Agile leaders are those who can adapt to an ever-changing and uncertain environment. When you set out to be a continuous learner and have a growth mindset, you are always looking for ways to improve your product, your services and yourself as a manager and leader.
What Does It Mean To Be An Agile Leader?
1. Being Present To Gain Insights
Be agile by being more present. While being strategic is critical to success, it is just as important, if not more, to lead effectively in the present moment. Being present creates greater awareness in addressing the right challenges facing your team. Listen deeply and ask powerful questions to gain insights and makes the right decision to help your organization move forward through every problem.
2. Inspiring Creativity And Innovation In Your Employees
Agile is both a way of working and a way of being. To foster an agile culture in an organization, it’s not enough to establish methods of automation and develop a cadence of project planning and review so work is constantly improved upon. Leaders must inspire creativity and innovation within employees so that, as the organization propels forward, employees are directly contributing.
3. Moving Quickly
Agile means to be able to move fast. Speed is essential to business success. The company that moves faster to solve a problem, create a product or respond to a need will be the business that wins. Agility is often more available when actions are led by aspiration. When everyone knows what they are working toward, then people become more creative to accomplish the vision.
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4. Adapting To Any Situation As It Happens
Being agile means you are able to quickly adapt to situations as they come along. Every day brings new challenges to leaders, and you cannot always rely on what worked yesterday to solve tomorrow’s problems. Leaders should always use their experience as a tool but not rely on it solely to solve problems.
5. Having The Flexibility To Take Quick But Sure Actions
Leaders should be agile in their decision making and actions. Leaders who can look at the big picture, break it down into smaller chunks, then execute are simply more productive than those who don’t share this flexibility. By implementing smaller portions of the plan, one can easily determine where adjustments should be made to prevent resource drains and develop more efficient systems.
6. Being Resilient And Creative
Agility is a sign that someone is flexible, open to change and to growth. Companies need to be adaptable and flexible in their approach to maintaining competitiveness. Agile leaders don’t get stuck in what change means to them and their ego; instead, they take pride in being resilient and creative in their approach.
7. Navigating New Waters And Charting New Successes
Agile leaders use their intuition to read the room, the person in front of them and the people who energize their quest for a great workplace experience. They know their assets for leadership and implement them daily. They ask defining questions and listen actively to determine the next priority. Agile leaders communicate and motivate as they navigate new waters to chart new successes.
8. Continuously Learning And Embodying A Growth Mindset
Agile leaders are those who can adapt to an ever-changing and uncertain environment. When you set out to be a continuous learner and have a growth mindset, you are always looking for ways to improve your product, your services and yourself as a manager and leader. Learning from every opportunity prepares you to handle whatever happens and makes you an excellent role model for others.
9. Embracing Change By Driving Value
Agile leaders thrive in the face of uncertainty and rapid change. They do this by creating an environment where stakeholders push change forward by driving adoption through frequent, incremental changes that constantly produce value.
10. Letting Go Of What Doesn’t Work
Being agile means being willing to quickly let go of what is not working and try something else. As I was taught, the problem with our beliefs is we tend to believe them. Once accepted, beliefs can become a reality that is hard to alter. Agile leaders constantly challenge their beliefs and assumptions so they can meet the needs of the moment versus clinging to a cause that is perhaps already lost.
11. Listening, Learning And Adapting
We live in a world where leaders are expected to be consistent, firm and resolute. However, we also live in a fast-paced and chaotic environment with few constants. Leaders who are firm may appear strong, but they often fail to adapt. The ability to listen, learn and adapt one’s position is a valuable skill that requires vulnerability, confidence and psychological safety. Agile leaders get this.
12. Connecting The Dots
Agility isn’t an excuse for chaos, continual pivoting without strategy or indecision on your team. In tech development, it’s a defined approach. In leadership, agility implies a desire for speed, commitment to change, the capability to iterate and communication skills to navigate ambiguity while remaining connected daily. It promotes connecting the dots and operating as one.
13. Shifting Your Management Style To Match Your Employees
There are many ways in business to be agile, but one of the most powerful ways is demonstrating agility with your employees. People like to be communicated with and recognized differently. It is never one-size-fits-all. Show how much you value your team’s contribution by understanding and being what they need. Productivity and engagement will benefit tremendously.
The Agile Leader
Organizational benefits of an Agile Leader
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.
Implementing agile can help streamline processes, but it is not easy to make significant changes in an organization. Encouraging everyone to get on board with a new method requires significant effort on the part of management and specifically Agile Leaders.
Agile Leaders focus on three things: (1) they create and nurture a culture in which experimentation and learning are embraced; (2) they collaborate with employees (at all levels in the organization) to find common values to create a greater goal for the company and the teams; and (3) they create an organizational structure that reinforces and rewards the other two dimensions.
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.
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 and adjust rapidly to overcome challenges, reimagine strategic direction, and propel transformation and innovation. Situational awareness is a key competency in this area because it helps leaders to understand how external and internal events can impact a company’s effectiveness as well as affect the people involved at various levels of the organization. Agile leaders know that applying the same strategies repeatedly without making adjustments based on the situation can severely undermine performance.
Systems thinking also helps agile leaders to recognize how different elements of an organization interact with one another, which allows them to anticipate how changes in one area may impact others. This is especially important in large organizations, where any action might produce various consequences in other departments, many of them unintended.
Understanding both contextual situations and organizational structures helps agile leaders make decisions that minimize trade-offs and account for both short and long-term goals. They learn to strike a balance between efficiency and innovation, often without complete or perfect information.
While it’s important for leaders to be able to connect with others and adapt to changing circumstances, they must ultimately be able to deliver positive results for their organizations. Effective agile leaders find ways to drive performance and generate consistent and reliable results by investing in the right accelerators, and cultivating high-performing teams committed to customer and shareholder value creation. In many ways, the ability to deliver is dependent on the other agile leadership characteristics. The ability to connect and adapt puts them in a position to deliver, but unless they can follow through, their teams will have difficulty accomplishing their goals.
Agile leaders tend to excel at prioritizing. They identify big-picture goals and understand how to take gradual steps toward achieving them. While they are effective at dealing with day to day challenges, they never lose sight of the organization’s overarching mission. Through careful planning, time management, persistence, and patience, agile leaders continuously adjust their efforts to keep their teams productive, efficient, and engaged.
Having an Agile Leader in place to give guidance can help the organization navigate through the rough patches in the early period when the employees or management questions the value of agile.
Agile Leader helps organizations in several ways:
Developing servant leaders throughout the organization
Moving needle in organization culture
Creating road-map necessary for enterprise-wide agile adoption
Facilitating organization impediment resolution
The Agile Leader serves as an objective party to help navigate common roadblocks and pain points in the adoption process. Before he or she leaves, the goal is to have a fully functioning agile organization that is energized and ready to embrace the Agile at all levels.
The Agile Leader Role
The role of Agile Leader can be temporary or permanent, depending on the organization’s needs. Larger businesses might want to keep an Agile Leader on staff to help oversee the sustained Agile adoption and transformation on a long term basis, but the position is typically temporary or contracted. For most businesses, especially midsize and small organizations, it’s more useful to hire an Agile Leader on a contract basis to help get jump start the Agile Adoption efforts.
Agile Leader's Responsibilities
Most common responsibilities for an agile leader include:
1. Agile Leader Determines Goals
The Agile leader sets a common goal for the team and guides them towards it. In other words, s/he involves the team in the decision-making process, even mostly leaving decision-making to them. The Agile leader also helps the company to find the value-added goals, clearly define their framework and s/he trusts that the team will achieve these business goals. The integration of these goals into daily processes is also one of the tasks of the Agile leaders. In this way, these goals become meaningful for the team.
2. Agile Leader Manages Teams Not Individuals
The most important feature of Agile companies is having multi-disciplinary and self-organizing teams. The agile leader also creates an environment that helps individuals form functional teams. The work is assigned not to the individuals, but to the whole team. S/he ensures a feeling of trust within the team thus encourages efficient teamwork.
3. Agile Leader Focuses on Added-Value
Traditional leaders rely on data and metrics. The agile leader also focuses on another important point: creating added value for everyone. Agile leaders know that performance increase depends on employee and customer loyalty, therefore the most important criteria for them are productivity, motivation at the workplace and customer satisfaction. In traditional management, all processes are constantly documented, while Agile leaders do not limit processes to documents; they focus on the improvement of these processes.
4. Agile Leader Gives Feedback
In traditional management methods, annual performance assessments are done for each employee. But in the Agile approach, there is continuous feedback. Thus, good efforts are rewarded instantaneously. On the other hand, when they are not good enough it can be noticed at early stages and can be corrected more quickly.
5. Agile Leader Distributes Responsibilities
The management structure in Agile companies is different from that of traditional companies. Those who play a key role in the establishment of this structure are the Agile Leaders. Decision-makers in traditional companies tend to impose these decisions on people working under them. Meanwhile, in the Agile approach, new roles emerge because Agile leaders eliminate job classification. Hence, they create engagement by spreading responsibilities to the whole organization.
6. Agile Leader Establishes Open Communication
Agile leaders establish open and transparent relationships based on trust both within the teams and among all stakeholders. Since the responsibilities in traditional companies are individual and the management style is based on a subordinate relationship, trust cannot be easily achieved. On the other hand, the Agile leaders create the necessary environment to improve the processes through constructive discussions and make decisions together with the teams. Considering the customer as a team member, they include them in the processes and ensure their trust.
7. Agile Leader Does Not Seek Perfection
In traditional forms of management, it is necessary to choose the ‘best’ when hiring. A perfect candidate with a perfect resumé and perfect work experience is sought. Agile leadership means adopting Agile HR approach. This focuses on the strengths of a candidate and how they can be an added value for the company. Agile leaders allow the company to benefit from these strengths of employees.
Agile Leader's Functions
Agile Leader's Compensation
Agile Leaders earn between $125/Hour to $185/Hour ($237,500 to $351,500 annually) if they work on a contract basis. For full time employees, earnings between $135,000 and $225,000 with benefits is prevalent within the US. Demand for Agile Leaders is expected to rise much faster than other IT roles. Experience, training and certifications, location, and industry are several factors that would impact expected earnings of Agile Coaches.
Agile Leaders do work in one or more of the following roles:
Agile Transformation Leader
Director – Agile Transformation
Vice President – Enterprise Agile Transformation
Agile Leadership Coach
Enterprise Agile Coach
Enterprise Agility Coach
Lead Enterprise Coach
Senior Enterprise Agile Coach
Past participants of our Certified Enterprise Agility Coach training program came from variety of industries, including healthcare, banking, finance, credit card issuers, retail, oil and gas, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, communication and internet, energy, computer manufacturers, consulting firms, credit bureaus, network manufacturers, software, hardware, government organizations, satellite manufacturers, credit unions, and oil refineries to name several. Here are few of the 140+ organizations that our past participants represented:
Walmart, Kroger, Target, Accenture, USAA, Shell, ExxonMobil, Citibank, Master Card, Visa, Duke Energy, Bank of America, IBM, FedEx, Aetna, Anthem, CVS, Walgreens, Tesla, Verizon, Infosys, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CapitalOne, USPS, US Bank, Blackrock, CBRE, TD Ameritrade, Wipro, TCS, Micron, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Discover, Chevron, Ford, HP, Allstate, State Farm, Desjardins, Petrobras, Enterprise, US Coast Guard, US Department of State, UHG, FDA, SAIC, BCBS, HCSC, PepsiCo, Dell
Training opportunities for Agile Leaders
We at Chicago State University offer several career enhancing training programs for Agile Leaders. Agile Leaders can pursue to attend one or more of the following training offered by Chicago State University’s Agile Programs:
Agile Leaders can earn a Master’s Certificate in Agile Management (MCAM) by completing training programs 1-5. They can further their advancement by earning Advanced Master’s Certificate in Agile Management (AMCAM) by completing training programs 6–9. Both the Master’s Certificate in Agile Management (MCAM) and the Advanced Master’s Certificate in Agile Management (AMCAM) are the first and only such programs in the world!
Eligibility for Advanced Master's Certificate
Completion of this Certified Agile Leadership Professional (CALP) training program fulfills 10% of the requirement to earn Advanced Master’s Certificate in Agile Management (AMCAM). Participants are required to complete total of 10 Agile Training Programs from Chicago State University (CSU) to earn their Advanced Master’s Certificate in Agile Management – The world’s first and only program in Agile Field!
Name: Elizabeth Thakkar Course Schedule: January 19 – February 9, 2021 Completion Date: February 9, 2021 Total Training Hours: 15 Certificate Number: 91-272-8754-33885
ISO Accreditation and Certification:
ISO 9001:2015: Yes ISO 21001:2018: Yes ISO 26515:2018: Yes
This Certified Agile Coach (CAC) training program and all other Agile training programs from Chicago State University (CSU) are ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 21001: 2018 accredited and certified.
What is the purpose of ISO?
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental, international organization that develops standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems.
How does ISO define quality?
The term “quality” has a relative meaning. This is expressed by the ISO definition: “The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs”
Benefits of ISO
Some of the main benefits of ISO 9001 certification include:
Suitable for both small and large organizations.
Better internal management.
Increase in efficiency, productivity and effectiveness.
Improved customer retention and acquisition.
Consistent outcomes, measured and monitored.
Globally recognized standard.
What is the meaning of ISO 9001:2015?
ISO 9001:2015 specifies requirements for a quality management system when an organization:
a) needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements;
b) aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
All the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 are generic and are intended to be applicable to any organization, regardless of its type or size, or the products and services it provides.
What is the meaning of ISO 21001:2018?
ISO 21001:2018 specifies requirements for a management system for educational organizations (EOMS) when such an organization:
a) needs to demonstrate its ability to support the acquisition and development of competence through teaching, learning or research;
b) aims to enhance satisfaction of learners, other beneficiaries and staff through the effective application of its EOMS, including processes for improvement of the system and assurance of conformity to the requirements of learners and other beneficiaries.
All requirements of ISO 21001:2018 are generic and intended to be applicable to any organization that uses a curriculum to support the development of competence through teaching, learning or research, regardless of the type, size or method of delivery.
ISO 21001:2018 can be applied to educational organizations within larger organizations whose core business is not education, such as professional training departments.
ISO 26515:2018 Systems and software engineering — Developing information for users in an agile environment
This standard supports the interest of information developers and associated roles responsible for producing information for users of software and systems developed within an agile environment. This standard takes a process standard approach to specify the way in which information for users can be developed in agile development projects.
This standard provides requirements of information management and information development processes appropriate for software projects that are using agile development methods.
The overall requirements for information in agile software development.
Requirements for the information development lead or project manager to plan an agile information development project and manage the information development activities in an agile environment.
Requirements for designing, developing, and providing information for users in an agile environment.
Describes agile development practices and methods.
Personal Qualities and Values of a Leader
The Catalyst Leader
Leading – Envisioning, Providing, Crafting, Teaming, Affirming
Skills of a Leader
The Predictive Success of the Leader
Must Quit Habits For Leaders
Leadership and Management – Similarities and Differences
Leadership – Expert to Synergist
Leadership – Business Results and People Results
Leadership results via Heart and Mind
Emotional and Social Intelligence
3T Leadership Competency Model
Intent Based Leadership (IBL)
Four Dimensions of Leadership – Mindset, Instrument, Activity, Core
Leadership Levels – Personal, Team, and Organization
Leadership Assessments – Leadership Circle 360, Agile Leader Health Radar
Leadership in VUCA World
Leadership in BANI World
Certificate Earning Criteria:
Attendance in the training course
Active participation in training course – Group Activities, Quizzes, Group Discussions, Q & A, Comments, etc.
PDUs from PMI – 15 [PMP, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, and PBA certifications]
SEUs from Scrum Alliance – 15 [CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO certifications]
CDUs from IIBA’s – 15 [CCBA and CBAP certifications]
The Agile Leadership Professional Workshop is an Instructor Led Live Online training program that is offered through 10 sessions [Each session is one and half hour in duration] or two days weekend class with 2 sessions [Each session is seven and half hour in duration]. This training is unique and one-of-a-kind that focuses on:
Different Styles of Leadership
How to lead Agile Organization in VUCA and BANI world?
Leaders’ soft skills necessary to achieve and sustain Agility
Leader’s role in Sustained Agile Transformation
Leadership Assessments and Learnings
Continuous Learning and Adaption
This is a highly interactive workshop that makes ample use of discussions and exercises to help participants learn soft skills necessary to become a successful Agile Leader and drive and achieve sustainable Agile transformation.
Some of the elements that participants will learn during the workshop:
How leadership styles, skills, traits, competencies, and models are helpful to prospective leaders to lead
How organizational culture, structure and dynamics impacts Agile leaders in terms agile transformation efforts and how Agile Leaders could adjust his/her strategy to achieve organizational transformation.
Improve the ability to design and implement successful and sustainable organizational transformation that would deliver breakthrough end-to-end business, cultural and human outcomes as a successful Enterprise Agility Leader.
Gain processes, skills, tools, and techniques to overcome organizational dysfunctions and impediments and how to design a system that would support high-performance, customer centric, and facilitate higher level of enterprise/business agility.
How to assess maturity of enterprise/business agility components and take actions for improvement for low maturity components.
Mastering Agile Leadership skills will require both time and practice. This workshop will enable you to:
Learn core components of leadership and agile leadership, how it extends beyond team-level leadership and how the organization can support business agility.
Understand and utilize the key skill areas and knowledge areas applied by the best enterprise agile leaders.
Gain an understanding of organizational change, type of changes, resistance and how to successfully achieve higher degree of enterprise agility.
See as to how business agility, portfolio agility and delivery agility can compliment each other and be integral part of achieving higher degree of enterprise agility.
Learn how to adjust and shift from “Plan and Predict” to “Sense and Respond” mindset for agile leaders.
Examine healthy business and technology functional areas that are resilient, creative, resourceful and resonant.
See the broader organizational context more clearly and determine the best interventions, and best actions to create a positive impact.
Leader in a Making
Leader and Leading
Agile and Agility
Agile Mindsets and Principles
Leadership in VUCA World
Leadership in BANI Environment
Knowledge of Agile Manifesto and Agile Methods (Scrum, Kanban, XP) would be very helpful.
Interested to work with Senior Leaders and Executives in terms of achieving Enterprise Agility.
Willingness to learn and apply softskills and people skills.
Curious, eager, patient, and calm.
Who should attend?
This course is designed for:
Project, Program, and Portfolio Professionals who aspire to take up the role of an Enterprise Agility Coach or Enterprise Agility Leader.
Experienced Scrum Masters, Agile Project/Program Managers or Iteration Managers who want a more comprehensive understanding of the complete range of business agility and enterprise agility skills.
Current Agile coaches who want to enhance and improve their professional skills to achieve career progression to Enterprise Agility Coach/Leader.
Coaches who wish to increase the ability to break through seemingly insurmountable problems with their organizational issues, changes, and resistance.
Agile managers, Product Owners and others wishing to access a broader range of skills in working at the organizational level.
Agile Transformation Leaders, Change Agents, Agile Managers, Portfolio Managers, Agile Business Leaders, Process Improvement Professionals, and other Agilists wishing to learn/enhance their organizational capacity and leadership to support continuous and sustainable business and enterprise agility.
Phone: (800) 417-4940 Email: email@example.com
Corporate Training Inquiry: firstname.lastname@example.org