Leadership - Part 1 of 3
There are lots of catchy articles about leadership. How to be a leader, what makes a bad leader, why leadership matters - if you are like me, you have read almost as much content on leadership as there are stars in the sky. Though it is an oversaturated topic, I have spent much of my employable life considering it, experiencing it, needing it, and giving it. And lately in my career, especially since dipping my toes into Agile, I have begun to realize how concentrating the power of leadership in a management hierarchy can kill forward movement in the areas that need it the most.
In our current environment, with software eating the world, and the companies making the software concentrated on the coasts and filled with privileged workers from wealthy families (a privilege largely unimaginable, with unimaginable benefits, by those of us in between the coasts, and especially from the forgotten and misty hills of Appalachia), being nimble isn't just a buzzword, it's critical.
When leaders have power without transparent accountability, which naturally can too easily happen in a structure when teams report to managers and managers report to managers (and managers have hiring/firing power), progress is about as possible as a toddler catching a minnow in the shallows of the lake at your local state park. And those of us in between the coasts need to learn that lesson fast or continue to be left behind.
In my next post I will share with more specificity the signals that can mean you might be inadvertently subverting your team's success.