The Boss Show

Workplace wisdom with heart and humor

July 7, 2011

Making It Real: Leadership Agility

By Steve Motenko

If you want to be able to work better with your boss, you have to understand his level of development – what Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs call “Leadership Agility” (in their book of the same name).

To develop that understanding, we offer three suggestions:

  1. Next time you find yourself wanting to ream your boss an entirely new bodily orifice, take a moment to try to understand what it is about the lens that he looks through – his stage of development – that makes the way he acts look right to him.
  2. To get clearer on that, pick up the book Leadership Agility. Its stories of leaders at various stages will give you some insight you didn’t have, guaranteed.
  3. Finally, pick up another copy of the book – for your boss.  Maybe drop it on her desk anonymously.  Why?  The stories it tells about how leaders’ behavior changes as they develop might just give your boss something concrete to shoot for if she’s really interested in becoming better at what she does.  (And if she’s not, well, never mind.  No point in leading an un-thirsty horse to water.)
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About the Author

Steve Motenko is an executive coach, leadership trainer, and co-host of The Boss Show, a weekly podcast on workplace dynamics. Steve and his Boss Show co-host, Jim Hessler, are co-authors of Land On Your Feet, Not On Your Face: A Guide to Building Your Leadership Platform. Steve lives on Whidbey Island, Washington, with his wife and dog, whom he loves, and a cat he tolerates usually pretty well.

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