At a recent minority group session I was facilitating we explored in detail what the Fifteen Percent Leader looks like using the Master Model below. We unpacked the phases of Leadership Agility. The model is this:
In summary, the agile leader is:
- Has Perspective, and
- Transforms Mindsets.
Our group then focused on the question of HOW. How do you develop leadership agility? If these are the markers along the way, what are the steps that move you in this direction as a leader?
There are five steps that build leadership agility. They are:
ONE – RESPONSIBILITY
Choose to lead based on level of personal responsibility.
All agile leadership begins with a choice to self-lead with a high sense of responsibility. The coaching world calls this being ‘at cause’ – that is responsible and accountable for the result you have created. Period.
This alone is a game changer for the agile leader. Choosing to evaluate the results you are creating through the lens of personal responsibility or being ‘at cause’ is foundational to making any lasting transformation.
TWO – FOCUS
Evaluate where you are choosing to place your focus and attention.
When you next walk into a leadership environment be aware of the FIRST things you see. You see what you are attentive to and what you are attentive to you see. Another way of thinking about this is ‘you find what you’re looking for to the exclusion of everything else.’
The most common illustration related to this concept is when you’re considering the purchase of a new car. The car you are considering suddenly appears everywhere – even in the correct colour. Why? Because you have set your focus on this object, and there it is. Stretch this example as an agile leader. What are you looking for from your team and for your team? Really? What do you expect to find? If you look for competence you’ll find it. If you look for gaps you’ll find it. If you look for challenges you’ll see them. If you focus on progress you can point it out and celebrate it.
The agile leader possesses the self-discipline to choose what they focus on and chose what they dial up and dial down. Like selecting the frequency on a radio. Allow certain noise and switch other noise off.
THREE – PERSPECTIVE
Consider new ways of seeing and doing.
The agile leader knows when it comes to perspective that two options are never enough. They always push for the third option. The third option moves you past binary thinking and binary decision making. It moves you into multiple pathways, multiple options. Lou Reed got it right when he said ‘One chord is fine, two chords are pushing it, three chords and you’re into jazz.’ The agile leader is consistently looking to introduce the third chord, the third option, the multiplier.
When you have the third chord you have the opportunity to make every idea better. Every option adds value and every consideration moves you forward. With only two options you have a ‘good or bad, right or wrong, black or white’ scenario and one can unhelpfully play off against the other. Look for the third chord that helps you shift the perspective, beliefs and options of the team you are part of and the mission you are pursuing.
FOUR – MINDSET
Rewire your thinking to align with your next season.
In the group discussed earlier we identified some objectives that would really add value to our leadership over the coming twelve months. I additionally asked the group to add in at least two objectives they had no power or capability to make happen. A real stretch goal. Some significant statements were made that require these individuals to place themselves on a deep, courageous and intentional pathway of development. Some of these statements left participants realising that a renewed mind was needed so they could be the kinds of leader they were declaring on paper. All required significantly changed mindsets and patterns of thinking. The agile leader relishes this challenge.
FIVE – ACCOUNTABILITY
Be in an environment that sharpens and inspires your development.
The agile leader places themselves fairly and squarely in environments that inspire them to stretch and reach for full capacity and full potential. Agile leaders place themselves in teams and tackle challenges where they are forced to learn new skills, do new things, and develop new leadership rhythms. Agile leaders place themselves in environments that have the same level of encouragement as they do accountability. Agile leaders do not let themselves or others off! Agile leaders look forward to the future they are creating and savour the opportunity to ‘become more’ in the process.
Jim Rohn said ‘In order to have more, become more.’ Becoming an agile leader is the next step to adding more value to the environment you are in. What is your next step as an agile leader? What must you do to take it right now?
#The15% | Going Further Faster