The Liftoff

Two weeks later the New Relic team was down in Dayton. The plan was to have a ninety-minute kick-off meeting, called a ‘Liftoff’, and then have the managers go to the classroom with their partners to experience a typical day with students.

Brent led the Liftoff. He's an expert at these, having led many of them with teams at New Relic. It started with each member of the group introducing themselves, sharing a little of their story, then making a formal commitment to the sprint by hitting the table while proclaiming "And with that, I'm in".

We were sitting at a set of tables that had been formed into a circle. We had to share one thing that was going well in our work, and one thing that wasn't going well. Then we had to do the same thing for our personal life. Brent started off.

What he shared was startling in its honesty and the vulnerability he demonstrated. Wow, we all thought, now we have to do that?

And we did, each one of us. Deeply personal stories were revealed in those introductions. At the end of each, was the courageous bang on the table. We were all in.

We talked about our values, identifying three key ones. We then defined the behaviors that would make those values real. We were committing, over the next six weeks of the sprint, to live and breathe those values.

Then the managers went off to the classrooms with their partners.

DOT FROM preview-next-diagram

Next: The Calls