Agile software development (ASD) practices are used in a variety of contexts nowadays, transforming not only IT departments but entire organizations. One of the preconditions for ASD to be successful is that the teams are empowered: they self-organize and act autonomously, thereby taking on traditional management tasks themselves. Hence, the role of traditional managers changes extensively to a more hands-off, enabling management style. With agile teams emerging in large numbers, organizations need to give guidance to external team leaders – managers without a designated position in an agile team – who struggle to find their role in the new environment. If those managers do not take part in the transformation or openly oppose ASD, it can negatively influence team performance. We propose a case study-based research design to develop a theoretical model on the interplay between agile teams and external team leaders and its influence on the teams’ empowerment.