ALT Techniques

Path from Command & Control to Agile Leaders

There is no obvious trick to this. See change-management literature. e.g.

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
    • Encourages
    • 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

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s