Level Up to Leadership

career leadership Sep 01, 2021

You are ready to level-up to people leader.  You have been a senior product manager for a few years and you are ready to move into leadership. What are the first steps you can take?

First, you need to build a fan club of people who love working with you. In fact, these colleagues, cross functional stakeholders and engineers must enjoy working with you. You need to inspire them and make them feel valued.

Here are some of the most important things you can do to become a leader by inspiring your colleagues, teams, and engineers:

Make people feel important. When you create an environment in which people feel important, it becomes a place where they want to spend more time. When people know they matter and believe they are contributing, they will innovate, build amazing products, and you will be seen as a leader.

Give everyone a voice. It sounds simple enough, but it’s something many product managers forget. People want to know someone is listening—really listening. Get feedback from engineers and other stakeholders on the roadmap, vision, and user experience. Allow people to come to you with their amazing ideas, even if you have to then put these ideas on the backlog. Listen to them.

Recognize and appreciate. Everyone wants to be appreciated and recognized for their efforts, but when things get frantic—as they often do—product managers too often forget the power of simple words like “thank you.”  

Don’t micromanage! Employees who feel trusted and supported, without being hovered over, are more relaxed and confident in the work  they do. Give engineering the space to build the right architecture.  Give product marketing the space to build the right sales tools. Giving people the freedom to do their jobs as they think best will keep their confidence high, adding to the success of your products.

My clients are moving into leadership positions each and every week.  From Director to Group product manager.  They start out frustrated and stuck and are able to own their brilliance and step into leadership.  

Do you want to move it people leadership? Do you want to set yourself up for success? Are you ready to finally level-up?

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