Tuesday, 24 July, 2007

Agile Leadership

The chances for software to succeed are much higher if you have a leader (not Manager) working in it. The difference between a Leader and Manager is well explained by Warren Bennis: “Management is getting people to do what needs to be done. Leadership is getting people to want to do what needs to be done.”

What distinguishes leaders from managers?

  1. Leaders are interested in direction, vision, goals, objectives, effectiveness and purpose. Managers are interested in efficiency, both day-to-day and short-run.
  2. Managers administer while leaders innovate.
  3. Managers focus on systems and structure; leaders focus on people.
  4. Managers rely on control; leaders inspire trust.
  5. Managers have their eye on the bottom line; leaders have their eye on the horizon.

The best leaders care about both the small and big pictures. They sweat the details -- but they also have the ability to make people feel valued ... to inspire and energize them, to nurture their creativity and to encourage them to take risks and learn from their mistakes. The top qualities of Leaders are:

  • Character: Should be honest and must understand the gravity of words; That’s the key quality of a leader.
Sharing with you Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, (http://www.leadershipchallenge.com/) 10 year study results where they’ve asked over 75,000 people to select top qualities of a Leader,
from a possible list of 20 values:

The results are shown in figure below

Honesty on the top !

  • Technical competence: Technology and domain expertise. Ability to help and solve project issues.
  • Clear Vision: Leaders know their goals and way to reach their in time.
  • Team handling and Communication: The ability to communicate, motivate, delegate and ability to identify and cultivate talent in team members.
  • Decision Making: Ability to take quick and right decisions