Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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Product Manager as CEO

Many product managers have begun their tenure with an up-and-coming company by hearing the phrase, “We want you to be the CEO of the product.” While many have argued the validity of this statement, it is something that every product manager should aspire to become, and that is what the market wants.

So how does one achieve this admirable and lofty goal? A startup company CTO explained this best: a product manager is someone who will stop at nothing, accept no excuses, take no prisoners, and make the product successful. The PM owns the product and is completely responsible for its success.

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What makes a learning organization?

Amazon, Intuit, Airbnb, Disney, FedEx and Uber…what do these companies have in common? They know their customers. They don’t just know about their customers, they know why their customers ‘hire’ them and their products to do specific jobs.

All of these companies are learning organizations. At their core is a deep desire to know why people and companies spend their money to purchase their products and services.  They know the importance of constant learning, they know what they are competing against.

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10 tips for new leaders

Leading a new team comes with challenges. You have a group of people who have grown accustomed to doing things a certain way. They may or may not have liked their departing manager. You may or may not have worked with them or know them at all.

Regardless of the situation, you have a great opportunity in front of you. Here are 10 tips to help you become a competent leader.

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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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