The Agile Leader

“As an executive coach, Michael has helped me tremendously. Michael is creative, motivational and consistantly expert at bringing out the best in each client…. He is a great coach with high integrity.” -Pam Gibson

What is an Agile Leader? We address this question on two levels: one, in terms of leadership development and style, the other relating to the leader’s role in adopting Agile as the enterprise process or methodology.

The Agile Leader is one who has the ability to be flexible, co-active, coach-like, to work through others, not merely direct them. Bill Joiner and Stephen Joseph’s book Leadership Agility defines different levels of development through which the leader may traverse in growing maturity. Fundamental are: Expert, Achiever, and Catalyst. The level of influence and outstanding business results increase as a leader matures through these stages. Yet the Catalyst level (and above), according to Joiner and Joseph’s reseach, comprises only 10% of all leaders. Development to the next stage of leadership is subject to conscious influence, including the use of coaching. A Catalyst leader is ideal when an enterprise is adopting Agile. The journey begins with understanding where you are.x

“Michael…really gets the people side of agile. Michael had good insight into corporate and management adoption of agile. He spent a great deal of time talking to upper management about what it means to manage in an agile environment and how to best support teams.” -Kara Silva

Next, what is the role of executives in adopting Agile? What decisions must be made at the executive level? How can Agile create a shift in organizational culture? Does Agile require a new leadership model?

Adopting Agile is not as simple as asking your managers to go out a buy a new toolset and implement it (just ask those who have tried using that mindset). Adoption has far more potential benefit than any tool could, and is consequently significantly more complex since it is centered in creating a delivery culture. In Collective Edge advising and training, we help demystify issues such as appropriate business drivers for implementing Agile, what happens with culture change, how to facilitate organizational change, and the role of management and leadership in this new world.

Leadership agility, executive coaching, Agile manager, Agile executive, trusted advisor