Christopher Avery gave a very interesting talk at Agile 2009 called How to Develop Your Leadership Power Daily: An Agile Approach to Growth.  It was a very interesting talk about personal responsibility and how to grow – hence the title of this blog post.

Sidebar comment: This talk really has nothing to do with Agile so it appears that the conference program is branching out in new directions.  On the other hand, if you want to coach or build a high-performance team, then this is useful information.

Develop Leadership Power

The top left corner has the most important bit of information.  We are hard wired to not accept responsibility and would readily blame others.  As we are more self-aware we can progress from denial to blame to justification – all the way up to ladder to responsibility.   

The 3 keys are about how you can shift your own behaviour:

  1. Intention – intend to change your behaviour so you can win!
  2. Awareness – pay attention to your language and thinking.  Make a chart of how many times a day you can catch yourself not taking responsibility.  One way is to carry around change and give yourself a penny for noticing when you say something unresourceful and 10cents if you catch yourself before you say it.
  3. Confront – you need be honest with yourself or you’re not going to get anywhere.

The daily practices are some additional tricks to help move towards personal responsibility.

The anxiety hierarchy is about how some words you use when talking to others can trigger defenses.  Approaching someone about a PROBLEM will result in getting their input on a consideration.

As an NLP Master Practitioner, there is a note in the corner to remind myself that it’s not that easy to shift behaviour.  We often have limiting beliefs and values conflicts that may need some shifting in order to make a persistent change.  Awareness is a good start, but in my experience often not enough.