How To Grow as a Leader: Developing Leadership Competency
Growing as a leader means recognizing that there is work to be done, then taking action to make those changes.
As we say at TeamCatapult: Awareness precedes choice, precedes change.
Anyone can call themselves an agile coach. What sets a truly agile leader apart, however, is someone who has a demonstrated proficiency in agile team coaching. After all, adaptive challenges do not come with roadmaps, they require new ways of engaging and leading through the process of dialogue.
Agile Team Coaching Competency Model
At TeamCatapult, we have adopted and refined The Agile Team Coaching Competency Model, originally created by Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd.
It is agile-framework agnostic and available to individuals and organizations under creative commons to further the journey of individuals becoming agile. It is also the backbone of our work developing leadership competency through the Coaching Agility from Within™ program.
A team coach’s main focus is on partnering with their teams in order to accelerate their performance and achieve their desired outcomes. They do this through maximising the team’s collective intelligence and through developing the team and its members. Team coaches also support the team’s external stakeholders, including Product Owners, in figuring out what is the right product to build and in growing stakeholders’ agility.
These outcomes are accomplished by the ability to fluidly and intentionally move between all of the competencies based on what is needed in the moment.
☆ Agile-Lean Practitioner
A deep understanding of the agile mindset, values, and principles, and the application of them in a variety of agile frameworks that are tailored to the team and its current needs.
A neutral guide who supports a group to achieve their purpose and desired outcomes in a collaborative manner.
☆ Professional Coaching
Ability to engage a person in a creative process to discover their own insights and take inspired action without being attached to a specific outcome.
☆ Professional Team Coaching
Ability to use an understanding of group dynamics and team development to help a team maximize their collective intelligence to achieve their desired results.
☆ Transformation Mastery
Ability to apply organization development, behavioral sciences, and change theory to lead sustainable organization transformation.
☆ Business Mastery
Ability to apply the values and principles of agility to the application of business strategy, management, product ownership, and process improvement.
☆ Technical Mastery
Ability to effectively bring expertise in the technical craft of developing software.
Ability to offer expertise and experience in service of fostering the growth of others.
Ability to develop new skills, mindsets, and behaviors through practice, instruction, or supervision over a period of time.
Leadership Transformation is a Journey!
Of course, in every learning process, the journey from “getting started” to “proficiency” is neither quick nor straightforward. We have found that a program designed for an 8 to 12-month period is most successful.
Team coaches need time to…
- Experience a new way of leading
- See new behaviors and different ways of working (and see them modeled)
- Try these new behaviors out in a safe space for learning
- Notice different impacts and learn how to make the decision to try something different
What Happens When You Do Not Invest In Leadership?
By contrast, we have found the cost to organizations that don’t invest in leadership to be quite high:
- Teams remain dependent upon leaders to make all the choices, which perpetuates a model of organizational rigidity and individual burnout
- An organization lacks program sustainability when an agile coach moves on to another company
- The organizational culture remains one of vague dependence rather than defined self-management
- Teams feel confused and demonstrate decision avoidance
- The status quo within the organization continues to be a barrier for growth within the industry
- There is a persistent lack of productivity
- There is a pattern of lost timelines and missed deadlines
- Team members’ morale diminishes, which directly affects productivity
Coaching Agility From Within™
TeamCatupult’s Coaching Agility from Within™ program is a cohort-based leadership development initiative. Its design encompasses two models.
The first is an 9-month program that brings leaders together from different organizations to deepen and expand their ability to lead effective teams.
The second model brings the program into a single organization over the course of 12 months, transforming team leadership culture across the board to create systemic change.
With the 9-month model, we have seen the program significantly and substantively develop the leadership competency of agile team coaches from a broad range of organizations. Cohort members work in their own organizational environments with their teams, and throughout the program; they receive 360-degree feedback from their leaders, peers, and teams, in addition to their cohort members and instructors. They meet weekly via Zoom and spend an average of six hours a week working on the program.
The unique format of this program combines the act of learning together with the required hours of practice it takes for leaders to be able to turn the theories into action. The degree, purpose, and amount of feedback is combined with specific, tailored, and actionable strategies for leaders to make small microchanges in their presence, language, and behavior.
Over time, these microchanges create impactful results for individuals and teams.
Best Practises For How to Move Leadership Forward
Leaders with range are far more likely to discover a clearer path and lead more sustainable change.
And our experience with this program shows that the best way to grow leadership range is to focus on competency development around mindset—identifying and examining values and beliefs about how change happens and the role of leaders in team settings.
From this foundation, focus can expand to include skill building, learning retention, experiential learning, and reflective practices. At TeamCatapult, we have seen the results of this program create significant, long term change for participants and their teams. It supports their awareness of how they, as leaders, can best support a team’s ability to perform more effectively.
The Value of a Cohort-Based Program
“If you believe that training is expensive, it is because you do not know what ignorance costs. Companies that have the loyalty of their employees invest heavily in permanent training programs and promotion systems.”
~ Michael Leboeuf, The Great Principle of Management
We’ve seen the uniquely transformative effects of cohort-based leadership development. With immersive cohort learning, individuals have the ability to practice their new competencies in the workplace, get feedback, work with a supervisor, and build skills together in such a way that leadership development becomes a force multiplier.
Unlike teaching that focuses on mechanical processes to “become more agile,” the focus on cultural change and leadership competency bridges the gap between learning new skills and actually developing the real-world capacity to use them effectively, pivot when needed, and apply the optimal leadership competency for any given challenge.
We invite you to learn more about our program by clicking the button below.
If you prefer, you may also schedule a call with our team today!