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EMPOWERED - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products


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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

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.


Praise for EMPOWERED

"EMPOWERED dives deep into the tough organizational and cultural issues that get in the way of most companies I work with today. This is the experience and advice I've been waiting for in one book."
-Jeff Patton, Product Process and Design Coach

"I've known Chris for well over a decade. He is one of the finest product leaders I know. The product managers who worked for him went on to become great product leaders themselves, in some of the best tech companies around. If you want to learn from the best, this book captures those lessons."
-Doug Camplejohn, EVP and GM, Sales Cloud, Salesforce

"Once again, Marty's wisdom and unique perspective have synthesized best-in-class companies, cultures, and leaders into a thesis and set of principles that are transformational. Easy to consume and apply, EMPOWERED is a must read for product leaders and all leaders who are convinced there must be a better way."
-Chuck Geiger, former CTO Chegg, IAC, PayPal, eBay, Wine.com, Travelocity

"If you're leading product people or even the whole product organization of your company, this book is for you. It's the first book to outline the underlying philosophy behind stellar product organizations from a leader's perspective, and its many examples make it easy to understand these concepts and apply them in your company's environment."
-Petra Wille, Product Leadership Coach

"As one of the most respected leaders on product globally, Marty takes us for a fascinating ride that will help you become a better product leader so you can do what you do best-create satisfying, engaging experiences for your users and customers."
-Simon Zhang, CEO, Growing IO

"To thrive in this age of constant disruption, companies must accelerate innovation and continuously deliver products customers love. A higher level of consistent innovation can only come from truly empowered teams. Over the past several years, Marty's insights, practical advice, and wisdom have been immensely valuable during our transformation to a highly empowered product organization. In this book, Marty provides an essential blueprint for building empowered teams. If you are serious about achieving extraordinary business results and developing a product innovation culture you can be truly proud of, this is a must-read!"
-Shamim Mohammad, SVP, Chief Information and Technology Officer, CarMax

"I've had the good fortune to work with Marty for many years, and yet, every time he comes out with a new book or article, I'm filled with both excitement and fear. What new product techniques are our competitors using that we are missing? EMPOWERED hits the mark dead on and provides a recipe for creating great products. Marty has a knack for making difficult product techniques seem both necessary and tangible. Read the book and rejuvenate your company!"
-Jeff Trom, CTO, Workiva

"The core challenge of all tech companies today is to be a truly product-led organization, with continuous product innovation resulting in sustainable competitive advantage. EMPOWERED to change their companies in order to survive and thrive."
-Frerk-Malte Feller, COO, Afterpay

"If you are wondering what will ensure your company survives, or why your products are failing, read this book. This is the 'how to'' manual for building great product companies that last."
-Amanda Richardson, CEO, CoderPad

"I included INSPIRED as mandatory reading for anyone joining my product development teams. Now I'll add EMPOWERED to the list of mandatory reading."
-Joca Torres, CPO, Gympass

"INSPIRED has been a manual for our team to build better products. EMPOWERED is now a manual to build a stronger team. Everything I've read from SVPG is spot on, and often feels like I can use it the same day."
-Ian Cairns, Head of Product for Twitter Developer Platform

"EMPOWERED is first and foremost about permission. Companies have to give themselves the permission to orient around a culture of product centricity. Everything from org structure, to technology, to culture and coaching derives from this. And nothing embodies this idea more than Marty's writings."
-Punit Soni, founder, CEO, Suki

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