Big Leader - Small Actions - Great Outcomes
Becoming an Agile Leader is a journey, however there are some immediate steps that you can start with to see the first outcomes. They are not limited to industry, gender or experience, and they stick to the general rule: keep-it-simple!
1. Go See - top rule for a lean leader. Don't sit in your nice office all the time, go check what your employees are doing (Gemba walk), what are their challenges, impediments or latest successes.
This can help you get the unofficial/real pulse of the business and make better decisions, overcome problems you have never dreamed about or find the solution you needed for your next meeting with the Board.
2. Active Listening - once you are down from the Rapunzel tower you can listen to your employees. No wonder we have two ears and only one mouth, so let's use this right. Active listening can help you see the unseen and gain trust in the same time. Do not listen to reply. Speaking does not bring you anything new, but listening opens new horizons.
3. I don't know - the ultimate trust winner. When you talk to one of your employees and you admit that you do not know, you show vulnerability, you suddenly come down from your comfortable seat in the clouds to the mother earth. You get closed to the person next to you and while earning trust, you have the chance to obtain full openness. It is ok for a leader to say "I don't know", he is opening a culture for collaboration and learning.
4. What do you think? - Usually when someone comes to you with a problem, he also holds the answer to it. But because our leaders are standing so far away from us and we lack trust, our solution will fly out.
5. Thank you - Two simple words that make miracles. It is your JOB as a leader to motivate your people by recognizing their work, effort and achievements. Humans are strange characters, some are more motivated by these two words rather than salary, position, etc..
BONUS: Try to change from a 'Yes, BUT' attitude to a 'Yes, AND' one.
Changing to Agile is hard, however if you try these steps out, you will see the change fast and decide whether you can take it or not. It does not work for everyone, we are all different, thank God!
Anything else you would add? Share your feedback in the comments bellow.