Leadership Skills in Agile Transformation

What Kind of Leadership Attributes Is Most Important for Effecting Agile Cultural Change

by Pete R.

The Agile Leader is responsible for helping solve complex issues in an uncertain and rapidly changing environment. Agile Cultural Change involves Agile Transformation, which is a process through which the Agile Leader transforms the organizational structure and culture.

It impacts the way work is completed, measured, and managed, and the overall organizational structure. The Agile Leader requires a certain kind of leadership attributes to bring about an Agile Cultural Change successfully. The following qualities are vital to doing so.

Growth Mindset

The most crucial attribute which Agile Leaders require is a growth mindset. There are two types of mindsets. One is a fixed mindset which believes that intelligence is fixed, while the growth mindset acts as if it is possible to learn anything and has no fear about making mistakes. Agile Leaders with a growth mindset will be keen on experimentation. They will continuously test new techniques and methods to create an environment where everyone feels that it is safe to fail.

Self-Awareness

Agile Leaders need to be self-aware. It means that they should be aware of both their strengths and weaknesses, including their emotional state. The emotions which they bring lead teams. This allows the Agile Leader to be realistic as opposed to idealistic.

Ownership

Personal responsibility for the results created needs to be taken by Agile Leaders. They should not blame others, but should rather reflect and learn from their experiences to try again and succeed this time around.

Humility

Agile Leaders must keep their ego in check and be humble, along with open for feedback. Criticism should be handled well and be open to new ideas. Such leaders know how to make self-effacing jokes.

Empathy

One of the most important attributes of an Agile Leader is empathy. Great listening skills are required to show empathy towards the team members. The leader should not cut others off or interrupt them, but rather encourage members to speak their mind and try to picture themselves in their shoes.

Risk Taker

Courage is a critical attribute that is found in successful Agile Leaders. They should always be ready to face risks. Failure should be tolerated, as long as the lesson is learned.

Trust

Employees feel empowered and trusted when they work with Agile Leaders. This means that delegation and collaboration would be the norm and not the exception.

Ability to See the Whole Picture

Agile Leaders need to have the ability to see the entire organization and optimize the whole, instead of just a small part.

Power to Inspire Others

Inspiration is vital to becoming a successful Agile Leader. They need to have the ability to inspire the team members so that team members can feel motivated.

Active Learning and Listening

Being an open-minded sponge with a sense of never knowing everything is a good starting point helping you to improve as an Agile Leader. Leading a cultural change will push you into situations where you or the organization has never been before.

Therefore it’s highly recommended exchanging with others who may have already been in a similar situation and listen to their stories. This way, you gain a perspective from outside that can be very inspiring.

You can achieve this by building up a good network on your own or attending to conferences, meetups, reading books or get a coach on your side and be fearless to bring your situation on the table and benefit from other opinions.

The key to active learning is listening. Process other opinions and experiences in your mind, then take the parts you think they help your situation then make your own experience. Be brave, learn, and iterate.

Optimistic

Finally, Agile Leaders need to be optimistic about what they do and to follow their gut. It comes with an experience of managing teams successfully.


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