is to bootstrap our WoW, to figure it out on our own. This works, but it is a very slow and expensive strategy in practice. Another approach is to hire an agile coach, but sadly in practice the majority of coaches seem to be like professors who are only a chapter or two ahead of their students. Or we could take a more disciplined, streamlined approach and leverage the experiences of the thousands of teams who have already struggled through the very issues that our team currently faces. In this talk you’ll discover how to develop your WoW without starting from scratch and without having to rely on the limited experience and knowledge of “agile coaches.”
thomasjeffrey / Adeeb Dhanani - Creating Shared Understanding At High Complexity through Story Mapping, Spec By Example and Domain Driven DesignthomasjeffreyPresidentAgile By DesignAdeeb DhananiSr. Agile CoachAgile By Design
schedule 5 months agoSold Out!
Shared understanding is a pre-requisite to success for any agile teams. Many Agile teams rely on User Stories to help them get consensus on what to deliver, and what done looks like. Stories are a great practice for agile teams, but as the complexity of the problem or solution they are building increases, they often need more. Agile teams can face serious churn in the story writing process as complexity increase. Different team members can have completely different understandings of the meaning of key business and solution concepts. Often the same concepts end up being discussed over and over again, significantly slowing down story exploration. Even worse, different stakeholders end up having ambiguous and even conflicting understanding of the solution.
During this session, we will discuss how we have integrated story exploration practices such as Story Mapping, Story Grooming, and Spec by Example, with the Domain Driven Design method, with the goal to promote the creation of a ubiquitous language and share understanding of both the solution and business domain. We will show how various teams have leveraged light weight, informal tools to enable both technical and non technical stakeholders to execute in a highly aligned way, and dramatically decrease churn and rework as a result.
A key part of this session will be taking the audience through an integrated example that show cases how one can elaborate on an idea through progressive refinement of Stories and CRC Card based domain driven models in parallel. We will showcase how Story Maps can be refined through creation of an initial Domain Driven Model expressed through Class Responsibility Cards. We will illustrate how to connect story grooming and refinement of domain models in order to create a precise business and solution language. We will illustrate how domain model walkthroughs can be used to battle test your stories against your domain model, validating key assumptions before coding starts. We will also showcase how both story grooming and domain driven design can be done directly in code, and how this approach dovetails perfectly into test driven development.
Michael Sahota - Wave 2 of Agile: Living The Agile MindsetMichael SahotaOrganizational Gardener & Certified Enterprise Coach (Scrum Alliance)Agilitrix
schedule 6 months agoSold Out!
Wave 2 of Agile is a way to understand the high-performance results that come from Being Agile. We know many in our industry have fallen into the trap or “Doing Agile” – where people lose sight of the objectives and lasting results.
Wave 2 is about Living Agile. It is how we show up. It is how we work with people and organizations to shape the Culture. It is living Mahatma Gandhi's truth:
“Be the change that you want to see in the world”.
When we focus on our own behaviour, we model Being Agile. This is the only way to invite the Agile Mindset. This is Wave 2 Agile. We stop creating conflict and resistance. We become the effective leaders and influencers of lasting change in our organizations.
“To be or not to be? That is the question.”
David Sabine - The Art of Agile DocumentationDavid SabineProfessional Scrum Trainer (PST)http://Scrum.Works/
schedule 5 months agoSold Out!
Myth: "Agile teams don't document."
Truth: Some of the best documentation we've ever seen comes from Agile teams.
Agile Engineering practices have revolutionized the ways in which documentation is treated and produced. In high-stakes environments with heavy compliance and audit requirements, a tendency toward exhaustive documentation is dangerously common. This workshop provides direct guidance and simple tools to help a document-heavy workplace think differently about documentation.
I have developed this workshop to help an organization reframe their understanding of documentation with respect to knowledge work in complex environments so that they may eliminate unnecessary artifacts and simplify/automate others.