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Sometimes what you get is not what you expected.  Several examples come to mind … perhaps tasting a new food/drink … meeting somebody in person you’ve only spoken with via the phone … reading a book/watching a movie.  In all of these examples, I’ve had situations in my life where my expectations didn’t line up with the actual experience. Positively or negatively.

All of us have aspirations for career advancement, including myself.  So when the title of this article caught my attention … How To Step Up To An Executive Job … I read it.  But I certainly wasn’t expecting the message the author delivered.

If you’ve been reading my posts, then you know the mantra I carry … whether intentionally chosen, or inadvertently thrust upon them, Product Managers should be leaders. And as such, if you search this blog for leadership topics about vision, mission, or purpose you will find plenty to dig into.

So I really appreciated some of these thoughts from the author …

I needed to focus on the cloud level, the highest level of altitude. That’s the place where visions are created, even if they are brought to life closer to the ground. How could I create a vision for myself, our culture and my team if I never got up to altitude? … until you focus on high-altitude questions like “What do I want from my life and career?” and “What is my vision” … They are folks who bring a leadership perspective all their own to their roles.

Forget your lofty credentials and your impressive network and ask yourself “What is my mission in my career, and in this job?”

But this last thought really took me by surprise …

Remember that the health of your team and organization depend on your own health, and keep a balance between your work and your life.

This is a topic that has been extremely important to me on a personal level, but rarely do I openly talk about it (unless you have worked with me closely).  It is one of those topics some find important, while others easily dismiss.

In this role, and with the personality type of most Product Managers I’ve met, giving your all to the success of whatever you are up against is a guarantee.  But there is a line when the sacrifice become too great.

Here are three quotes I’ve use to maintain the perspective and the balance (two old and one new as of today):

  1. You make time for the things that are important to you
  2. I can find another job much easier than I can find another family
  3. The health of your team/organization depends on your own health

So it is a poignant point I hope you will take to heart. Whether it is family, faith, fitness … take your pick … but find the balance.

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