What is your role at Bodybuilding.com?
I have the funniest, most awesome title in the world, which is technically "scrum master" and Agile coach. I have been called many variations of that title: "swamp monster," "cat herder," "scrummistress," and more. My charter is to work with numerous departments to implement the principles of Agile development and Agile enterprise to guide teams to their most highly productive state. I have also taken on the role of release manager for the flurry of trainer apps that DPG has created in the last year.
What is a typical day like for you?
In the morning, I facilitate daily stand-up meetings with as many teams as I can fit into 15-minute increments. These meetings follow a later/rinse/repeat format. I work out at lunch, and in the afternoon, I facilitate team-planning cycles, work on JIRA implementation and configuration needs, and maybe release a few trainer apps.
How does our mission resonate with your daily job?
Our company mission is to help people become their best selves. My professional mission at Bodybuilding.com is to help teams focus on the highest priority work so we can get the best features quickly delivered to our customers. My charter is to expedite that on behalf of every team. I love asking the hard questions, breaking down barriers, removing impediments, and streamlining work wherever I can.
What keeps you motivated to do your job well?
I am passionate about implementing Agile foundations because they work. They help teams define their work, prioritize, and get the cool stuff out to our customers. I absolutely love helping teams be more efficient, because I don't want our work to get mired in bureaucracy or process for the sake of process. Failing fast is an incredible track to quick progress.
Describe your job in three words or less.
Professional Cat Herder
What does it take to work at Bodybuilding.com?
The spirit of an entrepreneur, the heart of a champion, and the brain of a geek. And a sense of humor!
Why did you choose Bodybuilding.com?
I found a rare opportunity for a scrum-master position (I mean, who is looking for a scrum master?) and it happened to be with a company that has health and wellness as its core mission. I don't think I could survive if I worked for a company that didn't provide a health-related culture.
What makes you most proud of working for Bodybuilding.com?
I am proud of my incredible team members who operate in that intersection of amazing business acumen and industry passion. I work with people who, like me, do what they love because they love what they do.
Bodybuilding.com is known for awesome benefits and fun culture. What is your favorite perk or aspect of company culture?
I always knew we had a supportive "family" culture, but it wasn't until I had my own health trial that it really made a difference in my life. Five months ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my life underwent some seismic changes. My engineering group rallied around me in big and small ways. Whether it was a piñata to celebrate heading out for surgery, a motivation wall, or just helping me keep my chin up during treatment, they have given me the strength I need to get through my fight. They surrounded me with strength while I was sad, scared, weak, or just deflated. They have all helped me carry the load so I can take my necessary steps forward every day.
What sorts of relationships have you built with your co-workers?
I am in a position to work with quite a few teams, so my group of co-workers is pretty broad. I've worked with about 24 different groups or teams at one time or another. During my cancer path, I received so much support and acknowledgement. Even if people don't know what to say directly, the perfect "nerd nod" in the hall or note on my motivation wall lets me know everyone is in this fight with me.
How has Bodybuilding.com influenced your health and fitness?
Right now, I can say that Bodybuilding.com is helping me save my own life. I am nearly done with my regimen of daily cancer treatments, which will be completed in December. I am committed to working out every day that I have treatment, no matter what. At the beginning, I was even working out twice a day. After my second major surgery, when I came back to work, it was exactly what I needed as much for my body as for my peace of mind and coping skills. Getting my metabolism moving will help keep up my strength, promote healing, and mitigate side effects. Sometimes, my workouts aren't so much about muscle groups as they are about therapeutic results.
What motivates you to stay on track with your fitness goals?
Regular fitness keeps my head above water and helps me fight the side effects and fatigue from my treatment. I don't want cancer to dictate my life. I "have" cancer but it does not have me.
Do you have a favorite sport, fitness program, or trainer?
Athlete or inspiration? The first transformation program I did was Jamie Eason's Live Fit, which is so appropriate, as she is also a breast cancer survivor.
What is the funniest thing you have seen or overheard at work?
I make a ridiculously great cookie at Christmas. It is a graham square with pecans and chocolate, topped with sea salt and bacon. Cory Marsh, our esteemed security guru, started attacking the cookies one at a time, asking me in between each cookie, "These are so good (eats cookie), I need the recipe (eats two more cookies), what are these called? (eats one more cookie)." When I finally got the entire title of the cookie out, ending with the word "bacon," Cory spit out the cookie he was eating and said, "Dang it Leslie, I'm a vegetarian and haven't eaten any meat in five years!" Oops. I guess the cookies were that good. And yes, I still make them, and Cory still says he is mad that I "broke his streak."
What is something very few people know about you?
I played college tennis and speak fluent Danish.
Anything else you'd like the team to know?
I am a newlywed! We married last summer in Fiji. My husband Gregg lives in Tampa, Florida, and our blended brood gives us six kids (five boys and one girl) ranging in ages 14 to 21.