Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Leadership and Teamwork


Sports metaphors are everywhere in the workplace, but there’s no denying that the leadership and teamwork skills found in the sports setting teach important lessons. One approach to coaching that is rapidly gaining popularity is what is known as the Double-Goal Coaching Philosophy: emphasis is placed not only on winning, but also on team members’ learning and self-improvement.

In the world of business management, the game is played for keeps, but not all employees respond exclusively to a win-lose attitude. Follow these tips to promote a successful workplace that motivates team members and ultimately drives up productivity and profits.

Find out what motivates individuals

Monetary rewards are de rigeur in many competitive companies, but sometimes a bonus isn’t what motivates individuals. Perhaps it’s a little more time off, more responsibility, more rewarding work, or the chance to work collaboratively on a new project. You won’t know until you ask.

If you have a team, it’s important that they are able to work together – try some team building exercises such as lunches and other fun activities to ensure that there is a level of trust and respect between the various members of your team.

Avoid micromanaging

Nothing discourages initiative and strategic thinking like a hovering, critical manager. A middle ground can be maintained between complete freedom and micromanagement, but each employee requires a different balance. Getting to know your employees and the way that they work is essential. One useful exercise can be to do a Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) exercise with your team – this will allow you to identify strengths, weaknesses and different approaches to working life which will help you manage effectively.

Reward personal improvement

Do you want better employees? The best option is to encourage the ones you have. Not only does this approach build stronger workplace relationships, but it also gives employees a bigger stake in their own work, increasing levels of motivation. You could consider introducing ‘employee of the month’ systems or simply giving additional holiday time for overtime worked.

The Double-Goal Coaching Philosophy’s emphasis on being a leader that encourages personal development will not only build morale and motivation among your team, but benefit your bottom line, too.

The Product Management Perspective: As a product manager you have a major influence on all those responsible for creating, marketing and selling your products. While you do not manage those individuals, you can have a major effect on their productivity and success. By implementing these principles, you will find your work to be much more enjoyable and the outcome much more attractive.

Full disclosure: The ideas for this post were influenced by duedil.com.

4 thoughts on “Leadership and Teamwork

  1. Rewarding personal improvement is seen less and less these days but needs to be one of the things management and executives focus on. We need to be thinking “employee retention and growth” rather than just “client retention and growth”.

  2. Leadership includes teamwork. leader is not a guy who just gives order and sits behind the desk. a real Leader is team player.

  3. Hi Michael!
    Great article I must say.
    In fact, I am writing to feature this article in our Guild of HR e-Mag which is published online monthly.
    Let me know if you’re keen for us to take this forward.

    Haikal Ahmad
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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