Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Leading with love and trust

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Leadership can be difficult to understand, to measure and to carry out, and too often the term ‘leader’ is used for someone who manages a group but doesn’t necessarily lead. Furthermore, what constitutes effective leadership differs greatly among cultures, industries and professions.

So how do you know if you are leading effectively?

Leading-love-trust

Years ago I wrote about the love of leadership, and how the word ‘love’ is rarely used in a business setting. Yet leadership is all about connecting with people and inspiring them to go beyond what they thought was possible to achieve conclusive results. If leaders and followers love what they’re doing, great things will happen.

What brought this to mind was a quote I read by Neal A. Maxwell: “Leadership that grows out of love focuses on developing a climate of trust with interpersonal integrity in which individuals can accept individuality of others without sanctioning all their behavior and words.”

Building the kind of relationships where people trust each other and trust their leaders takes time and hard work. Helping people to accept the individuality of others without restricting their behavior requires thoughtful effort. When leaders try to get compliance through force, it doesn’t work. What does work is motivating or influencing the people you lead to be great followers.

Leaders need to trust their followers. Because followership is a key component of leadership, leaders also need to become committed followers. Providing the clarion call is important, but understanding, buying in and acting decisively on the call wins the game every time.

When we lead with love and trust we build a culture wherein people thrive, we create a place where participants can be themselves yet work for a common goal—something that’s highly rewarding.

Questions: Do you love the role you play in your organization? Why is trust important to your company? Please leave a comment in the space below.


The Product Management Perspective: As a product manager, you are in the perfect role to lead with love and trust. The people you depend on for your products’ success will respond to your leadership when you’re willing to listen to what they say and follow their suggestions. It takes humility and trust, and it’s worth every ounce of effort.

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