Bill Taylor, writer of “Do You Pass the Leadership Test?” and co-founder of Fast Company magazine has said:
“The true mark of a leader is the willingness to stick with a bold course of action — an unconventional business strategy, a unique product-development road-map, a controversial marketing campaign — even as the rest of the world wonders why you’re not marching in step with the status quo. In other words, real leaders are happy to zig while others zag. They understand that in an era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special.”
Effective product management is more than just visiting customers and writing requirements. Good product managers posses certain traits that allow them to excel in their roles. While it may seem that some people are just born with these abilities, most have them in some degree and just need to learn how to express them effectively.
Here are the five qualities that make a great product leader:
1.Product Strategy Formulation:
The product strategy forms the basis for executing a product roadmap and subsequent product releases. The product strategy enables the company to focus on a specific target market and feature set, instead of trying to be everything to everyone. Power of the product strategy The power of a product strategy comes from what you define as well as what you exclude. By identifying a particular target market in your product strategy, you are also excluding other markets. This helps your company to understand which projects fall outside the product strategy and distract from strategic goals. Quite simply, it’s the product manager’s job to articulate two simple things:
●What game are we playing? ●How do we keep score?
2. Be a Strategic Thinker:
A lot of the work that product management should be doing helps one become a strategic thinker. All of those enhancements, win/loss reports and call reports are your facts. The boundaries are framed through your persona development and then consequence, risk analysis and decision making come out during road mapping sessions and release planning.
3. Have passion for your product:
Before anything Product Managers should have passion for their products. They should be able to recognize and respect great products. They should look at products and be able to tell what is good, what is inspiring and what can be improved. If the product manager is truly passionate about the product, it can surely lead to the development of great products.
4. Exhibit Artistic Persuasiveness
Product Management leaders must possess ‘artistic persuasive’ abilities to bring disparate groups across an organisation together to deliver results that benefit both the customer and the business.
5. Strong Ability to Prioritize:
One of the key attributes of a product manager is to be able to prioritize the backlog. Once the product manager and the entire company knows what game is been played and how the score is kept and won, prioritizing becomes an extremely easy task.
At the end of the day, product managers need to make things happen. They should have the ability and qualities to rally the troops, sell them on the vision and march them to victory as Henry Ford has quoted, “Vision without execution is just hallucination.”