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“Grit is every leader who recognizes that it’s his/her job to serve, not to dictate. It takes courage to be humble.” – Art Petty, A Bold Cup of Leadership Caffeine

As a product management leader, one of the things I enjoy is reading views from other product management leaders.  Steve Johnson is one of those leaders.  We met what feels like a lifetime ago when I was first getting started in product management, and have remained in contact over the years.

In his recent newsletter, Steve comments about about an informative and inspiring ebook titled A Bold Cup of Leadership Caffeine.  Being a connoisseur of both leadership and coffee, how could I not check it out!

I have immediately taken to the author’s style, as he leads with a description of leadership from Harvard Business School Professor, Linda Hill who describes it this way … overload, ambiguity, and conflict … very similar to my post on Dealing with the VUCA.  As product managers, who hasn’t dealt with each of these on a consistent basis!

The author then shares 4 ideas on how to renew your effectiveness on a daily basis:

  1. Rethink your role. Today’s leader must offer “burden relief” to his/her team members. Knock down walls and eliminate barriers and allow your team members to apply their creativity and talents to their core work.
  2. Decomplexify. Ambiguity in our businesses and markets is the order of the day. Strive to eliminate complexity and allow your team members to focus on taking bite-sized chunks out of elephantine challenges.
  3. Adjust your attitude every day before work. Take a few minutes in the parking lot at the coffee shop or at your desk before the busyness starts and focus on what you can do to make a difference today.
  4. Care for your team members as humans, not just resources. Pay attention, ask questions, and offer support. The simple act of caring may be the most powerful leadership advice you will ever receive.

Servant leadership, humility (from the opening quote) … adjusting our attitudes (from the 4 ideas) … I would argue these are not for the faint of heart!

Looking forward to enjoying the rest of the ebook over the next couple of mornings … check it out for yourself if you are so inclined … and let me know your thoughts on the author’s thoughts!

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