5 Mistakes in Looking for a Product Manager Role

interviews Mar 11, 2021


Searching for new positions and the interviewing process in itself can be a grueling task. It can become mundane and joyless. It should not be this way. When we get it right, we can love the job search process, we can get over disappointments faster, and we can ultimately make more money and achieve higher levels in our careers.

These five mistakes can cost us a great deal. It can cost us the job that we love and even cause us to miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I have seen job seekers maker these mistakes repeatedly:

  1. Clicking the easy button
  2. They are treating job search as a check the box exercise vs. a design exercise.
  3. 100% focus on strategy, none on performance psychology
  4. Getting trapped in the framework
  5. Not getting feedback from the people that matter

A Product Manager I worked with was having difficulty with a lot of these. He and I began sifting through each of these mistakes and checked them off one by one. At the end of it all, he ended up in a...

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The Books That Influenced Me the Most in 2020

Uncategorized Jan 30, 2021

No doubt, 2020 was a crazy year.  However, for many people, it was also a year for growth.  When circumstances force you to adapt, you grow. Eight books, in particular, influenced my development quite a bit during this pandemic.

  1. Atomic Habits by James Clear: This book is really about making your habits stick. This book continues to be a massive influence for me, both in terms of the patterns that I build up for myself and coaching my clients.
  2. Indistractable by Nir Eyal: The book is all about avoiding distractions and staying focused. The challenge is not to blame the external stimuli. It's to look inward and figure out what is it that's driving you toward that external stimuli.
  3. The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks: This is about what he calls the upper limit problem, which we tend to have like a thermostat. We have a specific set level of happiness and success that we are willing to tolerate. Anything beyond that, and we sabotage ourselves.
  4. Building a StoryBrand by Donald...
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I Made This Spectacular Failure Once

Uncategorized Dec 23, 2020

Failure is a fantastic teacher.  Failure is also the way I came to start the Intentional Product Manager.  

A few years ago, I worked for this fast-moving Boston area startup, and I could see myself becoming established as a leading product manager there.  I wanted to build an amazing vision and strategy, and I tried many different avenues to get there.  Still, at the beginning of the first year, my performance was below expectations. I had not been able to contribute anything meaningful to my customers or learn anything about them. My failure was that I let my job run me instead of me running my job.

Ultimately, when I started to build my brand was when things began to change.  The key for me has been consistently redesigning every aspect of my job to enhance my personal brand, one step at a time.  Even if you have issues and challenges along the way, you’ll figure it out.  

Finally, seek out help when you need it. Even people at...

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You don't need "Three easy steps to become a Product Leader"

Uncategorized Nov 29, 2020

“Three easy steps to __ “ is very popular in the career and personal development space, indicating that if you do these three simple things, that part of your life will be easier for you. What you need to get your ideal PM role is not three easy steps; rather, three ingredients, which may not be as easy.

First, you need a bulletproof mindset. You have enough determination and confidence to get where you want to be, and you understand that you alone shape your future. In order to take the control that comes with assuming responsibility for your future, you must stop blaming your circumstances.  

Secondly, you need to focus on the action steps that will get you moving forward in your career.  You need to know what initiatives to work on, and where you can use improvement in your skills. 

Finally, you need a strong personal brand and visibility. You need to be the person people see as someone who deserves to get promoted. You also need people to see...

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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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