Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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Why leadership is an endurance race

Success is a marathon, not a sprint. The only way to truly prepare for a marathon is to train, to practice, to run. You need to get out on the road. You need to put in the miles. It takes time, it takes effort, and sometimes it hurts a lot.

As the great marathon runner Juma Ikanga said after winning the New York Marathon: “The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.” You can want to win more than anyone else in the world, yet if you do not put in the work, it will not matter.

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How discipline creates great leaders

“Discipline equals freedom.” This statement sounds like a contradiction because the word ‘discipline’ is most often used in the context of punishment or reining in improper behavior. In leadership, however, discipline creates power. Discipline leads to more flexibility and control over your every aspect of your life. Discipline creates great leaders.

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Leadership and endurance

Success is a marathon, not a sprint. The only way to truly prepare for a marathon is to train, to practice, to run. You need to get out on the road. You need to put in the miles. It takes time, it takes effort, and sometimes it hurts a lot. As the marathon runner Juma Ikanga said after winning the New York Marathon: “The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.” You can want to win more than anyone else in the world; yet if you do not want to put in the work to prepare, it will not matter.

A great example of enduring leadership was Samuel Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. From as early as 1765 Adams called for America’s split from England; a decade before the Revolutionary War started. A recent IBD article illustrates the important qualities of strength and courage that helped Adams not only endure but also succeed: “Samuel Adams’ success came from his willingness to work tirelessly for the cause of liberty. Politics was a kind of ministry for him, and that kind of dedication makes a difference.”

Like the pre-Revolutionary times in which Adams lived, succeeding in today’s world requires endurance and perseverance. Success does not come overnight; it comes after months and years of hard work. Only after pushing through the difficulties we face will we achieve true success.


The Product Management Perspective: Product development cycles can seem long and arduous at times. As a product manager you need to exercise patience at the same time you persuade others to work hard and work effectively. There are days when it seems like nothing will ever come together the way it needs to. However, those who persist always achieve success.