Unfortunately, saying thank you seems to be an after thought more and more. So at least once a month, I will take a few minutes to publicly appreciate someone that has had an impact on me.
This round: Lyssa Adkins
I first attended a session by Lyssa at an Agile Alliance conference in 2008 (Toronto). She made quite a positive impression on me; despite my walking out of numerous sessions completely overwhelmed by the growth of skills I was now facing.
Over the next few years, I would make a point to attend her sessions and ask questions. She was always approachable, honest and engaging. As time continued on, we became friends. I’ve felt lucky to be able to say that on occasion, I’ve been able to reach out to her for help. I’m honored that over the years, I’ve been able to help her as well. At a minimum, I could thank her for numerous instances and appreciate the relationship of respect that we have built. However, I really want to focus in on a recent moment.
I have been involved in the Agile community for many years now. I chose to take on roles to help pay forward and make a difference. Unfortunately, despite all the best of intentions, judgements are made…statements are assumed…expectations are unrealistic…on and on. I found myself in a dark mental place. I’m lucky that I have several avenues for support but in this situation, I knew the best person for me to explore my thoughts, my desires and my hurt was with Lyssa. Now Lyssa is an extremely busy individual but every time I’ve ever contacted her – you would never know it. She makes you feel like you are important – and not in a fake way – you really are important to her. Within no time at all, we were able to meet. I shared. I cried. I laughed. I found a way forward.
So thank you Lyssa. For being a role model in this community of putting people first. For practicing what you share. For all of the moments of growth over the many many years. For all of the dinners, dancing and laughter. For being someone that has supported me. For being someone that has challenged me.
I’m eternally grateful.
Picture from Agile Alliance Conference