I’m beginning to think that we’re too focused on the team when we talk about agile. Everything is focused towards that end.

Team this and team that.

But what about the individual on the team? I contend that they count too. For example:

  1. Make sure your voice is heard; in many team’s individuals can get lost. Often the loudest of voices seem to become the default voice of the team.
  2. Make sure you take time for yourself; self-learning, downtime / reenergize, reflection are keys to your personal growth and learning. Always increase your value proposition – you.
  3. If you’re introverted, give yourself permission to be alone; this includes working from home and “separating” from the team on occasion to work by yourself.
  4. Gain personal feedback; don’t get caught up in team-only feedback loops. While important, you need personal feedback as well. Make sure you’re getting it from your team and leaders.
  5. Build your brand; one of the most important things to do nowadays is building your own brand. Blog, podcast, speak and share your experiences. Become “expert” in some area.
  6. Saying no; with so much advice opposing this (always say yes or yes, and or perhaps) it’s getting harder and harder to actually opt out. Don’t lose yourself. If it looks like a no to you, say it!
  7. Don’t be a specialist; specialists only do one thing. For example, I’ll vacuum, but I won’t do bathrooms. Specialists soon get replaced with more T-shaped people. Aspire to be T-shaped.
  8. Give feedback; and not the typical form of telling folks what they want to hear. No. Adopt radical candor in your conversations, tell truth, and do it in real-time.
  9. Work hard, but be balanced; I read that someone has reframed the notion of work-life balance to doing what you love and working more. Sure, but disconnect from work and focus on building your life.
  10. Embrace your mistakes; we all screw the pooch occasionally. Admit yours, embrace them, learn from them, and don’t repeat them. Mistakes (failures) are your key learnings. Rise from the ashes!

Wrapping Up

This piece was inspired by the following article:


But my context is, of course, more agile-centric. I often think that individuals can get lost in agile teams. Don’t let that happen to you.

I believe we can achieve high-performance agile teams AND individual growth and excellence. It just takes a balanced focus.

So I haven't changed my mind from this post.

Stay agile my friends,


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