Today’s ideal leadership candidates are not necessarily employees with the most experience or expertise. One of the key differentiators among top leaders is leadership agility, or the ability to balance competing demands. Agile leaders foster connections with team members and customers, enable teams to achieve peak performance, and encourage both innovation and change.
- What is Agile Leadership?
- The 3 Critical Characteristics of Agile Leaders
- Agile Leadership in Action
- Strategies for Building Agile Leaders
- The Future of Agile Leadership
1. What is Agile Leadership?
Agile leadership is the ability to balance multiple challenges and sometimes contradictory demands. Agile leaders are effective change agents who foster collaboration, build high performing teams, and drive consistent results. With their unmatched adaptability, agile leaders effectively balance competing demands, coordinate action across levels, and respond to constantly changing situations.
An agile leader recognizes that one leadership style doesn’t fit all situations. It is a mindset that allows leaders to react to unique circumstances and respond effectively. Rather than drawing distinctions between the role of “leader” and “manager,” agile leaders see the value of both roles. For the agile leader, finding ways to inspire and engage employees is fundamentally connected to the practical concerns of driving productivity. Leading and managing go hand-in-hand, which allows agile leaders to better understand how to respond to new situations and anticipate how changes will impact their teams and organizations.
2. The 3 Critical Characteristics of Agile Leaders
Agile leaders possess three critical capabilities that allow them to excel and provide significant value to their teams and their organizations. By learning to Connect, Adapt, and Deliver, they develop the flexibility that true leadership agility demands.
Agile leaders must first understand how to establish meaningful connections in the workplace before they can make an impact. Their ability to inspire, influence, and foster a collaborative environment is what helps to set them apart from their peers. They exhibit leadership behaviors that set the tone for organizational alignment, which contributes to employee and stakeholder buy-in. Leading by example is one of the best ways for agile leaders to establish the credibility that allows them to use influencing strategies more effectively.
Part of what allows agile leaders to connect so effectively is their ability to maintain self awareness. They understand their own emotions and motives, which makes it easier for them to keep their own personal biases in check and empathize with team members. Although many agile leaders naturally possess high emotional intelligence, they can greatly benefit from development programs that incorporate strategies to improve skills to gain the commitment of others, manage conflicts, and collaborate across organizational boundaries.
Demonstrating personal integrity is also critically important for agile leaders. By acting with consistency, honoring commitments, and taking responsibility for actions and decisions, they take gradual steps toward building trust and support among their team members. When leaders are perceived to lack integrity, they will find it much more difficult to influence others and establish productive connections.
An effective agile leader has the ability to recognize changing dynamics …read more
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