How Do You Lead Scaling Agility When You Have No Power Over Others?

Siraj Sirajuddin / Jun 28, 2023

When you have no power you have many options!

Leading scaling agility when you have no formal authority or power over others can be challenging and deeply satisfying. Here are some strategies to effectively lead in such situations:


  1. Influence through expertise: Develop and showcase your expertise in the domain of scaling agility. Become a subject matter expert and earn the respect and trust of others through your knowledge and skills. People are more likely to follow and be influenced by someone who demonstrates competence and expertise.

  2. Lead by example: Focus on modeling the behaviors and values associated with scaling agility. Be a role model for others by embodying the agile mindset, demonstrating collaboration, adaptability, and a continuous learning mindset. When others see your actions aligning with the principles you advocate, they are more likely to be inspired and follow suit.

  3. Build relationships and networks: Invest time and effort in building strong relationships and networks with key stakeholders, including team members, peers, and leaders. You can influence others indirectly through trust and rapport by establishing strong connections. Engage in active listening, seek to understand their perspectives, and build mutually beneficial relationships based on trust and respect.

  4. Communicate effectively: Effective communication is essential when leading without formal authority. Clearly articulate the vision, goals, and benefits of scaling agility, and communicate the impact it can have on individuals and the organization. Tailor your communication to different audiences, emphasizing how scaling agility aligns with their interests and objectives.

  5. Seek support from influential allies: Identify and cultivate relationships with influential individuals who have power or authority within the organization. These allies can help amplify your message, advocate for your ideas, and provide support when needed. Engage in open conversations, seek their advice, and leverage their support to influence others effectively.

  6. Collaborate and empower others: Foster a collaborative and inclusive environment where everyone's opinions and contributions are valued. Empower others by delegating responsibilities and creating opportunities for them to take ownership of scaling agility initiatives. When people feel empowered and included, they are more likely to take the initiative and support your leadership.

  7. Facilitate knowledge sharing and learning: Create platforms and opportunities for knowledge sharing, learning, and continuous improvement. Encourage teams to share their successes, challenges, and lessons learned. By facilitating a culture of learning, you can inspire others to adopt agile practices and embrace scaling agility.

  8. Be adaptable and flexible: Acknowledge that leading without formal authority requires flexibility and adaptability. Be open to different ideas and approaches, and be willing to adjust your plans based on feedback and evolving circumstances. By demonstrating your willingness to adapt, you can gain the trust and support of others who may be skeptical or resistant to change.

  9. Seek consensus and alignment: When leading without power, involving others in decision-making processes and seeking consensus is important. Facilitate discussions, listen to diverse perspectives, and find common ground that aligns with the overall objectives of scaling agility. Building consensus helps create shared ownership and commitment to the initiative.

  10. Celebrate successes and recognize contributions: Acknowledge and celebrate the achievements and contributions of individuals and teams involved in scaling agility. Recognize their efforts publicly and highlight the positive outcomes and impacts. This fosters a sense of accomplishment and motivation, encouraging continued support and participation.


Remember, leading without formal authority requires influence, collaboration, and a focus on building relationships. You can inspire and lead others toward successful agility transformation by leveraging your expertise, leading by example, building strong connections, and effectively communicating the benefits of scaling agility.

PS. Here is an interesting #HBR article that inspired this post A New Prescription for Power

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Topics: Temenos, Leadership, Systems Thinking, Agile, Agility, Enterprise Agility, Temenos Gatherings, Lean leadership, Agile Manifesto, Balance, Business Teams, Coaching, Context, Cultural Advantages, Empathy, Feedback, Growth, Influence Map, Innocence, Lean, Learning, My Life, Sympathy, Creativity, Team, LeanUX, Motivation, Community, Technical, Executives, Leading, DevOps, Agile Release Train, Business Agility, Technical Agility, Team Agility, Lean Portfolio Management, Agile Transformation, EmpowerChange, LearningCulture, Temenosagility

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