Weathering the storm of changing leadership within my department.

Radha Shenoy

VP of Engineering at Puzzle



Within a fairly short timeframe, my company's CTO left and a new one was brought in, and two of our VP's left. This left many of my company's managers reporting to a new boss who didn't have the time or knowledge to help us prioritize our goals and tasks. Due to the sudden change and a completely mismanaged transition, we lacked direction and guidance. At the same time, other teams were still expecting us to deliver products on time, as promised. Our dilemma was whether we should wait until the CTO sorted out things, which was completely acceptable and reasonable given the circumstances, or whether we should push through and deliver on what we said we would. I opted for the latter.

Actions taken

Myself, two other managers and two Directors requested a meeting with the new CTO, the Head of Product, and the Head of BI. We told them that we wanted to keep moving forward and finish the roadmap we were working on, as our projects impacted on our company's revenue. We had spent a lot of time evaluating and prioritizing, so we knew that it made good business sense for the company. We kept our team meetings with the QA, BI, and Product teams, and were able to finish what we had started.

"We wanted to keep moving forward and finish the roadmap we were working on, as our projects impacted on our company's revenue."

It felt good, it felt rewarding, and it felt like we were contributing and were being productive. Even though at the time we weren't sure if it would matter in the end, it turned out it did, and it helped the new CTO off to a rousing start, even though he had very little to do with our success.

Lessons learned

Companies go through changes. These can be market changes, business changes, or changes in internal leadership. If you find yourself in an unfamiliar situation, go with what you know, and with who you are. We were, and still are, engineers, so we opted to deliver on the commitments, to finish the releases and to let the chips fall where they may.

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Radha Shenoy

VP of Engineering at Puzzle

Leadership & StrategyEngineering LeadershipLeadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyDecision MakingCulture DevelopmentEngineering ManagementTeam & Project Management

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