Transforming Your Leadership Character
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Transforming Your Leadership Character

The Lean Thinking and Agility Way

About the Book

People need better leaders to guide them, but they also have a desire to become better leaders themselves in many aspects of life, such as businesses, churches, non-profits, sports teams, and more. Many corporate professionals and other practitioners in various disciplines pursue the goal of being solid leaders. But despite training and mentoring, these aspiring leaders still fall short of becoming the kind of leader who inspires others to deliver to the best of their abilities. 

Based on extensive experience and observation, I believe we all have leadership traits, but proactive efforts are needed in order to grow and transform these skills. The appropriate level of planning, nurturing, and execution can help leaders navigate the course from a non-starter to a resilient starter and finisher. 

Shawn, Chase, and Mario are three personas who represent the leadership dispositions of resilient-starters, quick-starters, and non-starters and finishers. Their stories model the ways that you can use lean thinking and agility to transform your leadership character.

About the Author

Dr. Dave
Dr. Dave Cornelius

Dr. Dave Cornelius is an experienced business and IT professional, and a globally recognized lean and agile catalyst who empowers others to achieve their very best. He specializes in coaching, training, and leading co-located and distributed teams to deliver quality innovations from concept to cash. 

Dave is the founder of 5 Saturdays, a program that empowers students to become leaders in business and STEM fields. In 2014, he received the SoTec Inspiration Award from the Southland Technology Conference, an honor that recognizes technology professionals for giving back to their community.

He currently presents webinars for business and technology professionals, hosts a podcast on, teaches courses on, and publishes the blog “KnolShare with Dr. Dave” on He is a well-known speaker and author in the agile and project management professional development communities.

Dave is a man of faith and is active in both his local and global neighborhoods. He has also held several leadership roles, where he helped IT groups develop partnerships with other groups within the organization.

Dave’s interest in leadership started on the island of St. Croix, where he played as a point guard on his high school basketball team, and culminated with earning his Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership. His first manuscript and doctoral dissertation, “The Value of Scrum to Organizations: A Case Study,” highlights the importance and value of leadership through the practices of lean thinking and agility.

Table of Contents

Dedication                                                                                                                                         6

Preface                                                                                                                                              7

Your Leadership Narrative through Stories                                                                                    11

Visions and Destinations                                                                                                                13

Leadership Patterns                                                                                                                         15

Emergent Leadership                                                                                                                   15

Servant Leadership                                                                                                                      17

Assigned Leadership                                                                                                                   17

Adaptive Leadership                                                                                                                   18

Leadership Dispositions                                                                                                                  19

Non-Starter & Finisher (NS&F)                                                                                                 21

Quick Starter & Finisher (QS&F)                                                                                               24

Resilient Starter & Finisher (RS&F)                                                                                           27

Leadership Personas                                                                                                                       29

Persona Mental Profiles                                                                                                              30

Lean Thinking and Agility                                                                                                              32

Lean                                                                                                                                            32

Value Stream Mapping                                                                                                               33

Agility                                                                                                                                         36

Plan–Do–Inspect–Adapt: Transforming Your Leadership Character                                              42

Plan–Do–Inspect–Adapt Validators                                                                                            43

Plan                                                                                                                                             45

Do (Executing)                                                                                                                            48

Inspect                                                                                                                                         48

Adapt                                                                                                                                          48

The Culture Shift                                                                                                                             49

Hypothesis Testing: What-If Questions (Shawn)                                                                       50

Shawn’s Plan                                                                                                                          52

Shawn’s Do (Executing)                                                                                                         53

Shawn’s Inspect                                                                                                                      53

Shawn’s Adapt                                                                                                                       53

Shawn’s Retrospective                                                                                                            54

Shawn’s Summary                                                                                                                  55

Reciprocal If–Then Questions (Chase)                                                                                       57

Chase’s Plan                                                                                                                           58

Chase’s Do (Executing)                                                                                                          59

Chase’s Inspect                                                                                                                       60

Chase’s Adapt                                                                                                                         61

Chase’s Retrospective                                                                                                             61

Chase’s Summary                                                                                                                   62

Circular Questions (Mario)                                                                                                         63

Mario’s Plan                                                                                                                           64

Mario’s Do (Executing)                                                                                                          65

Mario’s Inspect                                                                                                                       65

Mario’s Adapt                                                                                                                         65

Mario’s Retrospective                                                                                                             66

Mario’s Summary                                                                                                                   67

Remain Intentional                                                                                                                          68

Epilogue                                                                                                                                          69

References                                                                                                                                       72

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