If your house is on fire...

You would probably get out of the place as soon as possible. That's pretty obvious, right?

Unfortunately, it's not so obvious when working on a software project, especially when the stakes are high and you have multiple stakeholders waiting for your team's solution. Most people would sacrifice their personal time and try to push the project forward by working harder and covering as many topics as possible in parallel to finish on time.

When we see a fire, we put on our firefighter hat and focus on putting out the flames. There's nothing wrong with this approach when it happens occasionally. The problem arises when it becomes a habit.

this is fine

More often than not, we end up working in an environment where there is no innovation, no long-term solutions, and no time for learning.

So what can we do? Let's have a look at:

Enter... Elastic Leadership

I recently learned about this concept during a Tech Leadership training by Eduards Sizovs. Elastic leadership, as explained by Roy Osherove in his Elastic Leadership Book, emphasizes the importance of adapting leadership styles to the needs of the team and situation.

In his perspective, the role of the team leader is to grow the team into a self-organizing one.

Elastic Leadership

Team Modes

In Elastic Leadership there are 3 modes in a team:

Each mode has a different style of leadership:


I hope I was able to provide a brief overview of what elastic leadership is. If you think you're in survival mode, why not give it a try? In the future, I'll explain more about what needs to be done to get out of survival mode.