Have you ever seen a team without a leader? You might have, that wouldn’t exactly surprise me. But, have you ever seen an efficient team without a leader? Now, that’s a completely different thing. And I highly doubt that you have come across such a phenomenon.
No matter how small, big, easy, or complicated a project is, when a group of people is operating without an individual that guides them and ensures that all the goals are met, things can get a bit chaotic. Some might be working even more then they should, while others might be significantly lagging behind without a justified reason. Just think of a simple school group project you have done at some point in your life. Was everyone doing their part?
And when agile project management is in question, things can get even more complicated. In this case, even when a team is well-coordinated, the need for strong leaders never ceases to exist. They need to motivate the group to achieve the vision of a specific company and push the whole organization towards what it can essentially become. Learn more.
How It Shouldn’t Be
In such complex and important tasks, do you think it would be wise to leave a certain group to their own devices? Should we let them do as they please and just lie back, hoping for the best? Can you even imagine what that would do to an organization?
Naturally, some person or the other is bound to step up and establish themselves as a kind of a front-runner in these cases. But, this usually has less to do with the skills they possess and more to do with their character and personality. The one that stands out might be confident enough, sometimes even to the point of arrogance, but that does not mean that they are the right person to guide all the others.
While personality does play a major role here, that’s definitely not the only factor necessary to assume the amount of responsibility that comes with the position. Standing out from the crowd is not as difficult as standing out for the right reasons. Disregarding all the obligations that come with a leadership position brings nothing but harm to the company.
How It Should Be – Who Is An Agile Leader?
Transforming the whole organizational structure of a business and leading it towards becoming the one that fosters agility is as complex as it is important. Without proper agile leadership, chances of failure are much greater than chances of success. And since failure is not an option, in a Scrum team, there are individuals responsible for making sure that everything goes according to plan.
Agile leaders are the ones that are in charge of establishing high-performing teams, shaping the entire environment, coaching groups and individuals, and generally making sure that organizational changes are properly implemented. Furthermore, they help companies determine the right goals and pushing towards those even when times get tough. That means that they eliminate the possibility of giving up after the first obstacle the firm stumbles upon.
In addition to possessing a specific skill set, in order to be a great leader, these individuals have to show certain traits in their personality. For example, they need to be ready to take proper risks and inspire others to step out of their usual comfort zones and accomplish things they might have doubted they could accomplish. That way, some people might find that they are capable of much more than they initially thought.
What’s more, the mindset they develop in themselves and others should be growth oriented. That means people should be encouraged to take action in the transformation process, even when there is a risk of making a mistake. Nobody can learn by keeping their distance and watching.
How To Become One
You cannot just wake up one day and say: “As of today, I am an agile leader”. However, what you can do is wake up and say: “I want to become an agile leader”. It takes work and it would mean constant learning and adopting new skills, but it is very much possible. So, if you believe that it would be the right choice for you, let us check out how you can do this.
There is a specific training developed for this role. Known as the Certified Agile Leadership (CAL) program, this is an educational course aimed at shaping individuals into perfect leaders. The program consists of two essential parts.
CAL I is the introductory part. It is made up of five categories, each with specific learning objectives. Generally, this course is aimed at raising awareness about the way an agile leader should think and behave. CAL I is open for all kinds of candidates, with no special participation restrictions. Of course, you need to be interested in the program and serious about what you want to accomplish; otherwise, you will be wasting your time.
CAL II is, obviously, the continuation of the first part of training. This one spans across three categories. It is an advanced education aimed at guiding leaders towards further developing their skills, deepening their knowledge and increasing overall effectiveness. Unsurprisingly, you need to have gone through CAL I in order to participate in this part of the training. It usually lasts around a year and the certification you obtain has to be renewed every two years.