Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


Understand your role

The importance of understanding your role in an organization cannot be overemphasized. When people work together — each person contributing to their area of expertise — great things happen.

What can you — the leader — do to help people in your organization understand their roles and execute effectively? Bob Seelert, chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, launched an internal program called “Breakfast with Bob” where he had breakfast with nearly every employee in the company (400 people), seven at a time. He did this twice a week and met with nearly everyone in 29 weeks.

Bob shared the following wisdom gained through this activity: “Every person in your organization is important to its success. When you’re the leader, spend quality time with your people to stay connected.” The leader must know his or her role and help other people understand and carry out their roles.

The Product Management Perspective: The specific duties of product managers may vary from one company to the next. However, the primary responsibility is the same: release successful products for your company. As a product manager you need work effectively with other teams and lead them to create successful products. Take the time to understand your colleagues and build relationships of trust with them. Clearly understanding your role will help everyone.