Introducing Leadership Agility

Welcome to my blog, where I share the latest knowledge and insights to help benefit you and your organisation.

In this article, I introduce you to Leadership Agility by Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs – described as “the master competency needed for sustained success in today’s complex, fast-paced business environment.”

I was excited to discover this approach and am already using it with the individuals and teams I work with. I’m sure you’ll also find that having leadership agility benefits you when dealing with today’s challenges.

leadership agility

What is ‘agile leadership’ and why is it important?

In a survey, senior executives in Fortune 500 companies identified ‘agility’ as the leadership competency most needed for the future success of their business.

For businesses today, the pace of change will continue, the level of complexity will continue, and the increase in global economic interdependence will continue. With that in mind, organisations need to develop agile leaders and organisational agility.

Leadership agility = the ability to take wise and effective action amid complex, rapidly changing conditions.

In their research, Joiner and Josephs collected data on more than 700 leaders. They found there are five levels of leadership agility, with 90% in these three levels:

  • Expert level (c45% of leaders) 
Expert leaders lead through their technical expertise and positional authority. They are oriented tactically and focus on leading individuals more than teams. They have a tactical, problem-solving orientation.
  • Achiever level (c35% of leaders) 
Achiever leaders focus on accomplishing the outcome defined by their organisation. They are strategically focused and achieve their outcomes by motivating and engaging others to contribute. They have a strategic, outcome orientation.

 Both Expert and Achiever level leaders assume sole responsibility for setting and delivering against goals.
  • Catalyst level (c10% of leaders) 
Catalyst leaders are visionary and think beyond the stated outcome. They create cultures that value different views, and encourage a shared accountability to achieve something bigger. They have a visionary, facilitative orientation.

 Catalyst level leaders create highly participative teams and organisations characterised by shared commitment and responsibility.

Do you recognise yourself in any of these descriptions? Where are you now, and where do you think you need to be?

As we grow, we develop a distinct set of mental and emotional capacities that add to the skill, knowledge and ability competencies we already have. This enables us to respond to the pace and complexity in the world today – more on this next month!

As one of only a handful of people in Europe who have been trained in this leading-edge model, I am very happy to discuss further how this may help your development, and the development of your team or organisation. If you’d like more information please email me. I would also be happy to present a keynote showing how this approach might be useful to you and your team.

In next month’s article, I’ll introduce you to the Leadership Agility compass that shows the four competencies of agile leadership: Self-leadership agility, Creative agility, Stakeholder agility and Context-setting agility. These competencies contribute directly to your effectiveness as a leader.

I hope you find this information both interesting and useful, and would love to know what you think. Please contact me anytime with your comments and ideas for topics you’d like me to cover in future. I look forward to your feedback.