A few articles caught my attention over the course of the week, so I set them aside to read when I had the chance. The chance came this morning, and at the top of one of the articles on the Forbes site was this hashtag statement. An innocuous reference most people probably didn’t even pay attention to. But these are the types of insights I would either reiterate or share with my twenty something self. Enjoy.
Taking stock towards the end/beginning of a year is always a good idea. I had every intention of doing this prior to taking some vacation, but unfortunately the dreaded holiday bug caught up with me this year and laid me out for the better part of a week.
So, a bit later than expected, but as we enter 2018 here are some thoughts related to the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, a few thought provoking questions to be considered, and a re-share of some New Year’s Resolutions for Product Management Leaders. Enjoy!
Taking a long look in the mirror isn’t always easy. But there are times where it is necessary. So when I came across this post titled 13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful, it prompted just such a self-awareness opportunity.
Sometimes, to become successful and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things — we need to give up on some of them.
I found myself nodding my head as I read through the list of 13 items, and certainly specific scenarios came to mind from my own experience. I’m hoping sharing some of these experiences in a two part series can add value to this already wonderfully positioned article. Here is part 1 from my perspective focusing on points 1-6.
Several months ago, I had the opportunity to watch the A&E series about the life of Albert Einstein. It was a fascinating view into the mind of a brilliant man. Make no mistake, he had his flaws from both a social & relational perspective. But when you look at his curiosity and insatiable desire to understand why things behaved the way they did, you can’t help but think there might be something to be learned from him.
Coincidentally, I starting seeing articles/posts pop up in various places about Albert Einstein … and as I’ve stated, pay attention when coincidences converge. Here are a few thoughts related to Einstein, leadership, and other random topics.
Sometimes you just need good reminders … now is one of those times, for me at least. Stress is inevitable if you serve in a product management role for any length of time. And while you can’t necessarily control the external circumstances that cause stress, you can manage your reaction to it.
Over the course of time, I’ve come across several resources I found helpful when the various aspects of the product management role inevitably begin to overwhelm me and I get stressed. In particular, these 3 concepts have helped me keep perspective … that not all stress is bad … that being intentional about focus will help … and that work/life balance CANNOT be ignored. I hope they encourage you as well.
Point #5 from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has probably been the one that has impacted me the most over the years … seek first to understand, then to be understood. I have used it when starting new roles and establishing 30-60-90 day plans; I have used it as the basis for understanding the market and customer needs before putting a product strategy in place; I have used it in dealing with difficult people and attempting to put myself in their shoes to see their point of view. There are so many ways this simple principle has played out in my life.
Sometimes what you get is not what you expected. Several examples come to mind … perhaps tasting a new food/drink … meeting somebody in person you’ve only spoken with via the phone … reading a book/watching a movie. In all of these examples, I’ve had situations in my life where my expectations didn’t line up with the actual experience. Positively or negatively.
The aim of marketing [or product management] is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. – Peter Drucker
When I read the article Discipline of Market Leaders this morning, and especially the quote highlighted half way down the article from Forrester Research about the age of the customer, the Peter Drucker quote immediately came to mind.
As Product Management leaders, VOC is one of the critical elements necessary to ensure that we remain market driven. There is no substitute for having first hand ‘customer experience’ examples when it comes to evangelizing needs/gaps, or justifying how the roadmap is prioritized.