I think we’ve lost the dignity and significance in being disciplined in the ordinary. No one gets excited about the artist who puts in the countless hours in perfecting their art before they have a breakthrough. Or pop culture doesn’t shine a light on the thousands of repetitions that an athlete does over years of practice. But that’s ok because you know the work you’re putting into your craft. Be proud because the unrecognized work is extraordinary.
I’ve talked with countless number of people about creating healthy organizational cultures and an incredible amount of time is spent trying to plan and architect good cultures. The problem is that I’ve never seen it work out that way. What if cultures aren’t created by what you plan to do, but how you behave in the present. Culture is a reflection of how people behave in the present. It’s a misconception to think that a good culture is a result of determining the right principles or policies you put in place. A good culture is a reflection of how people choose to behave and the manner in which they behave everyday.
I’m talking about product managers. I have grown to love this role within an organization because those who are effective at product management understand how to be a leader who has no official position or authority, yet influence positive change in the organization. Product managers lead teams without being a team leader. Product managers influence senior leadership without being in the C-suite. Product managers raise people up from the ranks without being their bosses. Product managers influence engineers without deep technical backgrounds. Product managers champion the culture of communication and collaboration within an organization. Product managers are accountable to all stakeholders of an organization. Product managers internally challenge organizations.
In fact, every person should have the heart of an effective product manager.
The best leaders and managers lead people to become irreplaceable within an organization. They keep those people by providing an extraordinary organizational experience.
If you’re don’t invest in people because your are afraid that they will later leave your organization, then you aren’t an organization worth staying for.
The first 80% of anything you do will come with about 20% of the total effort required. But the final 20% is what makes the most lasting difference and it takes 80% of the total work. The first 80% is fun, exciting, and progress happens fast. The last 20% is really boring, often times grueling, and requires deep perseverance. This is especially true with anything worth doing.
Discipline with the ordinary is what is actually extraordinary. This is the heart of grit.
When you’re tired and feel like quitting, now is the time to finish the final 20%.