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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.