MATRIX Employee Spotlight: Joshua Jack
This month’s MATRIX employee spotlight is on Joshua Jack, one of our National Agile Practice Leaders, based out of our Atlanta office.
Tell me about yourself.
I’m originally from Michigan, but I moved to the South when I was 12. I grew up on the beach and spent my summers on the Great Lakes. I started playing piano when I was 7 and got a college scholarship out of it. I’ve always been a big fan of jazz – I started playing trumpet in high school and continued playing in college. I still enjoy playing today when I can.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I live on a couple acres in rural Georgia with my wife, three kids and two cats. We have to walk outside for cell service, but it makes our home a safe haven. I garden in my spare time and enjoy growing a variety of produce such as kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, blueberries, strawberries and peaches.
You could say there’s a bit of a crossover between my work life and home life. We have a Kanban board in our house shaped like climbing mountains and we do our weekly planning on Sunday nights as a family. Everyone has an Avatar magnet they move across the board. Our dinner conversation is what I like to think of as our daily standups - discussing what we each did today, what we’re doing tomorrow, what’s coming up in the future, etc. Just your typical backlog refinement with the kids.
Why Agile coaching?
It’s more than a process to me; it’s common sense meets helping individuals and encouraging and empowering them. What I’ve found through Agile coaching is that it’s not about going in and telling people what to do – it’s about going in and listening to how people operate and asking them “what do you think is a better way to do this?” I offer them an opportunity to ask questions when they’ve never had the opportunity to ask questions and actually see what works. So to me, the best part of Agile is the retrospective; being able to say “what’s working and what’s not?” It’s about empowering people and giving organizations the ability to empower people to make changes that are beneficial to everyone. Once an individual feels like he or she has a voice and feels valued, they will absolutely do everything they can to bring success to an organization. We should always be adaptable. We should always have inspection going on in our lives. And we should always be transparent. Put that together with being able to respond well to change and operate in teams rather than on your own, and that’s just a way of life. Agile is not a methodology – it’s a concept to live by. It has become my core values.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give someone?
Everyone’s a teacher – the question is what are you teaching? Do you teach through your actions? Through words? What’s actually coming out of your mouth? Is it “oh, I wish I could do…” or “here’s what I need to do…”? Always be looking to be a leader, and always be looking to be a teacher. Your words and actions teach everyone around you.
There’s intrinsic value in everyone. It’s our jobs as Agile coaches to find it.