Networking with Authenticity

I’ve never been interested in networking. That’s just not me. I’ve always been a shy person, especially during my childhood and networking never felt really natural to me.


Tristan Libersat

3 years ago | 5 min read

I’ve never been interested in networking. That’s just not me. I’ve always been a shy person, especially during my childhood and networking never felt really natural to me.

However, I’ve learned networking is essential and that being authentic while doing it is more efficient than everything else. I’m going to tell you a very personal story about authenticity in networking.

In 2010, I was in my fourth year at university and I had to find an end-of-year internship. The year before, I had moved to Paris to futher my education and try to unlock new opportunities.

The majority of our teachers were professionals, working as freelancers, entrepreneurs, or at big companies. As I said earlier, I was rather introverted. But my attitude and posture were really different when dealing with topics related to web, software, project management, video games or business — i.e. things I was passionate about.

And I had learned good communication skills through practice. One day, we had class with a new teacher. I honestly don’t remember what the course was about, but we got along well the teacher and I.

At the end of our last class together, I came to see him and asked if he had an internship offer that could suit me. He and I already shared experiences and views, so he already knew some aspects of my personality.

He promised to get back to me later and did find me an internship at his department. He worked at TF1, one of the top French TV channels in terms of audience. My internship was great! I had to try innovative products related to new ways of consuming video and make demos out of it.

Back then, 3D TV were trendy, manufacturers were struggling to build big OLED TVs, Netflix was starting to expand worldwide, Apple was launching the second generation of Apple TV, and Google was launching Google TV. But the fact is: I wasn’t the only intern working at this department, we were three.

We stood together and kept in touch after our internship. One day, during my fifth year at university in 2011, one of the former intern contacted me, asking if I would be interested in participating to a contest about innovation in TV.

This contest was organized by CANAL+, another famous French (premium) TV channel. We had gathered a lot of ideas through our previous internship and were just waiting for someone to hear us.

We won! In addition to the first prize (a big 50 inches 3D TV each), we also earned an interview for another internship. Great for me as I was looking for a last one as part of my graduation.

It was my first experience as a product manager and I learned all the secrets of user engagement and Facebook API development.

Unfortunately, they weren’t able to keep me under longer term contract at the end. But thanks to my mentor and his network, I found my first job. The funny fact is: the person who had recruited me at CANAL+ had in the meantime become the head recruiter at Dailymotion.

Guess where I was recruited as a brand new user engagement product manager? However, I quickly switched to a Scrum Master role after a great training provided by Jeff Sutherland and so began my agile journey. I stayed there for almost four years and I learned a lot.

First job, first team, first product of my own, first experience with agile, agile at scale, DevOps, UX, marketing and modern web development, first experience as a manager… I really had a great time and built strong relationships with people who are now in key positions in leading international companies.

Then, in 2016, I left Dailymotion to live the strongest and most important experience of my life: becoming a father. I stayed home for six months with my daughter before I decided it was time to look for a new job.

My wife was working at the French Ministry of Justice so I looked at the list of available positions, just for fun. It turned out that they were looking for a Scrum Master to join a transformation effort towards agility. Lucky me!

I jumped on the occasion and became one of their firsts Scrum Master. I lived a very different experience there. I learned how to coach and mentor people in order to transition from an anchored traditional mindset to a leaner and more agile mindset.

Eventually (and thanks to my manager’s trust in me), I became an agile coach and also started to train people to Scrum, Kanban, Design thinking and Lean Startup. During my time there, I worked a lot with several contractors coming from digital companies.

One day, I was discussing with one of “my” team’s Product Owner about my desire, one day, to come back to Toulouse and get closer to my family. A few weeks later, he told me there was an opening for an agile coach at Capgemini Toulouse.

I tipped on the other side and my little family and I moved to Toulouse. Now, I work as a Lean-Agile Coach & Trainer at Capgemini. I have many occasions to nurture my relationships, to “network” both internally and with clients and I try to keep in touch with the people I’ve met before… We never know what the future is about!

What I’ve always found fascinating with my own personal history is that there is a kind of logic with my path, a tiny red wire connecting very different experiences.

This common theme is my network. We never know when we will get the benefits out of it and that’s better like this! I never forced myself to network. I just tried to stay true to myself and authentic to others. Most of the professional relationships I had in my career were based on a certain level of friendship more than on mutual benefits.

Therefore, I have only one advice to offer: manage your network with authenticity. Show people your true self. That doesn’t mean you have to turn every person you meet into a friend, but invest in connecting with human beings.

Treat each and every person with respect and as a person regardless of what she could have to offer to you.

Find the things you have in common. There always are. Build a real partnership based on trust. I also strongly believe chance can be provoked and it sometimes takes daring to seize opportunities.

Build your network according to your friendship as well as your interests in life, your values, your goals. There will always be good things happening.

I’d like to end this very personal article with a big thank you to every person that contributed to this special path. Thank you Romain, Virginie, Emeline, Marwan, Sylvain, Frédéric, my wife Marie, Laurence, Philippe, Kyriakos and all the great people I’ve met. I hope you’ll recognize yourself in this story…


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Tristan Libersat

My Agile journey began in 2013 when, trained by Jeff Sutherland (co-creator of Scrum), I started as a freshly new Scrum Master at Dailymotion. There I learnt the hard way the challenges of business agility at a time when DevOps and Agile at scale where not buzz words yet. Then I took a new challenge and joined the French Ministry of Justice as one of its first Scrum Masters, proving the efficiency and compatibility of Lean-Agile approaches with Public Sector. I am now a Lean-Agile Coach & Trainer at Capgemini Toulouse, France. I have trained, coached and mentored hundreds of people on the field of actions to guide them towards a successful transformation and high performance. I am certified in all of the key roles of a Lean-Agile transformation: Scrum Master, Product Owner, Release Train Engineer, change agent (SAFe Program Consultant) and management. In addition to my coaching activities, I spend my free time reading, writing and translating agile-related content.







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