To manage “Means in English” handle “, but also “ accomplish ” and “ conduct “. Agile leadership starts exactly at this point and defines the agile manager. Especially in times of digital transformation, it is important to lead employees accordingly “digitally”. But how does it work and what approaches are there? Agile leadership is often referred to as digital leadership. One Article on digital leadership is already on my blog.

Agile leadership is behavior

Agile leadership as a list of principles (own illustration based on the idea of Gloger & Rößner p. 145)

I found a great approach in the book by Gloger and Rößner. According to the authors, so-called “stars” are to be formed in the organization. These stars should “lead themselves” while managers should establish a “culture of success”. The author also includes a “culture of failure” and “allowing mistakes” to be part of this. The company is also characterized by a voluntary structure. That means everyone is voluntarily in the company and also gets involved voluntarily. According to the author, the manager does not write anyone to bring in or take on a special project. It has to be entirely voluntary. Take a look at Gloger and Rößner’s book. In addition, there is also some information in the article “ Frameworks for agility “.

Agile leadership – principles

I then watched some videos and articles by authors on agile leadership. The speakers speak of a “servant leader”. The task of the management is to enable the employee to work undisturbed and to implement his “dreams” in the company. Furthermore, sentences like: “Agile leadership has to be easy!” and “Agile leadership is behavior”. This means that managers should no longer “set an example” but rather “show”. You should be able to get work done again. The bonuses often paid beforehand should become appreciation, and structures and processes should be used as orientation for what managers need to create for employees.

Company as a host

In a conversation a participant of my roundtables told me that he sees his company as a host. In his company, his guests, i.e. the employees, should feel comfortable and enjoy coming back. I found this example very appropriate for “serving leadership”.

Digital transformation and digital leadership

Since the “digital transformation”, the term “digital leadership” has been established. The consulting firm “Deloitte” even promotes a fight for survival and publishes a study “Survival Strategy Digital Leadership”. However, based on current surveys, I find that actually many managers are still quite relaxed about digital transformation, a bit exaggerated. We must first wait for further studies to assess exactly whether we are “hyping” a trend here or whether it is really a struggle for survival.

Agility starts in the head

“Agility begins in the head” is the title of a presentation by Judith Anderesen 2016. The motivation of your lecture is also the topic of “survival”. She says: “Whoever serves the customer’s needs best will survive.” However, I think we should all start with ourselves and look carefully at how we correctly define agile leadership in our context and which of the so much propagated “best practices” we should really apply. After all, too much freedom also creates uncertainty. We should therefore carefully question the hype and decide for ourselves how we can establish agile leadership in our company. In any case, there is no question that we should definitely think about it. The book “Digital Leadership” defines the term with the following principles:

  • Open communication
  • Open access to information – sharing knowledge
  • Intensive, cross-departmental collaboration
  • Free space for self-directed work
  • Definition of goals and sub-goals
  • Instead of controlling the work – controlling the achievement of goals
  • Promotion of personal responsibility
[werbung] Verwendete Quellen anzeigen

Gloger, B., & Rösner, D. (2014). Self-organization needs leadership . Munich: Hanser Verlag.,3216432


I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more

The cookie settings on this website are set to "Allow Cookies" to provide the best browsing experience. If you use this website without changing the cookie settings or click "Accept", you agree to this.