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David J. Bland on Anti-Heroic Leadership at AgileCamp

Self-described “mentor-capitalist” talks anti-heroic leadership with Agile Amped at AgileCamp 2015 in Silicon Valley.

Today’s leadership, which includes managers, is often at a loss of how to provide leadership in their organizations. The literature of the day touts self-organizing teams who “don’t need managers.” Leaders and management, therefore, don’t have clear models for how to help their own people succeed. Their people teeter between death by micromanagement and death by no management at all. Time to abandon the concept of “the one throat to choke”–because everyone up and down the organization is wising up to the fact that success is a team sport, not an Olympic competition.

David is a proponent for helping leaders evolve into mentors, coaches, and advisers within their companies. Says David, “We’ve promoted leaders over the years based on what they know,” but Agile doesn’t buy into the follow-the-leader paradigm: Agile, operating under the assumption that the answer is not yet known, means iterating toward success.

Hero-leaders don’t work in today’s creative economy. Enter the servant leader.