Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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Why the Future is up to Us

We live in a fast-paced world where technology changes our lives daily. For some it’s invigorating. For others it’s intimidating if not terrifying. With news about AI (artificial intelligence) getting smarter and more accurate, self-driving cars and trucks becoming more reliable, and neural networks communicating directly with people’s brains, it’s easy to see how people are getting nervous.

That change is coming is inevitable. What we do with it and how we handle it will determine our future.

Whats the Future Continue reading

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Do you expect to win?

The people I consider successful all have at least one thing in common…they expect to win. They see themselves as winners and whatever they put their minds to they accomplish. Their ‘win’ does not always happen in the way they initially intend, but in the end they succeed.

One such example, who’s had a positive influence on me since I met him last August, is Monte Holm. Continue reading


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Creating value

What are you doing to create value for your organization? What significance do you bring to the table? As a leader, how do you inspire your people to give their best to your cause? Take a minute to answer these questions.

The following quote from The Artist Farm links earning money to creating value:

Next time you are stressed out about money be self-reflective. Rather than stressing about how you can get more money for money’s sake, focus instead on how you can provide more value to more people. All sorts of wealth will flow from this mindset.


The Product Management Perspective: Product managers are in a prime position to provide value to their organizations. One the most effective ways to create value for your company is to become an expert at market sensing. To the extent you guide your company to create and sell the right products and services for your market, you will become the hero of your organization.


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Book review: Killing Sacred Cows

Killing Sacred Cows

Killing Sacred Cows

Without writing anything else about this book, the title should at least have your attention. The disclaimer on the first page reads: “No actual cows were killed or harmed during the creation of this book.” The purpose of this book is to help you take a deeper look at the beliefs to which you’ve subscribed and determine which ones are true and which should be thrown out. The expressed purpose of this book is: “to defeat myths about money and prosperity that are severely limiting human power, creativity and production.”

Killing Sacred Cows was written by Garrett B. Gunderson and is now a New York Times Best Seller. Gunderson discusses nine “myths” that have “crippled our nation for generations:”

Myth 1-The Finite Pie: He describes the commonly held view that the world has limited resources. If you want something you need to take it from someone else. In reality, he says, there’s enough for everyone, and the more people work the bigger the pie gets; there will be more for everyone.

Myth 2-You’re in it for the Long Haul: Gunderson addresses what he calls “the 401(k) hoax” proposition. Most people look at the wealth they are accumulating to use “some day” and most people are afraid to use it even after they retire. He says that cash flow is a better measure of net worth. This topic gets quite deep and controversial; it will make you think.

Myth 3-It’s All About the Numbers: He claims most people think wealth is all about their bank balances and investments. Wealth is really about doing what you enjoy.

Myth 4-Financial Security: Gunderson says that most people think financial security comes from a paycheck and benefits. In reality, he says, true security can only come from within.

Myth 5-Money is Power: Many people think that the more money they have the more powerful they become. This myth is destructive because it’s not about the money itself, but the value it represents. People who put more value on the money itself than the people who create the value will self destruct.

Myth 6-High Risks = High Returns: Garrett says that believing high returns can only come from taking risks is a myth. He describes the importance of investing according to your Soul Purpose, which will provide lower risks and higher returns. He emphasizes the importance of investing in ourselves.

Myth 7-Self-Insurance: Most “experts” on insurance tell you to spend as little as possible on insurance. Gunderson recommends getting as much insurance as possible.

Myth 8-Avoid Debt Like the Plague: Most people are taught to avoid debt. Gunderson distinguishes between debt and liabilities, and good vs. bad liabilities. If you borrow in the right way and for the right things you create tools that will help you prosper.

Myth 9-A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned: The myth here boils down to spending money for value. If you skimp on quality to get a better price you end up paying more. When you spend money on products and services you are actually voting for them. You should buy the things that based on their value, not their cost.

One of the great things about his book is it’s chock full of quotes. Some of the quotes are used to illustrate specific myths and how they are perpetuated over time. Many others add credibility to the author’s assertions. Together with the quotes and anecdotes, the pithy ideas presented offer a soul-searching re-examination of why you do what you do. You will take a hard look at your behaviors and tendencies, and will likely make important changes as a result.


The Product Management Perspective: Product managers do not typically deal with financial matters in their company; however, the ideas promoted in this book apply nicely. Product managers need to regularly review how things are going and make changes. What are some of the “sacred cows” we worship in product management that we might need to kill?


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Time value of experience

Time value of experienceTime value of money is a widely understood and accepted concept. At its most basic level the time value of money demonstrates that, all things being equal, it is better to have a fixed amount of money today, rather than an equal amount in the future. The concepts get more complex with topics such as compounding interest, present value of annuities, future value of growing annuities, etc. (Check out Wikipedia for a detailed description.) Receiving a fixed amount of money today, rather than waiting, is valuable because you can put the money to work doing things to build wealth and prepare for the future.

That brings me to the time value of experience. What if you were to look at life experiences as if they were money? They bring value and provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to move forward and progress through your life. Experiences provide a type of life currency. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to experience things today rather than to postpone them to a later date. They will be more valuable to you now than in the future. Granted, there are many experiences you cannot control. However, for the things you can control, the sooner you have the experiences the quicker you can invest them to improving your life and to helping others. Since leadership is largely based on experience, it makes sense to acquire as much experience as soon as possible.

Take advantage of every opportunity to do things that you know you want to as soon as you can. Think about something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, but for whatever reason you’ve postponed. Commit to yourself that you will do it. Having that experience today will most likely be more valuable than having the same experience in the future.