Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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An Effective Leader Leads by Influence, not Authority

Guest Post by Ken Sandy

The earliest mistakes you make in your career are often the most memorable and where you learn the most. In one of my first product management roles, I was delighted when a C-level executive tasked me to lead an important and urgent project and assemble a team for it.

I called a meeting together with people from the marketing, engineering, and design teams. I gave what I thought was a rousing speech, in which I asked that they drop whatever they were doing and commit themselves to this new project — it was of great importance to the c-suite, so it should be our top priority.


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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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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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Bridging the leadership gap in innovation

Guest post by Jesse Nieminen

We’re living in an age where many industries are facing big changes. To thrive, or even survive, most companies need to find ways to innovate.

Yet, most companies fail to do that.

For example, according to McKinsey, more than 80% of executives think that their current business models are at risk and consider innovation to be very important for the future of their organization. However, only 6% of the said executives are actually satisfied with their innovation performance.

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3 Ways To Stop Sleep Walking Through Your Leadership Legacy

Guest article by Glain Roberts-McCabe

“She was completely whole and yet never fully complete” ―Maquita Donyel Irvin

One day, I was having lunch with John, a successful CEO of a national retailer. Like most executives in highly pressured sectors, John feels like he spends most of his time firefighting.

John, who’s arguably one of the most optimistic people I know, was understandably tired.

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Are you a leader or a manager?

Business owners and entrepreneurs are often asked this leader vs. manager question regarding their management style. For many, these two words are synonymous; both are important for motivating people to work towards a common goal. Each is different, yet both roles have their place in a well-functioning organization.

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How motivated leaders leave a legacy

The most successful companies have motivated leaders that inspire motivation at all levels of the organization. They are motivated for a real purpose, not just for money or other short-term rewards.

Is it possible to create an environment where great work just happens, and everyone is motivated?

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The impact of poor leadership in an organization

Guest post by Jen of JenLeads Blog

In business, being a leader doesn’t just fill a job title. You must have the capacity to motivate your team to enable them to deliver their tasks in a timely manner and in line with the overall goals of the company.

On the other hand, unmet targets are only the start of the problems caused by bad leaders in any organization. Today, let’s talk about the effects of poor leadership on your team.

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10 tips for new leaders

Leading a new team comes with challenges. You have a group of people who have grown accustomed to doing things a certain way. They may or may not have liked their departing manager. You may or may not have worked with them or know them at all.

Regardless of the situation, you have a great opportunity in front of you. Here are 10 tips to help you become a competent leader.

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