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We’ve all heard it said Product Management is akin to being CEO of your own product line.  In prior posts, I compared/contrasted the roles/responsibilities of a CEO and the Product Manager, and even took the bait on an article that lead with the provocative statement Product Managers, you aren’t the CEO of anything.

Regardless of where you stand with the conversation, I am a firm believer it’s not the title, or the perceived authority with the role, that defines leadership.  You are a leader when you start acting like one.  But if you do aspire to achieve a CEO role, you should know what to expect going in.

And I found a wonderful LinkedIn article titled How Boards Interview CEO Candidates describing this perfectly.  From your introduction (which establishes the first and often lasting impression of you), to the series of questions you should be prepared to answer relative to the essential areas in which a CEO needs to demonstrate capability, this article covers the lot.

Strategy and vision; growth, financial, and operational management; leadership and team building; and Culture … there is a full array of questions in each category we as Product Management leaders should be contemplating.

And I love how the article ends … what questions do you have for me?  Often times I use this myself in interviews.  You can tell a lot about the candidate with this question with respect to what is on their mind, how prepared they are, how well they did their homework about your company, and what has their attention with respect to concerns about the role.

This will certainly be something I revisit on a regular basis to ensure I am focusing on all of the things I need to be focusing on.