Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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An Effective Leader Leads by Influence, not Authority

Guest Post by Ken Sandy

The earliest mistakes you make in your career are often the most memorable and where you learn the most. In one of my first product management roles, I was delighted when a C-level executive tasked me to lead an important and urgent project and assemble a team for it.

I called a meeting together with people from the marketing, engineering, and design teams. I gave what I thought was a rousing speech, in which I asked that they drop whatever they were doing and commit themselves to this new project — it was of great importance to the c-suite, so it should be our top priority.


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Practical techniques for increasing team success

Practical techniques for increasing team success

Teamwork is a key factor when it comes to creating workplace success. No doubt individuals with incredible talent can accomplish great things on their own. However, for your company to create great products and successfully complete projects, you need teams that collaborate.

Problems arise when teams aren’t committed to communicating and working together. What’s more, 86% of employees attribute major workplace failures to poor collaboration. Teams not committed to working together will never achieve the success they’re striving for. How do you get your teams collaborating?

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Bridging the leadership gap in innovation

Guest post by Jesse Nieminen

We’re living in an age where many industries are facing big changes. To thrive, or even survive, most companies need to find ways to innovate.

Yet, most companies fail to do that.

For example, according to McKinsey, more than 80% of executives think that their current business models are at risk and consider innovation to be very important for the future of their organization. However, only 6% of the said executives are actually satisfied with their innovation performance.

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Motivating and influencing your teams

You’ve nailed the vision, and built the foundation of trust, now you need to motivate your teams. The success of your product depends on the work they (engineering, UX/design, marketing, sales, etc.) do. In nearly all cases, the individuals on whom you depend for this success do not report to you. That’s why motivating and influencing become some of the most important things you do as a product manager.

What are the key elements to motivating and influencing your teams?

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3 Ways To Stop Sleep Walking Through Your Leadership Legacy

Guest article by Glain Roberts-McCabe

“She was completely whole and yet never fully complete” ―Maquita Donyel Irvin

One day, I was having lunch with John, a successful CEO of a national retailer. Like most executives in highly pressured sectors, John feels like he spends most of his time firefighting.

John, who’s arguably one of the most optimistic people I know, was understandably tired.

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Turning your desires into purpose

Success depends as much on the desire of an individual as anything else. Hard work, persistence and intelligence also factor in, and depending on the endeavor, these may play a big role. However, without a burning inner desire, your chance of success is greatly diminished.

How do you channel your desires to successful outcomes? How do you turn your desires in to a burning purpose that will keep you going strong throughout your life?

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How coaching creates great leaders

When I think of leaders who have built great companies, the first name that comes to mind is Steve Jobs. He was arguably one of the greatest CEOs of the modern business era. His vision transformed the personal computer, music, movies and mobile device industries.

Did Jobs have coaches along the way? The answer is yes. I’m pleased to introduce you to John Mattone, one of Jobs’ coaches who had the opportunity to work with him on a coaching assignment in 2010.

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3 actions to building a culture of trust

Gaining and keeping the trust of those you lead is one of the top factors to your company’s ongoing success.

To work successfully as a team, the leader must create a culture where people can rely on the strengths and abilities of those they work with and believe in their leader’s direction and vision.

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Why leadership is an endurance race

Success is a marathon, not a sprint. The only way to truly prepare for a marathon is to train, to practice, to run. You need to get out on the road. You need to put in the miles. It takes time, it takes effort, and sometimes it hurts a lot.

As the great marathon runner Juma Ikanga said after winning the New York Marathon: “The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.” You can want to win more than anyone else in the world, yet if you do not put in the work, it will not matter.

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