Leading Within by Andrea Provaglio

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I’ve been coaching teams and managers along their path to Agile for years and, during all that time, the theme of what Agile leadership really is, why it’s so important and how fragile it is has always been very dear to me.

In this talk I’d like to share some of my insights and lessons learned on the field but, most of all, I’d like to suggest that Agile leadership is much subtler and pervasive than what we think.

Let’s face reality: we are all grown up in a post-industrial, mechanistic collective culture and, when faced with a problem, most people would turn their attention to some kind of “fix” to the problem.

We can see this “fixing tendency” in many leadership approaches that are available out there, which focus on the techniques you should use to influence others in ways that you fancy.

Also, the concept of leadership itself is tainted by our fascination with power (narcissistic leadership), sacrifice (the hero syndrome), altruistic service (servant leadership), control (dictatorship) and ultra-liberal values (extreme “democracy”).

Finally, leadership is also frequently related to specific organizational roles.

In this talk I’d like to take all that into account and add that leadership is, first of all, a personal journey of self-discovery, self-awareness, empathy and compassion — all of which we need to be connected with ourselves as well with others, before we even start to think how and when we want to influence, from a leadership position, our environment.

And if we want to manifest leadership in an Agile context, then our leadership must be aligned with the values and principles that are typical of an Agile culture.

I’d like to discuss all that, relate some real-life story from my long Agile coaching career and provide practical advice to leaders and to those who are in a position to help others manifest their leadership.

Andrea Provaglio | Agile Executive Coach, Agile Enterprise Coach, Keynote Speaker, Mentor

I help knowledge-based organizations, including IT companies, to rethink their organizational dynamics, their organizational structures, their mental models, their practices and their processes, to let them operate better in the 21st century.

I work closely with executives, managers and teams and I do a number of things including one-on-one coaching, team coaching, consulting on specific practices and, occasionally, hands-on training.

I’m especially interested in distributed leadership and self-organization for knowledge-based organizations, a topic that touches on a number on subjects, including non-conventional organizational structures and individual and collective communication and social skills. And, I’m a long-standing Agile practitioner.

In over 20 years of professional experience, I worked with organizations as big the United Nations’ FAO and as small as dynamic post-startup companies, in many different countries. I have a wide range of expertise, in both the public and private sector, with both large and small organizations and with different cultures.

I’m based back in Europe but I’ve also worked in the USA on an O-1 visa for “extraordinary abilities in Sciences”.

As part of my regular activities, I enjoy sharing what I know by speaking at major international conferences.

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