Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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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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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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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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Building effective communication channels

The word ‘channel’ has various and differing meanings. I grew up on a ranch, and we had to get water to the grass and to the cattle. My dad and grandpa built ditches and canals to channel the water to specific places for specific uses. We had three TV channels that brought news and content into our lives from the outside world. There were cables and wires to channel electricity, in the right amount, to lights, appliances and other devices.

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Build Your Network to Live Your Passion

Work Happy Now! Guest Post by David Bradford, author of Up Your Game

All of our life successes are defined within the context of their impact on people; namely ourselves first, then impact on family, community, and globally. Without people, on a small scale or large, no innovation in technology would be of significant value. Without people our lives lack depth, connection, and passion.

The Power of Personal Relationships

Two of the most talented people I have ever interacted with are Bill Gates and Gary Kildall. Gary Kildall and Bill Gates have had arguably the most profound impact on the history of personal computing of any two people except possibly Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. They defined the age of personal computing, and their contributions continue to have a major impact on business in the twenty-first century.

Why is Bill Gates one of the richest men on planet Earth and Gary Kildall a forgotten footnote in the annals of the computer industry? The fundamental reason is that Gates and Microsoft were about developing relationships that enabled them to secure an agreement to supply the desktop Operating System for the IBM Personal Computer and Kildall did not. Why? What factor impeded the “Inventor of the P.C. Operating System” from securing the most important contract in the history of the computer industry, yet permitted Mr. Gates to secure the same?

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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.