Recently, while in a discussion with a senior executive, I asked; “What are the attributes or traits of product leaders that work for you?” He responded with a list that included; communicator, team player, business savvy and then shared that humility and other important characteristics made for exceptional product leaders.
In a recent post Climbing to the Top? Bring Compassion by Bruce Kasanoff, he shared that while courage, discipline and tenacity are often cited attributes, that we need to bring compassion to leadership. Why?
Compassion brings Action
Just a few days ago, I was traveling and went through the typical security screening process. While re-loading by bag, storing my personal stuff and getting dressed, a gentleman beside me said; “Excuse me. This may sound awkward, but would you please tie me shoes?” Now, I’ve tied lot’s of shoes in my life. My own, my children, my wife’s kindergarten class, but I don’t recall tying another adults shoes.
He then showed me his burned fingertips, explained how he had no feeling in them and they were sensitive. He apologized for wearing lace up shoes to the airport. My response was simple. “Sure, I’d be glad to ties your shoes.” As people walked by looking at me tying this guys shoes, I didn’t stop to think, but acted. Compassion incites action.
As product leaders are we compassionate with those we lead and work with? Or do we bring too much of the “A-game” “hardball” image and persona to our roles and forget to be perceptive, compassionate and then act.
My recent experience and the post by Bruce gave me time to reflect and recall my actions as a leader.
What attributes do you possess and where does compassion factor as a product leader?
Looking for a good review? Start with Five Ways to Lead With More Compassion a HBR post by Susan Cramm.
Hopefully, this post will cause you to reflect as well. I know it’s given me time to reflect my simple act and I know that the simple, small acts will give a boost to others in product management and those you interact with.
I’d like to hear if you agree, disagree or believe compassion is an attribute of product leadership. If you like the post, please share it on your favorite social media sites or through your feeds.
Here’s a quick link to use. Compassion in Product Leadership. A new post by @jim_holland http://wp.me/pqeWU-uu #prodmgmt #leadership #leadchange