The league of extraordinarily shortsighted agile superleaders

May 31, 2017 · Agile Superheroes League Card game Superleaders

Last year in November, I wrote about the league of extraordinarily shortsighted agile superheroes. Back then it was more a thought experiment than anything else, a try to prune my mind and try to formalize fuzzy thoughts I had. It has evolved since then, to become an agile retrospective game. The name changed a little bit as well as I swapped "superheroes" for "superleaders".

The idea is simple: superheroes all have superpowers but also at least one superweakness. Leadership techniques are the same. They can work wonder in some cases while doing heavy damage in some others. With this model in mind, I created 16 superleaders that each characterize one of those traits.

Of course, we are this league. Each and everyone of us endorses one superleader at some point or another. The purpose of the retrospective is to recognize when it happens and reflect about the effects, both positive and negative.

I held multiple public talks on the subject. The last one took place at the Scrum-Day conference in Stuttgart. In the short 40 minutes timebox, I managed to fit a 10 minutes trial retrospective for the participants to experiment with the superleaders. The attendees attempted to answer the following questions:

Have you met those superleaders before? And if so, how did you counter their weaknesses?

A lot of practical ideas came out of it. For instance reflecting about consultant, coach and mentor stances with "Hu-Dini" who tends to take a coaching stance all the time or having "Impeditor" pair most of his time is also a great idea. Some people identified that superleaders could form alliances and thus minimize some of their weaknesses. For instance "Microman" and "Delegata" being the opposites of the other would either complete each other really well... or break down completely :D

And if you have no idea who the characters are in the previous paragraph, or if you want to try it out yourself, I've got you covered. You can find a description of the superleaders, how to run this retrospectives and which questions to ask at agilesuperleaders.info.

Try it out, and please let me know how it went!

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