5 Ways Agile Leadership Unlocks Success for Busy Business Owners

In my mind I am still as flexible as when I was in my 30’s. The reality is quite different as I found out this week when taking all sorts of building materials to the waste disposal site. I don’t remember being in this much pain! Whilst I may not be as physically flexible as I once was being agile in leadership is becoming more critical every day.

To give you a sailing analogy. I understand that when the wind changes direction you need to trim the sails so that they can once again move the boat forward. Being agile in your leadership means a change of perspective. What got you here may not get you to where you want to be.

“Agility is the ability to adapt and respond to change … agile organizations view change as an opportunity, not a threat.” Jim Highsmith

Agile leadership is needed because the world you lead in is experiencing change as a matter of routine. The faster you adopt an agile mindset the better prepared you will be to make better decisions that will navigate your team through the changes they are facing.

Agile Leadership: 5 Ways of Achieving Business Success

1. All of Us Are Smarter Than One of Us

In the day to day of running your business, remember that tapping into the collective brainpower of your team is a game-changer. Agile leadership recognizes that the best solutions come from diverse minds working together. When faced with challenges or decisions, encourage open discussions where team members contribute their insights. Each of your team members has a unique view of the problem leverage this. Your employees bring a wealth of knowledge and perspectives that can spark innovative approaches you might not have considered on your own.

2. Collaboration is Key

As a busy business owner, you are constantly juggling different tasks. Don’t underestimate the momentum that can be gained when you collaborate effectively. Agile leadership means creating an environment where collaboration isn’t just the latest fad – it’s a way of operating. Break down silos and promote cross-functional teamwork. Encourage your team to share their expertise, ask for help when needed, and collectively tackle challenges.

3. Principle Driven

In the whirlwind of running or leading your business, it’s easy to lose sight of your core values. Agile leaders anchor their decisions in principles that guide every step. Define the principles that align with your business’s mission and vision. Whether it’s integrity, customer-centricity, or innovation, let these principles steer your choices. When faced with tough calls, these principles become your compass, ensuring that your business stays true to its core even in the midst of rapid change. When you know your values, the decision making process is easier.

4. Model What You Want to See

You’re not just the business owner – you’re the leader your team looks up to. Agile leadership involves modelling the behaviours you want to see in your organisation. If you value adaptability, be open to change and demonstrate a willingness to pivot. If you preach collaboration, actively seek input and involve your team in decisions. Your actions set the tone for the entire company. Your team will mirror the energy and dedication you bring, creating a culture that thrives on your example.

5. Agency Not Just Empower

Empowerment is essential, but agile leadership takes it a step further with agency. Give your team members the power to not only make decisions but to take ownership of their outcomes. Provide them with the autonomy to experiment, learn, and grow. When employees feel a sense of agency, they’re not just executing tasks – they’re driving results. This sense of ownership fosters commitment and accountability, turning your team into a force that propels your business forward.

In this faster-paced world, agile leadership can be your compass. It helps you harness collective intelligence, foster collaboration, stay rooted in principles, set the right example, and cultivate agency within your team. Think about how you could start to embrace these agile principles and see the impact on your business success.

DM me to start a conversation on how you can move forward in being an agile leader at mark@smartculture.uk

Mark Billage

Mark Billage

Mark’s passion is to help realise individuals’ potential, be they leaders or team members, through empowering organisational culture. He has spent 7 years leading an organisation based in the non profit sector. In that time, he focused on creating a culture that enabled and empowered individuals, with the aim of seeing a high performing team better able to achieve the organisation’s mission.

Our Vision

To train and equip leaders to transform culture, build successful teams and organisations where everyone is seen, heard and valued for their unique contribution.

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