Artists, Engineers, and Entrepreneurs Episode 3: Tami Newcombe, President/CEO of Tektronix

In episode 3 of Artists, Engineers, and Entrepreneurs (ae2), we meet Tami Newcombe, President and CEO of Tektronix, a Fortive Company. Tami, who is now in her second year in the role, moved up from Commercial President to Tekronix president in just over two years. During our talk, she discusses the importance of crafting your own highlight reel, trying new things that challenge you, and continuously improving your communication.

Tami’s best advice to people as they navigate their life and their career: don’t repeat someone else’s highlight reel. Stop comparing yourself to others. She goes on to explain that you have to ask “so, what’s your story going to be?” In Tami’s highlight reel, she has three themes:

  • An irrepressible competitive spirit
  • An inner need to try new things, especially those that push her beyond her comfort level
  • A builder quality

One of the most important qualities that she has recognized in successful leaders is not having an impressive résumé, but communication. And it’s not just about being well-spoken or well-rehearsed, it’s about being genuine, authentic, and transparent. It’s about how you connect with people. Improving her communication skills is something that Tami includes in her development plan every year. This year, for example, her plan is to get to know her peers at Fortive in a way that she can connect and provide value.

“How do I get to know you well enough that I know how you and I might work together and make each other better?”

Tami believes that you shouldn’t follow the money in your career. Her advice:

“When you’re thinking about roles, think about what are the tools that it adds to your toolbox?”

The experiences and the skills that you gain from each role are what you bring with you and make you valuable.

Tami is working to make Tektronix a growth accelerator. She breaks out diverse teams of people, from multiple disciplines within the company, who will immerse themselves into understanding the customer and their workflow to identify a problem that Tektronix can solve. Then when evaluating the ability of that solution to go-to-market, instead of building a product and hoping that customers will come, the team quickly share their ideas with potential customers in the form of drawings, cardboard prototypes, or 3D printed models.

Watch the video below to listen and learn more about the experiences and the knowledge that brought Tami to where she is today (including a cross-country cycling trip).

ae2 is a web-series from Hiller Measurements is a long-form interview-style program that explores thought leaders at the “business end” of companies, creative works, and research. In each episode, Hiller Measurements’ President Jeff Olsen explores the creative drive, personal motivations, and stories of perseverance of visionaries who are still “in the hunt.”

Through ae2, our aim is to find the business model in the engineering mind, the drive and technique a gifted artist is developing, and the impact for good that outweighs the personal risk taken on by bold business creators. Overall, the goal of our series is to inspire viewers to step out, build, and create.

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