Five Signs that Reveal You are not a Product Leader

Excuse my French, but most of you Product Managers, Product Owners, Heads of Product, etc. out there are NOT a product leader. Just because you have the “product manager” title doesn’t mean you are a product leader in your organization. How would you know that you are not a product leader?

  1. You spend only very little time with your peers and the CEO.
  2. You feel more comfortable discussing details than challenging the direction of your organization.
  3. In sessions with your peer Executives and the CEO, the only question you are being asked all time is: “When will we get feature A released?” or ” Why is the release X delayed?”
  4. You get excited about things like “design thinking”, “agile”, “lean startup”, etc. but don’t worry too much about the business strategy of your organization.
  5. You are focusing on technology, ways of working, feature implementation & release planning rather than questioning what is being built and released.
Remits of a Product Leader

Don’t get me wrong, as a product leader you need to understand how product management works. You need to be deep into writing user stories, running a lean startup, ensuring customer centricity, etc. Those are all necessary, but not sufficient skills. As a product leader, you need to do more. I am afraid to say: MUCH more.

Otherwise, you are doing a disservice to your organization. At times you might even need to challenge the CEO and the shareholders. If you don’t do that you risk the future of your organization by staying in your comfort zone.

Not all organizations will appreciate your mission. Almost like an immune system under a virus attack. It will defend itself against the attacker. What if you are perceived as the “virus” by your organization? You would better be prepared. Let’s talk @SPLSG.