Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Are you an extreme leader?

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“Extreme would not be extreme without fear. And fear would not be worth it without the love of the game.”

Are you an extreme leader? According to Steve Farber, author and business leadership expert, extreme leaders “approach the act of leadership as you’d approach an extreme sport: learn to love the fear and exhilaration that naturally comes with the territory.” To become an extreme leader you need to seek opportunities that will stretch you and ultimately cause fear. The fear defines the experiences that lead to extreme leadership.

To create the experiences that will strengthen your leadership, Farber recommend you take a Radical LEAP every day. LEAP is an acronym for the following:

  1. Love: “Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do!” While this emotion is not typically tied to business, it drives creativity, inspires loyalty and motivates you and those around you to do great things. Farber points out that the word ‘love’ appears frequently in the writings of top business leaders.
  2. Energy: To lead effectively, you need to generate energy; the vigor and liveliness that makes people want to be around you. Here’s the question you need to ask yourself: “Do I generate more energy when I walk into a room, or when I leave it?” Energy keeps you—and others—coming back; it’s something you control.
  3. Audacity: The word ‘audacity’ has various connotations; in this context it means daring, boldness or valor. The ability to inspire audacity in yourself and those you lead will drive big, bold changes that will make the world (however you define it) a better place.
  4. Proof: None of the other three terms are meaningful if you do not produce; you need to provide proof that what you say and do actually leads to results. Credibility is the foundation of leadership. Prove yourself through significant, observable daily action.

You can get the full context, as well as a great two-hour audio seminar on Steve’s Extreme Leadership site—I highly recommend it.

If you’re looking to take your leadership to a new level, check out Mr. Farber’s Extreme Leadership Summit coming in April. It will be a great event.


The Product Management Perspective: As a product manager you are in the perfect position to be an extreme leader within your company. You succeed by influencing others to do great work. By definition, your success depends on their success. It also depends on the customer loving your products. Your love, energy, audacity and proof will tell the story of your product management success.

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2 thoughts on “Are you an extreme leader?

  1. Thank you for sharing post, And …..all so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you a beautiful weekend. Much love. :)

  2. Michael – love the article. Do what you love for those who love what you do. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Everything you want is outside of your comfort zone. You’re speaking my language!

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