Agile Leading

Five key aspects of a contemporary leadership philosophy

1. Understand and appreciate an agile leadership style


Command and Control, strict instructions from above and hierarchical thinking - even outside of the IT industry - are no longer timely. What was supposed to be successful in terms of employee leadership in the 1980s and 1990s is now considered an obsolete and derogatory leadership principle.

The explanation for this is quite simple: Trust of the supervisor in the employees, a healthy degree of self-responsibility and self-determined work count as a major motivation boost and promote cohesion and a sense of belonging to the company.


2. Promote intrinsic motivation


Those in charge who understand and promote intrinsic motivation as a core aspect of a functioning team and satisfied (and thus productive) colleagues are clearly at an advantage. Unlike extrinsic motivation, which is triggered by financial incentives, pressure, fear of dismissal, or the prestige of one's own position, the intrinsic motivation is sustainably more efficient.

It comes from satisfying the need to exercise expertise, appreciation, recognition and self-responsibility and to be involved in the workplace in a positive social network.

Employees who are motivated by intrinsic motivation are demonstrably more satisfied, more capable, more engaged, and feel more connected to the employer than extrinsic motivation.


3. Be a role model instead of the dreaded Big Boss


Executives who proactively place their trust in their employees, who can also be reached on a personal level and who at the same time radiate security and competence, have very good prerequisites for respect and appreciation from their teammates. Nothing demotivates more than an authoritarian boss who leads his team with unpredictable outbursts of anger, intimidation, and little presence.

A good supervisor sees himself as a role model for his employees, both professionally as well as personally, on which the team can orient themselves. He makes it to the finish line in sunny as well as stormy times, tackles when there is a need and is aware of the responsibility he has over his team.

A very good supervisor combines these qualities with the intent to be a coach for his team, who does everything in his power to provide his colleagues with optimal working conditions and protect them from disruptions.


4. Challenge and promote your team


In the agile environment, the credo is already: Empower your people! At a time when customer needs, requirements and the general market are changing rapidly, you have to be flexible. A good agile boss relies on the strengths and qualifications of his team in order to react quickly and cleverly to changes and respond in a profitable way.

For this, he must grant his team the freedom to make decisions on their own responsibility. Just as well, the team must be able to do it both professionally and personally. If it is not (yet), it is up to the supervisor to guide his team deliberately.


5. Invest in Fun


The general mood in the job largely depends on how successful the company is and even how much fun is tolerated too. Because humor and fun in the workplace are important factors to feel comfortable in the job, to minimize stress and to defuse difficult situations.

To cultivate fun and humor in the workplace in appropriate quality can have a significant effect on the well-being of the employees, because satisfied employees are more motivated and more willing to perform.




About the Author:

Christina Schwarz

Scrum Master / People Line Manager




The certified Scrum Master with years of experience in coaching teams and individuals is thrilled with an agile mindset. It helps teams become more efficient, successful and satisfied. Christina especially motivates the positive surprises that await us outside the comfort zone.

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