Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Taking ownership—leading with accountability

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Accountability is a key leadership principle. Those who do great things, or do small things in a positive way, succeed because they apply the right principles, they do the right thing.

Taking ownership of every aspect of aspect of your situation is the first step.


oz-principle I was recently introduced to a book that some of you have no-doubt already read—THE OZ PRINCIPLE: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability by Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman. As I listened to the book (on Audible) I was amazed by the clarity and power of simple principles.

In The Oz Principle, the authors talk about THE LINE—a concept of measuring your accountability. If you’re above the line, you take responsibility for the things you do; if you’re below the line, you’re acting like a victim and not accountable for your own actions. To improve your leadership, for every situation, take the following action steps:

  1. See it: Look carefully at every situation, and see each for what it is. Don’t let bias mislead you.
  2. Own it: Take ownership of every situation you encounter. Own your actions and own the outcome. Don’t waste time deflecting, take responsibility.
  3. Solve it: Look for answers, find solutions. Keep at it until you get the results you’re working towards.
  4. Do it: Get to work and do what needs to be done. Own every aspect of the process. Encourage others you’re working with to do what they need to do. Work proactively.

When practiced consistently, the principles taught in The Oz Principle will change the trajectory of your career success. I encourage you to apply these principles in your life and you will see the benefits exponentially.

Questions: Do you own every decision you make? What are you doing to create a culture of accountability? Please leave a comment in the space below.

The Product Management Perspective: As product manager, you own the success of your products. You rely on others for your success. Therefore, you also own the success of the relationship and the ultimate success of the work they do. Do not shy away from this part of your role. This is one of the key reasons why product management is such a great position. Admit it, it’s why you’re here!

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