Unfortunately, saying thank you seems to be an afterthought 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: Agile For All Crew
In 2015, I decided to join Agile For All (AFA). I’ve spoken about my time with AFA frequently so I’m going to keep this focused on what AFA contributed towards in helping me start a new adventure.
When I joined, I wasn’t sure about several of my abilities. Could I sell work? Can I hold my own with such a talented group of people? Would I be able to make a difference in this type of role vs practitioner? Would the risks of no guaranteed salary be too stressful? Clearly, I had lots of fears. Not only did Bob and Richard make things easy for me to get past the initial hurdles, but they (along with the rest of the crew) also chipped away at every one of these doubts. Sometimes directly, sometimes I didn’t even realize that my fear was gone.
I know for a number of people, there is some confusion as to why I would leave – given how highly I speak of these past five years. Honestly, it wasn’t something I was considering at the start of 2020. Then you know, 2020 hit. In March, we came together (virtually) and everything was extremely uncertain. There was this general agreement that we honor what has happened for the past five years and embrace what each of us finds our paths heading as 2020 unfolds. Some saw opportunities right away, some of us (me) needed time to freak out. Once the initial panic wore down some, I did some reflecting. I’ve known for a while that my desire to practice again was growing but I also knew I didn’t want to stop doing my current activities. So I decided to combine the best of both worlds and start a new company – doing what I love with the intent of growing (so I can be a practitioner again too). What’s the timeline for growing? I don’t know and that’s not the point of this post.
The truth is I’m confident I wouldn’t have been able to be at this point without my AFA experience. Sure, knowing I can sell is helpful, knowing people will value what I do is reassuring and having built a cushion for salary dips is comforting. Yet, despite that all being huge, it wasn’t the game-changer. I realized that I didn’t have to be in the same company to be still part of this crew. All of these years of support and cherished memories, were not simply because we were in the same company. There is profound respect, trust and investment in these relationships. That never ends. So when I get a little terrified about doing this, I can hear each one of their voices rooting me on – as I do them.
I am so energized by people that I avoid doing things on my own, the time had come to do this on my own. Yet, because of Bob Hartman, Richard Lawrence, Jake Calabrese, Henry Dittmer, Peter Green, John Miller, Rob Myers, Peter Saddington, Steve Spearman, and the wonderful Angie Ham…I know that I’m not really ever alone. That I can do this – partly because they believe I can.
For all the learning, laughter and love…from the bottom of my heart, thank you.