Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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Lead with integrity

One of the most important characteristics of leadership is integrity. Integrity is a “steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.” It means you are true to your word in all you do and people can trust you because you do what you say.

The word integrity has deep meaning and is often intermingled with words like honesty and truthfulness. It connotes a deep commitment to do the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances. People who live with integrity are incorruptible and incapable of breaking the trust of those who have confided in them. Every human is born with a conscience and therefore the ability to know right from wrong. Choosing the right, regardless of the consequences, is the hallmark of integrity.

Integrity builds character, which creates the foundation of great leadership. Coach John Wooden said it well: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” Live with integrity; lead with integrity.


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Leadership and enthusiasm

Attitude determines direction. Successful people possess a deep passion for the activities in which they engage. In the ancient Greek vernacular enthusiasm meant inspiration or divine influence. In modern English it refers to intense enjoyment, interest, or approval.

wooden-on-leadershipEnthusiasm drives passion and fuels achievement. It comes from within. Expressing enthusiasm is a choice, and those who choose it benefit from the results. The great basketball coach John Wooden said: “Your energy and enjoyment, drive and dedication will stimulate and greatly inspire others.” Not only will it inspire others but it will also inspire you to reach new heights.

The “sales guru” and bestselling author Augustine “Og” Mandino described the importance of enthusiasm this way:

Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles.

Whether you are enthusiastic or not is a choice. Find ways to cultivate this behavior in your own life and you will reap the benefits; do not settle for mediocrity.

The Product Management Perspective: Product managers need to find ways to motivate the teams they work with. Leading on purpose is all about finding ways to lead and inspire other people — over whom you have little or no managerial authority — to do things better and faster than they thought possible. Enthusiasm (for your work and your product) is crucial.

Image courtesy of Cultivating Greatness