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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

#6 Agility and Leadership



Over halfway through a deep dive into The 10 characteristics and Qualities of a Good Leader.!

  1. Integrity

  2. Delegation

  3. Communication

  4. Self-Awareness

  5. Gratitude

  6. Learning Agility

  7. Influence

  8. Empathy

  9. Courage

  10. Respect


In 2001 the Agile Manifesto was created by software designers determined to respond to the everchanging world of technology. Since then, the focus on creating teams that harness these concepts has never been more relevant.


This characteristic refers to the ability to adapt, be nimble, and respond to the ever-changing environment, workplace, customer, and organizational needs. How we perceive (mindset) the world around us will in turn, create opportunities and determine our success.


As a leader, agility allows you to pivot, shift and respond to the unexpected with creativity while keeping your team inspired and focused. The skill is to hold a vision yet embrace humility and curiosity about what you may not know, and openness to entertain new possibilities.


Today’s business world does not rest on innovation. Most goods and services are offshoots of a previous idea. Coupled with that, there are a lot of smart people out there. So where is the sweet spot? Creativity, agility, and organizational health. You may not have the newest idea or the Ivy league team. Still, if you have people willing to think differently, outsmart the competition, and respond to the ever-changing need of the customer, you will undoubtedly find success.


A rigid top-down hierarchical structure will not suffice in this arena. Collaboration and healthy debate lead to agile thinking and superior results.


As you wrestle with innovation, ask your team:


  • What don’t I/ we know? (humility)

  • Let’s assume we fail… why did it happen? (working backward into the problem)

  • Assume worst case scenario; what do we need to be prepared for?

  • How does the customer/ client experience this situation, and how can we best serve their experience? (human-centered design)


These types of questions ask you and your team to broaden your thinking and work beyond your normal boundaries. Unpredictability is given (remember COVID?!), but how you respond and become inspired by the challenge will immediately put your team ahead of all others.


Agility leads to resiliency.


Leaders who determine their self-worth on one measure of success create a sense of scarcity and eliminate the vast options for achievement. There are only two options when your value is predicated on one result. Life, leadership, and people are complex; the skill lies in holding focus and vision yet an openness to pivot and adapt. This gentle hold vs. firm grip creates inclusion and diversity of thought, which allows for greater success and robust opportunity.


1+5=6

8-2=6

2x3=6

24÷4=6

My Challenge to you:


  • Our experiences and education influence how we approach and think about outcomes. Often, we tightly hold onto our views in fear of failure. Is there an area/ project where you can introduce this agile approach to garner a new perspective and solution?

  • How could you leverage your team’s inherent skill and perspective to develop new insights?

  • Speak last; listen more. Ask others what solutions or ideas they have and just listen. Ask a curious question, and then just listen

  • Approach your problem in an opposite way. Instead of creating a service/ product and marketing it to the customer, work with the customer to develop the product/ service which represents and meets their needs. (Human-centered design)

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