“With PAS, the purpose became the focus and the driving force behind it all.” – Gabriel Chiriac

Job search is stressful and  often, people don’t have a plan B. All of a sudden, your daily calendar becomes empty, and you don’t know where to start. Finding a new job aligned with your own values requires hard work, perseverance as well as a positive mindset and openness to change.

Gabriel Chiriac is a Product Development Manager with 23+ years of solid background at high corporate level. After a successful career abroad, Gabriel found himself as many other professionals, laid off during the pandemic. He discovered PAS during his repatriation when he redefined his purpose in his career and rebalanced his life.


“I have been working for over 23 years in a large multinational tobacco company. Having started my career very young as a Quality Examiner in Romania and worked my way up to R&D as a Product Development Manager in Germany, I have grown during those years, enjoying what I was doing and managing my day-to-day objectives flawlessly. This seemed to be a typical success story until the company decided to close the site in Germany and let us go.”


“Suddenly, it became obvious that I was about to face totally new challenges both professionally and personally. The warm comfort provided by years of routine was to be no longer present. To make matters worse, the pandemic came along. Returning to Romania after 9 years in Germany, I needed to readjust myself and align what matters to me and my family. While facing the unknown, the repatriation process proved challenging. I was disconnected from a full-time family life commitment, my former social network, the realities of the job market at home and the inherent cultural differences; all these required readjustment from my side.”

Desired Outcome

“My objective was to have a soft landing, readjust to my home country and family life and secure a new job. I have always been rational, and structured. Though I was very effective, working for so many years for the same company loosened my contact with the job market’s current realities. Additionally, spending so much time away from home and family affected both my social network and my work life balance.”

Path to Success

“With PAS, I was able to identify and spend time on my true priorities, from job searching related requirements through personal development and self-care. The biggest impact created with PAS was the initial coaching discussion with my coach around What Really Matters (WRM). Through it, I was able to set up my priorities and goals, and act upon them. Therefore, the purpose became the focus and the driving force behind it all.”

“With the help of my Coach, Adelina Stefan, I identified my development needs and acted upon them. I redesigned my professional brand to make myself and my skills more visible to recruiters, and secure more interviews.”

“With the PAS tools, I measured my progress on personal life tasks,  self-care routine and administrative challenges of home relocation.”

“Basically, with some very effective tools, you get clarity on your objectives, design your actions and achieve the results.”

Actual Result

“I became highly motivated and focused, and acted upon the identified development needs. I also enrolled myself in other courses such as: Agile fundamentals, Scrum methodology as well as upper-level German language. My professional branding documents and my CV were updated and met the current professional requirements. I was able to apply with more confidence to various new jobs. On a personal side, my self-care received its deserved importance and attention, and thus, improved the life balance.”

Support Tools and Success Factors

“Along with the know-how provided by my coach, the Job Description Canvas was very useful in jobs assessment versus one’s expectations. It enabled me to evaluate the potential roles’ challenges against my own strengths, and the terms of the job offers compared to my attributes.Last, the Stakeholder Canvas helped me prepare for interviews considering the objectives and expectations vs challenges, potential for growth and future steps.”


Lyssa Adkins and Maria Matarelli discuss how Personal Agility is a powerful framework for leaders and organizations.
Listen in to the discussion and see the conversation summary below:


Maria Matarelli

What does this mean for leaders? Why would an executive want to use Personal Agility?

Lyssa Adkins  

I think it’s amazing as an opportunity for executives to use Personal Agility because, for example, well, let’s just talk about the benefits they’ll get in their own lives. The same benefits we’ve been talking about, if there are any people in the world that are running around like crazy, its executives; and if there are any people in the world who need to make conscious, clear decisions, it’s executives, right. And so this framework allows for information that supports all of that. But also, many executives are working in organizations where Agile is present, they may have brought Agile in themselves, or it may have just sort of grown up and then all of a sudden, they look around and go, “Well, this thing called Agile is here”. And here’s the thing is that Agile is operating from a completely different values set and belief system than any other way of working that we’ve had before. And in order for that belief set to flourish, in order for the benefit of Agile to really occur in organization, it requires all of us, all of us to move toward living these values and principles in our own lives. Personal Agility is a way that executives can do Agile on themselves, and learn the same lessons teams learn just in their own context.”


Maria Matarelli  

How do you think that that translates, because a lot of people will say, “Oh, it’s Personal Agility. This isn’t in the workplace, this isn’t for a leader or it isn’t…”

Lyssa Adkins  

Oh, my gosh, well, I use it to run my business. I mean, I’m a serial entrepreneur, I use it to start businesses, I use it to make all kinds of decisions. And I use it for managing my own energy. And what’s possible, in my, in the whole sphere of my work and life, you know, just like an executive would need to decide like, how much energy am I going to put into x? What am I going to delegate over here to y? What businesses do I need to start up? How will I know when that business needs to be either funded or put off to the side like, all of those things are things that show up in my Priorities Map on a weekly basis?


Maria Matarelli  

Could using Personal Agility help someone be a better team member in an Agile environment?

Lyssa Adkins  

I think it could. And I think it will go a long way to work here. And one of the biggest things I see in organizations at the team level, which is that people don’t ask for what they need to do the job they’ve been asked to do. And so once people become conscious choice makers, when people value themselves in their own time more than I think that they will be more willing to, number one, have clarity about what they need. And number two, be willing to ask for it.


Maria Matarelli 

At one point you made the statement that you believe that Personal Agility could shake the foundations of the industry at its core in the Agile community. Could you expand a little bit more on that? What did you mean by that?

Lyssa Adkins  

So here’s what I was imagining when I said that, I was imagining a bunch of people at all levels in an organization that have used Personal Agility that they have used it for all the things we’ve talked about to achieve more in their working life, to be conscious choice makers to celebrate what they what they actually accomplish, on and on and on. If they’ve done that, then when Agile comes into the organization, they will have already learned and grokked at a really deep level, the main mindset shifts that agile needs in order to really flourish in an organization. So if Agile comes in the door later, they’re going to be in a much better position to use agile in a way that fulfills Agile’s full promise.


Maria Matarelli  

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your thoughts or experience with Personal Agility?

Lyssa Adkins  

Personal Agility is continuing to be a really important force in my life 111 weeks later. And I can tell when things in my work life, in my entrepreneurial life, in my life-life, I can tell when I need to shift because I can no longer operate my Priorities Map as well as I did a month ago. The things I’ve said that matter don’t seem to fit as well anymore. And I have to go to the next fine grain level to find out Hmm, what is the flavor of that now. And so I love how it’s a sub source of information and even wisdom that informs me.



2020 Is the year The Personal Agility System (PAS) really got off the ground. In January, Maria Matarelli introduced Peter Stevens to “The Culinary Queen” Sharon Guerin. She wanted to say thank you to Peter for Personal Agility, because thanks to Personal Agility — and the right help from Maria — Sharon changed her life! So she invited us all to dinner – which was amazing, and she shared her story, which is also amazing!

Sharon inspired in two ways. First her story gave a hint how universally useful Personal Agility can be: literally millions if not hundreds of millions of people could change their lives or work for the better. So Maria and Peter decided to document case studies for our book.

When the COVID crisis came around, we was looking for purpose and inspiration. What if we could reach even 1% of the people like Sharon who Personal Agility could help? That’s still millions of people! If every one of them invited us for dinner, that would be 3’000 years of thank you’s! So we decided to focus on Personal Agility like never before. In particular, to get the Ambassador program going, so we can start to reach those millions of people and generate those thank you’s.

Personal Agility Recognized Ambassadors and Trainers

Personal Agility Recognized Ambassadors and Trainers, November 2020

Today a group of 10 “PARAs” and “PARTs” – Personal Agility Recognized Ambassadors and Trainers are spreading the word around the world. Together we have trained 90 people in Personal Agility this year – three time our cumulative total from last year! Which brings me to the topic of this blog post.

What are they saying about Personal Agility? With this post, I am going to collect the articles articles and resources written by people on their Personal Agility voyage. Some are just getting started, others have been applying PAS for years.

Should your article or video be added to this list? Share it on LinkedIn and tag me and the Personal Agility Institute, or contact me directly

Initial Experience Reports

Long-Term Experience Reports

Personal Agility in Leadership

Personal Agility System Tools and Concepts

Personal Agility in the Press


Reference Materials

Personal Agility Insitute

Zurich, October 1, 2017. Just in time for Scrum Day Portugal in Lisbon, Maria and I prepared the September, 2017 version of the Guide to Personal Agility.

Thanks to great conversations, especially with Steve Denning, we have realized that Personal Agility descales (takes a big problem and makes it smaller) the problem of creating alignment. Expect to hear more on the subject of “Leadership Agility”!

As always, we are looking for suggestions, corrections, thoughts and feedback! Thanks!

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