Agile Leadership

Overview

This category contains topics associated with Agile Leadership Practices.  Agile leadership requires a much more adaptive leadership style:

  • A good leader doesn’t have one well-defined style of leadership that he/she force-fits all situations to.
  • A good leader recognizes that different styles of leadership are needed in different situations. That’s what “situational leadership” is all about

Another important observation is that the leadership style that is most appropriate in a given situation is directly related to the nature of the project and the problem solving approach.  Any manager who is used to managing in a traditional plan-driven environment will likely need to develop a new Agile Leadership approach for effectively managing in an Agile environment.

New Skills Required

Agile Leadership requires some new skills for many managers.  Some particular topics that are important to understand include:

  • Servant Leadership
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Adaptive and Situational Leadership
  • Managing Team Conflict

Stereotypes and Myths

There are lots of stereotypes and myths in this area – here are a few of them:

  • Project Managers only know how to do a “command-and-control” style of management
  • Agile requires a “servant leadership” approach which means that you completely abdicate the leadership role

Those stereotypes generally follow many of the stereotypes that people have about “Agile” and “Waterfall”.

  • They see them as binary and mutually-exclusive choices with nothing in the middle of those extremes.
  • Instead of force-fitting a project to one of those extremes, the right approach is to go in the other direction and fit the methodology to the nature of the problem. Sometimes that requires a blend of the two approaches and a different leadership style.

Please check the articles associated with this category for more detail:

What Is Servant Leadership and How Does It Relate to Agile?

What Is Servant Leadership?

“Servant Leadership” is a commonly-used term in an Agile environment. However, if you asked people what it means, I’m sure you would get a number of different responses. For that reason, I think it is worthwhile to discuss “What Is Servant Leadership?” What Is Servant Leadership? “Servant leadership” sounds like a manager who does nothing …

What Is Servant Leadership and How Does It Relate to Agile? Read More »

How Do You Develop and Improve Emotional Intelligence?

Who Gets Blamed When an Agile Project Fails?

I recently created a significant training module on Agile Leadership. One of the key topics in that module is “Emotional Intelligence”.  I’m sure some people are wondering “How do you develop and improve emotional intelligence?”  I’d like to summarize some of that here. What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why Is It Important? What Is Emotional …

How Do You Develop and Improve Emotional Intelligence? Read More »

What’s Different About Agile Leadership?

Agile Leadership

I just finished developing some online training on Agile Leadership and What’s Really Different About Agile Leadership? This article is a brief excerpt of that training. Leadership Stereotypes They’re are lots of stereotypes and myths in this area – here are a few of them: Project Managers only know how to do a “command-and-control” style …

What’s Different About Agile Leadership? Read More »

Fear of Failure Can Cripple a Project

Fear of Failure

What’s the Impact of Fear of Failure? What’s the impact of fear of failure on a typical project? Many people have a high level of fear of failure and do everything possible to avoid it; however, an excessive fear of failure can stifle the creativity and innovation that is often needed to maximize the business …

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Managing Team Conflict in Agile Teams – Is Conflict Normal?

Team Conflict

I recently saw a LinkedIn post from someone who was requesting advice on managing conflict in Agile teams. One response was to remove the people who are causing the conflict from the team. That may not be an appropriate solution – some level of conflict is necessary and healthy in a high performance team A …

Managing Team Conflict in Agile Teams – Is Conflict Normal? Read More »

Was Steve Jobs an Agile Leader?

Was Steve Jobs an Agile Leader?

Was Steve Jobs an effective Agile leader? I watched the movie “Jobs” this weekend about the life of Steve Jobs and his career at Apple and it was very thought-provoking.  Steve Jobs was absolutely brilliant, embodied a lot of Agile values, and he was enormously successful in developing some very innovative products in a relatively …

Was Steve Jobs an Agile Leader? Read More »

Emotional Intelligence in Agile – Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Who Gets Blamed When an Agile Project Fails?

The role of emotional intelligence in Agile is important to understand. It is a skill that is very difficult to master for many people. What is Emotional Intelligence? HelpGuide.org defines “emotional intelligence as follows: “Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, …

Emotional Intelligence in Agile – Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important? Read More »

Using an Adaptive Leadership Style in Agile

Adaptive Leadership

Adaptive Leadership in Agile What is the importance of adaptive leadership in Agile? I’ve been a Project Manager for many years and, over the years, I’ve gone through a lot of job interviews, particularly as a consultant where you might change roles every 3-6 months. One of the questions I’ve often been asked in interviews …

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