One of the key topics in the Agile community is leadership. What kind of leader motivates people to get up every morning and give their all? Here are 10 ways to improve your leadership skills and help your team reach new heights.
1. Start where you're at. Learn to adapt your leadership style to the situation. Is the team used to traditional leadership? Help them transition from asking 'what do you want me to do?' to stating 'let's do this together!'
2. Have a compelling vision, and communicate it effectively. Instead of saying 'let's make lots of money,' give your team a clear goal and tangible reasons to get up every morning.
3. Stop ordering people around and start leading them. Figure out what drives people, then motivate them to do what's needed – and to want to do what's needed.
4. Give your team the gift of focus. Allow them to work on one or two things at a time, while saying "not now" to everything else, and get in a flow where they can work for hours without getting overwhelmed.
5. Challenge people to get gritty. Work, even work you love, is not always easy. Help your people get through it by cheering them on, providing support, and coaching them through the tough spots.
6. Relentlessly evaluate and adapt. Be brutally honest in giving feedback, and demonstrate humility and grace in receiving it.
7. Stop micro-managing and start trusting. It's good to know what's going on, but don't hover and ask for needless information. Trust people to get the job done and give them the authority to do so.
8. Get started. Even if you feel like you don't have all the information. It's not your job to play it safe, it's to take calculated risks and learn along the way.
9. Break it down. Huge progress can be made in small increments. Only have fifteen minutes? Use them, and finish something. Useful for development and personal development.
10. Show people you care. About who they are, as well as how they work. Pay attention to what they're doing and show genuine appreciation and praise.
We all have a preferred personal style of leading that usually serves us well. But by developing the ability to step outside your comfort zone and actively seek out discomfort, you and your team can reach new heights. Take a PAL-E class at Gladwell Academy and find out what that means.