Highly effective Product Managers develop themselves in 5 key areas.
In this (long!) article, we’re going to start with the big picture, chop it up, then look at 2 approaches to grow rapidly in each area.
Let’s tuck in…
We’ll start, as many philosophical discussions do, with a burger. At a high level, let’s formulate a PM’s effectiveness as:
I like to translate Hard Skills to Competence, and Soft Skills to Connection, so we have:
Effectiveness = Competence x Connection
Competence means you have the skills and knowledge to figure out what to do, and Connection is the energy source that enables you to do it.
In some jobs, you can get by with just Competence, but in the unkempt, fuzzy, team-oriented domain of Product Management, you need both.
Now, let’s have a closer look to see what these buns are made of…
We could do this any number of ways, but let’s slice it into 5 tasty layers:
Here’s how we’ve chopped it up:
1. Craft Competence 🔱 (the craft of product management, creating customer and business value)
2. Market Competence 🙋♀️ (understanding your market, industry, competition)
3. Business Competence ⚔ ️️(business models, your product/business, finance, sales, marketing, scaling)
4. Connection With Self 🌟(presence, awareness, state of mind)
5. Connection With Others ✨(influence, communication, creating alignment)
The relative size of each layer will vary depending on the role and company, but in any case, it’s a lot. You can see why PMs constantly feel like they're biting off more than they can chew.
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