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The Alternative Board Blog

How to Be an Agile Leader

Feb. 7, 2024 | Posted by Lee Polevoi


It’s altogether likely that business conditions in 2024 will be at least as tumultuous and unpredictable as they were in 2023. For that reason alone, it’s important to begin the process by which you become an agile business leader or improve on your current agile leadership skills. The times demand it.


Here are tips to keep in mind for your agile leadership journey:


Look for new opportunities.

Business agility is valuable insofar as leaders have the capacity and inclination to jump at new opportunities as they arise. In the new year, think about potential new revenue streams for your products or services, as well as innovative ways to revamp business operations. As we’ve said before, “The businesses that succeed the most will be the ones that use a forward-thinking mindset.


Share a vision of the future.

Most employees are focused on their daily job responsibilities, so it’s up to the agile business leader to formulate a long-range vision of where the business is headed and how you expect to get there. This helps team members stay aligned on what’s genuinely important for the business to succeed.

“Adopting an agile mentality allows teams to experiment with enhanced goods and processes,” says ProofHub, thus enabling companies “to visualize improvement at a granular level.”


Adopt the three “C’s.”

Krishna Chaitanya Repaka on LinkedIn suggests that leaders adopt the “3C” approach to agile leadership:


  • Collaboration involves all stakeholders working in tandem to meet project deadlines and the evolution of new ways of thinking.


  • Coordination helps leaders and their teams stay in sync throughout the “lifespan” of a project or initiative.


  • Communication is ongoing and tailored to provide clarity to everyone on the team.

“This approach helps to prevent misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.”


Encourage feedback and stay open to change.

Regardless of how the marketplace looks today, conditions will almost certainly change within the coming weeks and months.

To maintain an openness to change, agile leaders encourage feedback from all corners, as well as new ideas and suggestions from employees about how to improve operations. It also means adopting a non-defensive attitude when getting criticism and feedback in general. You never know where the next great business idea is going to come from.


Keep your office door open.

Agile leaders shun the quagmire of bureaucracy. They focus on eliminating red tape wherever they can and enabling operations to move forward with as few obstacles as possible. Maintaining an open-door policy helps employees:


  • Feel like they’re in touch with executive leadership
  • Better understand the company’s overall goals and mission
  • Offer insights and solutions to ongoing workplace issues


“Every worker should feel accessible in some capacity, whether that means a department head providing feedback on an idea or an executive participating in a brainstorming session,” notes HubSpot.


Always prioritize the customer experience.

Leading a business can be complicated, and it’s easy in the frenetic pace of day-to-day life to get “stuck in the weeds” of business operations.

To counter this, agile leaders delegate administrative and other operational tasks to others on the team, so they can remain laser-focused on the customer experience. Leaders must ask questions like these in the hopes of greater customer retention: How can we enhance the ways in which customers interact with our company? Can we improve collaboration within the organization to benefit our customers even more than before?

Prioritizing the customer experience guarantees “that all members are dedicated to the highest priority tasks that deliver value for the business,” notes Bridge Global. For this reason, leaders should “remove impediments on the way” and “help the team to do away with wasting time dealing with clutter.”

Staying agile in the face of constant change isn’t easy. Agile business leaders understand this challenge and are always looking for new ways of thinking—from themselves and everyone else in the organization. 

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board


Written by Lee Polevoi

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