My Product Leadership
As a product leader, I have a clear expectation of how my product organization should work and collaborate to achieve results.
Here's my product leader DNA:
- I put learning and growing first and am a coaching leader: I have been coaching my directs, other people in my organization and product people from other organization since 2020. See my coaching profile. I also help product managers on Reddit. Also see my book recommendations (Spoiler: No Marty Cagan)
- I care a lot about the "how" of collaboration and have a list of questions to align on these requirements
- I prioritize people management and lateral leadership: only a good product team can reach big goals, not the leader and not one product manager alone. How do I do it? Have async Kanban boards to help directs to move topics, over-offer hel and have weekly one-on-one with everyone you lead – and come prepared. See this article about how I do that.
- I know when and how to lead async and sync: I hop on a call to make blurry things clear and give direction. I take things async when it is about details. I make sure that my directs have time and headspace to work deeply. Here is my guideline for async leadership.
- I excel at product management by shaping great collaborations. And to make them great, the most important thing is to set clear expectations. A simple document that you draft together and revise regularly can be enough.
- I am very technical (I have been programming and part-time freelance for 10+ years, see my technical articles)
- I ask a lot of open-ended questions when working on a problem
- I have the mindset of hypothesis → rapid test → learn.
- I also expect these three traits from a good product manager.
- Instant, constructive and bite-sized feedback is what I give and take with gratitude (see 1 and 2 on how I do it)
- I am a self-made person (quit school, freelanced on the side, learned to code by myself).
- I am a lateral leader who leads with trusting early and much (fundraising, Head of Product leadership).
- I am a "let's do it! Together!"-type shaper who can do coding, business, and UX (built NGO, shaped Ed for full industry alone).
- I have always inspired and empowered the people I worked with (volunteering, NGO, hired and grew diverse Product Managers).
- I drive product with bold, informed decisions that are based on solid data and qualitative insights.
- I grew quickly within the formal product management ladder (Regular PM to Head of Product with 6 teams and millions of users within 3,5 years) because I have been translating and leading between business, technology and user experience for nearly 20 years in various positions (even without the formal title).
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