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Tuesday, August 14 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Why Agile Needs More Cowboys: Mike Griffiths

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This presentation takes the leadership ideas of Jeffrey Pinto author of “Project Leadership: from Theory to Practice” and transforms them into an agile setting. Cowboys are resourceful, daring, and are as quick with their wits as they are with their fists. In many ways, we see cowboys as the embodiment of agile leaders. Yet, life is not a Hollywood movie. What do cowboys actually do? They lead cows. Have you ever seen anything that indicates that John Wayne knows how to lead cows? They ride horses, shoot guns, and always get the girl. But have you ever seen them with a cow? Would you want them around a cow? Your cow? They can teach us as much about being a good cowboy as Homer Simpson can teach us about being a good father. Go behind the myth, and true agile leadership characteristics emerge. A herd of cows is a lot like an organization: massive and, at times, rather aimless. It takes dedicated leadership using a score of methods to energize this bovine bulk. A good cowboy knows how to select a lead cow, direct the herd into natural flows to help lead the herd. Moving a herd into Dodge City required considerable skill. It is the real cowboy, not a stylized caricature, that teaches us something about leadership. Agile leadership is not a cookbook. You will find no recipes for leadership stew here. Rather, this presentation is intended as a guide to leadership thought and practice. Good theory underlies good leadership. Theory has received a bad rap. After all, we want doers, not thinkers, right? But, at its heart, leadership is concerned with transforming ideas and concepts into action. Your knowledge of basic principles is essential to you taking the first step to being an effective agile leader. Our six-shooter of agile leadership topics to be introduced is: 1. Craft a compelling vision of the completed project 2. Model the desired behaviour towards this vision 3. Resist meddling and recognize team conflict as a positive step 4. Act for the simultaneous welfare of the team and the project 5. Create an environment of functional accountability 6. Take time to reflect on the project and challenge the process  

avatar for Mike Griffiths

Mike Griffiths

Leading Answers
Agilist, author and consultant. I helped create DSDM in 1994 and have been using multiple agile approaches for the last 25 years. I served on the board of the Agile Alliance and the Agile Leadership Network. Author of several books and a lifelong learner.

Tuesday August 14, 2012 11:00am - 12:00pm
Austin 4-6