Certified Agile Leadership (CAL1)

Overcome 90% of the challenges with Agile transformation using an Agile mindset.

Michael Sahota’s Certified Agile Leadership (CAL1) experience is an intense 2 days of deep exploration into leadership, organisational growth and culture to deliver high performance Agile organisations.

You will get the Certified Agile Leadership (CAL1) credential from the Scrum Alliance when you complete it.

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Register your interest in future CAL courses

We're currently working to schedule the next CAL courses with Michael Sahota and Audree Tara, to fit into their very busy 2020 international schedule.

Complete form to be notified once dates are confirmed.


Why take Michael's CAL1 certification?

We will be walking you through the Sahota Playbook that will help you with the Wisdom, Neurobiological Shifts, and Tech/Tools you need in your toolbox to create real results in your Agile transformations.

Michael has done a brilliant job of transferring his ability to create results in any organisation to his CAL1 and CAL2 graduates by delivering the concepts through the step-by-step Sahota Playbook.

In The Sahota Playbook you'll learn:

1. Wisdom & knowledge

  • Consciously Approaching High Performance: Our unique roadmap that shows you how to create an environment where Agile, Digital, DevOps and Innovation thrive.
  • High Performance Culture Redefined: Our clear picture of organisational culture that clarifies the sources of conflict and confusion so you know how to move forward.
  • Eliminate Resistance: You’ve encountered a lot of friction, we’ll show you how to get into flow.
  • Damage Control: See the hidden organisational debt around safety, trust, and listening so that you can create a healthy ecosystem for success.
  • Transformation Amplifiers: How to overcome the “Business As Usual” trap that is limiting success, and unlock a clear path to high performance.

2. Mindset & behavioural shifts

  • Hack Into Deep Learning: Unique tools and tactics to get you out of incremental growth and into transformational growth.
  • The Agile Transformation Paradox: Success requires the integration of Doing Agile and Being Agile. Create an environment that will support both.
  • Shift Destructive Behaviour: Simple and effective neurobiological shifts to clear unconscious programs that limit success. See them, Shift them.
  • Effective Leadership Mindset: Discover a new depth to inspire and influence for effectively spreading the Agile Mindset to create leaders around you.
  • Sahota 4 A’s Conscious Leadership Model: The 4 A’s Leadership Model enables you to take your leadership journey to the next level: from ordinary to extraordinary.

3. Tactics & tools

  • Conscious Communication Tools: Get your people aligned, fully on board and energised with these effective communication tools.
  • Unlocking Metrics: Many of the metrics we report on are complicating and hindering success. Eliminate this headache to focus on the KPI’s that really matter.
  • Sahota Engagement Tools: Correcting the usual misapplication of engagement indicators will put you on the road for sustainable organisational growth.
  • Sahota Influence Checklist: People aren’t listening or are covertly sabotaging progress. This will show you how to increase your influence to foster high performance.
  • Sahota Playbook For High Performance: Get the full results you hope for. Use this step-by-step guide to navigate transformation to create sustainable lasting success.

Bonus: Monthly Integration Calls with Michael

We’ve made access to Michael available for all CAL1 and Agile Leadership Online Training graduates. These are now free to you to allow you to continue your learning journey and ask Michael questions as you implement the Sahota Playbook. These occur on Michael’s Zoom meeting room on the first Tuesday of every month.

Overview of the Training Experience


What CAL1 graduates had to say:

Game Changing, Awesomely Enlightening & Fun. I gained insight on the importance of listening and self-awareness about my own personal triggers. I enjoyed Michael’s authentic style of delivery.” – S. Mann, Senior Manager of Technology Delivery

Prepare to have your mind blown. This is unlike anything you will have experienced before. Get out of the matrix!” – K. Ali, Agile Development Manager

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.” – C. Tan, Agile Program Manager

Inspiring, Provocative, Challenging. Michael explained the role we all have and it starts with you. Be the inspirational leader and be the model of the desired culture shift. I liked how the delivery was a mix of exercises, lectures, drawing, and conversation. I feel I connected with the content.” – M. Fagan, Agile Coach

Exhilarating, Soul Searching, Addictive. I now understand that I need to gain insight on my own leadership journey first.” – L. Fowler, Scrum Master

Certified Agile Leaderhship Experience - Michael Sahota

The Sahota System you’ll discover inside our Certified Agile Leadership Training is an integrated approach to culture, leadership and organisational change.

All of these are talking about high performance but from different perspectives. We provide an integrated view that enables rapid organizational growth through our proven Playbook.

Michael Sahota talks about Agile leadership and high performance

Equinox IT Principal Consultant Jasmin Wilkins interviewed Michael about Agile leadership and high performance organisations during his previous trip to New Zealand where he delivered the Certified Agile Leadership course held in Wellington on 16-17 October 2017. You can watch that interview here:

Praise from Executives and Managers

  • “Thought-Provoking, Refreshing, Broadening. There is an acknowledgment and desire among the agile practitioner community that something is broken and this is one step to fixing it. Michael has great energy and the delivery was very inclusive. – S. Ahmed, Head of Digital Products & Operations, Bupa
  • “Dynamic, Insightful & Practical. During this training the most valuable insight gained, was to get out of my own way.” – R. Ellerman, CEO
  • “Intense, Challenging, Growth Building. The value of leadership is the key to culture, agile and many other successes. Listening is the most valuable tool for a leader.” – M. Mullins, Head of Communications, Technology & Operations
  • “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.” – D. 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.” – R El.ledge, Work Stream Lead, IT PMO
  • “The best leadership and growth activity I’ve done in 25 years!” – A. Heath, Delivery Manager

Praise from Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters

  • “Consciousness Expanding, Unexpected, Positively Different. There was a whole other dimension of leadership that I was not aware of, but that makes all the difference. The delivery was done with love, compassion, with a wonderful attitude and environment.” – T. Gruber, Scaled Agile Coach
  • “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.” – J. 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.” – A. Ahmed, Scrum Master
  • “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.” – M. de la Maza, Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)
  • “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.” – Z. Sochova, Agile Coach & Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)

Also see Michael Sahota's Certified Agile Leadership 2 (CAL2) course as the next step after CAL1.

Michael Sahota, Certified Agile Leadership, New Zealand


The course is targeted at executives, managers, coaches and leaders who need to enable success by fostering agility within their organisations. The principles and practices of organisational culture and leadership are the same regardless of your role.



  • Pre-requisites: You are expected to have basic knowledge of Agile. This may have come to you through industry experience, reading, meetups or formal training. This course is designed for anyone seeking to foster a more “agile” high-performance organisation. It is accessible and essential for leaders in innovation, lean, human resources, etc. – not just Agile.
  • Course Pre-learning: Participants are expected to complete 2 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.

Certification Requirements & Schedule

  • As part of the tuition, you will receive the Certified Agile Leader 1 (CAL1) certification from the Scrum Alliance.

As there is no test, the only requirement for certification is your full participation in the class. This means that you will need to schedule any travel so it does not conflict with scheduled class time. Late arrivals and early departures are not advised as it will interfere with creating a safe learning environment for others and will make certification discretionary.

Michael Sahota, Certified Agile Leadership, New Zealand

About Michael Sahota

Michael Sahota, Certified Enterprise Coach, Certified Agile Leadership

Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise CoachScrum Alliance Certified Agile Leadership Educator

I’ve been guiding success in organisations with Agile since 2001, and I’ve held my Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC) designation since 2010. I teach my version of the Certified Agile Leadership Training (CAL1) across the world.

Although, I’ve also been in your shoes. I was the Software Developer, the Architect, the Team Lead, the Project Manager, and Executive Manager. I was personally responsible for many transformations using Agile, Lean, Devops, etc. Like you, I could see what needed to be done, I could see the problems and the obstacles, but I was fighting resistance from my team, my leaders, and the organisational system.

I failed multiple times in my career as an Agile Coach because I wasn’t a great leader. I valued results more than people and it got me fired a few times. I really wanted success and I pushed too hard. I didn't know how to engage even though I was doing normal "Agile coaching".

I knew the leaders needed to change if the organisation was going to change, that was obvious to me. It then hit me that maybe I needed to change first. It was worth an experiment at least. This put me on a path of personal development, increasing my personal effectiveness and leadership skills through developing my own Agile Mindset, going first as a leader, and listening instead of pushing my agenda.

Wouldn’t you know… people started trusting and respecting me as a leader. I created an environment where the leaders were not only engaged, but leading the change initiatives. Places where teams were happy and felt protected. It was inside this safe place we could get some serious, quick results in our transformation.

I’ve been growing and developing new ways of BEING Agile, of creating proven ways someone can create a high performing organisation and team. The result is my life’s work that has been tested in the trenches of organisations from myself to my students and attendees across the world.

I call it The Sahota System which is a proven approach designed to give you the Knowledge, the Behaviour Shifts, and the Tools & Tactics that have transformed organisations across the world.

Watch Michael Sahota's webinar Top ten secrets of Agile transformation, delivered to over 800 registered attendees to get further insight into this thinking on organisational culture and leadership for successful organisational agility.


Q: What is the difference between SAFe and CAL?

A: On the surface, the goals of SAFe and CAL are similar: An Agile Organisation.

SAFe has an excellent focus on Tactical elements of Agile such as the process, roles, multi-team releases. It is a wonderful way to adopt Agile practices in a large organisation. One might say the focus is on Doing Agile. The focus here is on what may we do to improve things with as little organisational change as possible.

The focus of the Michael Sahota CAL1 Experience is an integrated view of Organisational Cultural, Leadership and Org Change. It’s about Being Agile: How we use an Agile Mindset to create a nimble flexible organisation powered by engaged, innovative people. It’s all about creating a High-Performance Organisation using Agile. You will learn a proven playbook for moving to high performance regardless of your role.

Q: What is the breakdown of PDU's?

This training provides 14 SEUs in support of the Certified Scrum Practitioner (CSP) and 14 PDUs in support of certifications offered by the Project Management Institute, including the PMI­ACP as well as the PMP certification. You can claim 1/2 as strategic and 1/2 as leadership.

Q. Do all CAL1 trainings cover the same content?

No. And there is a good reason for this.

All CAL1 trainings cover the same set of high-level learning objectives.

However, each training is as unique as the instructor. Each CAL1 reflects the unique leadership and organisational development journey of the instructor.

The Michael Sahota CAL1 experience, reflects years of professional practice that has resulted in several proprietary models and techniques that have been proven around the world to lead to high performance.

Q. Do you offer private / in-house CAL1 training?

Yes! Major organisations are getting huge benefits from internal CAL1 training. With executives, managers and coaches all in the same room we increase the shared organisational awareness and alignment needed to get high performance. Participants can have internal discussions not possible in a public class. New Zealand private / in-house CAL1 training courses can be organised by contacting Equinox IT.

Q. What's next after the CAL1?

In order to keep the energy alive after the CAL1 and to help you navigate the Playbook in your organisation, I’ve created a monthly Integration Call where you can ask me questions and we can go deeper into your leadership journey. You'll be automatically entered into the call notifications where you'll receive an email with a link to join us both 12 hours and 15 minutes in advance of the call. You can unsubscribe from receive these emails at any time if you no longer want to take part in our discussions. Together with Equinox IT I also run the Certified Agile Leadership 2 (CAL2) course in New Zealand. CAL2 is an "Agile" leadership and culture masterclass consisting of a 3-day training course followed by a 4-month integration programme.


More Photos from the Certified Agile Leadership course held in Auckland in April 2017

Michael Sahota, Certified Agile Leadership (CAL1) training

Certified Agile Leadership training with Michael Sahota

Michael Sahota, Certified Agile Leadership, New Zealand

Certified Agile Leadership training with Michael Sahota

Certified Agile Leadership training with Michael Sahota

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