Empowered Book Summary - Empowered Book explained in key points
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Empowered summary

Marty Cagan Chris Jones

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

4.1 (100 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

'Empowered' by Marty Cagan with Chris Jones is a guide to creating successful product teams. It provides insights on how to build a culture of trust, autonomy, and collaboration, and how to establish effective product management practices.

Table of Contents

    Empowered
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Great products start with strong leaders.

    Strong product leaders must first take center stage before their team members can follow suit.

    So there’s no better place to start than with leadership.

    The root of great product leadership is a robust coaching mindset. Without it, you can’t authentically inspire your product teams to create and deliver successful products. But being a mentor offering words of wisdom isn’t enough. You also need to be a real coach who isn’t scared to roll up your sleeves to boost your teams’ ultimate potential.

    What do Apple, Amazon, Google, and Netflix have in common? One name: Bill Campbell. The late legendary coach mentored the founders of these companies and many other tech leaders in Silicon Valley. He asserted that great leaders can recognize the greatness in others and are only as good as their ability to coach.

    So how can you sharpen your coaching mindset to that then translates into great products?

    First, use one-on-one meetings with all team members to focus on outcomes instead of delegating tasks. Leverage this space to cultivate a purpose-driven work ethic within your team. Noticed a lack of product innovation lately? Chat with your managers, designers, or engineers in their regular one-on-ones; ask them about what keeps them inspired in their roles despite hard times. Another way to think of it is that to deliver great products, you need missionaries, not mercenaries.

    Your coaching efforts won’t matter if you can’t maintain trust. Avoid all temptations to micromanage. Strengthen trust by praising publicly and criticizing privately. At the same time, don’t hesitate to correct your teams’ mistakes right as they happen; it shows that you know what you’re doing as a credible leader.

    If you can’t lead your product teams with confidence, be humble enough to outsource this responsibility to another experienced leader while upskilling yourself in this area.

    Now that you know what it takes to be a great leader, it’s time to assemble great product teams. Head on to the next section to learn the 411 on a good staffing strategy.

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    What is Empowered about?

    Empowered (2020) is a written master class that guides ordinary people to create extraordinary products. Discover how to create profitable products that consumers love!

    Empowered Review

    Empowered (2021) is an insightful book that explores how to build and lead empowered product teams in today's fast-paced tech industry. Here's why you should add this book to your reading list:

    • It provides practical strategies and techniques to empower product teams, enabling them to deliver successful and impactful products.
    • Backed by real-world examples and case studies, the book offers concrete insights into what works and what doesn't in the world of product development.
    • Readers will appreciate the authoritative and knowledgeable voice of Marty Cagan, who shares his extensive experience and deep understanding of the challenges product teams face.

    Who should read Empowered?

    • Tech product owners looking to lead with purpose
    • Lovers of influential product designs
    • Anyone curious about how great tech gets made

    About the Author

    Marty Cagan and Chris Jones are world-class product management gurus with years of experience in building exceptional product teams. While Empowered is Jones’s first title, it’s Cagan’s second. The latter author is also known for his earlier book, Inspired.

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    Empowered FAQs 

    What is the main message of Empowered?

    Empowered teaches us how to build and deliver successful products by creating empowered product teams.

    How long does it take to read Empowered?

    Reading time for Empowered varies. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Empowered a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Empowered is worth reading as it provides valuable insights and practical guidance for building successful products.

    Who is the author of Empowered?

    The authors of Empowered are Marty Cagan and Chris Jones.

    What to read after Empowered?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Empowered, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Inspired by Marty Cagan
    • Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres
    • Hooked by Nir Eyal
    • Radical Product Thinking by R. Dutt
    • Value Proposition Design by Alexander Osterwalder
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John C. Maxwell
    • Reinventing the Product by Eric Schaeffer and David Sovie
    • The Situation Room by George Stephanopoulos
    • Measure What Matters by John Doerr