Leadership Agility

Leadership & Culture Transformation


Leadership Agility is leading people by setting a shared vision, empowering them and serving them by removing obstacles from their way and helping them grow. This modern leadership style enables and unlocks the power of autonomous individuals and teams.

Agile leaders shift from a command and control approach toward focusing on serving the teams that get the work done. Agile leaders are influential, focused and decisive, while remaining approachable and positive, creating a collaborative environment for problem solving. The agile leader hierarchy recognizes that team members create value (rather than placing the focus on the leader at the top).

Shifting to Agile Leadership

As leaders shift from a traditional command and control approach to agile leadership, it is helpful to identify and understand the beliefs that are at the root of command and control behaviors. Awareness of these beliefs increases self-awareness so that leaders can see where they need to adjust their thinking and engage differently with their teams.

The roots of command and control include:

  • “I’m a perfectionist” – Things need to be done a specific way (MY WAY)
  • “I’m always right” – My solution is the RIGHT solution, that’s why I’m not listening to yours
  • “I don’t trust you” – I need to watch what you are doing so you don’t make a mistake
  • “I like authority” – You must do as I say
  • “I’m looking out for me!” – If you do this right, I can get my next raise or promotion

In contrast, servant leaders trust and empower teams to come up with solutions.

Agile Leaders:

  • Develop and communicate a shared vision
  • Empower and serve by removing obstacles
  • Focus primarily on helping others grow
  • Understand that engaged and motivated people are more able to reach their targets and become a high performing team

Best Practices

Agile leaders can support teams by acting as effective facilitators and coaches. They step out of the role of being the problem-solver, and begin to help others to solve problems. This builds trust with the team and grows leaders within the organization.

Ask Don’t Tell

Your role is to empower your teams to reflect, think, discover and make decisions by themselves. Ask questions instead of providing answers.

Ask “thinking” questions such as:

  • What would you do?
  • What solution would you recommend?
  • What are the pros and cons?
  • Who could this impact?
  • What would be the definition of ‘Done’ for this?

Lead with a Light Touch (Gently Nudging)

  • High performing teams need space to think creatively, have fun, take risks, collaborate on decisions and build connections.
  • Tightly structured roles, boundaries or micro-management will block their energy.
  • Strive for Just-Enough Structure to create clarity of purpose and measurement of results but not on HOW to get there.