Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Why successful plans include a learning component

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We’re almost done with the first month of 2017. Most statistics I’ve read about people who set new year’s resolutions show that more than half have already given up by this point in the year (in less than one month). Hopefully you’re not one them.

One of my perennial goals is increasing learning and applying what I learn to business and life. For years, learning has been a key component of every plan.


My core learning goal has me tripling the number of books I consume throughout the year. I use ‘consume’ because I both read and listen to audio books. Both work for me and each has its strengths. Following are a few notes on some of the books I’ve consumed thus far:

  • Deep Work by Cal Newport. Cal is a college professor who has become an expert at helping you do deep, meaningful work. Our society suffers from distractedness. Cal assertion is these keep us from the success we can achieve. The key is creating periods of focused, deep work.
  • The Hockey Stick Principles by Bobby Martin. This book is helping me understand the phases of building my business and how to do it successfully.
  • The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone. It turns out we are all in sales. If you want to learn how to sell successfully, you need to consume this book. Grant is inspiring. He gets you excited about taking your business to the next level. (I highly recommend you listen to this book on audible.)

Two of my core application goals for 2017 center on finding new business and creating increased value for my customers. This is where I turn learning into actionable results. One of the areas of focus is helping my customers understand their products better and apply processes that will ensure product success.

After my introduction through an HBR article and then reading Clay Christensen’s new book (and writing about it), I have become a big fan of the concept of job-to-be-done (JTBD). Without going into confidential details, I can say I’m learning a ton about it and beginning plans to implement it for customers. It’s real and it’s actionable. To learn more about how it applies to software products, I recommend you read a two-part post by Jay Haynes on his thrv.com blog—Part 1 and Part 2. These posts provide an in-depth look at applying JTBD to launching great products.

Ultimate success is fueled by learning. Learning and doing fit together like a hand in a well-worn glove. If you neglect one, the other will suffer. Hopefully you’ve pulled something out of this post that will be helpful as you move forward on your 2017 plan.

Questions: How important is learning to your goals for the year? How well are you staying on track thus far? Please leave a comment in the space below.

The Product Management Perspective: I’m working on some exciting product opportunities with JTBD. Keep checking back and feel free to reach out directly to discuss opportunities.

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