“Leadership Agility” is a helpful guide for America’s leaders in the current business world. The book is written by Bill Joiner, a leadership consultant teaching at Boston College’s Center for Leadership and Ethnics, and Stephen Joseph, who founded the consulting firm ChangeWise aimed at improving the leadership in today’s businesses. Joiner and Josephs’ main objectives through “Leadership Agility” is to equip entrepreneurs with the knowledge that leaders need agility.
To achieve this goal of the authors, Joiner and Joseph run through a method called “Five levels of leadership” that include:
-“The Expert”, which are leaders who are more centered on problem solving. These types of people tend to believe that their power as a leader comes from purely knowledge. This type of leader is not ideal in starting a successful company, as their perspectives are more about tactics rather than a strategy.
-“The Achiever”, who are leaders that tend to be more reflective than “Experts”. “The Achiever” is always looking only to the long term goals, guiding their peers into doing the same. Problems down the road could formulate from this perspective as discrete problems are not fully thought-out in the mind of this leader.
-“The Catalyst”- These are people who work more towards facilitating team work and driving their coworkers into working together. As a Catalyst, one sets goals for their team and encourages the team to form a plan in order to reach those goals. Catalysts also often question their own assumptions when facing an executive decision.
-“The Co-Creator” are people who understand the connections between their business and other aspects of the world. On a broader perspective, these leaders view their businesses as not only a way to gain money, but also how the company can benefit the social and environmental activism. Co-Creators also remain calm and thoughtful whenever there is a chaotic or hectic scene within the business. Becoming a Co-Creator takes a great amount of self-awareness.
-“The Synergist”- at the highest level of agility, you gain new levels of intense and unforced awareness. As a synergist, leaders pay undistracted attention to both people and events going on. The mindset of a synergist must be able to empathize with conflicting points of views on particular subjects. One key aspect of a synergist is brainstorming solutions that could come to everyone’s benefit. Most importantly, you view leadership as a way to impact communities on an international scale.
One of the major last steps of becoming a great leader with agility is to simply make reflective action a daily practice. Seeing yourself objectively and accepting your responsibilities for meeting life’s challenges is what separates normal leaders and leaders with agility.
Gaining leadership agility involves far more than practicing new management skills and techniques. It takes an “outside-in” approach with an “inside-out” path that develops the mental and emotional capacities that enhance leader agility.