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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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The Cat Flipped

Uncategorized Aug 10, 2020

We have a fairly lazy, obese black and white cat named Sherlock. His favorite thing in the world is belly rubs. The other day, while chasing a fly, he started jumping and flipping in the air to catch the fly, which he catches and eats. 

Why am I describing this gruesome scene to you?

Metaphorically speaking, most of us are like the cat. We have goals and ambitions, but we put them on pause for the most part. As I watched this usually lazy cat flip, I realized there were three things that had come together to transform him from a lazy cat to one that is fully using his abilities in that moment.

  1. A clear, compelling goal. In this case, the fly.
  2. A deadline. The fly is going away.
  3. An environment free from constraints

Why is this relevant? I see so many people not using these three things to their full advantage. What I want to do is encourage you is go after your dreams. Build a compelling deadline, no more waiting. Shape for yourself an environment that is going to help you...

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Get into Product Management

Uncategorized Aug 07, 2020

When getting into product management, one of the most important things to remember is that getting into product management is a lot like the process of growing a Chinese bamboo tree. All the effort that you make now will be paid in the future.

For four years of growing a bamboo tree, one might see nothing and yet the fifth year, the tree grows 80 feet in six weeks. For the first four years, the tree was spreading its roots. It was getting prepared to emerge and have massive growth.

As a product manager, what kinds of things can you do to spread your roots for the future?

  • Don’t wait to be a product manager to start acting like one: help your product manager and talk to customers.
  • Prepare for interviews, and attend informational interviews and networking events.
  • Continue to improve your communication skills, especially positioning and storytelling

At first you might have to keep changing your methods and trying new things, but always stay the course. Seek out guidance and...

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The Surround Sound Method of Personal Development

Uncategorized Aug 03, 2020

When some people work towards achieving their goals, no matter how much they try, they keep falling short of personal expectations. Often the response is “I’m going to try hard, I’m just going to make this work.” You can stop working against yourself, and reshape your environment to help you make it work. How do you do that?

The mind is constantly multitasking and distracted, and it is helpful to outsource as much of your personal development to your environment. This is known as the surround sound method of personal development. This is a list of goals, habits, accomplishments, whatever else motivates you to be your best self.

It’s important to keep your goals front and center in your environment. Look at them daily, and write them over day after day. Secondly, you should list the habits you are trying to build, and maybe even use a habit tracking tool to help prompt you to do the things you need to do in order to build better habits. Finally, set...

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7 Areas Every Product Manager Should Focus Their Learning On To Get Their Career Kick-started

Uncategorized Jun 09, 2020

As the role of a Product Manager continues to evolve and become more and more demanding, PMs also need to hone their core competencies at the same time.  These soft skills that can be developed over the years of working and through coaching/mentoring, could actually spell the difference between launching a product that will disrupt the industry and a mediocre one.

 

There are seven areas that I believe every Product Manager needs to understand and develop to become outstanding in their field.  Consider these as your building blocks or your stepping stones on your journey to excellence.  Let me share the seven areas with you:

 

  1. Critical Thinking: it is the ability to explore all aspects of an issue in an exhaustive manner without being exhausted yourself. As a result, you are able to say something so profound that you are able to change the perception of others.  
  2. Communication: is having the three C’s of good communication: clear, concise...
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Six Questions Product Managers Must Ask Themselves Monthly To Excel in Their Careers

Uncategorized May 30, 2020

 

A Product Manager’s role is to set the vision for a product, set the path for the product, and communicate the vision to the stakeholders.  As you would a product, creating a roadmap for your career and streamlining your actions to ensure its progress is but imperative.

 

I recently conducted the Confidence Challenge Online Workshop, which received a great number of participants.  From this activity, I have received quite a lot of questions about how I manage to stay ahead in my career or how I keep it selling.  It got me thinking about how a Product Manager’s role isn’t cut in stone and so many tend to get bogged down in their day-to-day responsibilities.

 

In this video, I have talked about the six questions that every product manager must ask themselves to accelerate the progress in their career.

 

  1. What will get me promoted?  Clarify exactly what your company expects from you and what is it that you can do to get...
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Confidence in Product Management

Uncategorized Apr 19, 2020

One of the most valuable currencies as a product manager is influence.  As a Product Manager, you will often find yourself being involved in projects that you may not have any experience in handling yet and influence will help you get the much needed support from stakeholders, your own team and other support teams.  An integral part of influence is having the confidence in yourself, your skills, the project and most especially, your team.

 What makes a confident product manager?

 I think, along with that question, every Product Manager has at one point asked how does a confident product manager act.  As confidence is highly related to high performance, it is even more important for Product Managers. I have talked about the Imposter Syndrome in my previous lessons and how many Product Managers struggle with this.  Many feel they are being an imposter, that they are not really worthy of doing the job.

 In this video, I will paint a picture of what a...

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