Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Fundamentals of leadership

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Companies and individuals often go to extremes in their search for success. They look for the most sophisticated processes hoping they will get a leg up on their competitors. In all their efforts to make their organizations more complex — thinking that will make them more successful — they forget the fundamentals.

Art Petty has some great lessons for leaders in his latest post. He gives four current examples of leaders who overlooked the fundamentals, then says: “How does this happen in a world filled with balanced scorecards and legions of certified quality professionals constantly measuring, monitoring and striving to improve performance?  I suspect that my own answer is that while we have ample tools available for our use in building, the one tool that we haven’t yet mastered is staring back at us in the mirror.”

One of the fundamentals missed by many organizations is people management. Art continues: “Fewer organizations than you might think are doing anything to engender employee satisfaction…which is ironic given the mountains of data that indicate that employee satisfaction flows through to customer satisfaction and strong financial performance.” The people in all parts of the organization need to be “on board” and believe in the purpose of the organization. That’s just one of the fundamentals of leadership.

The Product Management Perspective: Product managers must focus on the fundamentals: market inputs, problem statements, features, requirements, etc. As they focus on getting these things in order, product managers will gain the trust of their teams. When the teams know they are working on the right things for the right reason, they will do amazing things.

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