Agile Leadership. Focus on the Core and without Dogma

Author: Mike Leber

July 25, 2020

Why Agile Leadership?

Agile Leadership definitely is a topic. Since 10 years I have been intensively working myself on this with leaders, change agents and whole organizations. And this amongst others based upon my own leadership experience. Where I am coming from and also running a company myself.

The challenge with all these buzzwords and fashion trends remains to still see the forest for the trees. If you really want to achieve something with it,  then better let all dogmatic publications behind, multiplying each year. But what is then left?

Warning: in relation to Agile Leadership one would be better off, filtering all fashion trends and for each message looking at the motivation behind. *

* the same I recommend of course for my own messages on the topic 🙂

And there are enough trends around: #ServantLeadership #HostLeadership #GuestLeadership and #GodKnowsWhatElseLeadership, possibly all of this then becomes #AgileLeadership?!
What is one allowed to do, shall do, has to do, wants to do as a leader?

We get to the bottom of it. And no worries! It is not at all about any of the listed buzzwords such! Since decades, if not since centuries, authors try to determine, what leadership would be, and what it had to look after. But there are also problems with this.

Unfortunately it is rarely the case, that authors have too much leadership experience themselves, a matured view on the topic. Quite often anecdotes are being told, where coherence seems evident in retrospect. But the same stories could not ever carelessly be applied again in any other environment. Increasingly publications on leadership appear before the public, where it is straight to deliver books via self-publishing. But this can easily put quality under pressure. And it is not uncommon such work resulting in general claims, coined by a history of personal frustration. Understandable, but not quite helpful.

Leadership can hardly be Universal, but mainly Contextual

However: leadership always was and is highly contextual. Context gets determined for example by somebody’s own personality, the culture of a specific environment, the characteristics of the tasks at hand, all the people, you collaborate with. Yes of course, the speed of markets, evolution of working environments and society are also part of it. But modern buzzwords are obviously not contributing to major change.

It is still about the effectiveness of leadership, about a capacity in front of exceptionally high environmental dynamics and uncertainty (ok, let’s call it VUCA), we refer to as Leadership Agility.

What is next about Agile Leadership?

Read soon more about this here in our log, about the various characteristics, shaping leadership work, and especially about what can be done as a leader and as system. Because sure, we still need to get to the core.

This will address 3 layers, which are especially high importance for an organization in an increasingly digital economy:

  • How to understand myself and my own positions, how to further develop myself as a leader, operating under high uncertainty?
  • How to actively foster the development of an organizational culture, which is required for an innovative environment?
  • How to make all employees active contributors within this change? Employees, who don’t anymore settle for status quo, but who continue collaborating on and within a culture of innovation, driven by high personal motivation?
Mike Leber
Develop your leadership capacity.
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