Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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How to find your WHY

A key focus of this blog—from its beginning—has been purpose. Leading on purpose, working with purpose; doing things intentionally, doing things for the right reason. Though topics have led in various directions, the core focus has been purpose.

A word closely tied with purpose is why. Thanks to Simon Sinek, the word ‘why’ has become much more powerful. We’ve learned that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Find Your Why Continue reading

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Five must-read blogs

Today’s post focuses on five blogs that have been great resources for me. These blogs and their authors have not only shaped my thinking but also inspired me to dig deeper and work harder. These are great blogs and I highly recommend you click through and spend some time learning from their authors.

Leadership: One of my favorite leadership blogs is Art Petty’s Management Excellence blog. Art writes about all things leadership, and he does a great job of explaining key points in a practical way.

Purpose: One of the most positive people I know is Dr. Paul Jenkins (“Dr. Paul”). His Parental Power courses are second to none, and his Live on Purpose podcast is a source of constant inspiration to help you evaluate and improve your life.

Product Management: If you want to learn about product management and understand it from a leader’s perspective, you need to read Jim Holland’s PM Tribe blog. Jim does a great job explaining principles in a way that’s easy to understand and apply to your situation.  Full disclosure: I worked for Jim in the past and consider him a mentor for life.

Product Marketing: April Dunford specializes in introducing new technology to the market. Her Rocket Watcher blog covers key aspects of taking products to market, both in startups and in large companies. Here wit and humor make it fun and a must-read for anyone interested in marketing.

New (to me): One of the newer blogs I’ve come across recently is We Move Together by Michael Hurley. The tagline is Thoughts and Observations on Leadership & Teamwork. From what I’ve read so far I’m impressed with Michael’s ability to tell stories in a way that inspires you to improve.

These are just five of many that have made a big impact on my life. Please leave a comment and share the blogs you like and the authors who have inspired you.


The Product Management Perspective: There are many great resources for learning about product management and improving your skills. The key is spending some time each day learning and networking with other PMs, marketers and dev gurus.


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The greatest need

I heard a great statement that is attributed to Dr. Steven Covey. He was presenting at a large conference when someone in the audience asked what (of all the things he’s taught during his career) is the most important idea he’d ever taught. Dr. Covey’s response was that people’s greatest need is to feel and be understood. Of all the great leadership principles he’d taught over his successful career, the most important was simply to remember that people have feelings and an innate desire to be understood by others.

I was introduced to Dr. Covey’s principle through a Live on Purpose Radio podcast with Dr. Paul and Kirk Weisler. While listening to their discussion I thought of three things leaders can do to help people feel and be understood:

  • Help people get what they desire: Leaders have a great opportunity to find out what people want to achieve – from their work, their participation, their efforts that tie them to the organization – and do everything in their power to help them achieve their goals. The more a leader helps others improve, the more he or she will progress.
  • Express and share enthusiasm: People feed off the enthusiasm of those around them. Leaders who love what they do and show it by their expressions, actions and tone, endear themselves to their followers.
  • Communicate with stories: Stories convey meaning powerfully. Stories are among the most effective tools of leadership. They communicate meaning and motivate others to act on what they’ve learned. Stories help the hearer to remember the principles taught.

It’s a simple yet powerful concept: help people feel and be understood. The effects will be measurable.