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  • Writer's pictureMartin Piskoric

Facing Modern Leadership Hurdles in a Post-Pandemic Era?

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Guest #220: Daniel Gagnon

Portrait of Daniel Gagnon, a seasoned agile leadership expert, smiling confidently.

Introduction: Unpacking the Leadership Crisis

The world has changed, and so have the challenges facing today's leaders. Daniel Gagnon, a seasoned expert in agile transformation and co-founder of the Agile Leader Academy, provides a deep understanding of the contemporary leadership landscape and offers tangible solutions.

The Great Office Debate: Return to Office Wars

"A return to the office has unveiled yet another failing of outdated role models," warns Daniel Gagnon.

The "Return to Office" (RTO) debate brings a new challenge to the forefront. Leaders, many trained in traditional management styles, find it increasingly difficult to adapt to a hybrid work model where visibility is not guaranteed.

Navigating Organizational Obstacles: Silos Steeple Chase

Yet, challenges in modern leadership are not solely born from the pandemic. Daniel Gagnon introduces us to what he terms the "Silos Steeple Chase." In his words, "the siloed organizational people chase... features barriers where you don’t know how many there are... It only reveals itself as you trip and fall."

The concept explains how various organizational units with distinct functions create hurdles that can disrupt value streams and make the leadership terrain even more arduous.

The Complexity of Digital Transformations

These challenges are often exacerbated by digital transformations, which, despite their promise, can make the landscape even more complex. Daniel Gagnon observes that "these digital transformations are usually undertaken without an overarching unity of vision."

The Agile Leader Academy’s Holistic Approach

According to Daniel Gagnon, the solution lies in a blend of tailored education and professional coaching, aimed at nurturing leaders who can navigate these challenges confidently and safely. "What we aim to do... is to leave an autonomous, aware, and self-guiding individual in our wake," he emphasizes.

The Future of Leadership: Education Plus Coaching

Daniel Gagnon advocates for a two-pronged approach:

"Training does not create a change in and of itself. It creates awareness which needs to be acted upon with the training."

Through the Agile Leader Academy, he aims to provide leaders the necessary tools for making informed decisions.

Conclusion: Key Takeaways and the Road Ahead

  1. The RTO debate highlights the clash between traditional leadership models and evolving work habits.

  2. The "Silos Steeple Chase" represents the unpredictable challenges within organizational units.

  3. Digital transformations need a unified vision to be beneficial.

  4. A blend of education and professional coaching can help leaders navigate these complexities.

As we navigate the evolving world, Daniel Gagnon’s insights highlight the need for adaptability, resilience, and a shift in leadership models. With these tools in hand, modern leaders can look forward to navigating their organizations through the complexities of our times.


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