Leaders Are Coaches Too with Tricia Broderick

Leaders Are Coaches Too with Tricia Broderick

Keeping Agile Non-Denominational, Episode 4

Alex Kudinov   All right. Welcome to the next episode of Tandem Coaching Academy podcast. Keeping Agile Nondenominational, that's what we do at Tandem Coaching and today we have a very fascinating guest, Tricia Broderick, and we are talking to her about coaching high-performance teams. Hey Trisha, how are you?

Tricia Broderick   Good, how are you? Thanks for having me on. I'm very excited.

Alex Kudinov   Absolutely. We're excited to have you. So why don't you give our listeners a little bit of a crash course on who Trish is

Tricia Broderick   This is always my least favorite part *laughs*. I...I like to refer -- I heard this term once and it resonated with me -- I like to say that I'm a recovering developer, meaning I have a computer science degree, I started off developing, I still see code and get happy, like I still will be, especially if I can see something in as like, oh, there's a null pointer exception. Like I still find myself getting kind of like geeky with that but you don't want me coding anymore. Like it's not a good idea.  So I've taken on -- I did a lot of project management, I, um, I did a lot of senior leader roles in developments from Director of Development to even Project Management Office and just different areas in software development, and really tried to embrace Agile in, in a lucky way, honestly. I got exposed to Extreme Programming in 1999. We were teaching a financial institution how to write a J2EE web app. And so we did pairing and short releases--like-it, in my mind, cemented for teaching not necessarily for software development.  So fast forward in 2005, I'm on a huge government project and we were going to do Scrum. I learned all the ways to fake Scrum *laughs* and, and -- but it gave me this introduction into what was possible, what was potential, even if you weren't doing it right; as a leader, what could happen if you created the right environments. So I really started getting very active in the Agile community starting in 2007. I had--and when I say active, like I'm probably one of those poster people that people say "she just drinks the Kool-Aid" because I've volunteered, I've reviewed, I've been the conference chair, I just finished a board term for the Agile Alliance where I was a Boarded Director. So I've done a lot of different roles and trying to support this community but at the end of the day, what I really just say is I'm a leader trying to help other leaders.

Alex Kudinov   Not only other leaders but also the teams as they are on their trajectory to becoming high-performance teams.

Tricia Broderick   Yeah, well, by helping other leaders that helps teams, it helps customers it helps across the board.

Alex Kudinov   Yeah. So what about high performance teams that's important to you?

Tricia Broderick   There's a lot of things. One is just people understanding that just calling something a High Performance Team, heck, even just calling them a team, doesn't make it so. Like, I'm from Michigan, calling Detroit Lions, a team does not make them a team. Like, it just doesn't actually happen and so I think a lot of people misunderstand, like, a lot of times, they'll have a group together that cooperates, that works together a little bit, but is willing to help each other but at the end of the day, they're not really collaborating, they're not really challenging each other, they're not really pushing the boundaries of what's possible, and that, until you're doing that, that's when you're tapping into the high performance. When the leader is no longer the hub, when you're--really get shared ownership that's happening is really where you're getting at a high performance. And so I think that a lot of people will call a group a team. And then I think a lot of people will call a team, a high performing team, but then be frustrated that that leader feels like they can't take a day off. Or that leader feels like they have to make sure nothing falls. Or that leader wishes they could clone a couple people on their team, right, and--and tha- because you don't know what you don't know. You're performing, you're getting results, but you're not getting high performance results. And so, I think to answer your question a little bit, it's...I think very few people have truly experienced high performance, because when they do your tolerance for any of the other stuff is like zero. And so the fact that a lot of people are like yeah, this is fine tells me a lot of people have really experienced high performance they're just saying it.

Cherie Silas   So, Trish, how would you define high performance so our listeners can really understand what that means.

Tricia Broderick   One, I don't think it's looks exactly the same as every single team, which is why it's hard. But I think how I define it is a little bit of there's a couple key things that I should see; characteristics, traits, dynamics that are happening.  One, the leader is not a hub, meaning everything doesn't go through the leader, that there really is this self organization, shared ownership dynamic that is happening within the team. Two, is that the team stops having all kinds of RACI or you know, the responsibility, accountability, consults, right, inform, or boundaries, or what's--'that's my role!' Any kind of handoffs, that there's really this shared ownership when it comes to the goal at hand, where they're challenging each other, not just, "I'll do my part because that's my mastery" but also going, "Hey, Cherie, I know you've been wanting to work on this. Let's do on this together." Right? Like this, this actual encouragement of challenging and leveling each other's masteries up is happening in high performance teams that you do not see happening in others.  The other is, is where the high performance I see - and I'm trying to stick not to the results, like innovation and quality coming out, but just, like, the characteristics of the team dynamic - is there's not a lot--a lot of experimentation. So there's not a lot of worrying about trying to get it perfect right off the bat. That there's almost this willing to truly embrace complexity and, and to, to inspect and adapt and understand that the best information is going to come from discovery, and really not just use those words, not just say those words, but live those words and and truly engage in it in a way that... kind of becomes just natural. Like when they're not -- I love it. I had a UX designer once say, 'Almost, when we're not experimenting and changing, it feels wrong now,' right? Like, that--that it's just, 'Okay, what's the next experiment?' and I think that that-those dynamics become really what true empowerment is; not saying you're empowered but actually if--once you have that kind of environment, now you really feel empowered. Which gets you the high performance results.

Cherie Silas   Yeah. So then, how do you make the connection then, if the team's not wrapped around leader, what is the work you're doing with the leader? Why do we even need one?

Tricia Broderick   Oh yeah...man, I felt every part of my body just curl up with those last words of your question, man *laughs* I remember sitting -- Declan actually remembers Declan Whelan was giving a session once at an Agile Alliance conference, and I can't remember what year it was, but it was early, it was like 9/10, early or, you know, long time ago -- and I remember sitting in there and I was an executive sitting in his session. And the whole session was just basically bashing executives, bashing leaders. He wasn't doing it but the session had turned into that, right? Like, it was like, "We're Agile. We are self-organizing. We don't need leaders!" and I'm sitting in there going, "I don't feel like I'm what you're highlighting but let me tell you, I'm never coming back. If this is right, what is going on," and I--and I ended up speaking up, and then a number of people kind of highlighted, and it became how Declan and I became friends was from that moment, because he found me afterwards. I think the Agile community as a whole, not everybody, but the Agile community as a whole did a real disservice.  Instead of teaching managers and leaders how to not command and control, how to not lead from the way that they were taught to lead but to lead in complexity, not in complicated type work, right? By not teaching them but by just saying, 'Get out of the way you're causing us problems,' we completely underestimated what people need in order to get to high performance. I have to have some two-way trust. Just because you tell me I'm empowered, if I don't know how to do the thing, all you're doing is aiming a bus at me. I need some training, right? If I if I'm nervous, like what if I get fired? I have a family to feed, support. Like, I--I need someone that's encouraging me, supporting me, challenging me, understanding what I'm capable of.  And I always like to kind of push people on this, like, "Well, we don't need leaders" and like, Yeah, can you think of somebody that you had as a mentor or they could have been your direct manager or not, but that-just-you felt like they believed in you and you wanted to, like, go above and beyond for them, right? Like you wanted to make them proud and so I think about leaders that are trying to move from that hub position over into a leader for a high performing team, there's a number of things that they have had a disservice of. They haven't received the right training, they don't know what skills they need. We are taught skills to deliver not skills to lead, often. And so sometimes the those leaders are promoted for their individual contributor delivery skills, not for their leadership skills. So we haven't given them the right skills.  Two we also don't recognize how difficult it is to let go, *chuckles* and--and to build two-way trust, and how to do that in a functional way. And -- because we can rationalize, oh, I was graded. I would rationalize things like you would not believe. I spent--I'll give an example. I, on that huge government project, we got penalties if we didn't deliver a document on time. So this wasn't just like you missed a date. You actually financially -- and these were not trivial penalties, right? Like, these are huge dollar penalties with your name in the paper that can influence the election, right? Like this is... and so, I mean, from a leader perspective, this is... intense, "I have to", and those words always come out of your mouth first, right? Like it's like "I have to."  So I would take this huge document home, I would take a red pen, and I would go to town on it, I would bring it back, and I'm like, 'okay, fix all these problems'. And then the next one, I'm like, "Okay, I have to. I got to make sure it works. I gotta--like, I can't let any balls drop" and I would take it home. Only they were the same errors and I was LIVID, and I went back into work. I'm like, and I threw the doc-- and these were big documents. So when I threw it on the table, it was very dramatic. Okay, very, very dramatic moment -- and I was like, "What is this? Like? Did you even try?" And I'll never forget the words that get said to me, that made me realize I was the problem. He went. "I'm just getting it close enough. I know you'll find it; it's okay." Oh, my gosh, I'm the problem, right, and so I ended up saying, "I'm not doing it for the next one" and guess what, next one's quality was so much better.  So in a lot of cases, there needs to be better support for leaders and understanding what they're doing for the short term, and how it's impacting that long term. And--because I believe most leaders want good things. And so, they want the team to succeed, right? They want all of those things but they don't know what else to do. So to, also, to your second part of your question is is like, well, what else do you do? Well, some of that is, what else could I be training my team on? What else can I be challenging my team on? What bigger organizational challenges are happening that's impeding and causing issues that I can now focus on because I'm not just doing a code review that I shouldn't be doing? Right? And so that answer is kind of loaded, because it's different for everybody but I've never seen a leader get to a high performing team and go, "Oh...I have nothing to do..." *laughs*  It's never--it changes, it's different, but I've never seen a leader--in fact, they usually just get bigger challenges of things to work on.

Alex Kudinov   And probably it would be fair to say that on that road, that's littered with bigger and bigger challenges. Every leader needs some form of support and it seems like you got that support, and you realize that you were having that support. So how did you get to this idea that coaching is an integral part of leadership development?

Tricia Broderick   So I don't call myself an Agile Coach. I say I'm an--I'm a leader that coaches, that trains, that mentors, that facilitates, that cheer leads, that, right, like, I do a lot of things and one of the skills that I do is coach, and because I didn't--I was a leader I--I remember going to Agile conferences and like, "Oh, you Agile Coaches, you're weird."  Like I'm a-- I'm an executive, right? Like I--it just it didn't make any sense to me but every time I'd sit in a session, I'd go to a session and I'm like, "Wait, I do that," "Wait, I thought the session was for Agile Coaches," "Wait...that's way better than what I'm doing!" And, and I'll remember this moment -- I don't know if a lot of people know, or remember, or know -- Pollyanna Pixton-were either of you familiar with Pollyanna Pixton? I'm not making this name up. She's a real person. She, but everybody always is like, "Are you making that name up?" No, I'm not. She was a big influence on me on many things, and I liked--I used to call her Ba--oh, I don't want to swear -- "Bad _____ [Blank] Leader"  Like she--she terrified me at times because she would give a session and she was just "No," like, "you are not the expert, your team is the expert." Right? And I'm like, "but but" because I would always sit in that, "but I have to dynamic," right? And um -- for anybody who knows me, of course, I went up to her and talked to her afterwards, like, because that's just who I am -- and she challenged me. Like, at this point, I had seen her at a couple conferences and so she challenged me and the best way to get me to do something is to lay down a bet and--and so she was like, you know, "the next conference, you buy my drinks, if if you can't do it, I'll buy your drinks, if you do, but here's your challenge," and I'm like, "Okay." She goes, "Don't answer a single question. Only ask questions for a day. For one day, as that leader, as that Director of Development, don't ask a single answer a single question."  I'm like," I got this, like, totally got this." I didn't last 15 minutes before I was like, I was just, and they just kept coming to my door with quick questions, and I was like, "Wha--?" and at almost to the point that I felt like, she had talked to my whole team to mess with me, like was what like, I was like, "Why are" but it wasn't it was I had created an environment where I was the easy answer and so I had to start learning how to coach and going, "They're creative and intelligent, why am I not helping pull that information from them--from them? Why am I just giving them the quick answer?" And so I did break, she did get her wine the whole night, I did end up -- and it was in Vegas. So I really lost this bet big time, okay, people -- but, um, I ended up kind of going, "Okay, I've got to learn these different techniques."  So I started going to -- when I started going to the Agile conferences, or while I was going to conferences, I would start going to more coaching, you know, Agile coaches, sessions, and things, and I was like, "Okay, they're marketing for Agile coaches but this totally applies to me as a leader." Again, another thing that I feel like we made a mistake in the Agile community for, right, but I was like--and I would pull it and-and--and then my team would say that "Conference Trisha is back" and Conference Trisha would be trying to use all of these different tools, and different techniques, and I started realizing how powerful not being that hub, not been that source of content and really coaching, and facilitating as well, in terms of really using those skills that I--I wasn't using -- well, I was saying I was do-but I wasn't doing it, right, and, and so doing it more and more...and to the point that then I got an email once and I'll n--or a text, and I'll never forget this text, like the text was like, "Thanks for a great one on one." and I was like, we didn't meet. Like I-in my mind, I'm like, 'Did I lose my mind? Did I meet with this person this morning?' And so before I can respond, he was like, "Yeah, I just I, I went to walk to y--talk to you but then I realized you were gonna just look at me with that look of like, 'you know the answer' and I knew I knew the answer. So I just needed to do it. And so yeah, thanks.' and I'm like, "I am in your head!" like, like, I don't even have to do anything anymore! But I think that's the power of coaching, right, is you're building the confidence of that other person to not only analyze something, to think about it, to dive into it, but then to have the confidence to do it, and not need the validation of somebody else. And so with every experience of that, it just made me go, "Okay, I got to go back to another conference, I  gotta go to another training, I gotta..." like, it just made me realize that this skill was a skill I didn't have but I needed dramatically if I really wanted my teams to go to the next level.

Alex Kudinov   So I get it. You were like the dark bar of telling was really strong within you and you were great at delivering stuff. You were really good.

Tricia Broderick   Yeah.

Alex Kudinov   So why coaching? What did that give you that you didn't have before?

Tricia Broderick   Oh, that's a fantastic question because um, honestly, I don't think if you had asked me that before I could have ever ever said it, and here's what I will highlight now. If I had some of my earlier teams like late 90s, early 2000 teams that worked for me. You know, we had fun. I was always a fun boss, right? Like, I wasn't like, I mean, I even had a team that would try and force like, make--I have a very weak stomach and so if you talk about gross things while eating like--I can't, I just got to leave. So my team would like competition to see who could get me to leave the table, right? Like, I mean, we did evil pranks on each other all the time and things like that, right? So we always had fun. And those earlier teams, if I saw them, in fact, occasionally when I do see someone, like, we'll go have a drink, we'll laugh, we'll catch up, right, things like that. But if I'm really core honest -- and this one-and it hurts me to admit this, but I will admit it -- as much as I liked them, as much as I thought they were quality, they were a resource to me, they were a means to accomplishing the goal of delivering for that customer. I didn't know much about their families, I didn't know much about their challenges or things they wanted to accomplish. I didn't help grow. I focused on the delivery, I focused on my by making fun, right, and things like that.  But they were a means to an end and it sucks for me to admit that. It, like, hurts me and it's embarrassing to admit it today. Versus really when I started getting more and more--and before Agile--but as I started getting more and more involved, I now see somebody on one of those teams, and and I say this carefully because I don't want to I don't want it to sound arrogant and those things, but I didn't...we don't talk about the products. We don't talk about the delivery. We end up talking about their growth, what things they're challenged by, what purposes they've been able to do, masteries, and, and just... here's one, here's an example of one of them. I'll give you this example. A woman that used to work for me, went on to to another company is doing that work, she ended up getting like the mentor of the Year award at our company and she messaged me to tell me that I won the award because she wouldn't be who she was today, if it wasn't for me. Getting those kinds of messages, getting those where I didn't just make a period of time enjoyable but I changed and help somebody be better, or grow, or gain confidence or do something they thought they couldn't, that is a value of purpose that I can't...I can't imagine my life without now.

Cherie Silas   When I hear you talk about this, what I-what I really think I hear is not just that you learned some new skills, you learned how to ask questions. That's a "Do" thing, right? I learned, I did this new thing, I behaved a different way. What I hear is that, ultimately, your whole mindset shifted in the way you see other humans.

Tricia Broderick   Yeah. Um, yeah, yeah. It's funny, because the question that someone early on, in my early days, I think it was always there in some forms, but it was delivered poorly, meaning--that's why I always have a hard time when people are like, "Oh, that's a Project Manager. They can never be an Agile leader" Bull. Like, I no, like, I--I think they just have to tap into it, and--and so that's what I think I did because at the end of my day on that huge government project, even though we were doing Scrum, we were totally not doing Scrum, by the way, my last question to people, I would walk around individually to people and go, "Is there anything I can help you with before I leave?" It was a question that I asked every single day. But even in that question, like I was always trying to serve and help others and do that but even in the delivery of that question, first I was asking individuals, second I was asking-is like, "What do you need from me" versus "What do you need" and, right like, and so just little twist of that...I didn't change core who I was but I tapped into powers that I didn't know I needed, or they needed. And so it was a matter of me realizing that the very things I ultimately wanted was everybody to be successful, the customer to be happy, all of this. I could achieve it in a way better way but I had to start trusting myself more as a leader. And so I think it became less about really trusting others, it became more about trusting me, is what I had to change most in that mindset.

Cherie Silas   Yeah, that's a really beautiful thought, and, so, what advice would you give to other Agile leaders; other Agile coaches?

Tricia Broderick   I'd give a couple bits of advice. You're--no guilt. Meaning, I can say I'm embarrassed to have to admit something, it's partially because of who I am today and that I teach these things, right, and, but the reality is, is you do based on how you were learning, right, like how somebody taught you or lead you. So in a lot of cases, some of the things that you learned were very good, I still keep my PMP a lot of my risk base response strategy, knowledge, and things like that is incredibly valuable, and in fact, I wish more Agilists understood it. And--and so I think there's a little bit of like, people are try-- pretend as an Agile leader, "If I'm going to be an Agile leader, I have to let go of everything I've ever known."  No! There's a lot of power and benefit in your experience, and your knowledge, and your current skill sets, and they still may have a value in certain spots, in certain situations, and certain dynamics. So I kind of like to say, honor your past; it is your past. It's your experiences, your knowledge, there's no shame in it. Now, what do you want to do going forward and what skills do you need? And that just the same way you're asking Agile teams to experiment, that it's a journey, that it takes multiple times to learn to get better, and that you're going to fall down? The same is the case is for you. And then the third thing is is, be transparent. And--and here's why I say this one -- in that learning, especially -- I had a team member what's come to me and I--I was like, "Come on I want you--it's okay to fail a little bit, right? Like, if you're about to fall off a cliff, I'll save you,right, like, but it's okay, we learn from failing and growing and things like that, and one of the team members said, to me, it was one of those painful gut moments -- not the most painful. I've ha--I know my most painful gut moment but this was up there -- looked at me and said, "But you never fail."  I'm like, "I call myself stupid, at least four times a day, what are you talking about?" but I wasn't transparent about it. It wasn't sharing the things I was learning and as a result, I was sending mixed messages to my team. So I got--that's why Conference Trisha became a thing was this like, "Okay, I'm going to try something new, I have no idea what's going to happen. Let's learn and grow. You'll give me feedback as I'm learning and things like that." and that made it more okay to critique me as a leader, but to also acknowledge that I'm learning, I'm trying new things; some things will work, some things won't because if you keep trying to be perfect as the leader, A, you can't, and B, your team knows you're not *laughs* but even if they respect you and believe that you are, you're not actually creating the right conditions for that. And so, practice what you preach, talk, you know, inspect, adapt for yourself as a leader and try new things, get a partner that's willing to help you with certain things. There's no shame in learning as a leader and sometimes we think we have to know everything, because we're the leader now and sometimes the best moments are when you acknowledge you don't, and watch what everybody else does to help you.

Alex Kudinov   Yeah, so I can totally relate that vulnerability is the key to leaders being effective, and leaders being leaders. I want to pull back a little bit, I still can't get rid of that image of that lady challenging you to ask the questions for the whole day and you're like '15 minutes into this exercise. I was like, I'm going to tell them.' and, what's coming up for me is that, a lot of people that come across our classes and we talk to think that coaching is always about asking questions and asking questions is the pinnacle of coaching, and we know it's not. There's no more annoying conversation when you ask something transactional and you get in in the response, like, what do you think about it? I'm just asking you for a piece of information just give me that damn piece of information. So that kind of one pitfall of the coaching, what are some others that you saw on your long path?

Tricia Broderick   So another pitfall, and I I'll never forget this -- Lisa doesn't remember it all but -- I remember sitting in the class conference session of Lisa Atkins, and again, this is--it wasn't--I remember it was Toronto. So I think that was like 2009 or something, but I was like, "I would like the list of perfect questions. Give me the perfect list of questions." and-and--and and I remember her looking at me like, "Oh, no..." Like, but "I want my check mark. So I give me my list of perfect questions." and--and I ended up realizing the pitfall there, and then I'll give some other pitfall dynamics, for me, I-- what I tell people with questions, the questions are not the powerful part. The powerful part is the connection. Sometimes I don't even ask a question and I can do coaching. Meaning, just being in a presence and being present with somebody and allowing them to just feel and keep talking, right? Like, and so the, I think so often people first get into it, and they're like, Oh, I have to know what the powerful question is, and if I just ask this question it will be magical, and it's like, "Oh, that's cute." Like, no. If you don't create the right space, they're not going to do it.  So the power is in the connection, the power is in the silence. So often, coaching isn't about what you're actively doing, it's what you're actively not doing. And--and in some ways, passively, like, you know, like, you're actively being silent, but to them, you're just not doing anything, right, but you're not doing anything in a way that's inviting and that's such a hard--I mean, this is much--it's an advanced kind of level, right for a lot of people--but it was something that I ended up realizing, as an extrovert, as a talker, that I was like, "Oh, I don't have to say something and look what they'll say. And so I that was hard for me to embrace even though logically, I got it. Like, when do you do your best thinking, when you're on a run, not talking when you're in a show--right? Like, when you've got blank space, and yet, my mouth wouldn't stop talking, right, and so I think that's a really hard thing for a lot of people trying to leverage coaching is understanding that, it's about giving space and creating an environment, a container, where somebody feels comfortable to explore, and to unlock, and to dive in, and it's really, really hard. It's hard for people like me but it's also hard in that efficiency focus, right? So many leaders are so focused on we got to do it fast, we got to do it fast. It's like, okay, I'll just tell you what you want to hear then.  I also think the other big thing that people get into a lot of problems when they start trying to coach is they do what I call manipulation. So they'll have a solution in mind. And they'll ask questions, and--but all they're doing is leading or manipulating somebody, and anybody who's ever really been a part of that, there's some moment that you realize, "Just tell me what you want. Just tell me what you want me to say." and trust really breaks down from that, and I think people, a lot of leaders go, "Okay, I we--I just asked questions, isn't that right? I'm empowering the team." and I did it, I did it. And so I actually created a way for my teams to call me on it when I was doing it and--because that's the hard part is is as a leader, we don't know we're doing it even in the moment when we might be doing it. I...I think the biggest moment when you kind of cross over and you really start--alright, at least for me--I was willing to do certain things but it wasn't to this moment that I went, "Okay, I got to get better at this" and that moment was when they actually came back with something that I didn't think was possible. And I went, "I'm not--Oh....I-I--oof... I would have--I would have hurt this team. And in that moment when you realize what you would have asked them to do versus what they just came up with was way worse, and you would have held them back, is the moment you went, "I've got to get better at this." and that was my "Okay, now's the time." But it's hard. It's really, really--it's hard. And it's hard for them too; let's get real about this. I mean, it wasn't just me struggling with 15 minutes of not answering your question. They're like, "Is she...is something wrong with Trisha?" like, because we build up these habits of how to interact with each other. So you got to, again, being that transparent of what you're trying to do and how you're trying to do it. I think the other pitfall for leaders that I'll highlight is, once you get to that moment of like, "Oh, coaching! This is amazing skill and I've got to start learning different things." Then they'd go, "I can only coach as a leader." No. There are times you--like, "but Trisha they're creative and intelligent, great, and they still don't know how to do the thing" like, like you need to train them, right, and so I think that's the other that I'll see is a lot of pendulum swing, is like, great you had your moment but now they're like, "I only coach I never asked a question. I'm just the leader, I have no accountability." I'm like, "Ugh, I want to... just--g--NO! *laughs* Because that's very reactive leadership. If your team is about to fall off a cliff, and you don't do anything, because the teams accountable, no, you are accountable for your team, and if they choose to fall off a cliff, that's on you. So I think a lot of people then pendulum swing and they forget that they have other techniques and skills beyond coaching that they still need to use with the team too. So that's why I really like to say coaching is a skill I use as a leader, just like I use other skills.

Alex Kudinov   Yeah. So, sounds like absolutely fascinating and long road that is littered with bodies and littered with those pitfalls, and you kind of learned a lot. So in going back to your high performance teams and your notion of designing an experiment, if somebody is stepping on this road, kind of coaching road to better leadership. What one experiment would you recommend them to design so that they can they can be successful in that first step?

Tricia Broderick   I want to answer it in 20,000 different ways, because I'm like, "Well, first, stop worrying about high performing teams if you can't even get a team yet" but um--because I think that's the other dynamic for me is I feel like people tend to try and make experiments fourteen leaps ahead of where they really are. If your team's not even collaborating, start there before you're worried about taking yourself out of--as the hub. But let's say you've got a team, you're the hub, but you want to get up into high performance. Here's one that I'll throw out, and it's it's a little--I don't want to give a standard one or a basic one. So I'm going to give a really controversial one that will freak a few people out. Why not like it's fun. It's 2021. Let's go with it. Right. That next  "Tiger Team", you've got to create as a leader, you don't pick the people. Now, I know the panic that what you just heard I said, did because we have good intents. Well, why are we picking up the team? Well, we need the best people. That's why we've got to have him for this special team, right? But I remember once this is -- and I guess maybe it maybe I needed to say this and own this thing; this was just gonna come up one way or another apparently -- is my--my biggest gut punch as a leader while I was going through all of this, was this moment. And, and I had just created a tiger team. I just named people on it, and somebody who didn't get named on it -- not somebody that I would have said was a bad person by any means, right? Like good quality, developer, right? -- walked up to me and I'm grateful he was comfortable to walk up to me. I'm grateful he was comfortable to say this to me, even though he had hurt. And he said, "Did it ever occur to you they're your rock stars because you keep picking them?" and I'm like, "Oh, truth hurts." Because I started thinking about well, why am I often considered a rock star? How many opportunities have I gotten? How many experiences have I been in, and those experiences are often highly supported and actively encouraged because they're a key important thing, and as a result of that, I built a brand and a reputation around that, and I'm perpetuating that. I am creating rock stars by selecting them. And--also--and I that was my moment of realizing I -- one of the moments of realizing as an experiment-- maybe as a leader, I don't know what's best. And I'm--it's bias, and it's confirmatio-- you know like, "Because I selected them and then they did a good job. See I picked the right people, right?" versus really creating an environment where people can truly share ownership. And so I went to much more of a model of volunteer selection after that and that was a huge proponent of leaders becoming more about the environment and the people and less about--and the team owning more of the result, and so, if I was gonna give an experiment with that hi--that's one and I know I freaked a lot of people out with that, so have fun with it.

Alex Kudinov   And I'm sure a lot of our listeners might get freaked out, and some of them might just go and try and do that, and I know you as a great trainer. You did a lot of work with with Jake, and kind of on your own, and I know there are some professional changes afoot lately, what's going on?

Tricia Broderick   Um, so so we--I actually, because not only do I not call myself an Agile coach, I tend to even forget that sometimes I'm not a practitioner. And, and but I do have a cycle where I tend to do like, five years as practitioner, five years as consultant, five years practitioner, I very much have this--this pattern and--but I had been with Agile For All for five years. Honestly, there were no plans in leaving Agile For All, then the pandemic hit, and we got together as a group at the very beginning of the pandemic, you know, a small group of us, but we all got together in March of the pandemic, and we basically said, "Let's look, we don't know what's going to happen. Like, we're not just in complicat--er complex; we're in chaos right now. And everybody needs to do what they need to do to take care of themselves mentally, physically, financially, whatever is needed. And let's honor what we've done for the past five years and--but you know, we'll also honor what people need to do as they're going forward and, you know, I'm a-- I'm--I'm a strange cat, like, and I get it. As much as I can do the online and as much as I--but all I want to do is come through the screen and hug Cherie right now. Like, hey, I just I--I might, I'm an in person, like, it is who I am, and so for some people, they really wanted to double down on the online only going forward; it's just not for me. I'm not saying I won't ever do it but I just the minute I can travel and be in person, oh, it's going down. Like I like is going down, right?  So there started to be some different wants of people of what people wanted to do and things and I started really thinking about what it was that I wanted. Do I want to go back as a practitioner, do I want to create that space, and when I started thinking about kind of what my next experiments were, kind of to your last question, Alex of like, what do I want to challenge in an experiment with next, there's been a request for me-- and honestly, I'm going to use those words very--like, "When are you going to start a company so I can just come and work for you again", right? And I was like, "Gahh" I have no--I never had much entrepreneural kind of desire and yet I found myself more and more in that 'wanting to help people' purpose. Maybe it's because of these last years and my my sadness and humanity but the paying it forward and really helping people and lifting others up, started becoming more and more important to me. Not that it wasn't before but it just it was really snowballing in 2020 and so I decided to start my own company, iIgnite, Insight and Innovation. Right now it's just me I was like, I have to make sure this is what I want to do before I start really going down that path and and also I want to do some things that I've avoided. Like I don't--I didn't know QuickBooks because I never had to learn it right I could read a financial balance sheet, right, and--but I never really wanted to learn certain things and so I've decided that I'm taking this year to kind of just get the foundation of being a business owner, what that meant, what that was like, what do I enjoy, what do I not enjoy, right, and is it something that I want to do? Not just on a consulting from but building product. What product? I have no idea and, honestly, I probably wouldn't be the person creating it. I'll be you know, pulling people in and doing that but it, you know, crazy as it sounds, it was like, "Well, now's the time to try" which probably was not the statement anybody else was making about 2020 but for me because Agile For All is is so amazing, and we're so very connected, and I'm very grateful. It--you know, my client--it wasn't like I lost my clients. My clients stay with me, right, like in different things like that, that I had the luxury to try this with still feeling a lot of support even from you know, my Agile For All crew and so yes, a lot of us have gone are different ways. I have now started a company. I've had my moments of panic already this month, like I won't lie. Like, "Oh my gosh, what did I do?" and I am such a people person. I'm like, why did I do this solo, but I wanted to really do it on my own to start. It was really important to me to learn the things that I knew I would have avoided and to do this, not my way, but with the environment that I wanted to create. Like if I really wanted to create that environment, what my next experiments wanted to be, what I wanted to do with those things, I wanted to be able to have the ability to really create the environment that pushes the envelope.

Alex Kudinov   Well sounds it's like the brave new world. It's 2021 and a brave new world for you, and a lot of the learnings ahead. So first of all, we are very grateful for you accepting our invitation to participate today and we wish you a lot of luck and wish you a lot of success on this new journey. Maybe so far a single journey, but I'm pretty sure you will figure it out real quickly. And it will be great. Thank you, Tricia.

Tricia Broderick   Thank you. This was wonderful. I'm really honored to have been a part of this.

Cherie Silas   Thank you. It's, um, you're one of the most powerful, courageous, insightful women that I know. So it's been really amazing to have you here. Thank you very much.

Tricia Broderick   Thank you.

Alex Kudinov   And this has been Tandem Coaching Academy, Keeping Agile Nondenominational podcast, and we have Tricia Broderick, and this was Cherie Silas and Alex Kudinov. Goodbye

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