Leading

Leading is about being the change you want to see to make the world a better place. As a leader, you are capable of catalyzing growth and inspiring others to realize the shared vision.

 

Leading recognizes that you need leadership skills in order to help grow teams and organizations using Agile principles and practices. It is built around a central notion of shared responsibility in leading. Partnering with other leaders, while taking shared responsibility on the journey towards the goal. 

 

As a successful leader, you must move between a number of stances in the support of these concepts. You may be asked lead from the front as a visionary leader or to let your inner purpose serve as inspiration for others. At other times you will be asked to subsume yourself to the betterment of others, adopting a strong servant leadership stance. A successful leader is able to “dance in the moment”, knowing when and how to move between these various stances. 

 

Leading and Self-Mastery

There are strong connections between the Leading and the Self-mastery. This is the concept that you model behavior, principles, values, and practices in your daily interactions. This extends into solid leadership behaviors when there is nobody around to observe them. That is, modeling them from the inside out is part of the essence of who you are as a Leader.

 

Visionary

A visionary leader is co-creating a vision of the future that acts as a positive attractor or catalyst for incremental change. Change that is aligned to business agility, innovation, team health, and customer value delivery. You do this largely by assisting other leaders and organizations to dream of inspiring future states and helping them hone, share, and instantiate those dreams organizationally.

 

Beyond that, a visionary is also an evangelist and champion of agility within organizations (system) and in helping to guide their journey. Storytelling is an inherently important part of being a visionary, helping to connect the dots for everyone across the organization.

 

  • Purpose Aligning and connecting is creating an aligned organizational leadership team. This begins with aligning goals (OKR’s, objectives, etc.) and then extends to more broadly affect behaviors and culture. 
 
  • Inspiring – Having the ability to personally weave powerful stories to illuminate an organization’s vision. While also serving as a mentor and coach to organizational leaders to improve their abilities in communicating a compelling vision of the future. This also includes the creation of vision and mission statements that are co-created with the overall organization.
 
  • Empirical – Nothing is fixed and everything emerges. Systems thinking on the part of the leader is an important part of it. As is, guiding yourself and organizational experiments, understanding, and emergence into new ways of thinking, leading, and working. 

 

Competency Level Definitions: 

Competency levels for Partnering will be included in a future update of the Coaching Wheel. 

 

 

Role Modeling

Think of role modeling, in the simplest terms, as a leader walking their talk each day. For example, that means modeling their agile principles and values on a day-to-day basis, both personally and professionally. 

 

There are two modes to role modeling. Modeling when the going is easy and modeling when the going is tough. Being resilient means that you aspire to be a consistent role model no matter what is going on around you. 

 

Role modeling is also an extension of mentoring or showing what excellence looks like—showing instead of telling. This can be passively and actively showing what agile ways of leading look like. 

 

There are four skills that come become crucial to master:

 

  • Personal (inside-out) Modeling – This is the Self-Mastery aspect of role modeling . You are asking the question “Am I showing up as myself?” What does that look like? Ethics are also represented here, that is, are you showing up ethically according to common ethical standards for Agile Coaching? Are you continuously learning and growing as a leader?
 
  • Client (coaching presence) Modeling – This is where the language you use as a coach really matters. For example, are you becoming more “Clean” in your use of language? Are you working hard to reduce your ego and biases? Are you aware of and are you refining your coaching presence? This skill is also closely connected to Self-Mastery and Coaching Mindset.
 
  • Community (visible persona) Modeling – You are representing yourself in the wider agile community.You are modeling on a broader or more global scale via event participation, public speaking, writing, videos, or other avenues to model your experience to others.
 
  • Model Resilience – this is where your ethics, values, and principles show up under pressure. The pressure here could be political, business, financial, or even internally-driven. Building your resilience over time is an important aspect of role modeling. Consider it the fitness test for your model. 

 

Competency Level Definitions: 

Competency levels for Partnering will be included in a future update of the Coaching Wheel. 

 

 

Leading for Growth

Agile coaching skills are often used to help organizations grow. On the surface, this appears to be growing as an agile organization and encompasses standard frameworks (Scrum, Kanban, scaling, etc.). And to that end, there is a connection to the Agile/Lean Practitioner competency area. That is not the most challenging part of leading for growth.

 

The challenges are more cultural and organizational in nature. And this is where your organization or clients often struggle the most, because they have to:

 

  1. Grow personally and internally
  2. Grow and evolve their leadership teams
  3. Grow and evolve their organizations
 

This involves successfully navigating their VUCA contexts while navigating and negotiating large-scale change. Given that, there is a strong connection between this competency area and the Transforming competency area. 

 

There are skills that come become crucial to deepen your knowledge:

 

  • Building Team and Organizational Resilience – Acknowledging and communicating that growth doesn’t make any sense if it’s not sticky or resilient for the long term. You need to work with your leadership clients to ensure that they’re building team and organizational resilience. Self-care factors into that, as does mentoring and coaching their teams. Succession planning is something to focus our clients toward as an imperative.
 
  • Culture-Shaping (Building, Shifting, Micro-steps) – You understand that culture isn’t built in a big, mechanistic way. Instead, it’s built (or shaped) by every behavior that leaders exhibit and reward/amplify or penalize or tolerate. 
 
  • Diversity & Inclusion: The ability to help your clients to create a safe culture where all voices are embraced and welcomed. Psychological Safety, coaching to develop more generational awareness, deep diversity awareness (including neurodiversity), and cultural awareness.
 
  • Learning Organization – think of Peter Senge’s The 5th Discipline – The Learning Organization here as the coach partners with your clients to establish a culture of continuous learning and growth. Practices here include Communities of Practice, Guilds, and Coaches of Coaches.  Included with this is developing your coaching abilities at a systems level, systems thinking, and organizational system awareness. 

 

Competency Level Definitions: 

Competency levels for Partnering will be included in a future update of the Coaching Wheel.