Myth: You need to have management experience to become a director

career leadership Oct 31, 2021

Let's talk about myths that cause product managers to lose steam, end up in the wrong job, get paid a terrible salary, or end up with a job title lower than what they deserve.

Let’s dive into the myth that you need to have people management experience to become a Director. Yes, landing that coveted director role with a team is challenging. But as a product manager you have done 95% of leadership already.

  • Setting goals
  • Managing issues
  • Managing different personalities
  • Giving feedback
  • Inspiring your team
  • Checking in with your team
  • Motivating them
  • For many of you, you have been involved in the hiring process as well.


The only thing you have not done is the actual yearly performance review. Well here is the news, the performance review is a thing of the past.  Feedback, recognition, goal setting are moving towards being quarterly or even more frequent. And my guess is you do a good chunk of this with members of your team.


What I love doing with my clients is taking their amazing experience as an indirect leader, the times they mentored their colleagues, and building their leadership brand  where it’s a no brainer for them to land a people leadership role.  


When you look at all of the things you have done in the past, the leadership positions (even volunteer positions) along with your work as a product manager, the leadership experience is extensive.


For example, SuiYoung was a Senior Product Manager doing lots of amazing strategy,working with the C-suite, and mentoring other product managers.  She was ready for people management.  We built her brand as a leader, built a strategy to negotiate with her SVP to have her lead the product group….and boom, she is now Director of Product.


I move people from SPM to Director positions, with people management, every single week. It’s about understanding your brilliance, having the confidence that yes you have done most of what a Director does, and then not settling for a lateral move. 


Are you ready to land a fantastic product leadership role? Are you ready to get unstuck? Are you ready to get your career back? Then let's have a conversation. Just click below or at, and let's build a strategy to get your product career into the fast lane.


We’ll get on the phone and discuss your goals, where you want to go and what is holding you back. Then we’ll build a plan to get you there.


Are you ready?



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