Become an Agile leader in 90 minutes
By Jasper Lamers & Els Verkaik
Do you belief you can create a place where you can learn and improve yourself all the time, where people are engaged, and clients are delighted?
Create a place like this is not only the manager’s responsibility, but everyone’s job. It starts with the belief you are a leader, and that you can change yourself and influence others. In this interactive experience you get insight in your patterns, in what is holding you back to continuously improve yourself, your team and your organization and what you can do to make the first step.
- Become aware what is blocking Continuous Improvement
- Recognize patterns in behavior and mindset
- Change the patterns, change your behavior and become an Agile leader
Welcome to this interactive experience about Agile leadership. In this interactive experience you get insight in your patterns, in what is holding you back to continuously improve yourself, your team and your organization and what you can do to make the first step. When we choose to improve our self, our team, our organization continuously, we talk about leadership. It is something what you do.
Many people don’t belief they can change the organization, because they feel just a tiny part of a big organization and have the experience that nothing will change anyway no matter what they do. But, You are also the organization. The organizational culture is the sum of all behavior. Every change starts with the first step. So it starts with you, It starts with the belief you are a leader, and that you can change your behavior and influence others by being an example. You will see that others will follow.
What is holding us back to belief we can change the organization? (and be a leader)
All kind of thoughts which are not motivating us to take action. For example: “we don’t believe that we can change anything”, “We are victims of the system”, “We just do what management dictates us”, “It doesn’t matter what we say.” We tried this before, it doesn’t work here”, “ it is a management job to change the organization”. We call it limiting beliefs.
Why do we have limiting believes?
- Saves energy.
Than we do not have to take action. We can stay where we are. In our comfort zone. That doesn’t cost us energy.
- Protect us
They are there because they were useful to us in the past, they protected us from our biggest fears: Not being good enough or not being loved. Protect us from failure or no being accepted in a group. A very important survival mechanism, it fulfills our primary needs.
In our daily routine we are in our comfort zone. We feel fine, we do what we are familiar with. When you try something new you will feel discomfort. Compare it with the first time you stepped on a bicycle. It is painful at the start and it takes a while before you get comfortable with it, but suddenly there is a moment in time that you don’t think about it anymore and it is a new routine and part of your comfort zone. So you stretched.
Changing an organization, like a transition to Agile, doesn’t only require a different way of working, but also different behavior. It pushes people out of their comfort zone. For instance, when someone is used to just do what management told them it might give a lot of stress when this person is asked for an opinion.
When you want to learn new behavior, you have to step out of your comfort zone and be ready to feel discomfort!
How we are wired
Everybody reacts different on the same situation. Why do some people belief they can change the organization and some people not? Because we give another meaning to a situation.We act and feel based on our perception of the world, rather than the real world. Our view of the world is filtered by our experience, beliefs, values, and biological sensory systems. Having those filters is helpful because it will save energy for our brain. It categorizes, structures, generalizes, leaves out etc. Our brain makes patterns, so when something happens we automatically follow a pattern. It’s a kind of highway. Our brain prefers to take the highway in stead of making a new path through the jungle. Its helpful, for example when we drive a car we don’t have to think about all actions we take: press your foot on the gas pedal, use the gear stick, use the steering wheel, look in the mirror etc. Those are all automatism’s and patterns. When we do something very often we train ourselves to become very good at it. It becomes an automatism, a pattern which we are not aware of.
But the disadvantage of these patterns is that we are not really open minded anymore. By following the patterns, we think and react in the same way every time. We don’t see options. And that makes us less successful in what we want to achieve. These beliefs become limiting beliefs.
If we do what we always do, we will have the same results we always have.
How to change behavior?
If we want to change our behaviour we have to be aware that this is only the top of the iceberg and if we want to change behaviour we have to look under water to the values and beliefs.
- Competences = skills = capabilities = knowledge
- Values = what we desire or want, our core criteria = our standards, what is important for me? Why am I doing this? Examples: safety, health, integrity, honesty, love (waarden die echt belangrijk voor je zijn in het leven)
- Beliefs = our mental map, they shape our thoughts, words and actions (wat je gelooft, de tegeltjes wijsheden)
- Identity =who am I? Highest level of criteria overrules values and beliefs, it motivates
Change your physiology (gives more energy)
Change cost energy. Change your physiology (move, breath, sing, dance, jump) that bring you in an energetic mood and you will feel much better. Make sure your body is fit and healthy.
Change your beliefs
Recognize that certain thoughts lead to certain behavior. Recognize the patterns you follow. Think about the beliefs which steer you behavior. Why are they useful? Are they blocking you in achieving what you want? What do you want? Why? What would be a helpful thought? an empowering belief? Replace you limiting beliefs by empowering beliefs like I am unstoppable, I can do anything!), your internal map.
Motivation We need motivation to change. Leverage. We are only motivated to change when we have to much pain in current situation (move away) or when the new situation is more attractive to us then the current (move forward). When our current behavior helps us, benefits us, we don’t have a need to change it. We need strong focus = we really want it when we connect to our values
Example: When you hear someone saying a strange, new idea: Fold your arms and say: this will not work here (no no shake your head), We already tried, it doesn’t work, and you think you can change this? No way honey! This behavior is not effective, we want to change this.
- Change physiology: put your hand under your chin and think: mmmmm, that’s maybe interesting, what can I do with it? How can it help us? How can we make this better?
- Change belief: I believe ” asking questions helps me to understand other people”
- Connect with values: Think about what is important to you: you want to learn new things, you want personal growth. Connect with this value and you know why you want ask questions in stead of being critical.
Calimero – victim behavior
We are automatic in our thinking. When we feel victim of a situation we are looking for reasons that this is true (our view of the world), we belief in our own story and think that it is outside our influence, so we do nothing. Victim behavior makes us passive.
When you feel like Calimero:
- You think in problems. You are good in coming up with objections and reasons why it is not possible. Common pattern: YES BUT.
- The effect is everything stays the same, nothing will change and you are blocking other people with good ideas
- you do not decide how your life is you let it decide for you
- you are not the busdriver in front of the bus, you are sitting in the back of the bus waiting where you are going to
- Do I recognize that what I do doesn’t bring me what I want (same behavior, gives same result as I had before)
Power Calimero – responsible behavior
The alternative is that your feel responsible for the situation. This means: you try to do everything you can do within your possibilities. When we have a responsible mindset we look at it in a fresh way and turn it in new possibilities, chances, choices, options.
When you feel like power Calimero:
- You think in possibilities and outcome: what do you want to achieve? Which results do you want? What can we do to solve this?
- Responsible mindset leads to: pro-active behavior, I want it, I can do it!
- Pattern; YES AND
- Do I recognize that it is in my hands to try to do it differently (again and again until I have the feeling I tried everything of what is within my possibilities)
- Why is it a problem anyway? Is it a situation what you didn’t expect. Something what disturbs how it should be? Can you look at the same situation in another way? Just as a new situation ? Accept the fact of that new situation. How can it help you?
Stop complaining. We invite you to think like Power Calimero. Be Power calimero! It will cost you energy. You need to be creative, ask for help etc. It can go wrong, you can fail, we don’t feel safe. But that is ok, that is how we learn remember?
Sp step out of your comfort zone and stretch every day. Do every day something what scares you and you will discover that you can achieve much more than you think. If you really belief this you are a leader. You can lead yourself, your team and your organisation in the transformation to an Agile culture.