Most of us expect competent product managers to have all the confidence in the world. After all, what do they have to doubt themselves? They have all the knowledge, and they are good at what they do. However, this is not always the case. While many are solid and competent, they still lack confidence.
Confidence is an essential factor in each of our lives and careers. One of my favorite clients to work with was severely lacking confidence. Once we built up his confidence, he grabbed an opportunity he had previously overlooked. Seizing this opportunity led to a promotion in just a few weeks.
Often, product managers know their product needs but do not have the confidence to fight for them. But, a product manager who maintains their competence and confidence does not need to struggle as much. Stakeholders notice them, and recruiters reach out to them. They are delighted with their work and happier in their lives.
Here are the keys to increasing your confidence:
As a Product Manager and a coach, I have found one sad thing to be true - most Product Managers will do what others tell them to do and consistently avoid conversations related to their careers. They spend 100% of their energy managing their product and none on their career. The only time they are thinking about their career is when they are expressing anger or frustration.
My clients are happy in their careers. They are getting promoted faster than ever. Why? Because they have found extreme value in managing their career like a product.
When you get this aspect wrong, you feel angry and frustrated. You do everything that is asked of you. You have no roadmap in sight and no career strategy to grasp onto.
With that, I have one question - if you were the Product Manager of your career, would you be proud of how you run it?
When we get this right, we get promotions and raises without fighting for them. Recruiters begin noticing you and reach out to you....
It started on a weekend. I suddenly started worrying about a new feature we were beginning to work on Monday.
All sorts of questions started to emerge. Did enough customers need this feature to justify building it? Had we understood the requirements enough? Did we have the right support from other teams? What if we were going to do a lot of work that would be worth nothing? What if?
I wish this story were atypical. I wish that I was hit with doubt and second-guessing myself less often.
Or do I?
Doubt serves like a set of brakes. They help you from running off the road, but in excess, they can slow you down tremendously.
So seek not to eliminate doubt but to optimize it.
There are five things you must do to optimize doubt:
What’s your energy level as a product manager?
When you go day to day, come into work, are you in to it? Are you excited? Do you bring this high energy level or the appropriate energy level to your team, to the work that you do? Are you intense in every activity that you do?
Those things matter a lot, they can literally change how much you get done in a day, how excited your team feels.
Let’s look at six different kinds of energy levels that you must demonstrate in order to make sure you're living up to your potential as a product manager.
The first energy level is you need to be positive, energetic, give them a sense of an epic win possible and that the product will do well. Align the team behind achieving the best possible thing for your product, for your customers.
Second you need to vary your communication level. You as a product manager must work on not just being at a high...