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In the next five years nothing will change, and everything will change. Just like the last five years. – Les McKeown, President/CEO – Predictable Success

Wait, what?!  I was drawn into this article through an acquaintence of mine, and at first it had me scratching my head because the author seemed very non-committal in his responses regarding what leadership would look like by the year 2020.  But in taking the time to read through his thoughts and thoroughly process them, I understand where he is coming from.

The reality is that no one has a crystal ball that allows them to see the nature of the changes that face us as Product Management leaders.  But the one thing we can be certain of is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Following are several points the author highlights about dealing with leadership,

  • Be brave and honest in gathering and interpreting data – [PH thoughts] I used a quote by Spock in a recent post that highlights this point clearly … “Insufficient facts always invite danger“. Every decision or action we take as Product Management leaders should be driven by market data.
  • Communicate clearly the changes necessary in actions, behaviors and skills dictated by the data – [PH thoughts] the context here is being able to clearly articulate vision based upon the data, about being strategically-driven vs. needs-driven. Many times we get consumed with doing things right … but are we doing the right things?
  • Get on top of your time and personal productivity management – [PH thoughts] most leaders are not intentional about carving time out for themselves – to read (a book, a blog post, some recent market data), to listen (to podcasts, webinars, music), to think (look up the word muse … do you process carefully and thoroughly?) You will have to be intentional about it, because something else will come up … it always does!
  • Leadership happens at all levels–that anyone can commit a not-so-random act of leadership, if only we’ll build an environment that enables them to do so – [PH thoughts] this hits to the heart of the post where I commented that you know you are a leader when you start acting like one.

For me, my recent post about Dealing with the VUCA compares & contrasts the environment we are dealing with and the response we should bring as leaders.  It ties nicely to the thoughts from the article.

The Environment Our Leadership Role
Volatile Vision (strategically-driven vs. needs-driven)
Uncertain Understanding (interpret the data)
Complex Clarity (clearly communicate)
Ambiguous Adaptability