• Dr. Stefanie Puckett

Personality of the Agile Leader – Which traits support agile leadership?

Which personality traits are relevant for agile Leadership? Research Insights.


I recently wrote about a behavior-based model from the Global Center of Digital Business Development, developed by Business School IMD and Metaberatung, which outlined the competencies and behaviors that discriminate agile leaders from non-agile leaders . Research didn`t stop there. Together with Hogan Assessments, the question was answered, which personality traits support Agile Leader competencies. Thus, an “ideal profile” of the Agile Leader was established.


Having an “ideal” profile means that based on your personality, you are more likely than others, to show the characteristics of an agile leader. Respectively, the required competencies should be relatively easy for you to learn. Knowing your personality helps you to build strategic self-awareness, identifying and fostering your strengths, developing or compensating for your weaknesses.


What is new? Digital transformation has not only disrupted businesses but also our common leadership principles. Leaders must change. New competencies are required. Consequently, personality traits which were considered beneficial for leadership might no longer be beneficial. And – more important – traits which weren`t considered helpful, might be just that today.


You might carry great potential to be an agile leader, without even knowing it!


Here is, how the agile leader looks like:

  • The agile leader is first of all goal-oriented and competitive, shows initiative and the tendency to take charge. Those are known leadership traits.

  • Leaders of the 4.0 industry are also rather sociable as well as enjoy exchange with others and are engaged.

  • Those aspects as well as openness for experience, curiosity and willingness to learn, are not new either, yet may have gained in importance.

  • A trait, which was added somewhat more recently to the list for leadership success and is also relevant for agile leadership is interpersonal sensitivity.

  • The biggest, and new, change in the leadership profile happens regarding conscientiousness. Facets are for instance diligence, orderliness and the tendency to make plans. Conscientiousness is an established predictor for leadership success. Here is the disruption. Some of these facets can harm performance in the age of digital transformation. Successful agile leaders show lower degrees of prudence and diligence or perfectionism. Flexibility – the opposite pole of structure and planning, is the new must.


More detailed information about the respective research, results and there practical implication can be found it: Puckett, S. & Neubauer, R. N. (2020). Agile Leadership. Leadership Competencies for the Agile Transformation. BusinesVillage.


#Leadership #AgileLeadership #Personality #PersonalityPsychology #PersonalityAndLeadership #LeadershipPersonality #Charisma #NewLeadership #DigitalLeadership #NewWork

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