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Agile leaders lead processes over people

Now that I have caught your attention with a controversial topic, let me say that this post is actually a book review 🙂

A lot of the content is from Weinberg an not mine 🙂

Traditional vs Problem Solving Leaders

Traditional leaders
(who believe in the threat/reward model) tend to lead people. You may think
what’s wrong with this, that’s what is expected of a leader – leading people.
Leading people requires that  they
relinquish control over their lives. Should we as leaders do that, expect
people to relinquish control over their lives? Will we ourselves be happy if we
were meted out the same treatment.


So what should the
leaders do? Should they leave everything to chaos? No in this leadership model
(called organic leadership ) leaders lead the process. Why? Leading the process
is responsive to people, giving them choices and leaving them in control. So
agile leaders, since they value people and believe in developing them don’t
lead people. Instead they will lead the processes. We believe in People over
processes hence we need to lead the latter.


The problem of
helping others

Wanting to help
people may be a noble motive but that doesn’t make it any easier

If people don’t want
your help, you’ll never succeed in helping them, no matter how smart or
wonderful you are.

Effective help can
only start with mutual agreement on a clear definition of the problem.

Always check whether
they want you help

Even when people
agree that they want your help, that agreement is not usually a lifetime

People who want to
help other people generally expect to get something for themselves, though they
may not be aware of it.

Most people think
helpers are selfish, but also think there are exceptions to the rule.

No matter how
strange it may look, most people are actually trying to be helpful.


Tasks & People

  1. Do you put tasks before people?
  2. Do you put people before

  3. Balance people and the task
  4. Escape from the situation
  5. None of the above

I answered Yes to a.

But I read on…

Then I ran into this
question in the first paragraph of the chapter

A task must be
completed with certain results or by a certain time, or else something dire,
known only to you, will happen. If you require everybody to work overtime or do
anything necessary to complete the task you are putting task ahead of people.

And then I became
confused should I have answered b).

The next paragraph
answered the question and I was relieved

You may become an
individual success without ever having to face this dilemma. As an individual
achiever, you are the only person involved, so you necessarily balance the task
and your needs, though you may be unaware that you are doing so. In that case when
you start working with others, the conflict comes as a shock to you.



Leader who don’t
care about people don’t have anyone to lead, unless their followers don’t have
a choice.

No amount of caring
for people will hold your audience if you have nothing to offer but pretend you


Rarely I have read a
text where the author almost reads your mind.


If you stop by the
nearest bookshop and see a copy "Becoming a technical leader – An organic problem solving approach"  by Gerald
M Weinberg, try to browse through a topic of your interest in the book. You might
like it like I did :-).

Categories: Books
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