Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Three keys to leading under pressure

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Think about the last time something went wrong that drove up your stress level. How did you deal with it? Did it ruin your day?

We all face high-pressure situations at different times for different reasons. The following three steps will help you get through any pressure-filled situation:

  • Assess the situation: Take a step back and evaluate what happened. Hone in on what’s causing the stress and do everything you can to understand the situation. Do not jump to premature conclusions; instead, consider your alternatives for moving forward.
  • Make a plan: Instead of just plowing forward with reckless abandon, make plans for what you can do to move forward and get through the difficult situation. Write your plans and take a positive attitude towards the situation. Reach out to trusted advisors to get their input on your plan, and humbly accept their advice even if it means you need to change.
  • Move forward with confidence: Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Carry out your plan with optimism and confidence. Don’t leave anything to chance; make sure to focus on carrying out your plan. Seek feedback from others as you work towards your solution.

The ability to move forward shows the mark of a true leader. Like it or not, difficult things will happen that cause your stress level to rise. When the pressure rises don’t shy away, face the situation head-on, deal with it and move forward.


The Product Management Perspective: Product managers experience pressure in many aspects of their job. Product releases tend to cause stress, especially when R&D efforts are running behind. High-pressure situations will come; as PM you are in a key position to have a positive affect on the difficult situation.

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