Watership Down is a novel written by Richard Adams about a group of rabbits. Their home is in danger and a few rabbits self organize and leave. The ring leaders of this daring group are not significant members of the warren (rabbit home). Takes a courageous rabbit to self organize and run away from a nice comfortable home.
Hazel is the courageous rabbit that leads this group. He does not consider himself a leader. He is not the leader of the warren nor runs in those circles. He is not the smartest, strongest, nor the funniest rabbit, but when someone is needed to rally the troops and escape danger, Hazel becomes the ad hoc leader. The majority of the book is about Hazel leading his group of rabbits out in the world to find a new home. Spoiler alert – nothing easy about finding a new home.
Yes I am going to compare a book about rabbits to an Agile team. Sure Agile 101 says the team should be fully democratic and everyone needs to have a voice. I agree with that. My point is every team needs a Hazel of some kind to build consensus and be that driving force in a self organized team.
Check out our podcast that highlights each teams Team Identity and the importance a leader on a Agile team.
I also found a very interesting video from Jack Welch talking about leadership. I thought it was a great tie in to our podcast and Watership Down. Hope you enjoy his video as much as I did.