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Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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How gratitude expands leadership

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. While many here gather as family and kick off the summer season, Memorial Day goes much deeper. We recognize those men and women who have both dedicated and given their lives for our freedom. Two of my friends currently serve in the US Armed Forces. I am deeply grateful for their dedication.

Memorial Day is also a time to remember our own ancestors and show gratitude for the sacrifices they have made to give us what we have today. So many have given so much to make this world a better place.

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Why it pays to show gratitude

No matter what we are facing in life right now, there are things for which we can, and should, express gratitude. The act of focusing on the good things helps us keep moving forward during the tough times. In the long run, it pays to both feel and express gratitude for others and the good things happening around you.

When asked how they set themselves up for success, the most common response from thirty well-known high achievers was expressing gratitude. Staying positive and having an attitude of gratitude are common practices of some of the most successful people in the world.

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Founding Fathers – true leaders

founding_fathersIndependence Day is a time to reflect on the freedoms we have and the people who paved the way. Though many readers of Lead on Purpose reside outside the US, I hope you will also appreciate the great things that happened back in the late 1700s and the impact those men had on establishing freedoms enjoyed by many throughout the world today.

To celebrate I want to share some of my favorite quotes from the Founding Fathers of the United States of America:

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with a few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”
George Washington

“The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.”
Thomas Jefferson

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
John Adams

“The citizens of the U.S. are responsible for the greatest trust ever confided to a political society. We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.”
James Madison

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
Thomas Paine

“A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Give me liberty or give me death.”
Patrick Henry

“Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.”
George Washington

“Well done is better than well said.”
Benjamin Franklin

Happy Independence Day!


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Leadership and gratitude

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.

This post was inspired by the talk Finding Joy in the Journey by Thomas S. Monson, president of the LDS Church.

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.