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: Mike Cohn
Back in 2007, Mike Cohn was one of the very early people I interacted with in the Agile community. I remember sitting in his session and asking a ridiculous number of questions. So many that I thought I would apologize afterward if I was too much. Mike was so kind because I now know I was absolutely annoying. But he spent time answering my questions and then engaged in a discussion – asking me questions, highlighting my knowledge, etc. He helped me feel like I belonged in this community. My respect started growing that day.
And I could talk about other little things he does: 24-hour responses to emails, making a point to say your name when he recognizes you in future sessions, etc. All of these things are amazing – he’s amazing. But there’s something specific that I want to focus this appreciation on, his ability to create lasting relationships with the little things.
Despite not always seeing Mike often over the years (including even when we lived in nearby towns), I realize that I’ve always felt a connection. That’s because whenever I reached out, he always remembered and treated each interaction as beneficial to him too. When I had questions about his latest book. When I struggled to challenge myself to write a book. When I needed to explore employment options. When I was looking for recommendations. Over the years, Mike very much became a mentor in many ways. He offered advice – he challenged – he laughed and shared in the crazy moments. And when my book was published, he was the first to write a review. And I completely spaced and didn’t respond to an email podcast request, he made the extra effort to inquire. He had already done so much to support me and here he was going the extra mile in helping in every way possible.
It’s a crazy wonderful feeling having Mike as a supporter in your life. He consistently demonstrates what it means to lift others up. He does the little things that make you feel seen and included. As someone that I admire, respect, and trust…he inspires me. I appreciate you!!!
Picture from Linkedin