Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

How leaders navigate change

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We live in a fast-paced world. Things are changing around us at such a fast a rate it’s difficult to keep up. There are so many factors that come into play in the ever-changing world.

What is a leader’s role in navigating the changes? How can the leader deal with the ebbs and flows? What should you focus on to help your teams work more effectively?


One of the keys to navigating change is understanding what’s happening, and seeing what’s coming down the road. This has never been a strong point for me. However, in the past few weeks I have started to see world in a whole new light, especially what’s happening in our world today.

I gained this new insight from the book PENDULUM: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future by Roy H. Williams and Michael R. Drew. This is an in-depth, well researched study of societal swings over the past 3500 years. The name ‘Pendulum’ comes from their discovery that society swings from a “ME” cycle to a “WE” cycle every 40 years; so in a period of 80 years society would have completed a full cycle of each.

In the “ME” cycles people focus on personal ambitions and freedom of expression. In the “WE” cycles people band together and, at least in their minds, do things for the greater good. Both cycles have good periods, and when taken to extremes, both end badly. The last “ME” cycle started in 1963, and the current cycle is a “WE” that began in 2003; we’re in upper swing where things are starting to get tough.

I cannot begin to explain in any degree of detail the complexity of the two cycles that society continues to navigate. The insights they give into how people act, why they do things and when to watch for changes is fascinating. For any who sell products and services, the things you learn from this book will change your outlook.

The key to leading in an ever-changing world is to understand what’s happening and why it’s important, and applying that knowledge to the work at hand. Knowing what’s coming is the key to navigating change.

Questions: What changes are effecting your business? How are you navigating those changes? Please leave a comment in the space below.

The Product Management Perspective: Product managers work at the forefront of change. Understanding how to navigate what’s coming is key to your success. This book will help you understand how to spot trends and do the right things for your products.

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