Who is Lyssa Adkins

Lyssa career is a nice example that people can recover from Command & Control.  (Paraphrasing her words, read her book coaching agile teams  if you want to now more about it.) I first met her through one of her articles about conflicts. We exchanged some e-mails. I was too late to be a reviewer of her book. It did not matter, I read it multiple times after that. I still owe her a text for her website.

Everytime I see her, she (like a lot of people in our community) is smiling.   And she proposes as the next person someone with the same name as on of my kids. How touthful of her…

This WhoIS  has less funny links  as what I used to do. I spend my WE doing a coachRetreat and working on the book version of WhoIS. On top of that today my godfather died, so I did no take time to be funny.

The Who Is book will contain an extra answer from everyone, so subscribe, once I have 50 subscribers I will publish the first version. (And as I am using LeanPub, you will be able to download the new versions as they appear.)


What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?
I am a singer and learning to sing in a chorus is an exercise in shining and blending. Back and forth, letting your voice shine while blending with the others, weaving in and out with the other voices in the choir. Singing in a choir also takes tremendous attention and hard work – it’s not for the feint of heart! My choral experiences have taught me discipline and they have solidified my already strong blue-collar work ethic (that I learned from my parents). Most of all, singing in a choir had taught me about exquisite moments of pure joy, when the harmonies come together just perfectly, when the emotion gets conveyed and everyone in the performance hall can feel it. Bliss!

If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?
I wanted to be a marine biologist but may parents strongly discouraged me because they thought I wouldn’t find a good job after all of that education and training. what really sealed my fate, though, was chemistry and really, anything mathematical. I just could not figure that out (still can’t). So, my days as a biologist were numbered. Although my undergraduate degree is in Management Information Systems, I never really had my heart set on building IT systems. I was always more interested in the business-end of the systems and drove people crazy by asking “why?” all the time. They fixed that, though. Even in my earliest jobs after college, I was constantly assigned as the project manager – because I was loud and could organize things (especially people). So, I got buried for the next 15 years in project management process and paperwork and didn’t have time to ask “why?” anymore. Six years ago, agile restored the ability to ask questions that matter and I am forever in debt to agile for that.

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?
My biggest challenge is that, sometimes, I trade being kind for being right. I can be really scathing and too-blunt sometimes, and I can cut people down with just a slantwise glance. I work to improve this all the time. I even have a coaching structure to help me – it’s a big art-glass heart necklace and I wear it to remind myself to bring my heart and kindness along for the ride. I’m still going to be forthright because I believe that often serves people the best. It’s just forthright-ness with more kindness.

What drives you ?
What drives me is the absolute waste of human potential I see around me everyday. I keep thinking, “if we could recapture and inspire even just 10% of that wasted potential, there is nothing on this planet we couldn’t do.” This is why I’m so passionate about agile coaching. Agile coaches are in the perfect spot to either uphold the broken systems that waste our human potential or liberate people from those same systems. I’m for the latter. I work hard to give agile coaches the skills they need to liberate!

What is your biggest achievement?
“Waking up” enough to see that my dear friend was also my life partner. I credit agile with this, too. When I stopped being a project manager and (nicely) bossing everyone around, I learned that it’s essential to slow down and get genuinely interested in people. So many discoveries awaited me when I started to really *see* people! And, it allowed me to really see him, the man who was right by my side already. We’ll be married 6 years this next April and I am thankful every day that agile helped me wake up.

What is the last book you have read?
OK…I have to admit it. Summer is trash novel time. I just finished the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood series, including the “Insider’s Guide.” That’s how hooked I got. The novels are about a group of warrior vampires and their mates. I have a new bookshelf in my room because my husband was getting tired of the stacks of books on the floor. It’s full of all the books I have in progress. The shelves are overflowing.

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?
What’s next?

What’s next for me is to continue to pay attention and sense what the agile coaching community needs most next. And, then work with whomever I need to so that we can provide that thing – whatever it is. The important part is sensing what’s really trying to happen rather than simply having my own path and foisting my ideas on the community. This is a wonderfully creative and illuminating place to work from. And, it’s the source of creativity that allows me to join my whole life together – work, family, play, learning – all of it.

Who do you think I should ask next?
Bent Myllerup