8 Traits of a Great Leader in Any Context

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8 Traits of a Great Agile Leader in Any Context

8 Traits of a Great Agile Leader

By Chris Daily

As an agile organization continues to focus on incorporating business agility and an agile culture. Agile leaders are a relatively new type of leader. There have been hundreds of thousands of leaders throughout history—and probably millions today, leading in various government and workforce capacities. With the creation of the Agile Manifesto, many of the leaders have changed the way they lead. Scrum Masters should be great leaders that work with teams in an agile way. What 's the difference between good leaders and great leaders? What are some of the traits that agile leaders actively demonstrate to be great and effective agile leaders?


If an agile leader isn’t honest and doesn’t adhere to a moral code, how can agile leaders willingly expect other people to follow them? Agile leaders understand that when agile teams see that an agile leader walks the walk in addition to talking the talk, they have more respect for that agile leader, and a more natural desire to embrace an agile mindset themselves.


A good agile leader is confident in their ability to lead. If they’re timid and afraid, nobody is going to feel confident following them. An agile leaders who speaks with assertion will find their voice is heard, while agile leaders who hems and haws will frequently open themselves up to negotiation.


A great agile leader needs to demonstrate servant leadership and have a resolute commitment to their goals if they want their team to unflaggingly follow them uphill. When agile leaders show passion, drive, and a willingness to get their hands dirty, agile teams will rally to the cause.


It’s incredibly frustrating to work with an agile leader who does not clearly spell out what they want and have their opinions expressed in a way that is easily understood. . While miscommunication has literally lost battles and felled empires, good communication can help an agile leader and their team carry out a mission effectively.


Nobody wants to work for someone who points fingers and passes the buck. It’s whiny, childish, and almost pitiful to see someone in power try and lay the blame on others, especially when those others are the proverbial little people beneath them. By contrast, people appreciate the humility that comes with a sense of accountability—they find it endearing and bonding.


The best of agile leaders not only commands a team—they know their team. Agile leaders who know names, faces, and stories are someone that empowered teams feel appreciated which in turn translates into success. 


You may think that agile teams have a natural tendency to avoid work, but that’s not entirely true. People actually want to feel useful, and appreciate an agile leader empowering teams to make the right choices without micromanaging.


You don’t have to be the brightest crayon in the box by coming up will all the new ideas, but you better know what you’re talking about if you’re an agile leader—and if you don’t, at least surround yourself with people who do.

Do you embrace the Agile Manifesto? What does your agile leadership model look like? For more information on starting your path toward becoming one of your organization's great agile leaders with our Leading with Agility course, contact Agile Meridian today.

Our goal is to help you embrace an agile mindset provide the best agile leadership education and experience for the next wave of agile leaders.



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