Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Leadership and vision


The word vision has several meanings and is used in many different contexts. Even within the context of leadership you will find varying meanings; things like goals, objectives, mission statements and motivation to name a few. While they are all important and have meaning in their particular contexts, the foresight of leaders might be among the most important combination of leadership and vision.

Steve Farber released an audio CD set — called Extreme Leadership — that is packed with great information about taking leadership to a higher level. Referring to leadership and vision he states: “the role of the leader is to make the vision meaningful.” Companies can have a ‘vision’ or a vision statement, but if it’s not meaningful to the people it will fall flat. To truly provide a vision for the company (or organization), the leaders need to understand, communicate and instill a sense of what’s important: to the company, to the customers, to the employees, to the company leadership. Steve says: “Real leaders take us to places we’ve never been, turn nothing into something, transform good into great, help us grow as human beings and change the pieces of the world that they touch for the better.” It has to be real and true; flattery or insincerity will not fly.

The Product Management Perspective: Leaders make decisions regularly. Successful product managers understand their markets and provide the foresight and direction for their products. They accept the responsibility to make tough decisions and communicate them effectively. They make choices and stand behind them. Ultimately they create a vision that leads their teams and their products to succeed.

3 thoughts on “Leadership and vision

  1. One of the things I like about product management is that it is a lead-follow role, not a manage-adhere role. There’s something that just feels better about motivating people (who don’t think they _must_ do what you ask) than motivating people who feel that they must do what you say. I’ve done both, and prefer the former. So much so that it affects how I “manage” too – I approach it as leading, where I happen to be the manager, not managing because you work for me.

  2. Now everyone is talking about the American economy and eclections, nice to read something different. Eugene

  3. Scott, your approach spot on. It does feel better to find ways to encourage people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. Motivating people is far more satisfying than forcing. -Michael

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