Why do some amazing product managers turn into the worst product management team leaders and VPs? It does not always happen, but when it does it can be particularly nasty because in a technology company the product is the company. Transitioning from an individual Product Manager to leading a product team takes practice, skill, and guidance. But, the need for validation, fear, and the desire for power often drives excellent product managers into brutish leaders who no one wants to work with.
Not all that long ago, I was privileged (or cursed depending on your point-of-view) to be assigned an executive coach. Ever year a few leaders in the organization were identified as candidates for professionally assisted advancement with the help of an outside leadership consultant. It was my lucky year.
We have been humbled by the growth of Aha! across all industries, geographies, and team sizes. And by talking with over 1,000 product and engineering teams over the last year, we know that mid- and large-sized teams who are managing a portfolio of products have unique challenges. And that’s why we continue to roll out new functionality for teams that are managing a suite of products with sophisticated release requirements. … read more
You are the website content king, demand generator, social media maven, event execution guru and big messaging honcho. You can deliver an email campaign with one hand tied behind your back while creating campaign codes and uploading the leads to Salesforce. You architect the tagline, select the corporate color palate and police the company to make sure everyone is speaking in the proper “corporate tongue.” But, do you speak “product”? … read more
I grew up in Los Angeles where there were good looking people, fancy cars, and big houses. And it cost a bundle to look your best and buy the “good things” in life. I figured that I better go to school for a very long time, earn lots of degrees, and then work really hard so I could afford the abundance of riches that the world had to sell. And then I went to Berkeley for university and learned that I had it all wrong. … read more
I had the pleasure of working with the New York Stock Exchange to brand the exterior of their building in VMware ‘blue’ on the day of our IPO. That was a great day—I want to do it again.
Building a great product is hard, but it should not be excruciating. And marketing, selling, and supporting a product with potential should be a joy too. That’s why people working on new products and services should be the happiest people on earth. But most companies never benefit from their product leaders’ love of innovation because they are beaten down by lack of progress and sometimes hopelessness even sets in. … read more
There are “open marriages” and “open doors” and this is the story of an “open network.” It’s not about the networks that send bits back and forth — but the ones used for business connections. I have an open network on LinkedIn with over 6,500 connections and followers at this point. But this is a recent happening and it only started about a year ago. I had a major change of mind about how I should be connecting with good folks like you.
No matter how flat tech organizations are today they still have structure and with structure comes power — and often the abuse of it. I have wanted to take this topic on for some time, because I still see too many managers and ultimately the companies that they work for blame employees for lousy performance and missed goals. But I don’t think it’s their fault. In nearly every company I have ever come into contact with it’s managerial dysfunction that has led the employees and the organization astray.
If you ever spent time around a pool as a kid — someone yelled at you “walk don’t run!” I was reminded of that yesterday while on vacation in Kauai, Hawaii. I watched kid after kid slow down for at least three to four steps after being yelled at and then start to run again. That’s just how kids are. They are eager to get to where they want to go and they don’t worry about the risks. So what happened to us when we took our first real job? Why did we ever slow down?