Posted tagged ‘change’

Dream Girls 2015 – refreshed

April 26, 2015
A year has passed since I wrote the first Dream Girls post. This post is a refresher and also high five to my friend Andrea Ross, who is pursuing dreams of her own, despite many obstacles.
My daughter, Christie, graduated from college a year ago. During this past year, she worked at her first full time job, facilitating and arranging homestays for exchange students with local families, finding suitable cultural activities, and dealing with their logistics and acclimation problems along the way. It was a perfect first job as she re-adjusted to life back in the US – and it made perfect use of her intercultural skills and experiences and her problem solving and leadership skills. During the first part of 2015, she set her goals on finding a new and more challenging job and received two offers. After she ran a successful, professional, sales pitch to a ‘panel of potential gov’t customers and the Bureau of Wildlife and Fisheries’ as part of the IBM interview process, she was offered and has accepted their job offer to join the sales team for IBM’s cloud services. She’ll be working in the federal space.  She also set her eyes on a personal goal – to compete and win in a body fitness competition. She won first place in all three categories she competed in – after months of really grueling discipline both in the gym and in the kitchen.  I’m so proud that she has demonstrated courage, commitment, and consistency in getting what she wants.  This is the girl that dreams with a purpose!  Dream Girls!
Here’s another Dream Girl!  I met Andrea Ross at the Lean Kanban US conference back in 2012. She’s from Richmond, VA.  I include her here, because I think she lives the ‘dream girls’ life, going after what she wants no matter what the barriers.  Andrea works for the Virginia Department of Corrections as an Analyst and Project Manager in their IT department. She is absolutely passionate about Lean and improving the work place.  She has been an influence within the Department of Corrections, helping to train 12,000 employees in the art of dialogue as part of their own cultural transformation. I’ve been very impressed by the initiative undertaken at such a large institution and I’m proud to know Andrea has been a key part of helping to make that happen.  Andrea runs the Capital Kanban Meetup in Richmond which has a very active participant base and interesting programs.  Later this summer she will train and get certified as a Lean Facilitator and as such is continuing to live her dream – despite considerable hardship logistically to do so.  This is so admirable!
My year has gone extremely well too.  I’ve been working at Santeon with a handful of other agile coaches since May 2014.  I’ve loved working with all of the dozen or so coaches on our coaching team (Paul Boos, Mark Grove, Scott Barnes, David Kane, Rich McCabe, Julie Wyman, Ebony Brown, and Kumar Dattatreyan) and with my clients at Caterpillar and at Customs and Border Protection. The Santeon coaches each have unique strengths and interests, and we are really learning to help each other with different perspectives.  We have regular off-sites to reflect on  direction, our needs, our work, learning, and clients. The owner of the company is incredibly dedicated to our well-being, not just the bottom line.  I am so grateful for this.
In 2015 I am checking off two other dreams I’ve had. I’m heading as we speak to Seattle, WA for ‘Core Protocols‘ Boot Camp to spend a week with a dozen or so other coaches learning how to make great teams and therefore also great products.  Its all experiential and I expect a rather cathartic experience.  In June, I’ll join several dozen coaches and IT professionals in Albuquerque for Problem Solving Leadership class led by my favorites mentors: Esther Derby, Johanna Rothman and Jerry Weinberg. If it weren’t for Jerry Weinberg’s books, his Amplify Your Effectiveness Conferences and the fantastic people I’ve met and come to know through those workshops, I would not be where I am today. I can unequivocally say that.  Problem Solving Leadership is a highly sought after experiential workshop – that helps people explore their own patterns and styles when solving problems.  I am super excited for that as well.   I suppose what I love most about both of these experiences is that neither is about ‘agile’ per se.  They are both about awareness, observation, self-reflection, connection, motivation, possibility, change, getting support for what you need to be a fantastic team member and leader.  For anyone one, girls or boys, who want to dream and achieve their dreams, do not hesitate to Ask for Help!
Lastly, in January 2016, I’ll be going to meet James Lawley and Penny Tomkins at a Symbollic Modeling and Personal Discovery retreat. Penny and James are leaders in the field of change and transformation. I’ve written much about Clean Language on my blog – and referred many to their excellent website – a true online museum of all things Clean.  I feel extremely lucky to be able to meet and work with them for 6 days in January 2016.
Close your eyes, and dream big – ask for help, go for what you want!  It truly brings joy to your soul and affects everyone around you in a positive way!

Book Dreams

April 10, 2013

2013-04-10 20.23.16Many years ago, I had a fantastically colorful dream. In this dream I had a space of my own that was both a bedroom and a library. Bookshelves stretched into every corner and nook of the room. The room contained all kinds of reading spaces and was rich both in its feeling of safety and its practical conveniences, such as microwave, refrigerator, and bed. The colors of the book bindings  matched even more spectacularly the quilts my Mom had made and all the colorful decorations in the room. I could have stayed in that room reading for days or weeks – without an unmet need – or so the dream went.

In 2011, at my second Amplify Your Effectiveness (AYE) Conference, my Korean agilist friend, June Kim, introduced me to Clean Language coaching. Clean Language questions allow one to develop a vision or solve a problem very quickly using metaphors. I was trying to find ways to accelerate my learning.  I allowed June to try a few clean questions on me, and within 5 minutes, in answer to one of his questions, I had a building with a grand library that had cropped up in my path of learning.  Since my kids were now more grown, and I had time, I began constructing my library and started reading voraciously.

So what is the connection between the library dream, the books, AYE and the present work I am doing?   The books provide me intellectual and motivational fuel for my journey.  The conferences and retreats are the place I make connections to new ideas and new people.  In my present work, I am passing along what people are ready to hear about.

I’ve compiled a list of SOME of the books that have MOST influenced me in the past year or so as it relates to the modality of coaching and consulting. I don’t include any Agile, Facilitation, or Lean books, though those  are important to me too.

Each of the following books has contributed to my understanding of the things I need most for coaching work and am most passionate about:
how listening affects thinking;
how mindset contributes to ability to learn, change, experiment;
how making direct and congruent contact with one another is the key  to successful teams, organizations, and products
My new career journey as coach may have started with a dream, AYE, June’s interview, and many amazing books. The  colorful reading den is the symbol of my refueling, so I can go out and reach  people with my heart, my learning, and my listening again and again.
What do you do, as a coach, to refuel for your next gig or goal?