Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

How to lead with commitment

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I recently became aware of a CEO who believes he’s a great leader. He’s smart with a solid educational background, and he has the charisma to do great things. However, most of the people in his organization don’t see him as a leader.

You might wonder what he’s lacking. Based on what my friend (who works for him) tells me, he’s not committed to the success of the people in his organization. He storms into meetings and makes statements about how bad things are and that they need to change. In a recent meeting, he came in unannounced and started telling the people in the room what their job titles would be changing to. He then looked at my friend and said, “I’m not sure what your title’s going to be.”

Commitment

The commitment to do what it takes to lead effectively comes with focus and a lot of hard work. It does not happen overnight; it starts with the decision, and continues with focus and perseverance.

It’s important to understand how others perceive you as a leader. Knowing where you stand, though potentially painful, is the first step to significantly changing the trajectory of your leadership. Here are three ways to gauge your commitment to lead:

  • You look people in the eyes. In meetings, in the hallway, in one-on-one interactions, you engage with the individual or group in such a way they know you’re listening and they know you care.
  • You listen to alternative opinions. If you are a committed leader you are not afraid to hear what others have to offer, and to accept their offer when it’s better than your ideas.
  • You plan ahead and follow through. A sure sign of true commitment starts with looking ahead. You plan for future growth and you’re transparent about how it affects the organization. And perhaps most importantly, you follow through with your plans with complete openness to the organization.

If you really want to know if your team members see you as a committed leader, start by observing. Do they come to you with ideas and questions or do they shy away from you when you past them in the hallway? Do they come to you for answers? Your commitment to lead effectively can be measured by the true success of your team.

Questions: How do you show commitment to your team? What are two things you could start doing to increase your commitment? Please leave a comment in the space below.


The Product Management Perspective: Complete commitment is key to creating great products. When others observe your dedication producing great products, they will give their best effort.

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