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

Marty Cagan with Chris Jones

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

4 (51 ratings)
15 mins
Table of Contents

    summarized in 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!

    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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