Four Years with Agile For All

Thanks to LinkedIn, I realized that I’ve been with Agile For All for four years now. Talk about the feeling of time flying and being surprised that four years have gone by already.

This prompted me to take a little time to reflect on my experience with Agile For All thus far. After considering a few formats, I’m going with a simplistic Loved/Longing approach.

Loved:
– The caliber of people that I work with. I’m constantly being challenged (growing) – with my thoughts, my skills, and my delivery. I have been so lucky to say that I work with the best at multiple points in my career. In this case, I truly work with an elite group of people focused on helping people make a difference. I am constantly wanting to be better to earn my spot at the table and yet never once do they make me feel like my spot is ever in question. I feel supported while challenged. I feel valued while challenged. Pretty amazing.
– When I was considering joining AFA, Bob said “I could keep making a difference one company at a time or I could start scaling”. Ok, he used different wording but you get the gist. The breadth of people I can help is sometimes overwhelming: at clients, at conferences, at public trainings, at meetups, etc. I appreciate helping people have that initial aha moment. I enjoy listening as an independent perspective. I value getting experience in a variety of industries/companies to help people in their journeys. Bob was right – I am helping more people.
– My purpose is more clear now than ever before – I want to help leaders. I want to end the jokes of bad managers / clueless execs. I want leaders to feel supported as they challenge what they have always known, what they were taught, what they believe is best – to find how to lead towards high performance. Every time Jake and I deliver Leading Amazing Teams, I’m blown away with the inspiration and relief that people feel in that they can do this. I now certain that the way to make Agile a reality is leadership, not the framework, not a practice but how we lead teams.
– Freedom/Balance: I choose when I work, where I work and for who I work. This means I get to travel where and when I want (which I enjoy) and stay home when I want (which I need). Honestly, I work less hours a month (with the ability to still support my family) which means I have dedicated way more time to things I want to experience. Sure, there are some weeks that get absolutely crazy but they are typically followed by weeks of being off. The kind of vacation where you don’t have emails piling up but truly off.
– Continued connections. Sure the connections are different than when you are day in and day out with the same people in an organization. Yet, somehow the random occasional contact becomes so much more special. I hear from various people from numerous companies in my past. I continue working with clients as they leave the client site and move on to new challenges. I’m able to develop new relationship built completely on shared purpose. I gain so much of my energy from connections with people, to learn that I can maintain these relationships, that they can develop into something new and still be valuable…well, might be the best gift of all.

Longing:
– Delivering a product. Don’t get me wrong, I love people and that’s the purpose. Yet, there is still something about working together with people to deliver a valuable product. The release, the customer feedback, the innovation…it’s something I do miss in my roles today.
– Day in / Day out helping direct reports grow. I don’t have direct reports right now. I am not responsible for helping anyone directly grow each day. There is something about helping people with their bigger journey by little steps along the way. Clearly, their growth is all them but there is something about being with them on the ride. Watching and supporting someone grow into their potential, finding their purpose…the honor is mine.

I really pushed for one more longing but that’s all I got. I’m simply pretty happy. I’m looking forward to the next four years!

No question this time…just gratitude for an amazing environment that helps you grow.

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