Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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How new technology is affecting SMBs

Guest post by Cayden Whitmond

Now more than ever, the future of business is one shaped by fast-paced innovations to technology and the way that work is done. In the past, emerging tech may have been exclusive to bigger businesses, but today there are plenty of solutions that specifically have SMB owners in mind.

Because tech innovations occur so rapidly today, the small business ecosystem—and the small business owners who may not have the insights or resources to keep pace with new tech sprints—risks falling behind larger corporations that are utilizing these solutions. That’s why it’s imperative to remain aware of emerging software, automation and machinery that may directly affect your business.

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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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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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