Executive leadership typically requires leadership for the company or organization at large, not just of one’s team or functional discipline. While my day job is leading a team responsible for delivering work and informing the product-making process, I’ve also had to weigh how much to apply the researcher mindset to challenges and opportunities outside my team’s direct purviews. For example, do I point out methodological concerns in our company-wide surveys? Or do I challenge other teams to cite the unnamed “data” used to define decision-making outside of my team’s scope. And how do I remember that pointing out problems always comes with the obligation to help solve them? I will share how I navigate the challenge of leveraging my research skills and energy – and that of my team – without cannibalizing or de-prioritizing the product-related work of my team.
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