What is Agile Leadership?
Essential to business change, Agile leaders have the foresight and humility to understand they can’t tackle organisational problems alone. They work with individuals who love learning, inspire them to improve, and provide them with ample opportunities for development.
Agile leadership is based on concepts that support business transformation, and many of these are covered in any leadership development program. They include:
Those who lead by example and engage in their own development not only drive and promote change, but inspire others. They work on themselves through action rather than words. They also exhibit empathetic and humble traits by demonstrating virtues like kindness, care and compassion.
Meaningful action results from high-quality thinking, and Agile leaders look at problems from different angles. They obtain input from those close to the problem to ensure they are in touch with reality when making decisions. They also allow for their own ‘thinking time’ in order to focus on the highest priorities that need tackling.
Although it’s sometimes seen as a negative experience, Agile leaders obtain feedback that is useful, timely and meaningful. This allows them to respond to the suggestions made in order to close the feedback loop. When giving their own feedback, they ensure that it is honest, open and respectful.
Finding meaning and purpose
Agile Leaders focus on building and sharing a common purpose, and their vision for change is applicable and meaningful to the organisation. They are aware of what is in the hearts and minds of their team and then work to align and unify those values to leverage inspired action.
The importance of emotion
Emotion is an important part of the human experience and something Agile leaders understand well. They encourage their team to work with their emotions to achieve more of their potential. They also encourage innovation and creativity by being open, honest, accessible and transparent.
Realising leadership potential lies in everyone is vital to helping teams adapt and learn. Agile leaders develop these capabilities by providing opportunities for people to display leadership. This is often achieved via mentoring and allows an organisation’s Agile culture to thrive.
Agile leaders recognise people work best when they are engaged, energised and enabled. They balance the needs and challenges of an organisation and recognise empowerment comes from exerting leadership behaviour that is based on the notion of continual change.
Communities that collaborate
One of the important roles of an Agile leader is to provide communities with the tools to operate efficiently, but allow them to function autonomously within their boundaries. They understand that positivity, generosity and gratitude are important to healthy work environments and encourage continual learning and development.
Fostering a culture of ideas
Those that are close to a problem often know how best to solve it. Agile leaders are open to the ideas of all employees regardless of their position. They take time to listen to the opinions of others and encourage a continuous flow of creativity in order to solve problems and allow for improvement.
What is Mindful Leadership?
Learning about Mindful leadership is an important part of any leadership development program. It can be defined as ‘the cultivation of clarity, focus, compassion and creativity in the services of others’. Basically, it’s about being willing to put the interests of others before ourselves, and the notion of managers leading without ego.
Those who practise Mindful leadership are often more innovative, have better decision-making skills, improved strategic thinking, and foster integrity that inspires true greatness in others. It involves:
Leading by example
A Mindful leader doesn’t expect others to do things they are not willing to do themselves. They are aware their attitudes and behaviour will influence the culture of both the organisation and their team. A failure to do this can cause a deterioration of trust, and a disconnect between leaders and their employees.
Offering constant recognition
Everyone likes to be recognised and appreciated for their hard work on a regular basis — and not just with a pay rise! Employees who are consistently supported by a Mindful leader will be more engaged, and more willing to support the philosophies and growth of an organisation. They will also be open to seeing negative feedback as an opportunity to improve.
Leading with humility
Humility doesn’t mean you think less of yourself, it means you think of yourself less! It is certainly not a sign of weakness, and a Mindful leader is able to recognise their own weakness and is not afraid to ask for help when they need it. It also means they are open to receiving not-so-positive feedback and look at how they can improve their own shortcomings.
Communicating with compassion
Words are very impactful and Mindful leaders are able to communicate in a compassionate way while also being aware of their own emotions. Communication should be beneficial, honest and thoughtful in order to enhance the likelihood that it will be received well and result in a positive outcome.
Mindful leaders are able to reflect on their thoughts, behaviour and actions and improve their emotional intelligence. This allows them to be sympathetic to other’s needs and concerns and understand their perspectives. It also increases awareness and allows leaders to control emotions rather than be controlled by them.
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