When we were children the only limits were our dreams and imagination. Before we realized it, we were all grown up and making our lives fit other people’s expectations.
You can build your career to satisfy others, or you can take charge of your life and build a legacy.
It’s your choice!
Learning Curve Ahead
I had no idea what I was getting into.
Before I got to Nearsoft, I worked at a good, yet traditional company. They had an incredible growth rate. I was very diligent in shaping my life to fit their expectations. I wanted to be a professional, such and others expected of me.
When I arrived at Nearsoft, I was asked to come up with a way to calculate salaries. I very confidently came up with a proposal starting with the company’s financial goals. Little did I realize that I was basing my work on my legacy corporate bias.
When I asked for the company’s financial records, one of Nearsoft’s co-founder, Roberto Martinez said, “Sure you can get your hands on that data, the information is open, but that is not our way. Our focus is on the person, the individual. If the person is happy, the results will come by default. That’s our vision.”
I was flabbergasted and confused.
In fact, I must have been so visibly confused that he added, “Put everything aside for the coming weeks. First, get to know us better, and only then come up with a proposal.”
I obviously had a huge learning curve ahead of me.
The New Approach
In that moment, everything I knew about key performance indicators shattered to smithereens in my mind. I realized then that this place was different—placing the individual first was actually good for business! In fact, being a source of happiness for its employees was even part of the company’s vision.
… placing the individual ahead of the company is actually good for business!
I felt terrified. I consulted with a businessman I trusted. I also spoke with Nearsoft’s founders, and with every Nearsoftian who would talk to me.
I got into a period of unlearning in order to learn new stuff.
I read a lot to better understand the culture. I devoured books such as “Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow“, by Chip Conley, and “The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age” by Reid Hoffman.
Then I took on a new approach: I had to do it as a team process. Little by little we created Building My Legacy, a blueprint for Nearsoftians to design their own growth plan.
Each of us is unique, with personal aspirations, goals, and desires. Through this new approach, we transformed the way people can define their own growth objectives.
Building Your Legacy at Nearsoft
Building My Legacy is a four-step model,
- Exploring what makes you happy and what you see in your ideal future.
- Finding your personal growth mission and connecting it with Nearsoft’s.
- Designing your own transformation plan.
- Transcend to the next level, one step closer to your dream.
Although it seems easy on paper, it’s not.
We are used to being told what to do and not to be asked what we want to do with our lives. Facing our future and the possibilities ahead of us paralyzes us. Whatever we do will take us closer or further away from our dreams. Realizing that we are responsible for this can be overwhelming, but worth the shot.
Surprisingly for me, this person-oriented approach has had very good results (e.g., 40% growth in 12 months)
A Vision Larger than Ourselves
Many new Nearsoftians join the tribe with a specific job in mind. However, as time passes they realize that their abilities can be used to impact the whole company.
Take, for example, the career missions of Nearsoftians Isaac Lopez and Artemisa Yescas.
Isaac, Master Developer
Isaac Lopez originally joined Nearsoft as a software developer.
He did great and soon showed himself as the goto guy for various technologies and software development practices. It didn’t take him long to gain the respect of everybody at Nearsoft.
They even started to call him Sensei.
Through the Building My Legacy program Isaac discovered that he could make an even bigger impact at Nearsoft.
He started by taking the leadership of the Nearsoft Academy program. The program already existed and we graduated a few people a year from it. But, it lacked direction and discipline. Isaac revamped it and we went from graduating 10% of each class to 80%, all accepted into client teams.
But he didn’t stop there. He also brought more structure and discipline to our Training program. Before, people asked for support to take a course or go to a conference and we didn’t have a consistent way of responding.
Isaac called for a Leadership Team to figure out what to do with our Training budget. Today, requests for training go through faster, our Training budget is put to better use, reaches more people, and people are happier with the process and its results.
As Isaac puts it, his overall goal is to, “Promote antifragile thinking and practices.”
Artemisa, Extraordinary Tester
Artemisa Yescas started out as a Manual Tester at Nearsoft.
She became well integrated into the culture and was well liked by the folks here. She also became a mentor and resource to other teams throughout Nearsoft.
Through the Building My Legacy Program she figured out how that she could do more. She could become an outspoken evangelist for Agile Testing, beyond Nearsoft.
Nearsoft is more than making a living, it is a way to live my life!
So, she became a Certified Agile Tester (CAT). In fact, she’s even certified to approve others for certification as CAT.
Next she created a workshop to certify other Nearsoftians. This made it possible for them to take the next step into their own career paths. As a side-effect, she has impacted the software development cycle throughout Nearsoft.
She has even helped to “Agilize” the service areas at Nearsoft.
Her legacy has brought a new high in productivity and teamwork.
Creating this model has changed everything for me. I have evolved to a position where I can help people discover a greater vision of themselves.
Being aware of the great impact they can have allows them to transcend beyond a 9-to-5 job.
We are continuously challenging ourselves to improve, and reach our highest inspirations as individuals and as a team.
We all yearn to be able to choose which way we want to grow as we make our contribution, and to be part of something bigger than just ourselves.
Are you ready to plan your legacy?