Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

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Increasing employee morale, the smart way

Guest post by Joe Flanagan

Boosting employee morale doesn’t need to be complicated and as a leader, ownership of this responsibility belongs to you.

Given the extensive variety in personal and professional experiences, teamwork doesn’t necessarily occur naturally. A talented manager demonstrates strong leadership capability by identifying how to best incentivize individuals within their team. Providing an accurate combination of direction and motivation can mean the difference between leading a mediocre team or a high performing one.

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Developing influential leadership

How do you effectively motivate others to do their best work?

One of the keys to becoming an influential leader is learning the skills—you can practice every day—that will establish your leadership. Finding ways to get yourself, your colleagues and your teams aligned and focused will pay dividends as you move forward. The world needs more leaders.

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How leaders create great companies with stakeholders

Thanks to the Industrial Age we (still) live in a world where most companies hire employees. They look for people with the right education, who have been trained with the right skills to do their job.  They create a human factory of sorts.

The ‘employee’ world is changing, albeit slowly. Smart owners are seeing increased productivity and profits by turning their employees into stakeholders. Stakeholders take initiative, they take ownership, they solve problems. Stakeholders don’t wait around passively for something to happen; they make it happen. Stakeholders do great things.

Stakeholder-great-things Continue reading


How leaders rise above the distractions

The corporate world is full of distractions. Many companies go to great lengths to provide workers with the tools, culture and environment to work productively, but workers still form habits that are killing their productivity. Texting, social media and email provide a constant stream of distractions. According to Challenger, Gray and Christmas, employees participating in March Madness (the NCAA basketball tournament)—between filling out brackets and watching games online—could cost a total loss of productivity approaching $4 billion.

How can leaders deal with workplace distractions effectively? How do individuals avoid interruptions and stay focused?

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How to turn your small idea into a big success

“Creators build toward where they are going, not where they are.”

What if you had a key that could unlock tremendous growth and success in your life and business? How would you change your goals and desires with this knowledge? Would your ‘why’ change?

Each of us has the capacity to spot opportunities, invent products and capitalize on business—even create a $100 million business. Continue reading


The importance of leadership in effective management

There are many elements that make a good manager, however, one of the critical qualities is leadership. Leadership and management must go hand in hand, but they are not the same thing. Leadership and management are complementary, but it is important to understand how they differ.

Leadership is about vision and innovation, whereas management is about maintenance of excellent standards. A leader innovates and a manager administrates on the innovation. A leader focuses on individuals and inspires them, a manager focuses on systems and structure. A leader always has their eye on the horizon, whereas a manager should be watching the bottom line.

While it is important to be aware of the difference between management and leadership it is vital to understand that a good manager is also a leader. In the infographic below we explore the elements that make a good manager, leadership being a principle feature of good management. Continue reading


Guest Post: Four Leadership Lessons from the Gym

By Pam Greene

In our modern society, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for those of us in leadership positions take time out for ourselves. The innovations that allow us teleconferencing, emails, and phone conversations wherever/whenever should increase our free time, but ironically, they’ve just turned our 40-hour work week into a 140-hour work week and caused us to ignore the most innovative, powerful tool in our leadership arsenal: our bodies.

I can also hear the collective sigh and eye roll now. Yes, I know; I’m not the first person to remind you that exercise is important and that you don’t do it enough. So I’m going to take lessons learned reading Michael’s posts here at Lead On Purpose and shift the paradigm a bit. What if I told you that working out regularly can actually make you a more effective leader?

It’s true. Taking 20 to 60 minutes every day to run, lift weights, play sports, do yoga, surf, or whatever else you enjoy can increase your productivity and energy, as well as just make you feel better – all crucial factors in leadership. Here are four examples why:

  1. Feel In Charge, Be In Charge

  2. Working out produces endorphins, chemicals in the brain that promote a sense of well-being and confidence. According to the Mayo Clinic, It also increases your body temperature, which can have a calming effect. Finally, it’s a far superior frustration vent than yelling at your assistant for messing up your Starbuck’s order.

    All these factors are doubly important for people in leadership positions. You feel better, thus allowing for grace under pressure, but you also appear to feel better, which has a huge impact on the people looking to you to guide them.

  3. Less Time Means More Time

  4. There are a host of physiological benefits to exercise that can actually improve productivity. Not only do the aforementioned endorphins give you a boost better than any cappuccino, but a solid workout promotes a good night’s sleep, which everyone knows makes your waking hours more productive.

    And you don’t need to spend hours in a gym for these benefits. A 2008 study from the University of Georgia showed increased energy from a mere 20 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, three times a week.

  5. Building Your Brain

  6. When I said it was important to take care of your body, I was also referring to the part that rests on your shoulders.

    Working up a sweat improves brain function, which is obviously crucial when you’re calling the shots. There are tons of studies backing this up, one of the most interesting being a 2006 joint study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Vrije University in Amsterdam that saw cognitive improvements in exercising participants ranging in age from 15 to 71. Most of us know that exercise wards off the effects of aging, but as you can see here, it’s never too early to get those benefits.

  7. Lead By Example

  8. Another study from 2006, this one out of Leeds Metropolitan University in England showed that when office workers took time to exercise daily, their job satisfaction ratings improved 65%. This, of course, leads to improved productivity.

    How does this apply to you? Well, you may be fine on the job satisfaction front, but there’s a lot to be said for leading by example. Seeing that a role model takes time to look after him or herself inspires others to do the same. An edict to hit the gym may fall on deaf ears, but joining them on the court makes a huge impression – and it’s fun.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at the two latest leaders of the Western World. Both George W. Bush and Barak Obama are daily exercisers. All that basketball and bicycling made for some good photo-ops, but it also helped them gain clarity and perspective when making some rather weighty decisions. If it worked for them, it just might work for you.

Pam Greene’s own journey to health and fitness started when a friend suffered through some health challenges. Realizing this was a wake up call to her to focus on her own health, she started learning about Fitness, Nutrition and Healthy Weight Loss. Pam now works for Beachbody, which provides Home Fitness Programs and Work Out Dvds including the well known P90X exercise program. Pam is passionate about sharing tips to help others eat better and exercise for better health.