Welcome to The Quiet Agilist, where an introverted agile coach (that's me!) expresses how to be agile, and how introversion is an asset for a coach. I’m Rick Cusolito (pronounced Coo-so-lee-toe). I coach agile teams and facilitate professional development. Over the past fifteen years, I've gone from a reluctant Project Manager (when I was never comfortable with directing people what to do) to being an Agile Coach who is happy to help teams unlock their potential. In the past few years, I've gotten a better handle on who I am, so I'm really looking forward to the next phase of my personal journey. The purpose of The Quiet Agilist is to include you in my journey.
What You'll Find Here
Sometimes, it will be about Agile Software Development. I will share my experiences, as well as some lessons that will help you in your agile development.
It will also be about the Agile mindset, "an attitude that equates failure and problems with opportunities for learning, a belief that we can all improve over time, that our abilities are not fixed but evolve with effort." - Linda Rising
Sometimes, it will take that mindset and apply it to the broader world.
How Did I Get Here?
There are many people who have made marks on my life and my career. Certainly, my family has been my greatest influence and I am grateful for all they have given me and continue to support me. My partner in life, in particular, has been my muse, my inspiration, and there is no way I would be half as successful without her.
Most recently, the following people were the catalysts for The Quiet Agilist. They inspired me and I hope to someday have a similar impact on someone in my life.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking) opened doors for me. Prior to viewing her TED talk, or reading her book, I was pretty self-aware. I knew I had intelligence and talent, but I felt like the world would never know it because I had a character flaw that was holding me back. Susan helped me, and many other people, understand that introversion is not a character flaw. In fact, introverts should be celebrated for the balance we bring to the world. I saw how she was able to use her power to make a difference in strangers' lives, and I wanted to find my own voice to make a significant difference in the world.
I attended a week long bootcamp for Agile Facilitation and Coaching Agile Teams with Lyssa Adkins, Michael Spayd, and Michael Hamman of the Agile Coaching Institute. The content of the course was excellent and the instructors each had an ability to control the room while, at the same time, give equal space to their co-instructor (they operated in pairs). However, those were not the attributes that had me talking about the class almost non-stop for the weekend after. They promise that "you will leave a different person!" I have always been wary of anything described as "transformative", but this class delivered. Sure, I picked up some new tools, strengthened some areas that hadn't been used in awhile, and was reminded of what is important in my role as a coach. But the main takeaway, for me, was the feeling that there is so much more I can, and should, be doing.
So this is just the beginning. I'm working on the long term purpose and where this is going. For now, this is the first step to try out my voice and see where it takes me. I guess that's what this blog is ultimately about: what comes next.