Having discussed the idea of Agile with lots of senior leaders, one conclusion emerged: Agile is actually a form of leadership. Actually it’s better: it’s leadership with instructions!
No matter what you do, no matter how you call yourself, the only question you should be asking yourself is: what is my leadership? Why would anybody want to work with me? What would they listen to me? Why would they follow my lead? Is it technical leadership? Business? Process? Agile promotes the idea of leadership in different areas. Let’s explore some of those.
Product leadership. That is when you know your audience very well and you know what would make them happy even without them telling you. You can build the right feature because you know it solves their problems. You understand that your clients always know better. They might not be able to describe the feature or the product they need but they can complain about a problem. And you, listen carefully, try to formulate the problem, play with some potential solutions and build the one that solves it for them.
Technical leadership. If you know your stuff this shouldn’t be too hard. There’re lots of theories about how much work you need to put in to get to a level of mastery that will make others follow your leadership but if you don’t waste your time, in a matter of years you should have it. And once you master your craft anybody will listen to you, including the toughest CEOs in the world. Because you know!
Process leadership. That’s an incredibly powerful and simple one. Your leadership comes from getting things done. Something needs to be done? You take it on and make it happen. No excuses, no delays, no blaming, no “didn’t have the time” not “my PC didn’t work”.
Which one is you? Or which one do you want to be?