Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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Three steps toward creating market-leading products

The goal of every company and product leader is to invent products (or services) that become recognized market leaders. Creating a new product category is icing on the cake, but also rare and extremely difficult.

We all know about companies and products like VMware, Google, and Uber that have not only developed cool products, but also fashioned new life-changing industries. Thinking about it from that perspective might cause us to shrink and say, “I could never do that.” However, there are many lesser-known companies and products that lead their markets; and done right, creating new markets and categories is well within our grasp.

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Leadership styles for directing small teams

Leadership differs depending on the size of the group you’re leading. For most product managers, the people they lead work on different teams and the individuals they need to influence don’t report to them. Regardless of whether the people you lead (or should be leading) report to you, the need to lead soundly is important.

Understanding more deeply your style of leadership will help you lead more effectively. The work will go better, and you’ll enjoy it more.

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Developing high-performance product teams

It’s difficult (if not impossible) to quantify what it takes to develop a productive and successful product team. Every product is unique, and every company does things differently. From a distance it may seem that there’s no process or methodology to create a high-performing product team.

Developing great products entails teams of people working together. With the proliferation of product roles in recent years it has become more important for product teams to function well together and collaborate effectively with other teams and individuals in the organization. Increased focus on building great teams is desperately needed in today’s fast-evolving technology world, yet for too many companies it’s not a high priority.

What does it take to develop a group of disparate individuals into a high-performing product team?

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Building a Culture of Accountability

Guest post by Fred Halstead

 Accountability can be thought of as a punitive word with an implied threat-as in “I’m going to hold you accountable.” Yet, when you think about holding someone accountability, it is actually a measure of your respect for them and the high expectations you have for them.

Throughout the past 38 years, first as an executive search consultant and then as an executive coach, I had the opportunity to work with hundreds of executives. During those years, I began to see what leaders do that leads to accountable cultures. Consistently holding your people accountable is indeed a sign of respect. People who are respected, respond by respecting the person respecting them.

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Leading with love and trust

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?

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Why customer success matters

Think about a product you use regularly. Why do you use it? Why do you love it? What keeps you coming back?

When creating a product or service, you want your users and buyers to answer these questions with positive reactions. You hope they will get the full value of your offering and that they will have a positive experience as they use for their business. You want them to keep coming back for more.

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4 Steps for Designing a Healthy Interconnective Infrastructure

Guest post by Yvette Bethel

Your interconnective infrastructure is the framework that facilitates interpersonal and other work relationships. It is important to realize that it doesn’t only encompass interpersonal relationships, it also incorporates your communication channels, organizational structure, policies, procedures, and strategy. As a leader, it is important to be able to identify and facilitate your interconnective infrastructure because it is the glue that holds your team together, either facilitating unhealthy cultures or positive ones propelled by authentic, respectful interactions founded on skills that shape and sustain trust.

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