The longer I work in product management, the more I appreciate the leadership qualities that help us create successful products—products that offerreal value to the users and our businesses. There are three qualities that stand out for me: vision, empathy, and courage.
As product people, we benefit from having a shared and inspiring vision that provides meaning and purpose and that clearly communicates the motivation for providing the product.
Empathy helps us understand what the users want and need and how we can help them. It also helps us relate to the development team and the other stakeholders so we appreciate their ideas and concerns and work together effectively.
Making product decisions can be tough—it’s impossible to create a successful product that pleases everyone.Courage helps us make the right decisions; it allows us to innovate and progress our product and discontinue it when necessary.
As helpful as these qualities are, they are not enough, of course. As product managers and product owners, we also require the right hard skills to do a good job—from being able to create an effective product strategy and actionable product roadmap to capturing user stories. But without the right leadership skills, these practices won’t be effective.