Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


Book Review: The Three Laws of Performance

Three Laws of Performance“One of the flaws of management in this day and age is that we fragment accountabilities and then everyone focuses on their own piece.” In The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life, authors Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan discuss laws that govern individual, group and organizational behavior. They lay out a framework to help leaders at any level envision a positive future filled with success, based on the Three Laws of Performance:

  1. How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them. The first law addresses why things occur to people and how taking the time to see things from their perspective changes their behavior. There are two elements: performance and how a situation occurs. “These two are perfectly matched, always, with no exceptions.”
  2. How a situation occurs arises in language. How a situation occurs is inseparable from language. “Language is the means through which your future is already written. It is also the means through which it can be rewritten.”
  3. Future-based language transforms how situations occur to people. Future-based language, also called generative language, has the power to create new futures, to craft vision, and to eliminate the blinders that are preventing people from seeing possibilities. The most powerful language comes through declaration. Whether itʼs about standing for human rights, or putting a man on the moon, or signing the Declaration of Independence, generative (future-based) speaking causes new realities to come into being.

This book is especially pertinent to those seeking to grow their leadership skills and capabilities, but feel they are so far behind that it’s not worth the effort to even try. Zaffron and Logan show you how to change your mindset and use future-based language to become an effective leader.

The Product Management Perspective: Product managers spend much of their time looking toward the future; they speak “future-based language” when discuss markets and write requirements. I recommend you read this book to learn more about the science of future-based language; it will help you hone your skills as a forward-looking market expert.