Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Go fast or go far?


I recently read an African proverb that says: “If you want to go fast, travel alone, but if you want to go far, travel together.” This applies nicely to many jobs, roles and professions. I like how it applies to product management. We can do things ourselves and get them done quickly or we can work with others (individuals or teams) and make things happen right for the long-term.

The real assets of any organization are its people. Their intellect – along with personality, skills, knowledge, character, integrity and other things collectively referred to as “human life value” – create the true value in any organization. By working to build relationships we are, in fact, building our pool of assets. When we create experiences that make team members feel valued, they will care deeply about the products and services they are helping us to develop. We are doing the things that will help us to travel far.

2 thoughts on “Go fast or go far?

  1. Mike,

    Congratulations on your blog. I had no idea you had started one or I would have started reading it sooner. I am now subscribed via RSS and look forward to reading your views on PM going forward.

    A couple of things;

    1. Thanks for your post on “Go fast or go far”. I was not familiar with the saying but it rang true as I read it. As you know, I recently moved to a start up where fire drills can be the order of the day. I intend to keep this proverb in the back of my mind as I help move my organization forward trying to do what is right for the product and ultimately the customer.

    2. Your article in this month’s Pragmatic Marketer was a great read. It was particularly interesting for me since I know that you actually practice what you preach. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  2. Jim,
    Thanks for reading and for your comments. Balancing between the ‘fast’ vs. ‘far’ can be difficult, especially in a startup. However, in my experience things have always turned out better for me when I work well with other members of the team. And ultimately when the team works well together the customers benefit. You are a great example of working well with others!

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