How to Leverage Your Credibility to Unblock Your Team

I’m excited for my next meeting with Senior Vice President, Jim. Jim has a world famous resume, but I trust Jim because he is the most experienced, smart, and insightful leader I’ve ever worked for. More importantly, when we bring problems outside of our scope to Jim they get resolved. Every. Single. Time.

Credibility is the currency of leadership.

After presenting to Jim, he says a few supportive statements about our direction but he has some important criticism. The project is in the research phase and our team is focused on the measurement and testing problems. In software projects, testing typically takes a back seat during the research phase and scales as the product approaches release. We’ve been deferring to other project’s priorities for years.

Organizational change requires credibility

“Yes.” And just like that, the 500 person organization changed direction to be consistent with Jim’s vision. Days later everything we were blocked on had been unblocked and engineers from other teams were converging on our problems with enthusiasm.

That’s the kind of leader I strive to be.

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Travis Newcomb

Thoughts on the personal & leadership challenges faced in rapidly growing organizations. (Apple, Chime, Eventbrite, Cisco, …)