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Organizations that have embraced and implemented agile mindsets and philosophies enjoy faster turnaround times and increased revenues. And in uncertain times, agile leadership is key to stay adaptive and flexible to changes.

To transform an organization into one that can compete in today’s increasingly competitive environment, leadership needs to develop agile capabilities. While there are various ways to approach agile transformations, agile leaders share common characteristics. Here are the 7 traits of an agile leader:

1.  Leads with Transparency

To prevent employees from making inaccurate assumptions or false accusations, leaders must communicate openly and frequently. Promote transparency to help minimize miscommunications that could lead to bottlenecks and lowered morale, which can negatively impact productivity.

2.  Urges Employees to Take Ownership

When leadership encourages employees to think like entrepreneurs and approach the organization as if it were their own, the result is more innovation and insight.

3.  Demonstrates Accountability

Leaders who take ownership of their triumphs and defeats show their people the value of taking responsibility for your decisions. It also creates a safe and trusting environment for employees that empowers learning from experience.

4.  Focuses on the Future 

Agile leaders focus on shaping the future by leveraging their creativity, curiosity, courage, and strategic agility. While present successes should be celebrated, past failures should not be dwelled upon and only serve as valuable lessons. With a future-focused mindset, agile leaders better prepare for potential opportunities and avoid disarray in times of disruption.

5.  Stimulates Team Intelligence

The agile leader knows the importance of championing complementary skills and developing teams aligned and taking accountability. Improving intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships amongst team members can help break down barriers that impede proper communication and effective cooperation.

6.  Enable On-demand Peer and Individual Training

The agile leader knows the importance of empowering people to develop their skills. By giving them the tools and resources to further their learning at their own pace, employees can enhance their capabilities. These opportunities to learn may involve programs that allow employees to access training online or creating conditions that promote colleagues to learn together.

7.  Build a Culture of Diversity and Inclusivity

In times of disruption, employees need to trust their leaders and the other people they work alongside. Nurturing community values can promote opportunities for employees to collaborate on projects or work in shared spaces.

The best way to achieve a culture of trust is to focus on inclusive recruitment strategies and build a community that promotes diversity and inclusivity. The agile leader knows that it starts with celebrating employee differences, increasing engagement, and encouraging collaboration.


Agile leaders optimize for flexibility so that teams may progress positively and continuously. Because of the ever-evolving nature of work environments, the agile leader must possess traits that keep them flexible and adaptable to change and humble enough to accept responsibility for faults. Ultimately, it’s an agile leader’s foresight to know that they can’t battle problems alone and focus on intelligent teamwork that drives agility and productivity.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734