What is Adaptive Leadership

Agile Leader

Catalyst, mediator, meaning maker

As a manager, I create and protect effective structures in which people can have enriching experiences.
As a leader, I work with people, helping them work effectively, develop, and make sense of their experiences.
As an Agile Leader, I make sure that my company and we prosper equally in troubled times.

What is Agile Leadership

Leading means giving direction. This requires: having direction, being consistent, authenticity. In this respect, each individual leads.

Now we’re talking about areas of impact. If I want to lead other people, I have to understand what drives me and I have to be consistent. Then I can work with other people respectfully and at eye level.

Leadership also means creating structures. As a result, I have a significant influence on the daily experiences of my employees.

What is specific to Agile Leadership in this regard?

In a volatile environment, rapid adaptation of the organization becomes important. This shapes the role of the leader and brings new challenges: dealing with uncertainty, speed through collaboration, using all experiences.

Other requirements such as respect and authenticity are not exclusive to Agile environments, but they are becoming more important.

My mission statement

More specifically, my mission statements:

  • for the organization – what is leadership good for and what is a good organization?
  • for myself: Attitude, skills, talents and tasks – and what the varieties of the role are.
  • for my work with people
  • for my work as an organization designer

When we talk about leadership, we distinguish four views:

  • As a manager, I create and protect structures in which people can have specific experiences.
  • As a People Lead, I work with people, helping them develop, find meaning, and make sense of their experiences.
  • As an entrepreneur, I decide on direction, take risks and make tough decisions.
  • As a domain expert, I understand and shape the business and products

These views are not distinct roles: A particular position brings with it a specific mix of responsibilities, and I need a corresponding mix of skills and talents, typically from all view areas.

Lead yourself

People make experiences, they adjust their behavior accordingly. In the long term, this influences the opinion of what is “normal” – as a collective opinion, we consider this to be culture.
So I have to understand what drives me, be authentic.

Develop people, lead teams

It’s about helping individuals and the team as a whole develop their skills and capabilities and deliver reliably and effectively.
As a guiding visualization, we use the FAEE cycle to drive implementation and development: To empower a team, you need to focus them, align them to a common cause, and enable them, i.e., make sure they have all the skills, information, and motivation they need.

Lead and shape the organization

When we say lead of organizations, we mean the growth of the adaptive organization. This includes developing an identity and strategy for innovation and learning as well as creating structures and building a culture of trust and collaboration.
The guiding visualization is the Sense Making Cycle:
“The Game” is a situation in which we act, observe the environment, orient ourselves to find and decide on a role and purpose.

Agile Leadership is a role description, a learning path, a skillset, and an attitude.

The elements go from team leadership to organizational design.

It is a challenge to reconcile all these demands. Perhaps the most important description is: leaders work on the system, not just in the system.