Without Capes: The Superheroes I Look Up To

Not applicable

I pounced on the topic the moment I saw it: Who are the individuals in the community you look up to?


Such a nice way to give back to people who have helped me and so many others!


And then names crowded into my mind. Droves of people appeared. There was Technicolor, Dolby Atmos, and WonkaVision. I may have heard angels singing; I definitely saw choreography.


In other words: Oops.


There are people I will always want to thank whenever I see them. Until I write a book about that, I have narrowed down the vast list to five people for today’s post.


Note: Because none of these people know I’m doing this, I’ve enlisted guinea pigs as stand-ins.



Larry Glickman



He’s a musician and a prolific blogger. He’ll talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere, about the values and how-tos of community and working out loud, online or off. Speaking of community, he not only runs All Together Now, a Working Out Loud Facebook group, but directs engagement and collaboration in a huge Yammer External Network for the Union for Reform Judaism. It’s full of leaders and brims over with 45% engagement. Talk about a real live success story!


And that’s how I met Larry Glickman, out there on Yammer, talking about Yammer things. I am so glad I did. His knowledge alone makes him an asset to our widespread tech community, but his generosity, warmth, and quite literal going-the-distance are part of what goes into making him someone you really, truly, absolutely want to know.



Scott Ward



I first met Scott in person at Microsoft Ignite; before then, we’d gotten to know each other a bit through Yammer after he became an MVP. His approach to leadership and helping people become leaders in this digitally transformative world is sometimes radical, always insightful, and completely necessary. He’s got the research to back it up, too, with his Digital Infusions company.


Scott goes beyond this, of course; he cares. He cares about helping people and providing the best guidance and resources he can. He’s always refining and reevaluating to get the best approach. He couldn’t do this so well if he didn’t see people as individuals, not numbers. That’s obvious from the start, because he’s another one of those generous, kind-hearted souls.



Steve Nguyen and Angus Florance



It is true, especially during conferences, that if you see one, the other is often not far behind. Yet I’m not really lumping Steve and Angus together even though this section comprises persons three and four of this post. Rather, I’m hoping to show how individually, they make up a great team that has helped me and others see Microsoft as person-centered, not a faceless machine. This makes a huge difference when you’re sitting there using a product for the first (or second, or a hundredth) time and you need to know a “how” but you aren’t yet sure of the “what.”


I met Steve first, at an earlier Microsoft Ignite or SPC. I don’t remember which, but I still remember the cheering when he took the stage unexpectedly. And well-deserved, too; Steve has the technical skill, interest, and compassion that make him an exemplary product evangelist for Microsoft. We’re lucky to have him for Yammer!


Angus, in his role of customer success and product marketing leader for Microsoft, shares these same qualities that take the initial relationship of customer and vendor and drive forward into active, actual success. You’ve got to see some of this live in his videos from Microsoft Ignite 2017.


I may never stop marveling at how both Steve and Angus manage to get to every Yammer session at Microsoft Ignite to cheer us on, not to mention Tech Summits and other events. Yet I know that to them, they’re just doing their jobs. It just also happens that they’re amazing at it, and at making us feel we’re part of something awesome.



Lesley Crook



As with Scott Ward, I had the good fortune to meet Lesley on Yammer after she became an MVP. Thank goodness the word gets out!


I picked this pig-ture because Lesley is always with others, online or off. She’s invested in your success from the beginning, almost before she even knows you. Most currently a user adoption principal consultant at Perspicuity, she embraces Working Out Loud and Enterprise Social Networks, and has inspired countless others to do the same.


Lesley wants to make things better—your place in the scheme of things, your product, your company; the world. Her enthusiasm is infectious and her genuine interest in things around her makes you want to do more and be more yourself.


Who are your everyday superheroes?


Even superheroes need to eat! This little dear is my own Teddy (RIP).Even superheroes need to eat! This little dear is my own Teddy (RIP).

2 Replies

Thank you for the new persona. Love It!  Really chuffed and flattered to be a User Adoption guinea pig with you all!


My pleasure! :)