We need to become part of the majority willing to practice Agile Leadership says Julia Schmidt

Working in the IT industry has given me the opportunity to learn about agile leadership by doing; by practicing leadership alongside with my agile executives.

The most important elements in this kind of leadership are:

  • Transparency and safety
  • Involvement and decision-making
  • Looking at the whole picture
  • Team focus and collaboration
  • Guidance and enablement
  • Sharing and collective intelligence
  • Innovation and shared goals

Agile leaders are inclusive. They are democratic leaders who exhibit a greater openness to ideas and innovations. Agile leaders create collaborative teams and collective leadership that involves people in decision-making.

You manage things; you lead people

Admiral Grace Hopper

Attributes associated with Agile Leadership

All Executive Assistants can add these attributes to their skills-set:

Ambiguity tolerance

Agile leaders provide an environment where it is safe to fail and can be at ease with uncertainty. They are open-minded people. They know that being open to experience is fundamental to learning.


Agile leaders are curious and encourage their teams to know and practice the importance of questioning the status quo. They stretch themselves outside their comfort zones in a continuous cycle of learning and confidence-building that ultimately leads to success.


Agile leaders have an innovative mindset and can look beyond the present or a problem to see events from a broad and global perspective.


Agile leaders have the guts to step forward and take necessary risks.


Agile leaders create an environment of certainty by appearing solid and positive and by giving feedback, encouragement and recognition. They recognize that psychological safety is just as important as physical safety.

Emotional Resilience

Agile leaders have the capacity to bounce back in the face of stress, adversity or change and create empathetic environments.

Critical Thinking

Agile leaders can think clearly and rationally, being able to understand the logical connection between ideas.


Agile leaders are visionary and can imagine and plan the future. They strongly communicate vision and values to build trust.


Agile leaders can make their teams and themselves maintain productivity during transitions or periods of chaos.

Looking for new ways of working

Everyone is yearning for a better way to work together. We long for more soulful workplaces where our skills and our talents meet our deepest desires. We need shared values and goals; we need to look for new ways of working. We need to become part of the majority willing to practice agile leadership.  We can start doing that with our teams, and then have the culture spread across the whole organization.

Let’s create a new culture of collaboration, a collective leadership, where people work together and are committed to making big things happen!


The attributes associated with agile leadership are from Iacocca & Witney’s ‘Where have all the leaders gone?’ and Wilkinson’s ‘The Ambiguity Advantage: what great leaders are great at’.

Agile People – A Radical Approach for HR & Managers (That Leads to Motivated Employees) by Pia-Maria Thoren.

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Julia Schmidt is an award-winning Executive Assistant with over 20 years of experience working in different industries. She is known for being a passionate advocate for people development and in helping others succeed and embrace their leadership skills. ... (Read More)

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