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

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Sohrab Salimi

Scrum Academy GmbH

Sohrab is a long-standing Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and CEO of the Scrum Academy GmbH based in Cologne. He is a trained medical doctor and worked for Bain & Company as a consultant and as a CIO at SE-Consulting, among others, before founding the Scrum Academy. As a consultant and trainer, he has been supporting companies from a wide range of industries for over a decade on topics related to agile transformation, innovation and organizational development.