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How to be Awesome
As a Product Manager [In Nigeria?]
Don’t take anything I say as gospel.
Disclaimer!!
Do your own research!
The people you look up to have
the same challenges
Vision is contagious
As a PM, you’ve got to radiate a strong sense of vision. Be seen as
pushing an agenda that’s bigger than you and meaningful. This kind
of positioning creates a force around you that pulls people in and
make them chip in their support. Look into history, leaders who
have been able to sell a vision have historically been able to gather
committed followership around a cause. Your product and the
problem it solves is your cause.
Manipulate people. Nicely.
Yes. Do it. For the greater good, tell people what they want to hear
if it makes them stay the course and do what’s required. Become
people’s friend (or pretend to) if that’s what works. Escalate to
their boss if that’s the method that works for a particular person.
Essentially, just always make stakeholders in your product believe
you are always in their corner. It makes them do things. Hell!
Serenade them and bring ice cream and cupcakes if that’s their
poison. Just don’t do it all for personal gain or be nasty about it.
Results speak for themselves.
Having a track record of success is a very powerful tool if you need
people to take you seriously. As a species, we are attracted to
success and tend to follow those who have attained what we
perceive as such. Therefore, quickly build a reputation as the gal
who makes a lot of right calls in product design and execution.
Build a solid base of results.
Influence is your biggest asset.
In fact ehn… With this one you can go really far. Remember that a
well worn cliché? “A PM is CEO of the product without the
attendant authority”? For PMs that do well, they very easily
replace authority with influence. Be someone that people want to
follow and you may never need to invoke authority. How to build
influence? Deep customer knowledge. Empathy. Credibility. Track
record. Sizeable network. Etc.
Continuous learning. Immerse yourself
in the discipline.
This goes beyond saying. In every field of human endeavour. And
particularly in product management that is still very nascent. New
practices are constantly being experimented with and a lot of other
product managers share their experiences and internal procedures
from time to time. Be open to these things, and learn from them.
Go and be awesome.
Just be great.
Where to stay up
to date
Some Recommended Books
Social Media & Blogs
#prodmgmt
The largest living list of product
management resources
https://medium.com/art-marketing/a-living-list-of-product-
management-resources-c5dddbff8b12#.cis9esm9nAlex Haar
Books for Product Managers
https://www.kennorton.com/essays/books-for-product-
managers.html
Ken Norton
Conferences and groups
• London (Autumn)
• San Francisco (Summer)
http://mtpcon.com/
• Global/Local
http://www.productcamp.org/
• Zurich (Novembers)
http://productmanagementfestival.com/
Thank you.
You can wake up now.

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How to be awesome as a product manager

  • 1. How to be Awesome As a Product Manager [In Nigeria?]
  • 2. Don’t take anything I say as gospel. Disclaimer!! Do your own research!
  • 3. The people you look up to have the same challenges
  • 4. Vision is contagious As a PM, you’ve got to radiate a strong sense of vision. Be seen as pushing an agenda that’s bigger than you and meaningful. This kind of positioning creates a force around you that pulls people in and make them chip in their support. Look into history, leaders who have been able to sell a vision have historically been able to gather committed followership around a cause. Your product and the problem it solves is your cause.
  • 5. Manipulate people. Nicely. Yes. Do it. For the greater good, tell people what they want to hear if it makes them stay the course and do what’s required. Become people’s friend (or pretend to) if that’s what works. Escalate to their boss if that’s the method that works for a particular person. Essentially, just always make stakeholders in your product believe you are always in their corner. It makes them do things. Hell! Serenade them and bring ice cream and cupcakes if that’s their poison. Just don’t do it all for personal gain or be nasty about it.
  • 6. Results speak for themselves. Having a track record of success is a very powerful tool if you need people to take you seriously. As a species, we are attracted to success and tend to follow those who have attained what we perceive as such. Therefore, quickly build a reputation as the gal who makes a lot of right calls in product design and execution. Build a solid base of results.
  • 7. Influence is your biggest asset. In fact ehn… With this one you can go really far. Remember that a well worn cliché? “A PM is CEO of the product without the attendant authority”? For PMs that do well, they very easily replace authority with influence. Be someone that people want to follow and you may never need to invoke authority. How to build influence? Deep customer knowledge. Empathy. Credibility. Track record. Sizeable network. Etc.
  • 8. Continuous learning. Immerse yourself in the discipline. This goes beyond saying. In every field of human endeavour. And particularly in product management that is still very nascent. New practices are constantly being experimented with and a lot of other product managers share their experiences and internal procedures from time to time. Be open to these things, and learn from them.
  • 9. Go and be awesome. Just be great.
  • 10. Where to stay up to date
  • 12. Social Media & Blogs #prodmgmt The largest living list of product management resources https://medium.com/art-marketing/a-living-list-of-product- management-resources-c5dddbff8b12#.cis9esm9nAlex Haar Books for Product Managers https://www.kennorton.com/essays/books-for-product- managers.html Ken Norton
  • 13. Conferences and groups • London (Autumn) • San Francisco (Summer) http://mtpcon.com/ • Global/Local http://www.productcamp.org/ • Zurich (Novembers) http://productmanagementfestival.com/
  • 14. Thank you. You can wake up now.