Having an agile leader , without a doubt, is to be one step ahead to be able to have positive results in any work environment. In addition, if it is a leader who works inspired by creativity and productivity , it is possible that the achievement of the objectives is certain.
All companies or brands are in search of the best possible talent, with the intention that competent and professional people be part of their work team. However, the virtues of an employee cannot be used in the best way, without having an agile , creative and flexible leader in the management.
On many occasions, the figure of the leader within a company is confused with a position of power or simply with the task of giving orders. Being a leader goes beyond that, and his leadership will depend on his abilities to recognize talent in others and make the most of it, for the benefit of the company and the management of the company.
The way business is conducted today, regardless of the field, requires companies to have leaders who adapt to current conditions; which imply not only the direction and leadership of a professional in the field, but also an agile leader who appeals to creativity and flexibility.
In times like these, in which things change rapidly and the work environment faces so many uncertainties, a form of leadership that is far from the traditional and closer to one that is more flexible and adapted to new ways of working is needed.
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Being a boss is not the same as being a leader
It is very common to confuse the work of a leader with that of a boss, not only by employees and subordinates, but even by the person who holds that position within the company.
It might seem that it is something obvious to have to remember the differences between both things, but despite the fact that in recent years a new generation of leaders has emerged who have brought about a change in organizations, many still do not differentiate between a boss and a leader. , compromising the productivity of companies.
A boss can be a leader, yes. For both things to occur in the same person, it is necessary to understand what each of them implies. A boss is one who has a position, a job, with formal authority over another; a true leader has a positive influence on others, to generate good results.
Taking this into account, the main difference is that a leader does not necessarily have to have an authority, although, indeed, many bosses are excellent leaders for their work teams.
Leadership in a boss is evidenced when, in addition to speaking, communicating and directing, he also has the ability to listen to his employees or co-workers, take their proposals into account and nurture the team spirit, more than his own.
The boss can contribute to the productivity of the company, if he really directs from leadership and not from authority.
Within the business field, leaders generally occupy management, supervision or coordination positions, but their leadership is positive when, beyond imposing their hierarchy on the work team, they try to integrate into it, resorting to empathy and understanding of their needs and abilities, to achieve the established goals.
On the other hand, there are many cases in which the best leaders of the company do not hold a hierarchical position compared to their peers, however, having virtues such as those described above, they can lead the team and also achieve good results.
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The need for new leadership in organizations
If there is a moment in history that has required the implementation of new forms of leadership, this is it. Taking into account economic, social, cultural factors and the recent health crisis due to COVID-19, leaders have found it necessary to reinvent themselves to adapt to new ways of working and maintain productivity levels .
During times of crisis like those that have been experienced in recent years, the need for new leadership is even greater and when the company lacks a figure like this, it undoubtedly makes itself felt, compromising productivity within any work environment.
Facing situations like the ones that have arisen lately, in which uncertainty and even fear take over the work team, has involved a complete change of mentality and methods when it comes to leadership.
According to the analysis of the ILO (International Labor Organization), business leadership after the appearance of COVID-19, saw the need to reinvent their leaders to boost productivity and creativity as a strategy.
In environments with high levels of conflict and work under pressure, the form of vertical leadership becomes weak against the horizontal. Therefore, in contexts as complicated as those that are currently being experienced, the traditional leader loses spaces and gives rise to the need for an agile , creative and flexible leader.
Factors such as flexibility and creativity have played an important role in the decisions that have been made recently in the face of adversity that are changing every minute. That is why leaders have had to leave behind their basic management structure and orchestrated strategies for specific problems.
The business perspective has given a total change, inviting the old and new generations to put aside the conventional, square and traditional programming, to develop skills and links that allow each person to become an agile leader , capable of reacting immediately with more flexible actions.
The figure of the leader is understanding that the strategies and solutions in moments of crisis such as those that have been experienced lately, are not the same as in normal circumstances. He has understood that change and reinvention are necessary to truly become that agile leader that companies today are needing.
What is it to be an agile leader?
Precisely because of this need to change leadership strategies and adapt them to the current scenario that exists within companies, the term “agile leadership” has emerged, as a proposal for change and reinvention in how leaders are directing companies and their teams.
The agile leader is one with the ability to act quickly in the face of sudden changes, the ability to anticipate them, and even to propose them. A leadership is agile, when there is an ability to lead under pressure work conditions or a complex work environment.
Strategies such as waiting for things to calm down to make the best decision no longer seem to be the ideal tactic for times like the ones we are currently experiencing. It is for this reason that creativity and adaptability are an essential part of defining an agile leader.
Immediate reaction and improvisation also go hand in hand with what it means to be an agile leader; not only as his own strategy, but as a tendency to solve problems and drive his work team to achieve goals successfully and together.
An agile leader certainly allows himself to learn every day, investigate new trends and advances in his area, and allows himself to maintain an open and alert mindset in order to face market and business volatility.
Today, from the smallest to the largest companies, they are riding the wave of digital transformation and the reinvention of leadership. Faced with critical situations at the moment, they are trying to successfully carry out their current business model and at the same time allow experimentation with new models.
According to the study “Why agility pays” by McKinsey, only 12% of companies manage to successfully carry out the combination of their traditional leadership model, with the speed of the current leadership model that the market requires. McKinsey states that the agile leader must combine his stabilizing capabilities and his disruptive capabilities.
What to do to become an agile leader?
Becoming an agile leader makes it a priority to really understand what agility is all about and understand why you need to reframe your leadership thinking.
To change, it is first necessary to want to do it; This implies committing to the direction of the company and its team, as well as allowing the use of other resources that perhaps under traditional leadership were not taken into account.
The willingness to change and reinvention is essential to be able to understand that agility in leadership is today the key to being able to face the constant changes in the business world, in any of its fields.
Today, companies face a changing, complex and unpredictable landscape, which is why traditional forms of leadership are already becoming obsolete and it is necessary for each company to have an agile leader in their teams.
Be willing to create, innovate and adapt
It will not be possible to become an agile leader if creativity is not used as inspiration and motivation. Implementing automated leadership methods without fostering creativity in both the management and the rest of the employees will not allow the seeding of an agile culture within companies.
An agile leader must build and maintain a work environment with a culture that encourages experimentation, collaboration, and continuous learning. You can only exercise agile leadership if you are willing to adapt to new trends, investigate, look to the sides and create an environment of cooperation with the work team.
Be flexible, empathetic and compassionate
The productivity level of an agile leader will largely depend on who they are, rather than what they do. It is for this reason that, in addition to their skills and quantitative results, their attitudes and qualities are key factors in becoming one and achieving their management.
In order to be flexible and empathetic, it will be necessary to let go of control. Even when the leader may have a management or supervisory position, it is necessary to empathize with the employees and their work team at the same level, listen to them, take them into account when making decisions and support them from the first steps.
Through flexibility and empathy, the interpersonal skills of the team can be improved and in return, the agile leader will receive the highest level of productivity .
Create permanent learning cycles
An agile leader cannot continue to solve current problems with tools from the past. For this reason, it is necessary to create constant training systems for both leaders and other employees.
Many of the companies are left behind, because the constant change of the business environment continually requires new tools, new technologies, strategies, new points of view and solutions. Agile leadership must include continuous learning as an adaptation technique, in order to capture all this new information and establish proposals to apply them to the company.
Be present and generate feedback
People in leadership positions are often absent in certain decision-making, by delegating many of their activities and tasks to others. Delegating work is not bad, however, an important characteristic of an agile leader is the ability to get involved in the processes and make themselves felt when making decisions.
Generating feedback with employees is also crucial to creating an agile culture within a company, in which they can receive an immediate response to their actions from their leader. An agile leader must be able to take quick action in situations and this will only be possible if the results are constantly evaluated.
Leadership as it is known has undergone a transformation to generate in leaders the will to adapt to a panorama of constant change, complexity and uncertainty.
The culture of organizational agility in the teams and their leaders must be promoted by people willing to respond quickly to the needs presented and resort to other alternative strategies to traditional leadership.