My Experience Becoming a Certified Agile Leader

Michael Mancuso is one of Braintrust’s first students to get his CAL E+T certifications, so we asked him to share his thoughts about the classes.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I have spent 15 years in IT and business. Currently I am the SVP of Digital and Customer Experience at Kapitus, serving a role to help technology and business understand each other. 

How did you get into Agile/Scrum?

My first job was with an Agile company. At first, I didn’t realize I was in an Agile environment. It wasn’t until my next job that I realized not every company is Agile, which made me want to learn more about Agile to be able to implement it better. 
 

What other certifications do you have? Have you taken a Braintrust class before? 

I have 29 certifications now! I am a Certified Scrum Professional as both a Scrum Master and Product Owner, PMI-ACP, PMP, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Certified Scrum@Scale Practitioner, and many more. I have gotten a lot of my certifications through Braintrust, which has been my favorite because I feel like they put good tools into your toolbox to facilitate further conversations about Agile and Scrum.

What interested you in the CAL E+T classes?

I am aware of my own limitations, and I have been struggling with engaging my team remotely during the pandemic. I really value in-person collaboration. I wanted to get my CAL E+T certifications so that I could learn new ways to lead remotely. And I did! The course challenged me to connect the dots on many aspects of approach to leadership. 

What did you think of the class?

I really enjoyed having Anu Smalley as the instructor—she is so passionate! You would think that 8 hours of Zoom could get tiring, but we all had a blast throughout the duration of the class! I particularly liked hearing stories about leadership, doing critical thinking assignments, and working in smaller groups and learn from each other. 
 

How will you use the information you learned going forward personally and professionally?

The number one item for teams to thrive is psychological safety. This is very challenging to establish, but I feel that CAL E+T has taught me more about active listening and making sure my team knows they’re appreciated and in a safe environment. 
 

Do you see the benefit of others taking this class?

I absolutely think people should take CAL E+T, no matter their profession. Everyone should know how to inspect and adapt. If someone is in a leadership position or aspires to be in one, this class will help them grow and develop and will add value to their work.
 

Any last thoughts or comments?

I would love to see a proliferation beyond technology. All professional backgrounds can get value from getting their CAL E+T certification!