The Product Leadership Career Ladder

I talk with lots of senior individual contributors about the risks and challenges of moving “up the ladder” into product leadership roles.  Here’s a survey I fielded to capture their top questions and concerns about getting promoted.  What do product leaders do? How do product managers signal their interest in becoming one?

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October Workshops (Australia): What Do Product Leaders Do, and How Can I Become One?

An all-day workshop for product managers thinking about moving up the product org chart, and for newly promoted product leaders. We will cover what product leaders do, how to signal interest in that role, and discuss its upsides/challenges.

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Paying It Forward: Product Camp SV Keynote

A short talk about Paying It Forward and the important of personal networking in the product management community. I share three personal vignettes to highlight value of personal networking and ways we can all Pay It Forward to build an even stronger product community.

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Product Camp: Getting Promoted to Director

This Product Camp discussion focused on career ladders for product managers, what directors do that’s different from their individual contributors, and how to signal your interest if you want that next job up. Several participants raised real-world issues, and product veterans sharing their hard-won points of view.

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Market-Facing Skills for Product Managers/Owners

Product managers (owners) need to drive market acceptance and actual user adoption, not just on-time software delivery. What market-facing skills does this demand?

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Metrics for Product Career Schools?

Various product management schools, workshops and certificate programs strongly suggest that attendees will get jobs as product managers. Success metrics seem critical here, but are notably missing. “Of the people who’s already spent thousands of their own dollars on this course, how many are now working as product managers…?”

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Products That Count Podcast

A podcast with SC Moatti, founder of Products That Count. We discussed technology product management roles, career ladders, the critical need for cross-functional communication, how incentives shape what our peers do, and when a startup hires its first full-time product manager.

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Interviewing Like a Product Manager (Product School)

Many candidates applying for product management jobs are thinking only about their side of the process, and not applying their product skills to understanding what hiring managers (i.e. buyers) want.

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Organizational Thank-Yous

Thanking people for their good work is one of the most powerful, least used tools we have at the office. Here’s one organizationally-minded way to share appreciation.

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Get a Mentor, Be a Mentor

Gray beard

There’s been a lot of good chatter in the PM-osphere about the need for mentoring. If you’re looking for a product management mentor, be clear about your needs and goals. If you can be a mentor, please pitch in.

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