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Changing Software Development: Learning to Become Agile by Allan Kelly

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9.3. Leading the Change

Leadership is a tricky subject: it can be difficult to define, but most people will recognize it when they see it. Some would claim that leadership is a personality trait, and that some people have it while others don't; others claim that leadership can be taught and learned.

Whatever the truth about the nature of leadership, someone has to lead change. Somebody has to care enough to do something. Someone who really cares, and the more passionately the better, is the natural change leader. If you're passionate about these things, don't be put off by your lack of experience; on the other hand, if you've done this a thousand times before and aren't interested in going through the motions again, then let it drop.

There's a difference between managing and leading. Just because you're a manager doesn't make you a leader, and just because you're not a manager doesn't mean you can't lead. If you have some position of authority leadership may be easier, but it might also lull you into a false sense of security if you make the mistake of thinking that you can tell people to learn.

Legitimacy is more important than authority. When you have legitimacy, you have the right to involve yourself in issues and others respect your right to be there. Without legitimacy, others may question your role and question your right to intervene.

Creating change isn't about mandating people to do something different. Instead, creating change is a process of helping people who want ...

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