Agile Leadership

Top Tips To Become an Agile Leader

Time, constraints, and disruptions seem to wait for us behind every corner.  For companies that must face change now, these concepts can be a lifeline. For companies that are breaking through a plateau, the same is true. 

It’s no wonder that agile leadership is attractive to companies that want to break out of old habits or break into the next level of business growth.

Based on a small research, and conversations with other business leaders, agile leadership has a wide rage of benefits from fostering learning culture, being able to define greater goals, improved team collaboration, and continuous improvement.

One of the obstacles we’ve seen is that experimentation may be tolerated, though not fully embraced. The results may be small scale, at best, because unintegrated approaches have upper limits.

Stepping in the realm of agile is not an easy task. As leaders, we are not the only ones affected, and our leadership will be challenged as new ways of thinking are aligned to vision and mission.

Setting the right goals will make or break adoption and scalability. The flexibility necessary to create collaboration and execution may cause internal disruption. Control and distributed responsibility get in the way of building trust that comes with agile leadership.

We often discuss the improvements, processes, and ask questions during each stage of work. Here are several approaches that help us as a team to stay collaborative and build our (agile) leadership skills:

  1. We ask different questions about the same problem.
  2. We explore how to be more collaborative.
  3. We using our dynamic SWOT to recognize threats and opportunities.
  4. We assess different approaches and choose one together.
  5. We focus on finding scalability through time management.

At Red Direction, we practice agile leadership. Even though we are not always successful, and it can be a bumpy ride, we see and reap the rewards of experimentation and learning within our company culture.

Straightforward and simple approaches provide structure. The right kinds of structures provide space to explore, experiment, and learn.

Red Direction tapped ten business leaders to share their top tips on how to practice agile leadership.

“Figure out what everyone needs to get their job done and support them.Jimmy Godard, Senior Service Delivery Manager at Bank of America

“Every time you do a task that you don’t value and are not good at, you rob someone else of what you are good at.” – Dr. Ryan Marchman, Doctor of Chiropractic, The Adjustatorium

“What’s happened in the past is past. I can’t do anything about that. What’s happening in the future, I can look forward to that, but it may never actually come. All I have is the present.” – Mark Hardcastle, Keynote speaker, inspirational trainer, award-winning author.


“It’s easy to recognize we are wasting time and money, it is hard to admit to another that’s where we are.” – Jennifer Goldman, Business Transformation Specialist

“One of the most poisonous confidence levels is when you become arrogant, or when you become so self-assured that you feel you can treat any situation or any person any way you want, and nothing will happen. And that’s not true.” – Michael Rosenblum, Best-Selling Author & Chicago’s Top 1% Producing Broker

“The freedom to say, ‘I don’t know,’ and then the responsibility to show your people how to work through not knowing and ignorance. You don’t have to bear the weight on your shoulders the whole time of having to know everything.” Lee CaraherPresident & CEO at Double Forte


“Holding people accountable goes both ways. Holding them accountable for all the good stuff they do, and for what the situation is, and keep[ing] people whole.” – Kathy Atkins, CEO/Owner The Lattitude Group

“Breakthroughs really happen in solitude. That’s where you can start scoping out the vision in various areas of your life. My vision sets the course and becomes my North Star.” – Paul D. Casey, Coach/Speaker/Author Growing Forward Services

“The two main things in sales are always the opening and the closing. Because if you can get those two figured it out, you’re OK. You get them to buy things that matter with confidence.” – Tom Libelt, CEO & Podcast Host Smart Brand Marketing

“Decisions that come out of a structure that reinforces both culture and collaboration is a primary focus for agile leaders.” – Jess Dewell: Red Direction, Operations and Strategy 

As an additional reading material, we suggest following articles:

Why agile leadership is key in these uncertain times – by Yvette Francino

Building agile capabilities: The fuel to power your agile ‘body’ – by Deepak Mahadevan, Christopher Paquette, Naveed Rashid, and Evgeny Ustinov

Still feel like you need a bit of help with some business direction on this topic? Then ACT to Plan by contacting me for a 30-Minute Unstuck Quick Consult. We’ll discuss your aims, where you are, and where you should be to move deliberately toward your team-building goals!

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