Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

You’re a leader, he’s a leader, she’s a leader

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Guest post by Mirette Ghanem

If you are reading this, you’re already flexing your leadership muscle.  Of all the ways you could be using this time, you were drawn to a headline on leadership and you stopped to focus on the topic.


I have a different take on what a leader is compared with dictionary and textbook definitions, which emphasize the leadership of groups and organizations.  To me, a leader is someone who makes decisions every day in their personal and other lives to think independently and is self-motivated to act at a higher level of discernment and integrity. Do I watch TV or do I call a friend to see how they’re doing?  Do I report a found stack of cash, or do I treat myself with the unexpected windfall?  Do I automatically delete the work email that starts with ‘Introducing a new way to (fill in the blank)’ or do I open it excitedly to find out how something is about to become less time consuming or convenient?  The answers to each of these questions reveals the strength of our leadership fibre in that moment.

An actualized leader needn’t do much to lead.  He or she simply wears her or his L muscle on their sleeve and others see it and recognize its power.  Its aura is felt, and compels others to be confident in its assertion and unconsciously agree in principle.  Whether or not they subsequently act as desired depends on their own leadership tissue, which has the ability and can grow – with knowledge, understanding, and comfort with perceived outcomes.

Achieving the acceptance of something new is at the heart of change leadership, a theme featured in the Association of Change Management Professionals’ (ACMP) first ever regional conference to be held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A city of more than 2.6 million people, Toronto has become practically a poster child for change in the past couple of decades – transforming itself from a stodgy corporate hub to a vibrantly artistic, culinary, and multi-cultural living and tourist destination.  How did that happen?  Largely as a result of individuals who let their leadership flag fly: from politicians to community advocates, to public servants and titans of industry.  These women and men decided to follow their own gut feelings and inner voices to be inclusive, reject authoritarianism, listen to divergent opinions and care about each other regardless or because of different social circumstances.

Some session titles of the ACMP Change Management 2016 Regional Conference -Canada include:

You First: How You Can Change Your Team for the Better

Reduce Resistance: Plot a Stakeholder Change Journey Map

Curiosity Culture – Liberating Innate Potential

Attending this conference will be a sure sign of leadership.  As change management continues to entrench itself as a key lever in organizational health, growth and sustainability, those who show up in Toronto on October 17 and 18, 2016 are embracing their readiness to be champions in their burgeoning profession.  And who knows what more they will lead in their lifetime.

Mirette GhanemMirette Ghanem BA (Soc Sc); Corp Comm Dip; Certified Change Agent; Director, Membership & Partnerships; Toronto Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP), CANADA. She is a seasoned change agent and corporate communicator with experience in the private and public sectors, including Healthcare, Energy, Education and Financial and Professional Services.

Having majored in Anthropology as an undergrad (way back when!) Mirette continues to be intrigued and inspired by the subject in her personal life and career. She is a relationship builder, and a leader and member of teams in bringing about transformations on behalf of and within organizations, engaging audiences and stakeholders in successfully embracing change. Fluently bilingual in French and a champion of life-long learning, she has studied German and Spanish at McMaster University, the University of Freiburg and Enforex, and is passionate about promoting the discipline of change management.

The Product Management Perspective: Change is a constant for product managers.  Without it your products die on the vine, with it they thrive. You’re in the perfect position to become a change leader in your organization, the one the company relies on to move its products in the right direction.

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