What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?
Angela -“I grew up – the oldest of six children – on a good-sized, family farm in rural Iowa (USA). My parents farmed full-time raising dairy cows, beef cattle, hogs, corn, soybeans, oats and us kids. ☺ At the same time my father worked full-time as a high school math teacher and wrestling coach, while my mother worked full-time as a bookkeeper. My parents taught us the value of hard work, perseverance and responsibility. My father as a teacher and coach taught us to be curious, self-learners and disciplined. Growing up in a rural community, I learned to treat people with respect, honesty and generosity. This is at the root of what makes me me.”
If you would not have been in your current industry / role, what would have become of you?
Angela -“My dream, parallel life is as a great Broadway actor. I studied acting and theatre at university as part of my Liberal Arts degree. I love the craft and the magic that happens between the audience and the performers, so I still study and perform locally.”
What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?
Angela -““Done is better than perfect.” I am a detail person with something in me that always wants to do things “perfectly”. This combined with many interests and projects, lead me to have an ever-growing body of work in progress that is impossible to complete. So, I need to constantly remind myself to prioritize and finish what I have open, even if it is not done exactly as I want it to be.
When I get things done without being so “perfect”, the bigger project evolves and moves forward in ways I could not predict, and, in hindsight, I can see the waste in doing it “just so”. Plus, not having so much in progress at one time provides clarity to do the job at hand better.”
What drives you?
Angela -“A constant inner voice that says: “There must be a better way.” Not just in “doing something” but in every aspect – in behaving, in thinking, etc.”
What is your biggest achievement?
Angela -“Breastfeeding twins – seriously, a physical and mental feat in collaboration with two babies and many others, because you cannot do it alone. Need to update my LinkedIn profile. ☺
And… finding the courage to let go of my safety nets. I take on change easily but find it difficult to let go of the present/things that work. I’ve left good jobs; I’ve sold all my belongings and moved to live in a country where I didn’t speak the language…twice; I’ve backpacked on 5 continents.”
What is the last book you have read?
Angela -“That is difficult because at any one time, I have about 10 books by my bed that I skip through reading, marking up and cross-referencing sections of interest. As a new mom, currently I’m consumed with literature on Montessori and related educational approaches for raising children to be independent individuals active in their own development. I am amazed at how directly the concepts apply also to lean-agile-new management practices.
Looking forward to reading next “Thinking Fast and Slow”.”
What question do you think we should also ask and what is the answer?
Angela -“What is the best professional advice you have received?
I have always worked for companies where I was neither trained nor an expert in the main industry, however I was excited about the company and/or the project and was hired because I was the “type of person” they were looking for.
The best advice I received was when I started working for a global pharmaceutical company. I fit in no specific job role and was hired to help “get things done” on their biggest strategic IT project. When I started, I was anxious to “do” and “show things getting done”. I was busy using my project management skills making plans, coordinating, and doing work myself. The Director said to “stop doing” and take the time to step back and concentrate on two things: 1) building strong relationships and 2) learning everything possible about the business. “They will pay me for this?” I thought. He was sure that my biggest contribution would come after a few months, when I would understand what the business needed from IT, and when I had the ability via my relationships to help the many functionally and geographically diverse teams progress their work in a coordinated way. He was right. And, coincidentally, this led to the beginning of my agile journey. I was invited to be the first Scrum Master and Product Owner in a Pilot Project for using agile methodologies for their software development.”
Who do you think we should ask next?
Angela -“Pierluigi Pugliese and Carlo Bottiglieri have acted and continue to act as great examples to me inside and outside the workplace. I see that Pierluigi has already been named, so I’d like to ask Nicola Moretto whose energy and thirst to learn is contagious.”