8 Ways Leaders Pull the Team through Tough Times

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8 Ways Agile Leaders Pull the Agile Team through Tough Times

8 Ways Agile Leaders Pull the Agile Team Through Tough Times

By Chris Daily

It’s easy to be an Agile leader when things are hunky-dory. In fact, it can be downright awesome—especially if you get your own castle or palace (this may not apply in a modern organization). But when your agile team is in the trenches under fire, agile leaders understand that some serious agile leadership skills are required in order to lead. It doesn't matter the type of agile leadership style you use: business leader, operational leader, executive, or scrum master. Agile leaders focus on these 8 tendencies are critical in tough times.

agile organization

1. Grit

Grit is defined as courage, resolve, and strength of character, but the final blend of those characteristics yields quality that’s perhaps best summarized by one word: toughness. A good agile leader holds agile teams together in tough times by staying committed to the battle.

2. Optimism

While grit mainly relates to the present, optimism is a component of agile leadership that looks to the future. An agile leader who has a positive view of the outcome is creating a mental framework for agile teams to pull through because they foster the belief that something great is on the other side.

 Principles of Agile Leadership

3. Pragmatism

While agile leaders need to be gritty and optimistic, they also need to be practical, using intelligence and common sense to set the direction and navigate their way through the given situation. Having rose-colored glasses for the future is great, but having them on as an agile leader looks at the present can lead to costly mistakes.

4. Selflessness

A bad agile leader will try to save their own skin, but a good captain goes down with the ship—because he makes sure crewmembers get off first (that said, he doesn’t necessarily have to go down with the ship).

Principles of agile leadership  

5. Resolution

Tough times are ripe for dissension and mutiny, but a good agile leader holds command. Sometimes an agile leader has to show tough love and put the proverbial boot down when members of the agile teams start talking smack. They’ll thank you later.

6. Encouragement

A good agile leader encourages agile teams during tough times to help them find the drive to make it through. Sometimes encouragement can be as simple as wandering around the group, patting some backs, having some fun with an icebreaker, and giving smiles or friendly words.

management style

7. Preparedness

A good agile leader never finds their agile team unexpectedly thrust into bad times without some prior preparation. A good agile leader has a plan to cover all the possibilities and knows what to do if things don’t go exactly the way they were hoping.

8. Bravery

Fear can undermine the entire mission, whether the war is on a battlefield, a sporting field, or the sales floor. A good agile leader is brave and inspires his agile team with that bravery.

Incorporating these 8 tendencies in your agile leadership model and agile leadership style will have an impact on the organization's business agility and agile culture.


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