Certified Agile Leadership
with Michael Sahota

Tabar was excited to bring Michael and the Certified Agile Leadership (CAL 1) course, endorsed by the Scrum Alliance, to Australia for the very first time in May 2017.

Please get in touch with us about your interest in the CAL program.

Best sense check coaching I’ve been exposed to in a long time. Goes to the root cause of so many issues, and should remove blockers in individuals to start shifting things ...it starts with the leader, not anyone else. Also, the content and roadmap and playbook for consulting was excellent.
— CAL1 participant in Melbourne
Great content, great conversations, a lot of food for thought. Beyond the traditional stuff I read about Agile leadership. Plenty of actionable learning.
— CAL1 participant in Melbourne

Course information

The Scrum Alliance created this program in response to a need for help with overcoming the top organizational challenges with Agile:

  • Organizational Cultures that are at odds with Agile
  • Resistance to Change with organizations
  • Lack of Management Support (How can managers foster agility?)

Certified Agile Leadership Training gives managers and coaches the skills needed for success. Your success as a leader in an Agile organization requires looking beyond Agile itself. It requires a deep understanding of your organization and your own leadership path. To equip you for this journey, you will gain a strong foundation in understanding organizational culture. From there, you will learn key organization and leadership models that will allow you to understand how your organizational culture really works.

We create a highly interactive dynamic training environment. Each one of you is unique – and so is each training. Though each Certified Agile Leadership course varies depending on the instructor, all create awareness and a way forward on your journey of Agile Leadership . Although the essentials will be covered in every class, you will be involved in shaping the depth and focus of our time together. Each learning module is treated as a User Story and we will co-create a unique learning journey that supports everyone’s needs. Only the most valuable topics will be covered. The training will draw from the learning areas identified in the CAL overview diagram.

Graduates will receive the Certified Agile Leadership (CAL 1) designation. The Scrum Alliance Website has further details.


About Michael

Based in Toronto, Michael is a Scrum Alliance, Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC). He believes people deliver astounding results when they have Passion and Purpose. Joy and Meaning. Creativity, Safety, Trust and Belonging. He believes we can foster work environments where people can grow and evolve to unleash their best every day.

Michael sees himself as a guide who helps leaders cultivate their organizational culture. To invite a more conscious way of being and relating. To evolve organizational structures and practices that foster new ways of working,  He helps leaders navigate the world of organizational growth through training, coaching, consulting, and facilitation. 

Learning Modules for Certified Agile Leadership Training (CAL1)

We create a highly interactive dynamic training environment. Each of you are unique – and so is each training. Although the essentials will be covered in every class, you will be involved in shaping the depth and focus of our time together. Each learning module is treated as a User Story (see photo) and we will co-create a unique learning journey that supports everyone’s needs. Only the most valuable topics will be covered. 

Organizational Culture

“If you do not manage culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening.” – Edgar Schein

  • Why Culture? Clarify why culture is critical for Organizational Success.
  • Laloux Culture Model: Discuss the Laloux culture model that will help us clarify current state and how to understand other organizations/models.
  • Agile Culture: Explore how Agile can be seen as a Culture System.
  • Agile Adoption & Transformation: – Highlight differences between Agile Adoption and Transformation.
  • Dimensions of Culture: Look at key aspects of culture from “Reinventing Organizations”. Where are we and where might we go?
  • Culture Case Studies: Organizational Design: Explore how leading companies use innovative options to drive cultural operating systems.

Organizational Growth

  • Working With Culture: Given a Culture Gap. What moves can we make? Work with Culture or Transformation.
  • Complex Systems Thinking: Effective change is possible when we use a Complex Systems model. Cynefin. Attractors. Emergent Change.
  • Healthy “Agile” Initiatives: How to get to a healthy initiative. How to focus on the real goals of Agile and clarify WHY.
  • Fostering Organizational Collaboration: Understanding collaboration and trust beyond the team. Organizational drivers. Patterns for change.
  • Metrics: How do we measure success? What metrics help and which harm us?
  • Transformation Case Study: Walkthrough of how a transformation unfolded with a 100 person internal IT group.

Leadership & Organizational Models

  • Management Paradigms: Contrast of Traditional “Modern” Management practices with Knowledge worker paradigm. Theory X, Theory Y.
  • The Virtuous Cycle: Key drivers of success emergent across different high-performance organizational systems.
  • Engagement (Gallup): Gallup has 12 proven questions linked to employee engagement. How can we move the needle?
  • Advice Process: More effective decision-making using Advice Process. Build leaders. Practice with advice cards.

Leadership Development

  • Listening: Subtle and deep listening practice as the basis for all human interaction.
  • 4 A’s Leadership Model: Awareness, Acceptance, Aspiration & Ask for Help.
  • Leading Through Culture: How to lead through culture so that innovation and engagement can emerge.
  • Transformational Leadership: See how we may “be the change we want to see” in our organizations.
  • Leadership in Hierarchy: Hierarchy impedes innovation. Listening and language tips to improve your leadership.

Who Should Attend

There are two main audiences that are addressed by this training: organizational leaders and organizational coaches. The principles and practices of organizational culture and leadership are the same regardless of your role.

Organizational leaders include executives, vice presidents, directors, managers and program leads. Organizational coaches include Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, HR professionals, and internal change leaders.


Pre-requisites: Agile fundamentals, industry experience or Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is sufficient. This is course explores organization & leadership needed to create an Agile organization. Agile is not required to learn, it is a requirement for certification. If you are not sure, please contact us for clarification.

Note: This course is designed for anyone seeking to foster a more agile (flexible, nimble) organization. Even though the historical context of Agile is software innovation, this training is applicable across all industries.

Course Pre-learning: Participants are expected to complete 2-3 hours of videos and readings in advance of the training. Then there is more time to focus on discussion and exploration. The reading guide will be shared with participants after registration.

PDUs: This training provides 14 PDUs in support of certifications offered by the Project Management Institute, including the PMI­ACP as well as the PMP certification.

Praise from HR & Trainers

  • Impactful, Freeing. I learned about the importance of self-improvement and modelling behaviour including coaching leaders through invitation. I liked the continuous attention to the energy of the system.” – Sumeyya Khan, Director, Head of Talent Management
  • Engaging, Interesting. I learned that there is no success without leadership. I enjoyed the openness & safety as well as exercises.” – Todd Sentura, Bain Partner, Senior Director of Global Professional Development.

Praise from Executives and Managers

  • Amazing. Life-changing. Mind Opening. I learned that it’s my journey first. To change the way I show up. That Culture bubbles are good. It was a creative open space that focussed on the needs of the team.” – Michelle Krupa, Director Agile COE
  • Invigorating, Rejuvenating, Thought-provoking. I gained valuable insights into self, value of consciousness and better understanding of how to start to consider transformation to organizational agility.” – Greg Fields, Managing Director
  • Enlightening. Awesome. I learned about the importance and value of starting with myself. And the importance of consciousness about structures. I like the learning journal, poll everywhere, and mix of slides and flipcharts.” – Mark Staelgraeve, Sr. Project Manager
  • Powerfully awakening and inspirational for my personal journey. I learned to listen to the system, to let it go, and that it’s all about heart, body and soul.” – Danielle Whelan, Agile COE Lead
  • Inspirational, Holistic, Honest. I learned that ‘Agile’ is not the goal. Any good that I might aspire to do in others must be fully internalized and true in me first. I like the group discussion and decision-making. Michael showed a great level of respect for the whole person.” – Rich Elledge, Work Stream Lead, IT PMO
  • Enlightening, Powerful, Life Changing. I see I am not alone and it’s OK to ask for help. I liked that the class was straight forward, amusing, and thought-provoking.” – Charlotte Tan, Agile Program Manager
  • Transformational. Rewarding. Its not about the process, it’s about the goals. I learned to listen and focus on myself: how I show up. I loved the safe environment, trust, respect and customization of course content.” – Chris Gullet, AVP Enterprise Platforms

Praise from Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters

  • Inspiring, Beautiful, Empowering. I now see the importance of going beyond Agile and clarifying leadership’s desire for transformation. I now have patterns for experimenting with. The energy and charisma engaged me. I also like the fluidity and creativeness.” – Jem D’Jelal, Organizational Coach
  • Enlightening, Engaging, Empowering. I discovered valuable ways of approaching leadership, and transformation through patterns. This subject holistically has opened up my mind to the possibilities of what I can achieve with organizations.” – Auzma Ahmed, Scrum Master
  • Honest, Engaging, Thought-Provoking. I learned about the importance of listening – purely listening, standing in the truth and inviting others. I liked the varied methods, group discussions and visual materials.” – Laura Prieto Umerez, Operational Excellence Sr. Business Advisor
  • Scintillating, Frame-shifting, Upleveling. I learned to be humble about what progress can be made and my role in it. Extraordinary sequencing, pacing and energy.” – Michael de la Maza, Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)
  • Awareness, Growth, Impact. I learned about focus on myself – listening and 4 A’s leadership model. I now have techniques to work with leadership. I liked the safe environment and the emergent, rich discussion.” – Josh D’Jelal, Scrum Master
  • Welcoming, Caring, Not pushing. I gained valuable insights on safety, growth and culture. I like that Michael uses polls to see the voice of the system and the drawings to discuss concepts.” – Zuzi Sochova, Agile Coach & Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)
  • Impactful, Engaging, Relevant. I gained valuable insights around frameworks & tools for dialogue and my attachment to Agile as an end. I now know how better to see and bring awareness of reality. I liked the informal tone, hands-on activities and mix of small/large group work.” – Anthony Mersino, (Agile+) Coach