10 Days: Love Letter to My Team

Below is the goodbye letter I wrote the team at Providence Digital Innovation Group today. I’m sharing it here because I want the world (or at least my little audience) to know what they’ve meant to me. In the aftermath of Expedia, DIG did the healing work on my heart and confidence. If Klarna wasn’t the opportunity of a lifetime, I wouldn’t be leaving…so here goes: 


Subject: Hej då


So many times my emails over these past 18 months have started with that one simple word…Team.

Many of you have heard me talk (or harp depending on your perspective) about the concept of “first team” from Patrick Lencioni’s book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. My scrum teams know that this means (1) who you are accountable to, (2) who you confide in, and (3) who you make decisions with. What many of you do not know is that when I joined Providence, I had spent a year on a “first team” that was abusive and who I could not trust with any vulnerability. I showed up to work at Providence on Day 1, with this idea that I would guard my heart and give the team only my brain power. I intended to be cautious, distant, and unbreakable.

Yeah…that didn’t quite work out.

You lovely people snuck into my heart and mind. You worked on me with humor, kindness, and brilliance. You chipped away at me until I wanted to be on ALL THE TEAMS ALL THE TIME!

So who was my first team???
-For a while it was Nassau or Bern’s Product Engineers
-Then it was the fledgling Mobile Team…which was originally me, Jacob, Carlos, and a pez dispenser
-Eventually, it was the Telehealth Platform team…which some days was my Product Team and other days a scrum team or two
-For a while Nipun, Ian, and Will were my first team as we worked through a remediation plan (aka Project Chicken Little)
-And then David insisted on worming his way into my heart and building a Product leadership team
-The Norms Super team let me poke around and be opinionated about our culture
-Beth and Tiffany let me be the L in their BLT
-And Sara, Chris, and NIpun made it easy to be a Panda…even if I was CRAZY Panda

Ultimately, every single one of you let me be on YOUR team. You let me be accountable to you as a leader. You confided in me as a friend, mentor, coach, or peer. You stayed in the tension with me that exists between Customer First and Team First. For that, and so much more, I am so very grateful.

You all brought me back to myself. You made me proud to be a part of a team again. You reminded me what I had to offer each day as a leader. You made the hard times worth walking through. And you made the celebrations so much sweeter!

As they say in Sweden, låt oss hålla kontakten (let’s keep in touch):
Email: leah@localhost
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/leahfarmer/
Instagram: leahfarmer76
And if you wanna see Sweden with me, add the Marco Polo app and we’ll go on an adventure together through video messaging


4 thoughts on “10 Days: Love Letter to My Team

  1. I love you so much Leah. My sandwich will not be the same without you nor is there any other L in a BLT that is exceptable. Thank you for forever changing me by entering my life, being my friend, my mentor and a role model I look up to. Best of wishes on an amazing adventure and I can’t wait to hear about the greatness that you achieve !

  2. vi ses snart i sverige!! I’m sure that means something… I don’t know who is going to pick up the volley of my passing hallway sacrcasic asides once you’re gone. It’s truly been an honor & pleasure getting to know my lettuce, and you’ll be getting a ring upp one day very soon. Du ar alskad! (thx goog translate)

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