Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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Reflecting on our freedom

In the United States, we’re celebrating Independence Day. This is a special time because of great leaders, who in the late 1700s risked everything to form a new country where people could pursue their dreams. Those men were not only great leaders in their day, but their influence continues to inspire others—all around the world—to step up and do great things.

Independence Day is a time to reflect on the freedoms we have and the people who paved the way. Though many readers of this blog reside outside the US, I hope you will also appreciate the great things that happened back in the late 1700s and the impact those men had on establishing freedoms enjoyed by many throughout the world today.

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Persistence—the key to winning

In recent weeks I have interacted with several friends and family who are working through difficult situations. We’ve had informative conversations about what motivates them to keep going. Though their motivations vary, the commonality is their desire to succeed. In every situation, they know the key to winning is to keep pressing forward, to persist in what they’re doing.

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How the workplace is changing

Today’s workforce is working from home more and more. This trend is growing and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. A recent study from Polycom shows that almost a full third of employees around the globe are regularly working remotely, and almost two-thirds have some sort of flexible work schedule. Clearly the concept of the workplace is changing both rapidly and dramatically.

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The value of hard work and perseverance

Recently I was reminded of a story about a young man who lived during the 1849 Gold Rush. An older, wiser man observed him passing by obvious ‘flecks’ of gold in the stream, and asked him why. The young man said he was searching for the big ‘nuggets’ of gold. The old man pulled out his pouch and said “The patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me great wealth.”

What are the ‘flecks’ of gold that you are passing by in life? Are you looking for the big victory, but missing out on the many small wins that will bring you more happiness and success? Life-long accomplishment comes from the small, consistent wins along the way.

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Great leaders engage and communicate

Guest post by Annabelle Smyth

Learning how to communicate with your employees is vital to being a great manager. A leader that knows how to communicate and understands an employee’s situation is one that employee’s want to work for. Communication can improve teamwork, unity, productivity, and efficiency.

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What are you really competing against?

In our world of work and business, competition is a real thing. Too often, however, we miss the real competitor. We overlook the root of what our products are really competing against. As Peter Drucker famously said: “The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it is selling him.”

Why do we miss the mark when it comes to competing in products and services? Why do the majority of innovations fall short of their desired objectives? Are you competing against luck?

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Why success is a positive-sum game

In game theory and economic theory, zero-sum describes a situation in which one person’s gain is exactly balanced by another person’s loss. In games like chess, one person wins and the other loses. The win (+1) added to the loss (-1) equals zero.

At times our progress in business may feel like a zero-sum game. With the right leadership, however, success is a positive-sum game. Most successful people freely admit they achieved their success with the help of others.

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