Agile Leadership

Agile Leadership vs Servant Leadership


How Agile Leadership and Servant Leadership Fit Into Your Organization

There are hundreds of ways to manage employees, and you want to choose the right management style for your organization. However, with so many options, deciding on any single approach can be very difficult. Lately, agile team leadership and servant team leadership have become extremely popular in innovative organizations.

Each leadership style has its advantages, but which one is right for your team? Do your managers need to adopt a new style of leadership? Is there still value in the traditional way of doing things? You need your workers to be as productive as possible, and you don’t want the wrong management philosophy to hold them back. Therefore, you should check out this overview of agile leadership, servant leadership, and traditional leadership to make an informed decision when choosing management styles for your organization’s teams.

How Does Agile Leadership Benefit a Team?

An agile leader strives to decentralize power and eliminate unnecessary obstacles to their team’s success. Under agile leadership, managers still provide firm direction, but they avoid micromanaging team members and try to stay out of their way whenever possible. This management style emphasizes adaptability, open communication, and experimentation, and it works well in teams where members are capable of thinking for themselves. Moreover, for agile teams to work, there should be a lot of trust between team members and managers. Members of agile teams typically feel less stress and are more willing to provide valuable input that can help the team pursue their goals more efficiently.

How Does Servant Leadership Benefit a Team?

The role of a servant leader is mainly to facilitate coordination between team members. They often organize daily scrums, which are 15-minute meetings where team members quickly check in and address emerging problems. During the daily scrum meeting, servant leaders only step in to maintain focus and moderate the discussion. They also act as a liaison between their team and the rest of the organization. This leadership style is especially effective in teams with specialized roles that work on very complex problems, and members of a servant leader’s team should have a ton of experience and be highly capable of self-direction. Under such circumstances, a traditional manager might not understand the work enough to provide helpful top-down leadership. Instead, they’re more likely to get in the way. 

Should These Methods Fully Replace Traditional Management Styles?

Servant leaders and agile leaders can streamline processes and increase productivity when team members are capable of self-direction. However, not every team will benefit from these leadership styles. Sometimes, a top-down approach is necessary to sustain your team members’ focus and achieve specific goals. Teams that contain many entry-level workers or focus on basic and repetitive tasks won’t gain anything from agile management or servant leadership. In fact, the level of autonomy involved in these methods may confuse workers and decrease productivity. Thus, a traditional management style may be more suitable for such teams.

A One-Size-Fits-All Approach Will Hold Your Business Back

While an agile leader may be helpful in one context, they may hold a team back in other situations, and traditional management won’t get the best results from a team of experienced professionals who know how to work autonomously. You may be tempted to latch onto the trendiest management style and apply it to your entire company. However, your organization’s needs are more complex and varied than any single management philosophy can handle. 

Instead, it’s better to mix management styles within your organization to effectively facilitate each team’s unique goals. Running a business isn’t a simple affair, so you should never try to fit your organization’s operations into one narrow framework. With that in mind, next time you’re thinking about how to run a team, make sure to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of each management style before coming to a decision. Your workers will be happier and more productive as a result.