Your Agile Leader Journey

What is an Agile Leader?

An Agile Leader is a person that works in a leadership role within an organization and aims to make their organization more agile and more innovative. The term “leadership role” can be interpreted in many different ways.

Agile Leaders are aware of their organization’s need to become faster at changing what they do and how they do it. Based on that awareness they constantly develop the organization towards being fitter in dealing with the fast pace of change in the marketplace.

Learn more Agile Leadership Trainings

The Agile Leadership Journey at Agile Academy

Image: Credentials 'Certified Agile Leadership - Essentials', 'Certified Agile Leadership - Teams' and 'Certified Agile Leadership - Organizations' by Scrum Alliance

Mix and match your Agile Leader Journey.

Certified Agile Leadership -
Essentials, Team & Organizations

Image: Credential 'Certified Agile Leadership - Credential II' by Scrum Alliance

The program for experienced Agile Leaders.

Certified Agile Leadership II

Image: Skills of an Agile Leader


What skills should an agile leader possess?

Agile Leaders are also aware that there is no one-size-fits-all leadership style. One can be in a traditional leadership role i.e. have people and teams reporting to them. One can also be in a non-traditional leadership role such as a Scrum Master or a Product Owner. Hence they constantly grow their leadership toolkit and practice the application so that they can demonstrate leadership agility in various contexts.

In addition to many traditional leadership skills such as being a good communicator, problem solver, and conflict navigator, Agile Leaders need to possess a lot of self- and situational awareness so that they realize and know when to apply what type of leadership.

Further, they also need to embrace uncertainty and with that a growth mindset in order to continuously grow as leaders and continuously grow other people within the organization.

In addition to skills, they tend to demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Care about their people and the organization
  • Commitment to their organization, but also commitment to specific initiatives
  • Curiosity to learn new things about customers, markets, and their own organization
  • Creativity i.e. the ability to come up with new ideas in terms of what to do and how to do it
  • Courage to follow their curiosity and try new things
  • Competence as leaders, and in various fields that they might be responsible for
  • Clarity in terms of where to go as an organization or a team and in terms of how they communicate that clarity to others
  • Consistency in the way they act especially according to the values they want to establish within the organization


What Tasks does an Agile Leader have?

Agile Leadership is not a specific role, but rather a specific way on how leadership is enacted. So as with other leaders within an organization, Agile Leaders tend to have a wide range of tasks.

Some Agile Leaders primarily focus on developing the organization i.e. the machine that builds the machine. We usually say that these leaders work ON the organization compared to working IN the organization.

Other Agile Leaders are focused on improving the performance of teams and teams of teams within the organization. And again others lead products and initiatives that create value for internal or external customers/ stakeholders.

Based on the area of focus, Agile Leaders do very different things and need to have very different skillsets in addition to the general leadership skill set.

Image: How an Agile Leader should not behave

What is NOT an Agile Leader?

Putting Agile Leader on their business card or their LinkedIn profile does not make someone an Agile Leader. As with other skills in life leadership - and with that also Agile Leadership - needs to be practiced, needs to be learned.

A leader that has no clarity on where the organization should go, hence changes their mind all the time, can call themselves “agile”, but that is not what we mean with agile leadership.

A leader that uses a command-and-control approach to demonstrate their own decisiveness and vision is not necessarily an agile leader, because they do not allow for other leaders to grow within their organization.

A leader that delegates everything and considers themselves to just be a coach, hence is not willing to take responsibility for the important initiatives within the organization, is a coach, but not an agile leader.

We guess, you get the point. Rather than focusing on what agile leadership is not, we’d like to focus on what agile leadership is.


What are the Requirements for an Agile Leader?

We can distinguish between individuals, teams, and the organization having requirements towards agile leaders. For individuals, it is important to know that your leader has your back, cares about you, and is invested in your professional development. The role of the agile leader is to help individuals develop competence.

For teams, agile leaders create the environment in which they can succeed. This means that first and foremost these teams need to have clarity on where they are supposed to go.

Without clarity most probably all of their well-intentioned decisions will be wrong. Second, teams need to be trusted to make decisions so that they can build things faster and learn faster. An agile leader gives trust and helps the team to win other stakeholders’ trust as well. Last but not least, an agile leader helps to remove impediments.

For the organization, agile leaders constantly work on making the organization not only fit for the future but also fit for today. They challenge existing structures, policies, and metrics and through that help refine and reinvent the organization’s operating system so that it allows the organization to deliver better products and services in continuously better ways.


Which certifications are available at the Agile Academy?

The Agile Academy offers the world’s best Agile Leadership trainings delivered by trainers that are vetted by us and other leading organizations e.g. the Scrum Alliance. Currently, our partners offer the following trainings:

  • Certified Agile Leadership® Essentials (CAL-E)
  • Certified Agile Leadership® Teams (CAL-T)
  • Certified Agile Leadership® Organizations (CAL-O)
  • Certified Agile Leadership® II (CAL-II)

The training is offered as either 1-3 day intense workshops or in a modular fashion e.g. 11 modules over the course of 2 months so that you can integrate it better into your work.

How do I become a certified Agile Leader?

Once you successfully participate in one of our workshops, you will be a Certified Agile Leader. Now, does this mean you are a great leader already? No! As mentioned before, it takes a lot of practice.

Our goal is to create awareness and share with you applicable tools and techniques for you to grow, but you need to do the hard part of working on yourself.

Image: What makes me a good Agile leader?

Your Agile Leader Journey

What Makes Me a Good Agile Leader?

From our perspective the most important characteristic of any agile leader is your willingness to continuously learn. That’s what we refer to as a growth mindset. As long as you want to learn and do not consider yourself as a master of the art, you will become better.

That willingness to learn combined with discipline to practice and the ability to respond to feedback are great ingredients for becoming not only a good, but a great Agile Leader.

The Agile Leadership Journey at Agile Academy

Image: Credentials 'Certified Agile Leadership - Essentials', 'Certified Agile Leadership - Teams' and 'Certified Agile Leadership - Organizations' by Scrum Alliance

Mix and match your Agile Leader Journey.

Certified Agile Leadership -
Essentials, Team & Organizations

Image: Credential 'Certified Agile Leadership - Credential II' by Scrum Alliance

The program for experienced Agile Leaders.

Certified Agile Leadership II


What books are available on the topic of Agile Leadership?

The list of great books for Agile Leadership is long… below you will find a list of books to start with. They come from different domains, but help you get a broad perspective and good understanding of the topic in general.

Which books should I read?

For participants of the Agile leadership trainings we recommend a look at these books:

  • Leadership Agility by Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs
  • Your Brain at Work by David Rock
  • Quiet Leadership by David Rock
  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Turn the Ship Around by David Marquet
  • The Future of Management by Gary Hamel
  • Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan
  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There & Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith
  • A Leader’s Guide to Radical Management by Steven Denning
  • Multipliers by Liz Wiseman
  • First, break all the rules by Don Clifton (Gallup)
  • Mindset by Carol Dweck
  • The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle
  • Radical Candor by Kim Scott
  • Competing Values Leadership by Kim Cameron, Robert Quinn, Jeff Degraff, et al
  • Organizational Patterns of Agile Development by James Coplien & Neil Harrison
  • Beyond Performance by Scott Keller and Collin Price
  • Leading Change by John P. Kotter
  • Managing Transitions by William Bridges
  • Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  • Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux
  • Powerful by Patty McCord
  • It does not have to be crazy at work by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hanson
  • Measure what Matters by John Doerr
  • Creative Selection by Ken Kocienda
  • Switch by Chip Heath

We accompany you on your Agile Journey!

Besides the certified trainings of the Agile Leader Journey, Agile Academy offers various courses and learning formats that support you in various everyday situations as an Agile Leader to get the best out for your business.

In our Learning Management System (LMS) you will also find a steadily increasing number of e-learning courses, which you can use to consolidate and further deepen your skills as an agile leader.

More courses on Agile Academy

Become an Agile Leader at your own pace


Enjoy our self-paced agile online courses from the comfort of your home, your office, or a beach on Seychelles.... We created our e-learning courses with the intention of making learning easier and more sustainable. So dive in, learn, ask, ... And let us know how you liked it.

Agile Fundamentals

This free Agile Fundamentals self-paced online course is the perfect way for getting started if you want to explore agile in your leader role.

he course will help you build a deeper understanding of what agile means, how the most common frameworks and approaches work, and how you can become more agile by using them.

Agile Fundamentals

Agile Leader E-Learning

In this premium e-learning course, you will learn how to become a great agile leader who helps teams and organizations succeed.

Embark on your Agile Leader journey on your own pace and learn about all the tools and techniques needed to help a team of people and your organization become more agile i.e. build better products and services in a better way.

Agile Leader self-paced

Develop your Leader Skills

In addition to the Agile Leadership Journey by Scrum Alliance, we also offer courses to develop your skillset as an Agile Leader

Objectives & Key Results

With the OKR method you combine modern people management with the goal setting and measurement of results in the company.

Find out in one day how you can achieve your goals with this management method and together take the company to a new level.

Objectives & Key Results

Organizational Behaviour Management (OBM)

Learn to interpret the behavior of your employees and find out how to improve the performance of your organization with OBM.

The Organizational Behavior Management seminar teaches you successful behaviors that lead to the success of your processes and changes.

Organizational Behaviour Management (OBM)