Again, it’s all in the balance. If it’s just all vision and empowerment, the team won’t move. Even as an agile leader embracing servant leadership values, you still need to command and lead your tribe, and get your hands dirty with the nitty-gritty of running a business.
Classic leadership balance still holds for agile leadership.
If you’re just strategic, you’re fluffy. If you’re just operational, you’re probably labeled hyper-controlling and “can’t see the forest.”
Overly forceful leaders create scared, demotivated people. The empowering (enabling), supportive boss might be way too lax.
So then what’s the right balance between being strategic yet operational, and forceful when needed yet empowering when opportune?
Robert Kaplan and Rob Kaiser suggests in a 2009 HBR article (“Stop overdoing your strengths”) to ask three simple questions with the people around you:
- What should I do more?
- What should I do less?
- What should I continue doing more?
Center your questions specifically around the strategic-operational and forceful-empowering spectrums. The nuanced answers you get back will provide insight on where the balance is.