5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring or Promoting an Agile Leader

Your Leadership Legacy Starts Here

As a leader in an organization one of your many expectations would be to determine when one of your direct reports are ready to be promoted into a leadership position or deciding who should be hired from the outside into an open leadership position reporting to you. When promoting internally, this often means deciding when […]

So Different…Yet Very Much the Same

I’m writing this in near total darkness during a planned power outage (called load shedding) in a time zone 7 hours ahead of my home in Chicago. Hang on battery…hang on! It’s been almost 8 weeks since I landed abroad to start an Agile coaching assignment. Admittedly, I was nervous. Would I be able to […]

Is “Protecting the Team” the Right Thing?

If you were to ask a Scrum Master what they do a common response is “we protect the team.” From the context of protecting the team from themselves or an aggressive product owner as Mike Cohn describes, I would agree. Protecting the team from complacency or overwork is a worthy endeavor. For many Scrum Masters, protecting […]

Help! My Company is Stuck… (Part 2)

In Part 1 of Help! My Company is Stuck, we discussed a few of the stagnating scenarios found when organizations are attempting transformative movement towards greater agility and improved culture. In part 2, we’ll dig into a few of the more challenging situations you may be experiencing. Admittedly, many of these will require a coordinated, herculean, […]

Fostering the Culture of Agility with Servant Leadership

The phrase “servant leadership” is frequently used when current leadership styles (typically command-and-control) clash with an emerging culture of empowerment and self-organization. “We need our leaders to embody servant leadership” is a comment I recently heard. But what is servant leadership? Do people really know what they are asking for? As Patrick Lencioni states “I’m tired of […]

Disposable, Invisible, or Valuable

What do managers really think about the people who report to them? I have been in many conversations with managers about their direct reports and it’s fascinating how the dynamics of the conversation shift based on who they are talking about. Some people are their “rock stars” and when mentioned a manager would often perk up or […]

Get On Board or Get Out…A Leaders Ultimate Ultimatum

Last fall the CEO of AOL made the news by notoriously firing an employee during a “company all” conference call. The recording of the audio and transcript of the event was subsequently released to the internet. While the real-time firing made all the news, reading the transcript further reveals the following ultimatum was directed towards […]

A Managers Guide to Attending Agile Team Events

I have always been a proponent of keeping most Agile events and rituals open and transparent. If anyone in the organization would like to stop by a daily stand-up session or experience a sprint review, the more the merrier… …with one exception. If you are a manager with direct reports on an Agile team (you […]

Performance Cannot Be Managed…It Can Only Be Inspired (Part 2)

In Part 1, we discussed a few of the reason why current performance management systems may be flawed and are contributing to the employee disengagement epidemic facing many organizations today. So, if what we have isn’t resonating with many of our people – if it is not inspiring greater performance and engagement – what are […]

Performance Cannot Be Managed…It Can Only Be Inspired (Part 1)

It’s that time of year again…performance management review season. The topic of performance management seems to be in the spotlight more than usual with recent news from Yahoo! and Microsoft. For many of the early years in my career I was an independent consultant but in 2004 I joined a large company as an employee. […]