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In simplest terms possible, the people I most enjoy working with dream big, get sh*t done, and know how to have fun. – Jeff Weiner, CEO LinkedIn

What a fantastic perspective offered in this post – The Three Qualities of People I Most Enjoy Working With!  Jeff further elaborates towards the end of his article … “I’ve reached a point in my career where I want to be surrounded by people who not only share a vision, but a genuine commitment to upholding their company’s culture and values. They are team players, don’t take themselves too seriously, and ‘know how to have fun.'”

To be fair, I’m not sure I can add much more to the conversation other than to share examples …

  • Dreaming Big – I have been in several environments where this was the case.  In some cases we were successful, and in others I can point to failure.  But the underlying message here is have something bigger than just your current view of the world to strive for.  Asking the “what if…” question is a necessary part of the Product Manager’s role.
  • Getting Stuff Done – Yes, I know that is an alteration of the original context :). With respect to the first point, I’ve known folks along the way who have dreamed big but had absolutely no idea how to achieve the vision, or collaborate with folks who could.  The Product Manager needs to dream big, but they also need to identify the path to success to execute on the vision.  That is the exact reason why Gartner’s Magic Quadrant has two axes for identifying leading companies/products – Completeness of Vision in and of itself is not enough, there also has to be an Ability to Execute.
  • Know How to Have Fun – I had a boss very early in my career who carried the mantra ‘work hard/play hard’. I was probably too young/naive at the time to fully appreciate how that mantra factored into the camaraderie that resulted.  But we did have fun together!  And I’ve tried to carry that mantra forward to the teams I lead.

And by the way, don’t let excuses get in the way!  There will always be budget constraints that limit how big the dreams can be … carry the flag anyway (the right vision can be contagious after awhile). There will always be resource constraints that limit how much you can get done … get creative (you’d be surprised how much folks are willing to tinker in the margins if they are having fun). There will always be people within your realm of influence that are not fun … rise above them.