Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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How to take a new offering to market

We live in a great time where, in most of the world, you can invent a new product or service and—with the appropriate up-front work—earn money from the value it creates for customers. This is remarkable!

Creating new products and services, however, takes a lot of thinking and hard work—especially in the technology space. Coming up with an initial idea is often the easiest part of the entire process. Forming the plan and doing the work just to get your offering ready to sell is where the big effort rests. How do you take a new product or service to market?

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Why small habits make a big difference

The word ‘habit’ generates different thoughts depending on your situation. For some it’s that thing they are addicted to. For others it brings to mind the things they’re not doing and invokes anxiety. For many in this audience, it connotes the path to accomplishment, the things they are doing—consistently—to move forward and create success.

For me, habits are an integral part of the processes I put in place to ensure I take the best actions and follow the right systems. For example, I love what exercising does for my body. Years ago, I developed the habit of running; I found things that make it enjoyable—e.g. listening to books and podcasts—that encourage me to keep doing it. Running has become a part of my life, a habit I enjoy that delivers positive results.

What would it take for you to achieve the change or to make the progress that deep down you’re seeking? How would you get started? Why does it matter?

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Bridging the leadership gap in innovation

Guest post by Jesse Nieminen

We’re living in an age where many industries are facing big changes. To thrive, or even survive, most companies need to find ways to innovate.

Yet, most companies fail to do that.

For example, according to McKinsey, more than 80% of executives think that their current business models are at risk and consider innovation to be very important for the future of their organization. However, only 6% of the said executives are actually satisfied with their innovation performance.

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Changing the game with decisive action

You have created the vision for your products; you’ve built trust among your teams; you’re working hard to motivate team members to do great things; and you’re working to develop your teams with insight and direction. The final step in my 5 Factors methodology is to act decisively. As the product leader you need to get things moving; you own the success of your products.

How will acting decisively change the game for your products?

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Developing team member skills

As you progress on the journey of building great teams, you create the vision, build a strong foundation of trust and motivate your team to reach beyond what they thought they were capable of doing. The next step is to work with your teams to develop their ability to work more effectively and hone their skills for the markets your products serve.

Why should you focus on developing your team?

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Motivating and influencing your teams

You’ve nailed the vision, and built the foundation of trust, now you need to motivate your teams. The success of your product depends on the work they (engineering, UX/design, marketing, sales, etc.) do. In nearly all cases, the individuals on whom you depend for this success do not report to you. That’s why motivating and influencing become some of the most important things you do as a product manager.

What are the key elements to motivating and influencing your teams?

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Building trust with your teams

Another key element of a successful product management organization is creating trust with your teams, the teams you work with to build your products. Creating relationships of trust sets a foundation for the work you and your teams will need to build great products.

Why is building trust so important?

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How to create product vision

One of the key elements of a successful product management organization is creating the vision for your products—the ‘why’ that drives their purchase and the factors that make them successful in their markets. When you nail the product vision, you’re well on your way to business success.

So how do you create product vision?

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“Self-Made” is BS

Guest post by Rick Miller

The widely-held belief that success is available to everyone, simply with focus and hard work is one among many positive messages regularly reinforced in our Western culture.

But in my view, our “cowboy culture” also over-celebrates individual accomplishment, particularly in business. Too many romanticize the importance of a single individual’s ability to enable a big impact. This idea that denies the reality that teams of people, along with some good luck, always play big roles in enabling any company, or an individual for that matter, to register true success.

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How to effectively transition into a new role

For most organizations, individuals starting a new job have 90 days to prove themselves. What happens during this critical time can make or break your career.

Your goal is to get as rapidly as possible to the break-even point. This is the point at which you have contributed as much value to the organization as you have consumed from it. Putting together a successful strategy for getting to this point, and accelerating past it, is key to your transition.

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