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When the "Small But" Stops the Big Why

transformation Nov 07, 2020

(Or the Curse of the Maybe)

There’s a curious phenomenon that prevents most of us from achieving our dreams. And I have an excellent laboratory where I study this phenomenon.

That laboratory is my coaching business.

 Clients decide daily whether or not to enroll in my program. 

 If I give them an offer. 

The first decision is mine, and I take it very seriously: should I allow this person to enroll?

You might think of course I will give the person an opportunity to enroll. After all, I get paid at the end of it.

But I do that in less than half the cases.

There’s one of three reasons why I don’t:

  1. Business is good and demand outstrips my ability to serve my clients. 
  2. I don't believe that I can help the person
  3. I don't think that they’ll be fun to work with

The last one is probably the most important reason. 

After all, I am going to spend a LOT of time trying to get them to change their behavior so that they can achieve...

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Who I Help

Uncategorized Nov 06, 2020

Often, I get asked, “Who exactly do you work with, and what do you do?”

There are three ways I assist my clients and help them have a career they can be proud of.

    1. I help you LAND your next (or first) product management job. If you apply to hundreds of jobs on LinkedIn and hope and pray, you will probably keep going at it for a while. I can help you EXCEL at those getting those product management roles: whether it's building up your resume, your narrative, helping you network well, helping you interview with CONFIDENCE, or building up your communication skills.

 

  • Map out your career path and help you excel in it. I help you succeed and give you a greater sense of contribution by learning the right skill sets and mindset. In my product leader blueprint program, you take advantage of coaching through the group, video lessons, and one-on-one sessions. You get to enlist the help of your peers to help you excel in your career.

 

  1. Excel at Product Leadership...
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Are You Ready for the Next Step in Your Career?

Uncategorized Nov 02, 2020

Are you ready to go and apply for a product manager role? 

There are three things that you should question yourself when you're really pondering over the decision for anything:

  1. Skills: If you have 40 to 60 percent of the skills, go for it. For most of the things that matter, if you wait till you have all the skills for it, you'll be waiting forever. You can do the lessons, you can do the coaching, but unless you get into it, you're never really going to build the skills for it.
  2. An 80% Fallback option: Have a fallback option that's 80% as good as your current role or whatever current thing you're working on. So many times people don’t go for the next step in their career because they worry about the pain. But the pain is not as bad if you have a fallback option.
  3. 100% Commitment: You have decided that you're going to go for it and you are going to achieve the outcome. And you're going to do what you can to achieve the outcome. You're not waiting for permission.

 

...

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How to Advance in Your Career

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2020

How do product managers advance in their careers? 

Here is a fact: You are not in the room for the most important decisions that get taken about your career.  Everything is happening through stakeholders. The only reason you advance in your career is that you've built those relationships with your stakeholders over time that has ultimately led them to advocate for you to succeed in your career. 

The more they have confidence in you, the more you have demonstrated skills to them, the more likely they're going to bat for you when it comes to making that next decision on who gets that fantastic project.

Advancement in your career is cyclical. You learn skills and demonstrate them, which helps build better relationships with your stakeholders. They gain confidence in your abilities and give you more opportunities, which leads to more skill development. 

Many times some product managers who've gotten the support of stakeholders advance at a fast pace. And those that...

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3 Reasons Why People Stop Looking for PM Roles

Uncategorized Oct 14, 2020

There are three main reasons why product managers hesitate to apply for that next great product management role:

  1. Their experience doesn’t match the job description’s required qualifications: Most of these job descriptions are for the ideal candidate and are not realistic. Do not feel limited by what the job description says because the chance of anyone ever getting any candidate that fulfills all of them is maybe 0.001%.
  2. Lack of technical background: As a product manager, you're responsible for the customer, the business problem, the customer problem, and coordinating and making sure everyone executes so that you deliver the product that matters. You're not responsible for the technical strategy. If you are over-indexing on your technical skills, your career as a product manager will be relatively short.
  3. Lack of confidence: Many people hesitate to apply to large organizations’ roles because they do not have enough faith in their abilities. You're not going to be...
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6 Elements Critical to Landing that PM Role

Uncategorized Oct 07, 2020

Six elements are critical to finding your new product management role:

  1. Confidence: Successful job-seekers have confidence and continue generating it even as they go through a long job-search. They know the company needs them more than they need the company.
  2. Strong communication skills: You can increase your probability of getting the job tenfold merely by working on your communication skills.
  3. A well-defined narrative: Who are you, and what are your passions? Why should the company hire you? If you've not spent enough time working through your narrative, extracting the appropriate stories from the past, you're selling yourself short.
  4. Excellence in interviews. You have to know product management basics and strategy, and then you have to practice how to articulate and apply these skills in your interviews.
  5. Listening skills and situational awareness: You can make the interviewer want you to succeed even more by relating with them, engaging with them, and sharing some parts of your...
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Reframing Politics

Uncategorized Sep 21, 2020

We often view politics as something negative. 

I would like to reframe politics for you. Think of it as a way to benefit your company, yourself, your family, and the world, in four ways.

First of all, politics is a way for you to gain visibility for your team’s work.  When you view it this way, you begin intentionally engaging in the right kind of activities to move your team forward.

Second, without you engaging in "politics,” people will never understand what your team is trying to accomplish. You will never reach that optimal outcome that benefits the whole company.

Third, politics is a way of building trust by sharing information.

Finally, it is a way to understand the company’s real influence graph, which might be somewhat different than the organizational chart.

These four things will help you better engage in politics in a way that is true to you.

FULL TRANSCRIPTION:

I don't know if I'm live yet, so I'm just going to wait until Facebook...

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Challenging Your Assumptions

Uncategorized Sep 13, 2020

One of the fundamental problems I hear from Product Managers is as follows. "I am the only person moving things forward. I am focusing on outcomes instead of outputs. Everyone else in my company sticks to the feature factory mentality." 

But ask yourself, is this a company problem or a problem with your mindset?

We, as humans, are meaning-making machines.  We are good at pulling facts into a story of our choosing. And often, product managers have built a narrative that their company is not good at product management.

Three main things will help challenge your assumptions and get a fresh perspective.  

 

First of all, look at the facts you’ve used to construct your assumptions. Ask yourself when they have turned out to be accurate and not.

Secondly, check when you’ve seen other people in your company evangelized excellent product management practices. Sometimes finding those little positives will help your mindset. 

Finally, start looking at...

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Maximizing Your Impact

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2020

A lot of us have been doing things wrong. During my observations throughout my career, I have learned that people’s impact has little to no correlation with how much time they’re spending working.

So if your goal is to have more impact moving through your career while working less, three main things can enable people to do that. 

The first is your reputation. The Product Managers that have more impact are the ones who are known as someone worth talking to when a critical issue comes along.  They don’t need to go to so many different meetings. People reach out to them when the time is right. 

Secondly, they have built a network within the organization, such that they pull the right people to get things done.  

Finally, these people are secure in their worth, and they can delegate things even if nobody reports to them.

This observation doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in the extra hours. When you first start your career, you...

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When in Doubt, I...

Uncategorized Aug 24, 2020

What do you do when you’re in doubt?

First of all, you must do something that puts you in your peak state of mind, where you make all your best decisions.  It might be working out, meditation, or anything physical that puts you in the right state of mind.

Once you do this, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. If I asked my best, most courageous self what to do, what would the answer be? If you want, even give a name to this identity. As an example, - my identity is called “Super-sho.”
  2. What would the version of me that is very successful 5 or 10 years from now have advised me to do right now in this situation where I'm in doubt?
  3. If I was giving my best friend advice on what they should do in this situation, what would I tell them?

You're using all these methods to really try to figure out how that emotion of fear or doubt is causing you to not act in your best interests. When you ask these questions, the right answer will emerge, and you'll know what to do...

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