Agile Leader

CAL II Grads—Preparing for the Future

April 9, 2021

My Leadership journey dates back to when I was a young boy. I remember organizing an informal track meet where winners were awarded snacks. While I was unsure what Leadership meant, I observed that peers and even family members would seek my advice.

CAL II Journey

The CAL II journey has been insightful, especially given that we had the opportunity to practice and reflect on the learnings. I enjoyed the individual coaching sessions with Anu and connecting with my accountability partner every week. In fact, we’ve decided to stay engaged even after the class is complete. I also appreciated the attention to detail that Kate brings to the class. She is well-prepared and has an excellent demeanor with her delivery.

Learn About Myself

It was interesting to review the Leadership Circle feedback, especially because the information was provided by direct reports, peers, bosses, and executives who know me mostly through word-of-mouth and performance reports. For this activity, 30 participants provided feedback, and there was a mixture of work and personal contacts.

It was good to learn that all considered that I had strong leadership qualities. This feedback was surprising from university contacts where I serve mostly as instructor. Across the board, it was great to learn that my leadership effectiveness was above 90% from all the categories.

What I have Tried

A key activity that resonated was the Johari Window, and I decided to learn how it could improve my leadership skills.

  • Open Area – Known to Self and Known to Others: I know that I’m goal-oriented, and that I will work hard to accomplish what I set out to do. Further, others know this about me as well based on how they describe me.
  • Blind Area – Not Known to Self but Known to Others: There are times when I believe that “bottom-lining” is the preferred way to act, but others want to take the time to feel comfortable with me. My approach is often to walk into a meeting and head straight into the agenda, minimizing the value of small talk or getting comfortable with the person. As my wife and I have taken a more active role in church ministries, I’ve noticed the value of slowing down a bit, and creating an environment where trust is present.
  • Hidden Area – Known to Self and Not Known to Others: Many people believe that I’m constantly doing stuff, never stopping. It’s true that once I have a clear goal in mind, I’m going to work on it until it is accomplished. However, I also make ample time for faith, family, and personal activities, especially fitness. Further, from a personal perspective, most people may not know that I grew up in a migrant family, and that we relied on government assistance to survive.
  • Unknown Area – Not Known to Self and Not Known to Others: This is an excellent area of exploration for me. Anu and Kate provided tools that I can use to learn more about this important window, and I think it’s going to reveal interesting opportunities.


What Outcome am I Trying to Achieve?

I attended the CAL II class with the goal of improving my leadership skills. As a business owner, I made this financial investment to learn more about how agility can improve my performance, and thereby make our company more competitive.

There are many opportunities in my industry, and the Covid pandemic has opened new channels for business, which means that our company is positioned well. However, it’s important that I have the skills, knowledge, and competencies to lead us in the right direction, and that decisions we make have good buy-in by our employees. I want to build an organization where growth happens organically, and where everyone has a clear idea of what they can do to help us meet our goals and objectives.

What’s Next?

My plan is to become a Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). I have a roadmap in 2021 to focus on the requirements to meet this big goal. Just as important, however, I focused on creating a positive work/life balance. In fact, success here means that I am able to spend no more than 50% of my time on work-related duties, which means that the rest of the time goes to faith and family activities.


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