Modern Sensei: Leadership qualities


Become the kind of the leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.

Brian Tracy

Leadership is always trendy. We’re sure that you heard that great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths. And that’s the fact. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

Because of that, we need to make a distinction between leadership principles and leadership qualities.

Leadership is the key to 99% of all successful efforts

Principle is basically a kind of doctrine or proposition that is a guide for our behavior. Principles help us to orient ourselves in complex environments. They are an external scope of individuals, something that we’re learning working in different surroundings. On the other side, quality is personal and equated with behavioral pattern of a person. This is actually internal and humanistic perspective of the person.

But, how about leaders?

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

General Dwight Eisenhower

Humility, clarity and courage

As a Scrum Master or a Product Owner you naturally have some qualities, and in order to be fantastic leader – don’t hesitate to use them and be the greatest. There are lots of distinctive leadership qualities, and these are our choices:

#1 Empathy

This is the first thing that each leader must have in mind – an ability to relate and understand your team and be able to put yourself in the soul of your people. As a Scrum Master you need to deeply understand commitments and efforts that Development team puts into the project. On the other side, Product Owner must learn to grasp what is really important for Stakeholders and what is crucial for Scrum Master.

#2 Integrity

Everybody knows – integrity is a foundation for each leader. Be honest an open-minded as well as dedicated to each aspect of work. Especially when you have 15 days to accomplish tasks and at the same time be at service to your team in Sprint.

#3 Listening

And by listening, we’re thinking about active listening. There’s a well-said truth: people have two ears and one mouth. Leaders must carefully listen in order to make trust, respect and confidence. They’re focused on people and details that matter in every task.

#4 Caring

Appreciate others and really, really take into account their feelings and needs. Especially if you have some of Scrum roles. People are not robots. Also, leaders inspire their team members, clients and customers feel trusted. Easy to accomplish, right?

#5 Motivation

It’s not easy to motivate each member of the team. As a Scrum Master you need to give good reasons to Development team why their job is great opportunity to learn something new and be unique. On the other side, Product Owner motivates clients not to lose trust and high expectations from project. Motivation is challenging and boosting morale needs leaders’ self-motivation.

#6 Transparency

Being transparent is worthy of respect. Be open to each team member and don’t hide important information, the trust is key especially in turbulent times. How do you nurture transparency as a leader?

Do you have your own choice of leadership qualities?

Whatever you are, be a good one!

And this is a completely true.

Don’t doubt yourself, you can and you are a fantastic leader. Numerous participants said that our CAL Course helps them to find really useful guidelines in order to be better and better each day. This course is led by Olaf Lewitz, an Agile Leadership Guru, a guy who lives leadership in practice and stands for qualities that one person makes a good leader.

Look what he has to say.