Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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Leading product strategy and execution

Building software platforms and applications that customers love, and will recommend to their peers, takes extreme focus and hard work. There are many moving parts to product success, including understanding your market and the problems customers in the market face, and building solutions that solve those problems.

Successful product leaders understand the value of both strategy and execution: Strategy is necessary for building products that perform well into the future. Execution requires the focus and discipline to do things now for near-term product releases.

How do you succeed in both of these two seemingly dissimilar aspects of product management?

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Three steps toward creating market-leading products

The goal of every company and product leader is to invent products (or services) that become recognized market leaders. Creating a new product category is icing on the cake, but also rare and extremely difficult.

We all know about companies and products like VMware, Google, and Uber that have not only developed cool products, but also fashioned new life-changing industries. Thinking about it from that perspective might cause us to shrink and say, “I could never do that.” However, there are many lesser-known companies and products that lead their markets; and done right, creating new markets and categories is well within our grasp.

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Leadership styles for directing small teams

Leadership differs depending on the size of the group you’re leading. For most product managers, the people they lead work on different teams and the individuals they need to influence don’t report to them. Regardless of whether the people you lead (or should be leading) report to you, the need to lead soundly is important.

Understanding more deeply your style of leadership will help you lead more effectively. The work will go better, and you’ll enjoy it more.

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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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How to take a new offering to market

We live in a great time where, in most of the world, you can invent a new product or service and—with the appropriate up-front work—earn money from the value it creates for customers. This is remarkable!

Creating new products and services, however, takes a lot of thinking and hard work—especially in the technology space. Coming up with an initial idea is often the easiest part of the entire process. Forming the plan and doing the work just to get your offering ready to sell is where the big effort rests. How do you take a new product or service to market?

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How to effectively transition into a new role

For most organizations, individuals starting a new job have 90 days to prove themselves. What happens during this critical time can make or break your career.

Your goal is to get as rapidly as possible to the break-even point. This is the point at which you have contributed as much value to the organization as you have consumed from it. Putting together a successful strategy for getting to this point, and accelerating past it, is key to your transition.

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On ideas and strategic thinking

Every product and service we have today was once an idea. Even the most basic creations did not exist before someone came up with an impression for a better outcome that would be useful in some way.

When you stop and think about it, the number of incredible products and services available today is truly amazing. In many cases, these great products have developed into product lines, companies and even industries. And it all started with an idea.

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How do you land the career of your dreams?

Guest post by Frank Song

Many working professionals are stuck in underpaid, intellectually unstimulating jobs, and at companies with no career growth potential. Do you know anyone in this position? Does this describe your situation?

In today’s competitive landscape, you need to take a different approach to landing the career of your dreams.

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3 strategies to lead when you can’t mandate

Most organizations are made up of teams that work together to accomplish a common objective. Within those teams are individuals who are responsible for specific tasks. The combination of those tasks create the desired outcome. What is the secret to influencing others to work together effectively?

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2021: What Will Your Legacy Be?

Guest post by Bill Jensen

The next five years are likely to be the most crucial in your entire career.

If I’m not careful in how I pose the question, when I ask leaders about their legacy, I might get canned retirement speech. “I want to leave this business prepared for the future and knowing that I made a difference.”

But as our conversation continues, the import of considering one’s legacy within just the next five years becomes clear. This is an era of transformative disruption.

What keeps many leaders awake is being Uber’d — experiencing massive disruptions in everything they do that seem to come out of nowhere – disruptions that can uproot entire businesses and industries before they’ve finished their morning cup of coffee. Continue reading