EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products


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What is it about the top tech product companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Netflix and Tesla that enables their record of consistent innovation?  

Most people think it’s because these companies are somehow able to find and attract a level of talent that makes this innovation possible. But the real advantage these companies have is not so much who they hire, but rather how they enable their people to work together to solve hard problems and create extraordinary products. 

As legendary Silicon Valley coach—and coach to the founders of several of today’s leading tech companies—Bill Campbell said, “Leadership is about recognizing that there's a greatness in everyone, and your job is to create an environment where that greatness can emerge.” 

The goal of EMPOWERED is to provide you, as a leader of product management, product design, or engineering, with everything you’ll need to create just such an environment. 

As partners at The Silicon Valley Product Group, Marty Cagan and Chris Jones have long worked to reveal the best practices of the most consistently innovative companies in the world. A natural companion to the bestseller INSPIRED, EMPOWERED tackles head-on the reason why most companies fail to truly leverage the potential of their people to innovate: product leadership. 

The book covers:

  • what it means to be an empowered product team, and how this is different from the “feature teams” used by most companies to build technology products
  • recruiting and coaching the members of product teams, first to competence, and then to reach their potential
  • creating an inspiring product vision along with an insights-driven product strategy
  • translating that strategy into action by empowering teams with specific objectives—problems to solve—rather than features to build
  • redefining the relationship of the product teams to the rest of the company
  • detailing the changes necessary to effectively and successfully transform your organization to truly empowered product teams

EMPOWERED puts decades of lessons learned from the best leaders of the top technology companies in your hand as a guide. It shows you how to become the leader your team and company needs to not only survive but thrive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119691297
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 12/03/2020
Series: Silicon Valley Product Group
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 218,460
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

MARTY CAGAN is the founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group, sharing senior-level experience and best practices with leading technology companies. He is an in-demand global speaker, advisor, author and executive coach. Before starting SVPG, Marty served as a product executive for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett- Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay. He is the author of the bestselling INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love.

CHRIS JONES has spent more than 25 years building and leading product teams that defined new product categories at companies including Lookout, Symantec, and Vontu. A holder of multiple patents, he has discovered and developed new products in consumer and enterprise mobile, web, data, and platform services. Since joining SVPG, Chris has worked directly with over 100 companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies across a wide variety of technologies, business models, and industries.

Table of Contents

Part I Lessons From Top Tech Companies 1

Chapter 1 Behind Every Great Company 5

Chapter 2 The Role of Technology 12

Chapter 3 Strong Product Leadership 17

Chapter 4 Empowered Product Teams 23

Chapter 5 Leadership in Action 25

Chapter 6 A Guide to EMPOWERED 27

Part II Coaching 31

Chapter 7 The Coaching Mindset 33

Chapter 8 The Assessment 40

Chapter 9 The Coaching Plan 47

Chapter 10 The One-on-One 65

Chapter 11 The Written Narrative 73

Chapter 12 Strategic Context 76

Chapter 13 Sense of Ownership 81

Chapter 14 Managing Time 87

Chapter 15 Thinking 90

Chapter 16 Team Collaboration 93

Chapter 17 Stakeholder Collaboration 98

Chapter 18 Imposter Syndrome 102

Chapter 19 Customer-Centricity 105

Chapter 20 Integrity 109

Chapter 21 Decisions 114

Chapter 22 Effective Meetings 120

Chapter 23 Ethics 124

Chapter 24 Happiness 128

Chapter 25 Leader Profile: Lisa Kavanaugh 134

Part III Staffing 139

Chapter 26 Competence and Character 142

Chapter 27 Recruiting 146

Chapter 28 Interviewing 151

Chapter 29 Hiring 155

Chapter 30 Remote Employees 159

Chapter 31 Onboarding 164

Chapter 32 New Employee Bootcamp 170

Chapter 33 Performance Reviews 174

Chapter 34 Terminating 176

Chapter 35 Promoting 179

Chapter 36 Leader Profile: April Underwood 182

Part IV Product Vision and Principles 187

Chapter 37 Creating a Compelling Vision 190

Chapter 38 Sharing the Product Vision 195

Chapter 39 Product Principles and Ethics 201

Chapter 40 Leader Profile: Audrey Crane 203

Part V Team Topology 209

Chapter 41 Optimizing for Empowerment 212

Chapter 42 Team Types 216

Chapter 43 Empowering Platform Teams 220

Chapter 44 Empowering Experience Teams 224

Chapter 45 Topology and Proximity 229

Chapter 46 Topology Evolution 233

Chapter 47 Leader Profile: Debby Meredith 236

Part VI Product Strategy 241

Chapter 48 Focus 246

Chapter 49 Insights 251

Chapter 50 Actions 258

Chapter 51 Management 261

Chapter 52 Leader Profile: Shan-Lyn Ma 264

Part VII Team Objectives 269

Chapter 53 Empowerment 274

Chapter 54 Assignment 280

Chapter 55 Ambition 285

Chapter 56 Commitments 288

Chapter 57 Collaboration 292

Chapter 58 Management 295

Chapter 59 Accountability 298

Chapter 60 Objectives in Perspective 301

Chapter 61 Leader Profile: Christina Wodtke 304

Part VIII Case Study 309

Chapter 62 Company Backgrounder 312

Chapter 63 Company Objectives 314

Chapter 64 Product Vision and Principles 317

Chapter 65 Team Topology 319

Chapter 66 Product Strategy 325

Chapter 67 Product Team Objectives 334

Chapter 68 Business Results 343

Chapter 69 Key Takeaways 346

Chapter 70 Leader Profile: Judy Gibbons 349

Part IX Business Collaboration 355

Chapter 71 The Role of Product Leaders 357

Chapter 72 Stakeholder Management vs. Collaboration 360

Chapter 73 Shared Insights and Learning 363

Chapter 74 Keeping the Lights On 365

Chapter 75 Evangelism 367

Chapter 76 Leader Profile: Avid Larizadeh Duggan 370

Part X Inspired, Empowered, And Transformed 375

Chapter 77 Meaningful Transformation 377

Chapter 78 Transformation in Action 380

Chapter 79 TRANSFORMED 386

Chapter 80 The Most Important Thing 389

Chapter 81 The Destination 392

Acknowledgments 396

About the Authors 398

Learning More 400

Index 401

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