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CTDO Magazine

Be an Agile Leader

Friday, October 14, 2022

Listen to two executives' perspectives on leading with agility.

Organizations that successfully responded to the turmoil of recent years all have one thing in common: agility. Agile organizations rely less on bureaucratic rules and processes and more on updating and optimizing processes to respond to rapidly evolving environments.


They are able to embrace ambiguity, maintain focus on customers, and help their teams fluidly adapt to workplace changes. While there are many different forms of enterprise agility, they share some common features.

CTDO recently asked two talent development executives to share their definition of agile leadership, what it looks like in practice in their companies, and how leaders can expand their own agility.

Tim Tobin

Tim Tobin.jpg

Tim Tobin is vice president of openings, compliance, and learning at Choice Hotels International and author of Peak Leadership Fitness: Elevating Your Leadership Game.



(Read full transcript) 

Tobin believes that the need for leaders to be more agile stems from the increase in speed with which they must now receive information, interpret it, and then make decisions. Today's rapidly changing environment requires leaders to be flexible and adaptable and proactive in anticipating changes.

He advises executives who want to develop their agility to practice honing their scenario and what-if ability. As leaders receive new information, they should run down a list of possible ways it could affect the business. In addition, he believes executives need to stay informed about their industry and the economy so that they have a better foundation to forecast possible scenarios. 

Tamar Elkeles

Tamar Elkeles.jpg

Tamar Elkeles is chief human resources officer for XCOM Labs and a board member for G3 Vrm Acquisition Corporation.




(Read full transcript) 

Elkeles says agility isn't just about being able to change and adapt quickly to internal and external events; it's about risk-taking, being able to challenge the status quo, and always thinking about how you can improve practices to make the workplace better than it was before.

She firmly believes that leaders can learn to become more agile. A key to that, she says, is for organizations to ensure there are rewards systems in place that recognize when leaders demonstrate agility by taking risks and not settling for complacency.

Read more from CTDO magazine: Essential talent development content for C-suite leaders.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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