This morning I stumbled across article this – The Best CEOs are Teachers of Strategy. It offers a few tidbits that I often find good leaders (not just CEOs) struggle to answer … what direction is your organization heading? What is the mission/vision that you are striving toward?
Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States, quoted an old Proverb in his inauguration speech that essentially stated that where there is no vision, the people perish. This is true for countries, for companies, and essentially everything that has organization tied to it. As product management leaders, our role is to develop a crystal clear vision of where we are going while at the same time inspiring others to embrace that vision and help to make it a reality. Success mandates that we share the vision with every key stakeholder at every opportunity to ensure clarity, consensus and alignment of goals. Generally when products (or companies) veer off course, it is a result of leadership abandoning or muddying the vision … or in the case of this article, focusing too much on tactics.
The Yahoo! example from the article is merely one poignant example of what happens when you lose sight of your vision. Think Kodak, Compaq, Blockbuster, RIM/Blackberry for others.