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I was recently reminded of this quote, and I’ve seen variations from several well known leadership gurus … Tom Peters, Ralph Nader, John Maxwell and others … true leaders produce more leaders, not more followers.  And with a long holiday weekend recently, I had some time for introspection on the topic.


There are certainly times in our roles as Product Manager Leaders where you may question the true impact of what you are doing.  Or at least I have.  Partially with the products I’ve led and their impact … but more so from the perspective of impact with people. This is just something that isn’t easy to gauge unfortunately, and it can often leave you wondering.

At this point, it would be easy to remind yourself of Peter Drucker’s point of view on the subject … effective Leadership is not about making speeches or being liked: Leadership is about results, not attributes.  

While I understand the context of what he is saying, it just doesn’t pass the sniff test for me.  As I’ve pointed out previously, I do believe results matter because they point to competence … do you have the ability to be effective and produce the results?


But for me, character plays just as important a role … what is the end game of why you do what you do?  If you’ve followed my posts, you will know that leading with integrity and having a servant leader mentality are also important to me.  But just like the “how do you impact people” question, these leadership traits are hard to gauge.

Yes, we all can look to recommendations on LinkedIn to get a sense of where we stand. But these are generally solicited requests.  So to get an unsolicited text message recently from a former employee (who is now a leader herself) thanking me for my leadership was huge.

For me, the message from this post is a reminder … sometimes your impacts are front and center and can be easily measured.  Other times, your impacts are subtle and may never be fully acknowledged.  It is a reminder of my purpose … of why I do what I do


…purpose really comes down to mindset. It means building a culture that taps into your people’s sense of aspiration. It means empowering everyone you work with – from your clients or customers to your employees to your communities – not just to do better, but to be better. After all, purpose is truly about doing well by doing good.

Mark Weinberger
Global Chairman & CEO, EY