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Many leaders frequently find themselves juggling a wide range of issues, such as shifting societal norms, political unrest, and economic volatility. Agile leadership, which embodies dynamic and vigorous leadership, is essential for successfully navigating these barriers. Let’s examine how you can be an agile leader.

What is Agile Leadership?

lead with agility

Agile leadership is a style of leadership that puts trust in individuals and teams to make good decisions on their own. Instead of micromanaging, agile leaders provide guidance, support, and a clear vision for where the team is headed. They believe in collaboration and teamwork, and they work to remove any obstacles that might get in the way of progress. In essence, agile leadership is about empowering people to do their best work and achieve their goals.

How to be an Agile Leader?

Most often, people are chosen as leaders based on their previous positions where they excelled well and exceeded expectations. However, excelling in a previous role doesn’t always translate to possessing leadership qualities or the capacity to guide agile teams effectively. Becoming an agile leader requires a shift in mindset and a commitment to developing specific skills. Here are some steps to help you lead with agility:

growth mindset

  1. Foster a Growth Mindset: To become an agile leader, a shift in mindset is essential. It’s no longer about individual achievements, but rather about leading a team towards collective success. Embrace a ‘we’ mentality over a ‘me’ mentality to foster collaboration and drive the team forward. Understand that learning and growth are ongoing processes. Be open to new ideas, willing to experiment, and view failures as opportunities for improvement.
  2. Encourage Collaboration: Best solutions often come from diverse perspectives so creating an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas and working together should be encouraged.
  3. Practice Active Listening: Team members are hired for their skills and their potential to contribute to the company’s goals, including generating innovative ideas that can drive revenue. As a leader, it’s crucial to pay attention to what your team members are saying and demonstrate that you value their input by taking action. This approach not only helps in building trust but also in gaining insights that might otherwise be overlooked.
  4. Be Adaptable: The business landscape is constantly evolving, with potential challenges such as pandemics or industry disruptors that can impact the company’s operations. As an agile leader, it’s crucial to be able to pivot quickly in response to these changes. Stay open to new approaches and be willing to adjust your strategies as needed to navigate through uncertainties and seize opportunities for growth.
  5. Communicate Clearly and Transparently: Keep your team informed about goals, expectations, and changes. Clear communication helps to align everyone’s efforts and reduces misunderstandings.

Examples of Agile Leadership

lead with agility

·         Amazon

In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in online shopping, Amazon demonstrated its agile leadership by quickly scaling up its logistics and delivery infrastructure to meet the increased demand. This rapid response helped the company maintain its high level of customer service despite the unprecedented challenges.

·         Netflix

In 2013, Netflix made a strategic decision to invest heavily in original content, starting with the political drama “House of Cards.” This move was a departure from its traditional model of licensing content from other studios. The success of “House of Cards” and subsequent original series like “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” solidified Netflix’s position as a leader in the streaming industry and showcased its ability to adapt and innovate.

agile leadership

·         Google

In 2008, Google launched its web browser, Chrome, despite already having a successful search engine. This move was part of Google’s broader strategy to improve the web experience and drive innovation in the browser market. Chrome’s success demonstrated Google’s ability to venture into new areas and create products that align with its mission to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

·         Toyota

During the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Toyota’s agile leadership was put to the test. The company quickly mobilised its resources to provide aid and support to affected areas. In the aftermath, Toyota implemented changes to its supply chain management to increase resilience and reduce the impact of future disruptions. This adaptability helped Toyota maintain its reputation for quality and reliability.

By adding these specific instances, you provide a clearer picture of how each company exemplifies agile leadership in response to different challenges and opportunities.

Conclusion

In conclusion, leading with agility is not just a trendy concept but a necessity in today’s ever-changing business landscape. Agile leadership goes beyond traditional management practices by fostering a culture of trust, collaboration, and adaptability. It requires leaders to be open to new ideas, responsive to change, and committed to empowering their teams. The examples of Amazon, Netflix, Google, and Toyota demonstrate how agile leadership can drive innovation, navigate crises, and sustain growth.

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Neo Webb

Dip Media Practices Content Writer | Regenesys Business School

Author

Dip Media Practices Content Writer | Regenesys Business School

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