Three Questions with SailPoint Board Member Tracey Newell
Lean in. The wise words of Sheryl Sandberg have made an impact on everyone, from SDRs to board members of a large company. Everyone can lean in. That’s also the lesson SailPoint Board Member Tracey Newell was able to elaborate on at SailPoint’s first-ever Sales Kickoff “Women in Identity Breakfast” in late January this year. Tracey’s insight on her tenured career (she started in sales) and personal development (her first management job proved to be tougher than she thought) is especially inspiring. Today, she’s been managing go-to-market teams globally for many years, and as the president of global field and marketing with Informatica and board member of SailPoint, she sees first-hand how the tenacity of people can make a real impact. Throughout her career, the biggest piece of advice she has for everyone is to simply try. Be bold, take a chance, raise your hand (even if you’re scared) and go for it—leaning in through it all. Inspired, SailPoint caught up with Tracey to elaborate a little more on her journey from sales to the board.
SailPoint: What is your biggest strength, and where do you draw inspiration?
TN: I just show up every day with the goal to make a difference. It’s that simple. We spend more time at work than we do with our families. For that reason, I have always worked to have an impact, so that the companies I spend time with are better tomorrow than they are today. The trick in doing so is to surround yourself with amazing people. Hire people that are smarter than you. Always be on the lookout for people inside of the company that want to make the most significant difference. When you bring your best and brightest together around a common cause, the result is accelerated change inside of an organization. That’s my inspiration.
SailPoint: What was the biggest career-defining moment for you?
TN: Well, I’ve had a couple. My first management job was unusual. I was 26 years old and had been in sales for about four or five years. I wanted to be a manager more than life itself. I was pretty young, but I was really focused on that. My general manager at AT&T asked me to take a management job, leading an accounts receivable team. We were having issues and our GM wanted some new ideas. At first glance, it was intimidating. Try taking on your first management role, which happens to be leading a group of union employees who have all been doing their job for decades. I had no idea how to solve an accounts receivable problem, but my team did. By taking a risk, I learned how to get the most out of a very tenured team. And I was amazed at the end of one year in that role, when this team put me up for a president’s award—oh and we did solve the billing problem. A win-win.
SailPoint: How do you define success?
TN: Again, I would go back to my earlier statement, in that success is all about making a difference to drive growth for the company. To do that, culture is king, where great people come together to solve important problems. One of my key messages for everyone is that there are many people who don’t want to go into management or the executive route. That’s OK. In my experience, everyone can be a champion for change. Titles don’t matter. If you look for an area where you can create a win for customers, employees or the company, and find people in the company who also want to solve that problem—you can have huge impact. As a board member with SailPoint, the culture here is amazing. People really care about each other, the customer and the company. When you bottle up that energy, there is no stopping this team. And that is what success is all about.