Who is an agile leader?
An agile leader is a leader who is flexible, adaptable, and quick in decision-making. An agile leader is the need of the hour in the present quickly changing times. Being a leader, it is your prime responsibility to lead a team. You will be responsible for tracking all critical decisions and being accountable for those decisions’ outcomes. The success of your organization will significantly depend on your skills and decision-making abilities.
In the present times, it is essential for a leader to be an agile leader because of the quickly changing conditions and to meet the ever-changing demands of customers. As a leader, you should always be ready to face the consequences and be flexible to change quickly when the circumstances change.
Characteristics of Agile Leaders
Now, when you know who is an agile leader. The next step is to learn what it takes to become an agile leader. The following are the main qualities that make a leader an agile leader.
1. Be a learner
The first and foremost quality of agile leaders is that they never stop learning. They are always one step ahead of their team members and keep enhancing their knowledge to sail their team through challenging situations. They are aware of the significant challenges that their team can face and be ready to help their team out.
They listen intently to their team members and gain insight into the situation by asking them the right questions. Your employees will feel confident to follow your instructions if they know that their leader has the required skills and knowledge to lead them.
As an agile leader, having the required expertise beforehand helps you to make decisions quickly and efficiently.
2. Inculcating creativity and innovation in their team members
As an agile leader, you are not only responsible for your growth but are also responsible for the development of your team members. You will be responsible for fostering agility in the organization.
An organization can achieve agility by inspiring its employees to become creative and innovative.
An organization can only achieve its goals and success when all its employees are creative, innovative, and hard-working. Therefore, as an agile leader, your job is to help your team members face any problems and make them capable of thinking of creative and innovative ideas to solve their problems.
3. Making changes in your management style to match the working style of your employees
In the old ways of working, the employees were required to make changes and adapt to the organization’s norms set. However, in the present times, if you want your employees to work hard and become loyal to your organization, then it is crucial for you, as an agile leader, to make changes in your working style for your employees.
Being flexible in your working style is one of the essential qualities of an agile leader. By making changes in your management style, you demonstrate to your employees the lesson of agility.
Thus, your employees will not fear to change and be willing to adapt to the change quickly. Your efforts will show them that you value your employees and are eager to make changes for them.
4. Don’t fear to face new challenges
Another essential quality of an agile leader is that he doesn’t fear to face new challenges. In the business world, every day is different, and you will face new challenges every day. Therefore, you can’t rely on what worked for you yesterday. You will need to come up with new ideas and strategies to solve your problems.
As a leader, you should learn from your past experiences and use your knowledge to face new challenges and help your team face those challenges.
5. Having the ability to take quick and sure actions
An agile leader can take quick and sure actions whenever required. You should have the skills to divide your task into smaller tasks and put them in a sequence to be utilized properly.
An agile leader prepares a proper plan for their team members to complete a work task within the time limit and efficiently.
6. Agile leaders are content and creative
An essential quality of an agile leader is to be creative and content in his work approach. He should be ready to adapt to change for the growth of the organization. An agile leader doesn’t let his ideology and values come in his way when it comes to adapting to new methods for the organization’s growth.
As a leader, you should not show any sign of discontent when the change occurs in the organization. Instead, it would be best to make your employees feel comfortable with the growth and encourage them to make the most of the opportunity. Doing this will require your creativity so that you can use innovative ways to convince your staff.
An agile leader doesn’t fear working on new projects and new people. He trusts the skills of their employees and their leadership skills.
They present their team confidently in front of their clients and business partners and encourage them to take on new challenges to achieve new heights.
8. Having a growth mindset
Having a growth mindset and keep making efforts for the growth of the organization. To do this, an agile leader is continuously required to learn new skills and keep updating their knowledge.
An agile leader stays aware of what is happening in the market, what new technologies came into the organization. They learn about new technologies and also motivate their team members to update their skill sets.
9. Let go of what doesn’t work for you
One quality of agile leaders is that they don’t hang on to something that doesn’t work. They quickly let go of something that might have worked before but is not working for the problem at hand. They look for new solutions and try new solutions to solve the problem.
As an agile leader, you should be flexible in finding a solution to a problem. It would help if you were willing to challenge your own beliefs and keep changing your thoughts and assumptions as per the need of the hour. Having the quality of letting go helps an agile leader not waste any time on methods that don’t work.
10. Handing over the control
Another quality that differentiates agile leaders from traditional leaders is that they don’t control their team members. They understand the way their team members work and help them accordingly. They help them complete their tasks and supervise them.
If you are trying to become an agile leader, you might find this transition a little complicated. You will have to drop your habits of giving work assignments and asking for progress reports. You might have been using these methods for a long time, and might have worked for you too.
But as an agile leader, you should learn the working style of your members and give them the freedom to complete their tasks to make them free of unnecessary tasks.
11. Learn to enjoy the process
Agile leaders don’t focus only on the result, but they enjoy the whole process. In this way, they stay positive and keep their team members positive throughout the process. They understand their team members’ shortcomings and help them overcome their weaknesses and evolve with the process.
12. Embraces failure
Failure is inevitable and can’t be avoided no matter what you do. Therefore, being comfortable with failing at something will help you to learn and grow. Their quality of embracing failure encourages their team members to take risks and not fear taking on new challenges.
Role of Agile Leaders
Agle leaders play an essential role in the success of an organization. The following are the roles played by an agile leader.
1. Design the culture
The first and foremost role of an agile leader in the restructuring of the organization’s culture. They make strategies to redesign the organization’s culture so that everyone working in the organization can be taught to follow agility in their work approach.
2. Co-create goals
Agile leaders don’t give instructions and orders to their employees. Instead, they co-create plans with their employees. In this way, the employees have a clear understanding of the goals that they need to achieve.
Agile leaders create goals with the employees and make efforts that help employees achieve their goals faster.
3. Facilitate ownership
An agile leader is responsible for creating an environment where employees don’t feel like they are being controlled all the time. As an agile leader, you should make such circumstances feel ownership to make decisions and think of creative ideas.
However, you need to provide the right amount of ownership to your staff members to achieve desired outcomes.
4. Creating a learning environment
agile leaders always think of the future and align their actions with future projects. They keep learning and also encourage their team members to update their knowledge and skills. They provide constructive feedback to their team members and motivates them to improve.
Agility can be considered as a positive attribute of a leader. Agile leaders focus on the development and growth of the organization. They create an environment in which people work hard to achieve both organizational wells as personal goals.
Agile leaders can be considered the organization’s backbone, and an organization needs agile leaders to succeed in the current fast-changing environment.