TL; DR: 10X Your Agile Leadership Game with 10 Affordable Books
Agile leadership is tricky, covering a lot of ground, from team building, decision-making, servant leadership, and self-management to including everyone and giving everyone a voice—to name a few of the challenges.
In the past, I found the following books beneficial to better understand the problem and solution space agile leadership. Moreover, you can significantly improve your leadership game as Scrum Master, agile coach, or manager for less than $ 200—an excellent investment from a professional perspective.
🇩🇪 Zur deutschsprachigen Version des Artikels: Agile Führung: 10 verborgene Juwelen für eine 10X Steigerung Ihrer Führungsqualitäten.
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Agile Leadership Reading Recommendations
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- “Turn the Ship Around!” by L. David Marquet: This book offers a unique perspective on leadership and decision-making from a former submarine captain, emphasizing the importance of empowering team members and creating leaders at every level.
- “Reinventing Organizations” by Frederic Laloux: This book explores the concept of “teal organizations” that focus on self-management, wholeness, and evolutionary purpose as critical principles to foster effective decision-making.
- “Host: Six New Roles of Engagement” by Mark McKergow and Helen Bailey: The authors present an alternative leadership approach called “Host Leadership,” which encourages leaders to create the right conditions for collaboration and decision-making in agile environments.
- “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier: This book focuses on the power of asking questions and how leaders can use coaching techniques to support better decision-making within their teams.
- “Quiet Leadership” by David Rock: This book delves into the neuroscience behind leadership and offers practical techniques for leaders to create a positive environment for decision-making and collaboration.
- “The Responsibility Process” by Christopher Avery: The author provides insights into the psychological patterns that shape our behavior in decision-making, highlighting the importance of taking personal responsibility for our actions.
- “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott: This book offers a framework for providing honest and constructive feedback, which can improve team dynamics and support better decision-making.
- “An Everyone Culture” by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey: The authors explore the concept of “deliberately developmental organizations” that foster continuous growth and development, providing a supportive environment for decision-making.
- “The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management” by Stephen Denning: This book offers a comprehensive guide to transforming organizations for the agile age, focusing on customer-centricity, continuous innovation, and empowering teams.
- “Creating Great Teams” by Sandy Mamoli and David Mole: This book introduces the concept of self-selection, where team members choose their teams and projects, fostering a culture of trust and collaboration that supports effective decision-making.
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Agile Leadership — Conclusion
“Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others.” Otto von Bismarck’s quote perfectly captures the value of learning about agile leadership through reading. By studying the wisdom of experienced leaders, we can gain insights, avoid pitfalls, and save time.
How do you invest in your agile leadership capabilities? Please share with us in the comments.
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Adapt How You Lead for Agile Success — Johanna Rothman at the Agile Camp Berlin 2021
The Free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide
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Seeing that you have Turn the Ship Around at #1 gives me confidence that your other recommendations are on point. I’ll read as many as I can, thanks!