Tech Leaders Hub #18: How to get in the room and create company-wide impact as CTO

“It doesn’t matter how good your code is if you aren’t meaningfully moving the needle for the company.” – Matt Greenberg, CTO at Reforge

The mission of our Tech Leaders Hub guest is to help you avoid the Engineering Leadership Death Spiral.

What is that?

Early in your career as a line programmer, life is simple. You get a ticket in Jira, you do what the ticket tells you to do—your job is to figure out the “how”.

And even as you climb the organizational ladder and become a leader and manager, it still feels like “how” is your job: how the application works, how the teams are structured, how work flows within and between teams…

But in reality, as you move up, the “how” matters less and less. Software gets rewritten every few years anyway.

As you advance further to an executive position and you start having meetings with other departments like Product and Marketing, they’re all about the “what” and the “why”. Your “how” thinking turns you into the person who always shoots down ideas before they even have time to properly form.

The more you do this, the less you get invited to strategy meetings, and thus you get fewer opportunities to influence where the company is going… And so the spiral continues until you become sidelined in deciding your own company’s direction, even if you’re a CTO.

How can you escape this trap? How can you start having more of a say not just in the technical strategy, but the company strategy as a whole?

That’s what we’ll talk about with Matt Greenberg on this episode of Tech Leaders Hub!

Matt is the CTO at Reforge, a company trying to reinvent the professional network for tech by building specialized MBA programs for product engineering. Reforge’s work helps tech leaders plug into expertise that they couldn’t access otherwise.

Tune in to the session with Matt to learn:

  • Why engineers get stuck in the “how” mindset
  • How to start really driving the technical strategy of your company and influencing the direction of your whole organization
  • What you need to do as a professional to become the best version of yourself
  • When keeping your role can be a promotion in itself as the company scales
  • Why junior engineers obsessed with the “what” and “why” are easy to promote
  • How to build great teams and manage their performance
Listen as a podcast
Our speaker


Matt Greenberg

CTO at Reforge

VP of Engineering at Credit Karma
VP of Engineering at CoSo Cloud





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