Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Leadership and hard work

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This coming Wednesday will be December 12, 2012 – 12-12-12 – the final time this century where the day, month and year (last two digits) line up. This day will no-doubt be remembered by many, but for me it has special significance: my uncle (great uncle, grandma’s brother) Louis Stuart will turn 100 on 12-12-12.

Uncle Lou (as I’ve always known him) is an amazing man. He still lives in his home and occasionally goes with his son to help feed the cows on the ranch. In a recent article he attributed his longevity to “a clean life, hard work, a bowl of rolled oats every morning and a lot of open air.” While I’m not sure about the rolled oats, I can attest to the other three, especially hard work.

When it comes to leadership, nothing replaces hard work – not personality, not connections, not education. You have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and do the work you expect of others. While knowing how to delegate effectively is also an important leadership trait, the best leaders work harder than the people they lead.

Uncle Lou has been a great example to me of hard work and leadership. I’m not sure if I’ll make it to 100, but if I can work as hard and help as many people as he has it will all be worth it. Happy birthday Uncle Lou!


The Product Management Perspective: All the demands on product managers can seem overwhelming at times. The work is complex and demanding, and sometimes it seems impossible to get everything done. In those times, hard work is the key to getting through and succeeding.

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