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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 your work. If you make your work visible to the right people, they will keep you in mind as the right person for the next big project.


Checking to make sure I'm live because sometimes I'm not. Let's see, let's see. Let's go, let's go, let's go. I'm waiting for my screen to pop up. I might be live. Who knows? Okay, now I am live.

Hello, everyone it's Shobhit. Today's live video is a little bit tongue-in-cheek. You don't need three easy steps to become a product leader, to become a director of product management or a VP of product management. Leading a team of PMs, having a lot of impact on this, you don't need those three easy steps. And listen, you might be hearing about these three easy steps a lot. It's very popular in the personal development, career development space, where everybody's like, "Hey, just do these three things and life will be easy for you."

Well, I'm here to tell you that getting to that product leadership role that you desire is not easy, but it's doable. It's possible, but you don't need those three easy steps. Here's the three things you do need. And now these are three ingredients. They're not three easy steps.

First of all, what you need is a bulletproof mindset. And by that, I mean a few things. Most importantly, what I mean is you building a sense of grit, determination and confidence in yourself. That, yes, you can get there, irrespective of what your current circumstances are, because your current circumstances are never ones that determine your future. You determine your future. What you need to do is to know that at a soul deep level, to really internalize that, to live that reality day in and day out, that you are ultimately responsible and you know you can get to that product leadership role that you so desire.

Now, taking responsibility sounds great because now it's under my control, but it also has a downside. If things are under your control, you have to stop blaming the circumstances, which is very uncomfortable for a lot of people because now immediately they are the ones who are now sort of, "Hey, if things go wrong, then it's my fault." That's a reality you need to live in. That's number one, take responsibility and gain that confidence instead of grit and determination.

Number two, you need focus, focus in your day-to-day work to sure that you are actually spending time on the most strategic things that will move the needle. Focus such that you actually know what are the things that will move the needle as far as your career is concerned and as far as your promotion or you getting that next job is concerned. You need that. You need to know exactly what activities will move the needle, what initiatives to work on. If you are interviewing, exactly what part of your interviews are screwing up and you need to try harder there or exactly why you're not getting the interview calls, all of those need focus. That's the second thing, focus.

Number three is you need a brand and visibility. You need a personal brand whereby people see you as that strategic product manager who deserves to be promoted and not just someone who's great at execution. Not just someone who's, if I assign them and gave them all the bugs they'll get them executed by the team, I'll have a working product at the end, I can trust them. That's okay, but can I give them an ambiguous problem, half understood customer needs, a 30,000-foot view vision and expect them to translate that into an amazing product? To go and research the customers, to fight the strategic battles, to think through strategic decisions, to present a compelling case, to tell a strong narrative, all those things, you need that personal brand that says all those things.

Whether you're looking for a new job as a, as a director of product, whether you are looking to get a senior PM role that will be in line to become director of product, or whether you are just looking to get promoted, you need that brand and you need the right visibility. Visibility as in people are seeing your work, seeing you do the things that matter. They're crediting you for that, they're recognizing it, and they're putting you next in line for the next big opportunity that comes along.

Now, I know this is one of those areas where I see a lot of people trip, and the trip is much more how they think about it. Often what I heard here from product managers is that, "Oh, that's political. I don't want to be political." Really? Because I think that's where you're selling yourself short. By "not being political" is where very often you are failing to promote yourself. And if you scroll back in the group or scroll back in my previous YouTube videos, I've done a post on politics. You should definitely watch that if that's where you trip up.

You don't need three easy steps. You need determination and a strong mindset, you need focus, and you need a strong brand and visibility. Now all of these things don't just happen on their own. I have deliberately designed all my programs, whether it's intentional job search, product leader blueprint, my one-on-one coaching, to give you the elements that support these things. And those elements are a strong community and a cohort that is holding you accountable, but it's also in the same area as you, and they are going to work with you and they're going to move things forward along with you. You need strong one-on-one mindset coaching and mentorship with someone who's been through it, but is also an amazing coach. And last but not least, you need that structure. That step-by-step plan that will help you get there with the right prompts for you to think about things, with the right prompts for you to go deep into your own thinking, all those things so that you are able to move to that next level.

To sum up, anytime you hear three easy steps to get to product leader, ignore that. I, myself, do a class where I say the five steps, but not easy steps, five steps. And then the confidence really need our determination and mindset, a bulletproof mindset, strong focus, and last but not least, a great personal brand and visibility for others into what you're doing. And I will support you with a strong community, a cohort that is holding you accountable and is in the journey with you so that you know that you're not alone in your struggles. You can work with them. Strong coaching, super strong coaching, get you out of your mind, thinking broadly, acting, getting to the next level, and then last but not least a structured step-by-step approach so that you can re-examine your career know exactly what you need to do to get to the next step.

You probably need guidance, so set up a call with me, leadtheproduct.com. I'll also, if you're watching this video later in my Facebook group or on YouTube or on my blog, I'll make sure I'll put the link there so that you can set up some time with me. We step-by-step, we define exactly what needs to happen in your career. And then in the end, we might decide to work together, we might not, but everyone who leaves there leaves with a strong sense of clarity. Some people have, who started to work with me, they've just said, "Hey, Shobhit, can you please send me the recording of the session that we did?" Because that itself was so powerful. Go set up the session, and I look forward to speaking to will do very, very soon. Take care.

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