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The Lessons of Developing Product Managers

The most exemplary leaders seek to pull others up, dedicate themselves to correcting injustices and inequalities, and build a legacy of great leaders so they can, in turn, continue to develop more excellent leaders in the future. 

Exceptionally thoughtful product leaders understand the importance of hiring, promoting, and retaining product leaders from diverse backgrounds and circumstances. It’s an economic requirement because we have emerging demographics that are now more diverse than ever. To make efficacious products, we need to meet these diverse groups where they are to understand their pain points to create solutions for today and the future.

 To successfully meet the demands of our customers, we need to construct systems that foster a nurturing and diverse, inclusive, innovative, and people-centric culture in our organizations by utilizing the following leadership practices.

  1. When we hire product managers, we must ensure that we are equipping them with a step-up guide during their first week in their new role. This includes the skill sets, responsibilities, and proficiency level required for their current position, including the level they will need to be considered for promotions. 

  2. It should be implemented that leaders complete quarterly reviews of the step-up guide with their direct reports so that, once again, everyone is on the same page as to what success looks like.

  3. We should be honest with our direct reports about why they did not get a promotion and help them prepare for the next round.

  4. Furthermore, we should be partnering new hires with leaders who can mentor them. Specifically, these leaders should be from different parts of the organization so they can be exposed to different leadership styles and functions of various departments, helping to cultivate cross-disciplinary relationships.


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