Agility: Best Leadership Traits

"He's a great guy, but not a great leader."
How many times have you heard that in your organization? It might be directed to a team leader or, unfortunately at the executive suite.

So how do you go break away from being a "great gal" to a great leader?

In the next few posts, we'll look at some of the "must have" leadership traits that can get you from good to great.  First on the list: AGILITY.


Agility: the ability to move or think quickly and easily.  Sounds simple. But in the world of business, obstacles are thrown on your track everyday.  How do you stay agile?

1. Push the envelope. Agility happens when people get exited about a new project, not the same old same old.
2. Create fast & collaborative channels of communication. You need to communicate quickly to teams about progress, mandates, updates. Build a communication framework that allows communication at the speed of light, not a meeting next Tuesday at 10.
3. Focus on execution.  It's all about performance. Remove slow processes and obstacles to innovation. Drink in Nike's "Just DO it!" mantra and make it your default mindset.
4. Think like a start-up.  If your team or organization has processes, departments and mandates like the federal government, you'll never be agile unless you cut the bloat. Start-ups don't have that bloat. Adopt the entrepreneurial mindset and instill it in your staff, and watch how things speed up.
5. Give permission to throw things. Make it clear to your staff that if they have an idea, they have a forum. Throw around ideas in collaborative brainstorming, rather than committee after committee of reviewing results.

To see a real-world example of agile thinking, you just have to look at Dr. David Ferrucci and his team  at IBM who built Watson, the computer who won on Jeopardy.

Think like Dr. Ferrucci...stay focused...gut the processes that bog you down, and take off!

Stay tuned for our next leadership trait!