Path from Command & Control to Agile Leaders
There is no obvious trick to this. See change-management literature. e.g. http://change-management.com/
Powerful Questions to Engage Leadership
- What needs to change now?
- What needs to change in the future?
- What is the most urgent concern you have for the company?
- What are your top three priorities?
- What are we consistently doing that makes us better as a team?
- How do we adapt to change, internal and external?
- What do we have control of that if changed, can increase success?
- What should we stop doing now?
- Are we consistently demonstrating our values? And if so, how?
Discussion that Fosters Servant Leadership
- Help them understand the importance of role they play. Agile teams thrive when their leaders are agile with them.
- Open a dialogue on Servant Leadership. It is likely you are coaching someone who already has some of these important characteristics. This opens a safe common ground for your coaching conversation.
- Values diverse opinions
- Cultivates a culture of trust
- Develops other leaders
- Helps people with life issues
- Sells instead of tells
- Thinks you, not me
- Thinks long-term
- Acts with humility
Techniques to Coach Leaders
- Aspire to become a Trusted Advisor with the leader. A Trusted Advisor manifests some of the following behaviors:
- Is in it for the long term relationship, not short term gain
- Puts client’s interests in front of their own
- Genuinely interested in their clients and their business
- Works really hard to understand the client’s underlying interests not just surface wants. As Steven Covey so succinctly puts it in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – “Seek first to understand and then to be understood”.
- Is reliable – does what they say they will do. “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you” (Friedrich Nietzsche)
- Is credible (but doesn’t feel the need to try too hard!)
- Gets up close and personal and connects emotionally
- Is authentic, passionate and enthusiastic “Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” (Dale Carnegie)
Games/Exercises to Demonstrate Agile Leadership
- Multitasking Name Game: writing names one letter at a time for multiple people, vs one person at a time: Multitasking Name Game | Crisp – Get agile with Crisp
- Ball-Point Game, with leader directing activities vs supporting the teams.
- Backlog with vision vs no vision
- Impediment Removal Escalation Board. (First identify impediments. Then find level that would need to solve them.)
- Delegation Board & Delegation Poker
- 60 Steps exercise to demonstrate self organization vs. Command and Control: AgileConnection | Sixty Steps in the Right Direction
Coaching Leaders to Coach
- “Leader as Coach: Strategies for Coaching and Developing Others” – Mary Dee Hicks
Teams Working with No One Who has Agile Experience
- Provide training, coaches, advisors, references, communities of practice, etc.