Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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Rules for amazing team formation

Guest post by Daniela McVicker

People make companies successful. Without effective team formation, a business can’t succeed. Carefully choosing and assigning roles and tasks is a crucial element in business management.

Building a strong team with a healthy work relationship is a demanding task. That is why carefully selected and strictly established rules can be life savers. These critical rules for team formation can help you create an amazing team.

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4 Steps for Designing a Healthy Interconnective Infrastructure

Guest post by Yvette Bethel

Your interconnective infrastructure is the framework that facilitates interpersonal and other work relationships. It is important to realize that it doesn’t only encompass interpersonal relationships, it also incorporates your communication channels, organizational structure, policies, procedures, and strategy. As a leader, it is important to be able to identify and facilitate your interconnective infrastructure because it is the glue that holds your team together, either facilitating unhealthy cultures or positive ones propelled by authentic, respectful interactions founded on skills that shape and sustain trust.

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The Link Between Sleep and Effective Leadership

Guest post by Jenn Clark

A survey revealed that out of 180 business leaders, four out of 10 do not get enough sleep at least four nights a week. If you catch yourself yawning at your desk or nodding off during meetings, you know how hard it can be to get work done when you can barely keep your eyes open. Not only does a lack of sleep cause us to feel sluggish, but it can also affect our work performance, even undermining important forms of leadership.

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How to improve employee performance

Leaders often wrestle with how to best motivate their employees to rise above their current performance and execute at a higher level. One of the keys to helping employees in this regard is to have frequent and meaningful one-on-one meetings.

In a recent research study, Brian Westfall surveyed more than 300 employees to gain insight on what helps them engage more fully in their work. I recently sat down with Brian for a Q&A discussion about his findings.

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The 8 Kinds of Leadership Your Team Needs from You

Guest post by Victor Prince

We hear the phrase “think outside the box” a lot. If “the box” is something that is stifling creativity, it sounds like something to avoid. But when “the box” is a framework that smart leaders use to get better results from their teams, it is something to embrace.

In our new book Lead Inside the Box – How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results, my co-author Mike Figliuolo and I present the Leadership Matrix, or “the box” for short. The premise is you need to evaluate the amount of output you get from a team member and compare that to the amount of time and energy you have to invest in them to get it. We call that second piece “leadership capital.” The result of those comparisons is the Leadership Matrix. Continue reading


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How do you build the right culture in your company?

People in countries, organizations and companies tend to behave in similar ways. The term culture has come to represent this idea: the way people think, behave or work. The culture of a company can have a major effect on the value—in terms of products and services—that a company provides to its customers.

A recent Gallup study analyzed data from more than 30,000 employees in various industries to determine what characteristics led to companies creating a high-performance culture that improves top- and bottom-line business metrics. The analysis revealed six crucial components on which companies should focus: Continue reading


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Why companies win by building relationships

For too many companies, business-to-business (B2B) customer engagement is dismally low. In most cases the people running the business don’t recognize the disengagement and don’t see it as a problem.

In his article B2B’s Win by Building Relationships, Not Selling on Price, author Marco Nink gives the following insight on the importance of building customer relationships:

Competing on price is a losing strategy, and Gallup research shows it’s an unnecessary one. B2B companies are more likely to be successful and secure in their customer relationships if they help their customers succeed. The more a B2B company helps its customers perform, the more essential it becomes. That kind of customer impact transforms B2B companies from vendors into vital partners.

To make a difference for your customers you need to help them improve performance and achieve their goals. Building solid relationships will not only help customers improve their performance, but will also increase their commitment to you. Listen to their feedback and build connections with the factors that drive their business.

Here are three simple tools that great leaders use to improve their working relationships:

  1. Listen: Leaders let other people talk and they pay attention to what they’re saying. They remove anything that would distract from their conversations and focus on what people are trying to convey.
  2. Understand: They appreciate what other people do and value their feedback. They know that taking the time to understand where people are coming from will pay dividends in the long run.
  3. Acknowledge: Leaders acknowledge the contributions of others. They are quick to give credit to others for their successes. They know that customers will be more motivated to use their products and provide value if they acknowledge their contributions.

Are you building effective relationships with your customers?


The Product Management Perspective: To effectively lead the product development efforts, product managers must build meaningful relationships with their customers. Listen to them, learn from them, put their feedback into the appropriate context, then move forward and make decisions that will improve the value of your products.