What is the most agile animal on land? When asked this question, immediately one would think the cheetah. Surely, a cheetah, which can run up 70 mph, would qualify as the most agile. Much to my surprise the most agile animal on land is the galago (also known as “bush babies”). I know! What is that?? Well a galago is a nocturnal primate that spends a lot of its time in the trees. Along with their big eyes, which help them see in low light, these animals are super jumpers. They have very powerful back legs and a long tail which allows them to jump more than 8 feet from one point to the next. The galago is about 5 to 9 inches tall and weighs less than a pound..yet, it is the most agile land animal. So, what does agility have to do with leadership??
Just like the galago, leaders have to be agile. Leadership agility is defined as the ability to effectively lead organizational change, build teams, and navigate challenging business issues. The agile leader has the ability and intellectual acuity to assess risk, decide courageously, and act quickly in a dynamic environment while producing results. They also aid in the development of other’s capacity to do the same.
There are five key drivers of agile leadership. These five drivers are:
Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Engagement and Direction.
- Integrity: This is the foundation of an agile leader. Their actions are driven by values and principles which makes this leader reliable and trustworthy. In order to have/develop integrity, a leader must possess self awareness and accountability.
- Innovation: Agile leaders are naturally inquisitive about the world around them and encourage new ideas and promote a learning environment. They represent a facilitative leadership style and are willing to challenge the status quo to bring about change.
- Urgency: Agile leaders possess a sense of urgency and focus which allows them to establish goals. They make decisions quickly without all the formalized hierarchal format. They encourage a more cross-functional self organizing team approach. These leaders keep the company moving forward.
- Engagement: Agile leaders are inclusive across all groups with an organization and promote engagement among all team members. They reach out and across and down the complex divisions of an organization and encourage collaboration to generate superior performance.
- Direction: Leaders who are agile create direction for the organization. They are able to coordinate and facilitate collaboration among the people in their organization which facilitates its ability to succeed.
Agile leaders create an agile culture which is centered around organizational values. If you want an organization that has a high performing and engaged work group which is aligned with your purpose, values, vision and plans…be an agile leader.
Please be a galago and not a SLOTH! Like, comment and share below if you agree.
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