Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

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Providing value

Previous posts have discussed the word ‘value’ as a verb — the act of appreciating, respecting or esteeming others. However, when it comes to providing value, words like worth, importance or significance apply.

What are you doing to provide value to your organization? What significance do you bring to the table? As a leader, how do you inspire your people to give their best to your cause? These questions should coarse the minds of all leaders, especially during difficult times.

This topic is admittedly broad reaching and sufficient answers are well outside the bounds of one blog post. However, when it comes to providing value from a leadership perspective, my good friend Art Petty takes this complex topic and simplifies it into 5 Simple Rules To Be A Great Leader:

  1. Surround yourself with great people
  2. Provide them with challenging opportunities
  3. Expect the extraordinary
  4. Work like crazy to provide support
  5. Stay out of the way until you’re needed.

You have a great opportunity to add significant value as a leader in your company. Look for ways to put these rules into practice today.

The Product Management Perspective: Product managers are in a prime position to provide value to their organizations. One the most effective ways to be the star of your company is to become an expert at market sensing. To the extent you guide your company to create and sell the right products and services for your specific market, you will become the hero of your organization.

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Book Review: Halftime

“The biggest mistake most of us make in the first half [of our lives] is not taking enough time for the things that are really important.” In his book HALFTIME: Moving from Success to Significance, author Bob Buford explores three stages of life:

  • The first half: On average, the first 40 years of your life. This is the time when most people focus more on their careers and less on others (and other significant causes). Bob talks about how his career (in TV station business) took off. He had tremendous success, but had a “success panic” that made him stop and reevaluate his priorities. He also tells a touching story about losing his son Ross. These (and other factors) lead him to the next stage.
  • Halftime: This is the time when you take stock of what you have accomplished thus far in your life and look for ways to move from success to significance. He compares it to halftime in sports (games like basketball and American football) that have a break during games. This break gives the teams a chance to evaluate their performance in the first half and chart ways to improve in the second half. It’s a chance to dig more deeply into what you believe and evaluate whether your life is heading in a direction compatible with your core beliefs. Bob gives several methods to help you increase your significance.
  • The second half: The time when you can truly make a significant contribution to the world. In rare cases this happens early in life; however, with planning and effort anyone can make it happen during the second half of their life. Bob discusses creating a life mission and making efforts to carry it out for the benefit of others.

HalftimeHalftime is all about finding ways to be a leader in your own life; especially the second half of your life. It provides great advice on how to make your life significant in ways you probably never imagined. You will find this book valuable if you are looking for ways to make a more significant contribution to your community, church or in other areas of your life. Bob is definitely a religious man (Christian) and that comes out significantly throughout the book. I recommend this book for people who are looking to create significance in the second half of their lives.