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Full attribution for this honor and the success of Lead on Purpose go to the following:
You, the readers: Your participation in the discussions and the content of the guest posts by several have significantly contributed to the success of this blog.
The product management perspective: Leadership is a crucial element of successful product management, and product management & marketing are key roles in successful companies. The combination is powerful and has meaningfully contributed to the success of this blog.
I give a heart-felt thanks to all for your part in helping Lead on Purpose win this award.
An important aspect of successfully leading people is showing gratitude for who they are and what they do. Gratitude connotes a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit you have received or will receive. It is recognizing the good things in your life and acknowledging those who helped you achieve them. Gratitude also implies helping others achieve their goals.
Why practice gratitude in leadership?
Gratitude develops success: Your success ultimately hinges on collaboration with others. Having gratitude for those who help you become successful influences them to do more to help your cause.
Gratitude opens doors: Opportunities often arrive from unexpected sources. Leaders who show appreciation draw the interest of those with whom they come in contact, and they attract other leaders who will help them become more successful.
Gratitude produces peace: Having a thankful attitude for your blessings inspires internal peace. The lack of internal conflict (within yourself and within your organization) frees you to pursue high-value activities that will more quickly lead you to success.
Gratitude increases trust: When you show others you value their hard work and contributions, their trust in your leadership and direction increases.
Show gratitude to others — through your leadership — and they will help you to succeed. At face value this may seem too simplistic; however, if you think about the people who have helped you get to where you are today, I’m sure you will feel grateful for what they have done. Always show an attitude of gratitude.
The Product Management Perspective: Product managers have an often difficult task of motivating their teams (you know, the people who are responsible for a successful product release and also do not report to you) to work quickly and effectively to release quality products. Showing gratitude towards the people who are responsible for your success is not only the right thing, but also the smart thing to do.
Amidst all the talk of leadership and leading others, the importance of self leadership is often forgotten or downplayed. ‘Self leadership’ connotes attitudes and behaviors that lead individuals to a happier, more productive life. During difficult times, when you are stressed by world news, the economy, work or the lack thereof, the human tendency is to grasp for anything that will pull you up. The key to surviving and thriving through difficult times is self leadership. The following actions positively effect progress towards self leadership:
Give service: The best way to help yourself is to help others. Whenever you lend a hand to someone else you inevitably help yourslf. This works not only in your neighborhood, but also in cyberspace. Jim Connolly validates this principle in a recent post about three of the biggest names in blogging. He says the key to their success “is all about one word, contribution.” When you willingly give of yourself, without expecting something in return, great things will happen.
Be creative: Synonyms such as inspired, resourceful and productive describe the actions of creativity. Even in the worst of times you can always find ways to be creative, and that outlook will help see the world in a different, more positive light. Take action, but before you do pause and envision how your creativity will make a difference, then be creative on purpose.
Solve problems: Look for solutions, not excuses. Problems abound, which means opportunities for solutions are abundant. When faced with problems, don’t limit yourself to obvious solutions. Seth Godin illustrates this point beautifully in a recent post where he tells how the telephone destroyed the telegraph. Speaking of the people that developed the telephone he said, “they solved a different problem, in such an overwhelmingly useful way that they eliminated the feature set of the competition.”
Think positive thoughts: In all situations, every time, the optimistic approach will benefit you. Things will not always work the way you want, but by viewing them through a ‘positive lens’ you will always end up better off.
Be confidently humble: The words ‘confident’ and ‘humble’ are rarely used together. Confidence is often associated with arrogance, and humility with weakness. However, the positive behaviors associated with each, in combination, lead to powerful results. Rather than thinking of confidence as arrogance, think instead about words like self-assured, certain and secure. You know where you’re headed and you know you will get there. Rather than with weakness, associate humility with self-effacing, unassuming behavior. Give others credit. Inspire others through your willingness to build them up.
Pushing forward through tough times can seem anywhere from difficult to impossible. Instead of wringing your hands and spending energy worrying, take steps toward self leadership and you’ll be amazed where you end up.
The Product Management Perspective: To lead people on teams over which you have no authority requires a special kind of leadership. As a product manager, your ability to create great products will, to a large degree, depend on your ability to inspire others and gain their trust. Your ability to do this will be greatly enhanced through actions that inspire self leadership.