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Happy New Year everyone.  After some much needed recharging of the batteries, the 2016 work year starts today for some (including me).  So to get things back underway, I wanted to take a few moments and talk about ‘possibilities’. Let’s start with a definition from Google …

pos·si·bil·i·ty (päsəˈbilədē/)
  1. a thing that may happen or be the case.
    • the state or fact of being likely or possible; likelihood.

And if you dig a bit deeper into the definition … it often implies improbability or great uncertainty .

I was listening to a speaker just recently talk about possibilities in two veins:

  1. Possibility fuels the potential for a better future … or can make good ideas even better.
  2. If you don’t think it is possible (whatever ‘it’ is), you are correct.

Think about those two statements in the context of your role as a product management leader for a moment.  For the first point, start by asking the question ‘what type of people do you enjoy being around‘?   It’s been just about a year since I used a quote from Jeff Weiner in a post about Vision & Execution to begin to answer this question.

In simplest terms possible, the people I most enjoy working with dream big, get sh*t done, and know how to have fun. – Jeff Weiner, CEO LinkedIn

As product managers, we need to be the people who dream big and talk about the possibilities.  And we will be most effective when our actions are aligned under the banner of an all consuming vision.  We need to be the people who cast the vision and make people ‘yearn for the sea‘.  When people get excited about the possibilities … inertia is created, making the ideas even better.  And once forward momentum is obtained … here comes the fun!

And to the second point above, if the product manager does not believe in the possibilities … how will they lead those who work for them?  How will they inspire the engineering teams to dream bigger?  How will they convince others to continue to see beyond the obstacles when things get difficult?

Like me, you’ve probably been around those types of leaders … and I think you will agree the questions are rhetorical.

So, hello 2016 … what possibilities do you hold?