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Redefining Leadership by Esther Derby & Don Gray

Redefining Leadership by Esther Derby & Don Gray

Traditional definitions of leadership emphasize position, formal authority and power, vision, heroics. Those definitions might have been sufficient in another time. Organizations that need to respond to a fast-changing environment and desire continuous improvement require a different kind of leadership and a different kind of leader.

Join us 7-March as we explore ways to lead knowledge workers. Participants will design a leadership experiment to try in their workplace.

Target audience: Not limited to developers, ScrumMasters, coaches, Product Owners and managers


Agile Singapore

March 07, 2019


  1. REDEFINING LEADERSHIP Esther Derby and Don Gray


  3. LEADER ATTRIBUTES • In your group, agree on three activities

    leaders do.
  4. SOME COMMON DEFINITIONS… • Having a vision and inspiring others

    to work towards that vision. • Motivating others and channeling their energy • Being at the forefront, managing and guiding people towards a goal. • Being bold, and taking risks that others are too timid to attempt. • Gaining followers through charisma or strength of personality. • Holding a position of authority. • Having status or social standing with in a community.
  5. A DIFFERENT DEFINITION: Leadership is the act of adjusting the

    environment so that everyone can contribute creatively to solving the problem(s). ~Gerald M. Weinberg
  6. HOW DO YOU ADJUST THE ENVIRONMENT? Clarity Conditions Constraints

  7. CLARITY • People know what to work on. • They

    know how their work fits into the big picture. • They understand their customer, and the business.
  8. CONDITIONS • People have the means—knowledge and material-- to do

    the work. • Organizational structures and policies support their work.
  9. CONSTRAINTS • People know what should always be done, and

    what should never be done. • People can articulate their bounded autonomy. • People have freedom to find solutions and be creative, while knowing certain decisions have already been made.
  10. ANALYZE SCENARIOS • In you group… • Read the scenario,

    then answer these questions: • How would you evaluate the Clarity for this team? • Does this team have Conditions that enable collaboration and successfully completing their project? • Is this team over- or under-constrained?

    In your group… • How would you evaluate Clarity for your team? • Does you team have Conditions that enable collaboration and successfully completing their project? • Is your team over- or under-constrained?
  12. LEADERSHIP … • What is the smallest thing you could

    do, without asking permission to… • Increase Clarity • Improve Conditions • Adjust Constraints to be more appropriate
  13. None
  14. Esther Derby esther@estherderby.com +1 612.239.1214 www.estherderby.com @estherderby Don Gray don@donaldegray.com

    +1 336.414.4645 www.donaldegray.com @donaldegray