Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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Creating a culture of persistence

We live in a world that makes it increasingly easy to justify failures and abdicate responsibility. Too often the news trumpets the reasons why certain groups don’t get what they want, and they showcase how those in authority are responsible for others’ shortcomings.

While there are certainly injustices in world today, successful individuals don’t let them affect how hard they work or what steps they take to progress. Capable leaders keep doing the right things for their teams and their customers. They persist through difficulties, and in the process, they create a culture of persistence.

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How leaders create great companies with stakeholders

Thanks to the Industrial Age we (still) live in a world where most companies hire employees. They look for people with the right education, who have been trained with the right skills to do their job.  They create a human factory of sorts.

The ‘employee’ world is changing, albeit slowly. Smart owners are seeing increased productivity and profits by turning their employees into stakeholders. Stakeholders take initiative, they take ownership, they solve problems. Stakeholders don’t wait around passively for something to happen; they make it happen. Stakeholders do great things.

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How a Disengaged Workforce is Costing You Money

Guest post by Jüri Kaljundi

As a CEO, I make sure that at the end of the week I know what every member of my team is up to and they know that I know. Why? Because I believe that for most companies, especially start-ups, the greatest challenges can only be solved with a highly engaged and motivated team.

I think that it doesn’t come as a big surprise to anyone, but having a motivated and strong workforce is vital to every company. The problem is, that although, in theory, most leaders acknowledge the need for taking care of employees, only one third of the workforce in US is engaged at any given year. But engagement and worker happiness are not topics we can only talk about to make us look good. We must actually make them feel good. Continue reading


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Are You Building ‘Best’ Teams?

Guest post by Bernie Bulkin, author of Crash Course

The central competency of any corporate (or charity or political or sports) leader is the ability to build a great team. But how? What are the key elements? And while sometimes we have the luxury of putting together a team from scratch, where you can pick the individuals you want to have, more often leaders inherit a team that may or may not have a record of performance, that they need to build into a ‘best team’. Here are a few key things: Continue reading


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Do you run your organization by ideas or hierarchy?

One of the keys to a successful company is teamwork. When people to work effectivley together great things happen. Though it’s not recognized a key discipline in many organizations, companies that make it a top priority always come out ahead. Check out this infographic for ideas on how to run your organization more effectively: Continue reading


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How do you win the war for talent?

Guest post by Sarah Sladek

About 40 years ago, shortly after the Baby Boomers (1946-1964) were born, demographers and industry leaders realized that someday this generation of 78 million Americans would retire and the nation would experience a shortage of experienced and knowledgeable talent.

Alas, the time has come. Continue reading


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How to Encourage Team Members to Lead

Guest post by Lindsay Traiman

Leadership plays a vital role in every company. To have a successful business, it is important that every team member is prepared to step up and lead when necessary. Forbes.com defines leadership as “a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.” By encouraging others to lead, you can more easily achieve company goals and create a nurturing, supportive work environment. Use the following strategies to encourage your team members to lead.

Educate your staff — Not everyone has innate leadership skills, but these skills can be developed. Offer guidance and leadership training to give your staff the confidence and tools they need to lead and inspire others.

Encourage shared leadership roles — Leadership does not come naturally to everyone, which can make it a difficult and scary experience for some. Ease your staff into leadership positions by first allowing them to share the role with yourself or other team members. Allowing people to co-lead projects reduces anxiety and creates a more positive leadership experience by giving team members someone to lean on for assistance.

Define the goal — Unclear goals can create huge obstacles for those attempting to lead a project. Be sure that you clearly define the task, objectives and goals when assigning a project to assist your team members in their leadership efforts.

Listen – Listening is a very important part of effective communication. Always listen to what your staff has to say. By listening, you can gain more insight into the things that motivate individual team members while also learning what goals they have for themselves.

Lead by example – As a leader, your team members look to you as a role model. There is no easier way to encourage others to lead than by leading them effectively. According to a Dale Carnegie study, 62 percent of engaged employees said their managers set a good example. By practicing what you preach in all aspects of your business, your staff will grow to trust you. Employees who trust that their managers are taking their leadership role seriously are more likely to go the extra mile to support the organization’s goals.

Value your staff – Always let your staff members know how important they are to the company. When you see your staff actually taking initiative and utilizing their leadership skills, be sure to recognize them and acknowledge their efforts. Your employees must be reassured that their hard work and leadership is vital to the company’s success.  A study by Bersin and Associates states that companies that provide ample employee recognition have 31 percent lower voluntary turnover rates than companies that don’t. A little appreciation truly goes a long way.

While it may not be easy to develop leadership skills in others, it is essential to the success of your business. Encourage everyone on your team to lead in order to help your company succeed.

Lindsay Traiman writes on behalf of Dale Carnegie Training, a company founded on the principles of the famous speaker and author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Today, the company offers leadership training and helps businesses and individuals achieve their goals. Visit Dale Carnegie Training online to learn more about leadership training.


The Product Management Perspective: Many of the strategies described here are key to successful product management. Product managers need to educate others (especially sales) about their products. They need to listen to the market and learn what makes potential buyers want to buy their products. They need to communicate effectively, both inside and outside the company. Perhaps most important, product managers need to value their coworkers and build trust with their organization.