Best Background for Product Management

Best Background for Product Management
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TOTW - Best Background for Product Management
0:01 however but a great hunter here from product growth leaders this week our topic of the week is best background for hiring product managers we actually had a lot of people In the room and I'm Gonna jump around with this new technologies a weekend
0:20 see the screen
0:23 can make myself invisible make this thing bigger as we go through looking right now at the answers to our monday question when hiring internally for a new product manager what background do you look for so the first answer we got actually was from my
0:44 Robert Gober who's not with Us you in in he's a company worth have been putting a lot of money into understanding product management and building the product organization so some interesting details from them they found that a good percentage of their product managers came from customer service and technology backgrounds few came from product management or had prior prior management experience from other companies are we teach them product management is actually a thing you're Gonna see going through what's going on at higher levels people managing multiple products product managers are we always hire people internally or externally with product made an experience or a little divergent thereof If it's a new person a product management and they've sort of a an individual contributor or somebody who's managing a team of private managers at a prior company we always look for people a subject matter expertise cease and passion for product management and thought we could teach them to be Enterprise manager now Steve I want to get your take on this because you know you've taught probably more product managers that most people have aH subject matter expertise verses somebody from inside what are you what's your take on brilliance of our external domain experts in teaching the product management
2:01 i didn't necessarily associate subject matter expert and outside as we like the same thing true
2:11 well you know I I certainly I've spent a lot of time teaching product managers
2:17 and they do come from myriad backgrounds
2:23 I think and in reflecting on a little bit more on that note I think there is very much logic to hiring product management leadership with experience in product management I so I would say that Bigger issue is not the product managers but their managers Yeah so I've had success hiring sales engineers and former developers and
2:50 former product managers from other companies
2:55 but the real Yeah I would say well I accept completely changing the question so to do every week data of the issue of knowledge of product management is more important for the leader of that group and we see that in particular when you hire a product manager and have them report to say a VP of development what we see Is A manager who is now a developer or a designer or a project manager and when you have product manager report to the head of marketing guess what we have a new marketing specialist
3:35 so I in my Experience most companies have plenty of subject matter expertise and what they need is product management expertise and that needs to start from above
3:50 Makes a Lotta Sense and Greg I moved to the second want to believe this was your answer I look for roles that show aptitude in certain areas initiative bias for action user orientation collaboration social skills The ability to prioritize influence without authority systems thinking and logic depending on the product some sort of technical proficiency it seems like what you just described those aptitudes is almost see we're just talking about right
4:16 Capability in product management even if it's not been formally that what talked to me about your answer in sort of what steve was saying wasn't necessarily my answer but I agree with it when I agree honesty I thought that was your answer it's a good answers they want to take credit it's it's heard it's very very close to mine Ah okay I agree with Stephen think that you know the the leader of the of the product manager group needs to actually how the pros Management skill sets they can teach a lot of people on you can pull people from everywhere else the on the idea that the the head of what your product management needs to it needs you need to have A A very well rounded
5:00 group that is you know maybe made up of people from that app sales orient our business orientations or technology orientations or Design or customer experience things like that you need to have those as you start building out the teams and you can teach product management to a lotta people
5:21 but you know there are certain key skills that you really that are really key to a product manager and I think that one of the the basics is the willingness to learn high grade out no doubt about that argument I just look at it this is actually your first answer though Let me put that question to you
5:42 yeah now that Greg's taking credit for your answer I wanted you know just there last week to
5:50 far out it's DS and around here or all share
5:55 Yeah so I think the like the first answer talk about how you bring in people with without prodding minister experience and you teach them product management and then Steve said basically yes and but you need to have product management experience at the top to teach those people the product management I think is basically set up the premise there and as you know in all the hiring I've done I've hired people straight out of school have hired people who use because managers and I've created a team of people who're you know misfits from a very stiff groups I think it's That's what you I said you just need to find people with this set of characteristics you'll find those characteristics in places like customer service because they have extreme empathy for the user a lot of the time but also they also can abbott transactional i view which is not useful right at you meet at a sort of systems of all relate longer relationship kind of view which where somebody like an like steve's back on the sales engineer concentrating building more of a relationship and still understanding the customers problems how to solve them and things like that
6:57 I have seen problems with developers that become product managers being more inside out thinking being that I have a technology I'm going to sell it to you and you're going to buy it because it's cool that is not always the case google has been remarkably successful with very technology oriented product managers
7:15 in a former developers that that made a lighter such em but it's not a staffer not always the case I think having An inherent in outside in mentality and empathy for other humans is like super important than being about I think about things the assistant things
7:36 and break on problems is is the other thing otherwise you so therapist so the and I thought you said this but to call it out specifically and an orientation around the market view as opposed to a customer view
7:51 got my biggest issue with sales teams and I love sales people as you go now
7:56 sales people can only think about the customer in front of them Can't see the market fall they can't see the forest they can only see the trees and the same tends to be true of customer support they look at things through the lens of one and so you do need somebody who embraces systems thinking absolutely It also looks at the patterns rather than the end at individual incidents yes we as we talked about before and so you're you're trying to understand the customers need as opposed to their want the sales sales teams are always like but solved the customers want at the time right now as opposed to like you know what what are they what are they actually need
8:38 to do to do what they what they know what they trying to accomplish now but also in the future you're not going to pigeonhole yourself and John you're actually right as like you know I have the solution to this problem trying to find a solution Yeah
8:54 I think the Apathy is key the earlier by a couple people it's also the willingness to learn I've said if somebody's open to learning and is good at engaging with people and looking for the trends I can teach him new product management right we don't you know if somebody is not opened to learning and changing and ah looking at trends and they're not going to be good product manager Jason I'd love to get your take on this it you didn't have an answer this week Yeah somehow I think I am missed my Monday I went from Sunday to Tuesday but that's not hesitate to give the a break because my rents are lame AH essentially I think it really the essence but sort of you know it depends on what you're trying to do to where you're trying to bring in is certainly I'm assuming this is not and like entry level product managers you're not talking about senior product leadership has a little bit there were conversations on but you know IF if you're trying to get market intelligence and kind of led to the next generation of your products are bringing other products dan you know perhaps you need product management expertise or rhapsody people with expertise in research and on psychology and sociology in those kind of like soft skills and beatles do journalism in interviewing you know those are skills that are hard to come by so you know you go into their college what did they do they take journalism classes they write any papers or the energy research for any favors with talking to human beings in all these are great skill to have for product managers if you're trying to gather market intelligence to create new products if you're trying to evolve your current products that Perhaps any any to be more development oriented you know at insider really think it just depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your product as an organization before you start bringing on roddick editors did you dig into my Twitter Twitter our tweets Threads Cousin I actually journalism is one thing somebody said you know words what you're out of the box idea where you could get product management candidates from like journalism write in journals going they teach you how to interview people ask questions write about it write a summary I think it could be a great way to to go about that so those were sort of the judge that the broader question is are the next round of questions we had some people Ah Steve and John Ah talking about the process of the first hire the first time they made a product management higher and steve was ranting about his recruiter not having
11:28 a clue having a clue and but then find the double win with with the competitors i see it he said talk to me about how that made a template for you moving forward
11:45 Yeah Yeah maybe it's just me but it I've I've had terrible history with recruiters ah they seem to be the worst possible salespeople it's like they've they've got a buyer and they've got a seller and then they you know take all of the Raza maze they have and they see if there any words that are on both the job posting and the Raza may so like Ah you're a janitor a software firm and this company is looking for a software product manager software software see there's a match so you know you'd be an ideal candidate so every single person they brought me was just terrible
12:30 i had a long talk just this week with Karen mood shack who's a recruiter i a friend of mine up in philly and she and I use the term purple squirrel a lot i can't remember now with if I used it with her she used it me but the other purple squirrel is this I'd deal ized candidate that is perfect in every way but not found in nature naturally and is willing to work for peanuts so it's kind of like a unicorn except will work for peanuts and I think my conclusion from that whole experience was getting really crisp on one I was looking for
13:10 I think that my first hire I was an inexperienced Manager Myself and I said I'm looking for somebody who has formerly a product manager with this kind of domain expertise and they're like great we found the sales guy we found this janitor we we found a programmer like so when I Product manager what happened in your head and they're like I didn't hear you say that part I just heard you say send me some random people so I got really precise on what I was looking for an end to in Jason's earlier point I think
13:44 i was I very much favor the product manager who is a customer representative and knows how to talk to customers and illicit pains from customers as opposed to the Former salesperson or the former project manager of the former developer so as you I'm sorry uncle had jason not going to say that night recruiters a lot but it also do my own internal recruiting a time and I've always been more successful for A Ministers because in many organizations they don't call a product manager a product manager at a column a project manager a business analyst or systems analysts something Inane so if you're looking for terms you may miss out on a great candidate pool Because it turns or match from Reza me to the very very not only a lot of people don't write their real adjust their recipes for the posting especially me working with recruiters and so you have to do is actually kind of get an idea and it works through the body kinds of what they did at those positions to see if those kind of components are matching what a product manager role do in your organization Wayland that's a very very good point given it one of the other things I like about Karen wood shack as she went through a training class with me she said know I'm placing a lot of product managers and I really thought ionic know what that is and so she's one of the few people who can delineate between say product management in product marketing and knows that is different than program or project management and she also the sales and marketing so it's she understands the full sweep the differences between them so she's not gonna take some random salesperson I said it should be good for product
15:23 Greg yours is this top one when hiring manager I look at their people skills and attitude along other experiences is there anything that we didn't cover we we talked on the first one I misspoke misspoke about who's it will it's I think that the embassy party We talked about four and a constant learning on is key because if you dog whatever the businesses no matter what it is it's going to continually evolve in that you're you're constantly learning we're not building Buggy whip anymore
15:53 so there's just a constant learning thing and that's the attitude I expect from you know somebody you're gonna actually hire is that they're willing to learn willing to move forward in they're willing to like make a mistake in and learn from it go Yeah those are the things don't those are really like core core things that I look for in is a you know depends upon the type of business I'm in
16:20 it you know where where's the slant I'm looking for just you know saying sales engineer that's my top that's my top person that's not necessarily my type person and I love the final part you had were rounding out the team with different abilities right creating a diverse team with different backs viewpoints and backgrounds that can all come together heterogeneously to me when you talk about what the best background is there is a dependence right we we joke about depends pens every once a while but it depends on what you currently have in filling out the skill gap around their job this last one down here is is this your first hire the MIT mechanical engineering grad who did a one year MBA we talked about all these business skills and customer skills talk to me about how Er MIT NBA or MIT mechanical engineering with a duke NBA did you have to help him with the business I'm talk to me about how you did that yes so I think part of what I liked about him is because he had a slightly more robust version of my background I started as a computer engineer Georgia tech and then switch to their management program then got an MBA emery Am
17:31 The liner uses that I figured out and it took me too long forgot that I need to walk the line between propeller hadn't suits to be happy the business and tech balance and product management can be that perfect balance
17:41 and he rolled in the door with basically that same
17:46 Mentality essentially like it was clear that he had the chops to be a mechanical engineer but the desire to have it work more in the business since the business side of things like understanding customers are working with them as opposed cranking out machines and I think that's what really attracted me to him so then all I had to do was teach him what product management was and how we go about it
18:06 I think we sending through product pragmatic marketing to give him some of those fundamentals know figured I had operationalize it in our organization because he had all of the right you know the thirst for learning the the empathy for other people systems thinking like all the things we talked about they just sort of showed up there live a guy the question well i mean it being an engineer myself with an engineering background they teach you how to counter attack problems are bigger question is like isn't required to have an MBA to be a product manager god no
18:40 There's tons of excellent product managers that don't have ABS I I Totally agree with that but if you look at like noon on in all Steve you're trying to like going through job description something like that is a all NBA and like wait a minute hold on a second you know I'm like Wait wait wait a minute about this MBA thing is it necessary as it actually critical
19:01 to be a really good product manager I don't believe so I really don't and I think as there are companies that actually but a strike against you if you have an MBA not be a private person they think that you are to is a bloody yeah have you want somebody who definitely thinks inside the box look for an MBA
19:20 see Steve I take Offense at that I'm an MBA and I'm Not I won't went back for an interesting thing for Me is I did My Internship at a technology division of Gigi Information services now gee access the big media company
19:35 actor now open text park open text
19:38 and my hiring manager when I got a full time job they're hired me to be a market research analyst and he said I know The glory job is going to be that product management title I had other friends who are getting product management approach of marketing titles it is let me tell you this come in and learn how to do market research market analysis and competitive analysis from the ground up at g and you're going to a better foundation for how you can do product management end for me it's it it really was about
20:10 how to do that how to
20:13 Understand markets and that was my first step into the really being market driven was the way G E treatment taught me to do that in the NBA in and that and that's where my drucker stuff comes from us the NBA stuff but I think that that being said I agree completely that an MBA is that it is sometimes not the right fit
20:34 often because many NBA is to have that know it all mentality that was the thing I was going to layer on actually is you have to have intellectual humility to be a product manager because if you think you're always right you get if you think you're always right you will fail a lot see like yeah my my point was that I don't think that an MBA is actually required Depends upon what you did with your MBA and then you know what you study ignore those things that that really enhances your ability to be a product manager but that humility found that humility is thea farm boy growing
21:12 you had a whole bunch of in an MBA program there's a whole bunch of eight one personalities so you need at the learning how to that humility is key so you know before you leave that point I will add one more factoid
21:26 Somewhere between forty two and forty five percent of product managers have MBA so whether that's a good thing for their ability is one thing but It certainly seems to help you get hired I mean if it goes down to a kind of yeah if it comes down to I've got two people they're both roughly the same IT looks like the hiring managers are skewing for the ambien be particularly right now when there are so many people interested in being in a product management role
22:04 that get out the if you've got a hundred candidates that all seem pretty good you know filtering out on certification or education seems to be a quick way to cut a list of a hundred down to a list of ten young other thing it does is it
22:23 is a signal that there's old thirst for continued learning at least without the certification and the NBA do that too using this also learning part is really the key over it is Jim was also single forever require initial Budget to hire the person who has an MBA me more and they well I mean an MBA makes ten percent more than the equivalent candidate without the NBA so if you're thinking about Gosh I spent a hundred thousand dollars on an MBA while you've got a ten year return on investment
22:57 in I will say that the best business deals I got it were not from my MBA program there are from G JD F b Find a good F P in a person and learn how to do pianos and performers and for the business side that was more important to me than the NBA was I think the general business Knowledge and understanding research and trends and strategy helped a ton my strategy stuff come from that but you know I think it can be overcome but to your points they would also is is a checkmark on a lot of places as well so let's go to the pool AH which background is best for someone new to product management in
23:37 my question here is how biased this poll is because Steve has continually said sales engineer is the best background fur fur for product management Yeah background is the best background
23:51 only today did that come to mind is like my that is my background oH shoot so that says that Yeah but it but you know John made the same point he's like I found somebody who is basically Mini Me and I hired him right but that's also a mistake I've seen people make right I it goes to greggs post about how do you find a diverse AH background of people in it I've only found one person who I've helped hire who would I would consider a mini me and the realities I didn't hire him I had him hired at appears in appears group So I you know I worry about the Mini me think but back to the sales engineer think you know Jason what you vote doesn't matter how much of that was biased by Steve temperature okay but I honestly not so as a product manager in a product owner in every level and every type of thing you could do as a product manager I have always of my best relationships with my sales engineers and they are only like one day one training day away from being a product member Base I had mind operates and how they're thinking systems how they have the empathy towards the a customer they're thinking usually about multiple customers because they're thinking about future demos You'd your offerings what other thing can I brought provide to the market however there are livid more lenient towards kind of the the more on sizzle of a product so they can get at la Boh me This is actually delivering what is useful because they don't get involved too much post sale AH but there can be an easy switch Amy have that journalism they have to be able to discuss it that they have to be part of discovery I'm so they're so close to being a product manager it really is just by getting him a commission so what but then there there is one where I was Gonna go with US because I've also said that the best sales engineers make the best account executives right and same reason In IKEA a product as much as product and they pay now it can't compete with a enterprise software sales rep with a package at the three hundred four hundred at plant right so there's a competition because sales people like the sound engineers too and I guess it depends on which sales engineer are you are you the one who wants the money the sales were the ones who wants to be more strategic or any confidants was similar one what good that's great Yeah you want to influence the product you know gap it the one that actually wants to drive the product that does not effect in I voted I voted for sales engineer to for a number of things are Jason was saying as well but the the other the other aspect is that they need to they also understand how to deal with Stakeholders they're having those having those conversations and having those tough conversations
26:42 with like you know their customers say you're not gonna get
26:46 or let me tell you about something else that maybe you you really need that I can offer you those those conversations go a long way just twisted a little bit when you pick up from a product manager Yeah John had you voted for customer support
27:02 i did and it's this it's a flip of steve's bias in it my very first job and technology was on a help Desk
27:10 I mean i I definitely grew the cells are generous a good set of a good background and the problem tetra problem with customers where people is the goldfish memory address thing about the last problem that they had but I think if they have that background am can then aggregate problems and figure out in know process improvements in customer support or can you know figure recurring themes in an choices for those I could see it starts to be some of the things that you need to do is project manager and also when I did it we didn't have screen sharing and if you just walk a sales up pharma sales rep through a windows three one interface over the phone with any visuals you get a distinct appreciation for good and bad you X income
27:53 and actually my experience i've actually While I voted for sales engineer I've had more success hiring customer support
28:03 in time back to our conversation last week as first hires for product management somebody who knew the product inside now understood the customers they weren't doing strategy they were doing it with a more tactical stuff technical product management type stuff and I thought customers for people were great for that so you know I I I get that actually one thing I didn't put it because we don't live in votes I think if that's not the largest Book talent we've had on the pole it Pull Wanna talk to so I really good turn out for the polls we can actually some great answers only open ended questions so any last comments on the pole before we move forward to the open ended questions
28:43 are maybe a future poll would be interesting to look at some of the phrases we use today
28:50 Like systems thinking market driven rather than customer driven I wonder if a future discussion could be around what are those key attributes and don't get it don't get ahead okay
29:05 Well I always do this I'm always one slide ahead of you or two or three or to ruin in the movie
29:13 far far I haven't shared it yet but there a whole clip I got on what is product Map control on the right place to do it in the short clip so it's only by John
29:23 where it's just greg not Greg Tom talking about OH I don't wanna go bout down that rabbit hole and like that's all that Steven I do is go down the hall
29:34 so I digress so we'll get to that concept and a couple side for a rapid fire with that said first question for you guys today which is harder for someone to learn a specific Industry domain subject matter expertise before in that industry in the market or product management and John I'm Gonna start with you on this one because you you talked about teaching product management to people let me get your take what's what's what's what's harder
30:04 I mean I've I've obviously had to learn product management at some point and I've had to learn a bunch of industries slash domains I think it is easy to learn
30:15 relatively easy to learn base level product management I think it is really hard to learn great product management to like
30:22 be good at prioritizing to be good at saying no to figuring out the right things to not do all that I think that's super hard not not even sure if it's teachable am I thank you some industries are like really really complicated and have a lot of Vendor dependencies inner now can be frustrating in that way for certain people but I think it's any at at Ultra I think you can learn any industry given enough time in an appetite for learning
30:48 I would argue if you have those good to great product management skills you can learn any industry right now it's about the inquiry it's about the Apathy it's about the journalistic type things that that Jason was talking about I've gone to do I you Wanna do a good Good versus great topic of the week on data be really fun at what we will put that you and I know Greg's got some stuffy he's been added to the queue to but we figure we get through twenty twenty was some some more softballs and then we can go into some of the deeper dives but no I found it at what made my success as I could go into a new industry go talk to customers do the research and analysis in in ninety days be the person who knows more about the industry than the people have been product managers there for ten years right and so it's all about having that base level skill of how do you go ask questions and listen and look for trends in and everything we talked about beginning greg what's your take on this I agree with that said that Great product management is is more difficult to learn I think that so many industries are very arrogant said you can't possibly understand my industry or my domain it's just you have to be in it in order to learn it you know to be effective all those things and I find that that's exceptionally arrogant
32:10 but as you said grandest late if you have the product management skills come in you actually can go in you can learn all this stuff very quickly
32:22 it just by asking the right questions and kind of having that like outsider look into what's going on within the industry helps a lot it helps move that that company faster into a specific in your area otherwise they just stay pigeonholed they said you know we're not building Buggy web spot you know what we could make a faster Buggy whip
32:47 in in you know you need a product managers to kind of sit back and go take a minute is that really what we want is that really what we need our customers need to go is they need a faster Buggy whip or do we actually need to transform how we actually worked in let's let's talk to what the customers need
33:05 Within that industry whether it's health care or financer it just goes on and on but you know this is John said there are some that are super complicated
33:17 but you know that that just given time
33:20 When when teaching private mean when we talk about how the market's moving up into the right I think that's the way we we put it and if you're not following that movement right technology is changing in their domains or to understanding the value chain break up more Upstream downstream to understand how that's impacting what's going on and how market dynamics of maturity or impact in those things is critical but it's interesting because the same problem that a founder CEO of a once successful company who's now in a growth rate The same exact problem that product manager who hasn't listened to their customer in five ten years as well well let me just a a attack if you just look at the technology trends I mean come on iphone came out two thousand so really means like the world is changing very very very quickly Cloud computing all those in and take the details behind cloud computing and and how advertising is working and how to how to actually communicate healthcare all those things are moving very very very quickly gets salsa The key behind all of that is you know the industry is is accelerating in multiple different directions but product management picked foundations behind that stay very very stable
34:31 and that that portrait that's why I said look I think that you know i agree john is I think that Z the foundations of great product management is harder to do
34:44 it I that's Gonna be the topic of the week that title right there I think the foundations of great product management that that that will be on on a slate for the first quarter jason what's your background always supply chain in purchasing Follow you Guys are a job Yeah I can't happen all at once I was a technology project manager and the remedy ended up having to be a director product management and also history at the same time
35:13 OH and I Wanna start thinking about hiring process and I were talking about ah even though we cannot leave their product management is UM maybe it was reported are harder to teach I don't know if I would bring in somebody or even if the domain is even harder to learn I don't know about bringing so many with so much domain expertise because of all biased they have you know innovation happens with ignorance inactivity and if you're doing is they're trying to grow your products having somebody asked the obvious dumb questions as a product manager could be a great to to spark interest greg you were just talking about this like you could just be at it for too long you know uber now and you get it is your custom ways and you just know how everything works you become a product historian but you're not necessarily leading the way for growth of any market when I thought I think that you know he may take longer to learn a domain but in that I am that you're learning a domain your ASS some really interesting questions am looking at everything from a different perspective anal and you can find subject matter experts on within their business in all the help that Parkland at the pass you actually trying to find such Better experts in the in a across that business in order to increase your your specific knowledge feel the author Jason you had you had to do both at once right learn a new industry and learning and pragmatic which one was harder for you you think are still learning the industry airline out of our be a great product names have thought Yeah Ah but Yeah I would say the industry absolutely because as a project manager in I kind of got my Indian project management A lot of the same kind of broad process orientation and skills associate with a following a process just moving it to a different type of process already each in place now for red to repeat ability but the domain itself is a little bit trickier not that it's a very not that it's one of those tricky domains like we have discussed it's very simplistic but still that was fine art
37:16 state
37:19 as somebody who teaches more I taught more people product manage them almost almost anybody
37:25 what's your tech wealth you know I was going to say it's harder to teach domain than product management except you know I really do embrace he well so it's a yes aunt here right it's i embrace a lot of the things that other people have said now there are a lot of people teaching rudimentary product management which is you know pretty easy to learn
37:48 It occurred to me in this discussion that
37:52 hiring managers aren't looking for a product manager there looking for a subject matter expert
37:59 you know it's another one of those I'm confused about what I'm shopping for our problems
38:05 so if they say I want somebody with five ten years experience in our domain because we're unique and special and different than everyone else What they're really saying is we want somebody to come in with all of his opinions formed and he can immediately start writing white papers and ebooks and in our doing thought leadership stuff
38:27 but I'd like John I I've learned many industries in fact I have a buddy this is kind of Wild I had a buddy who has had who who had a pet every place he's gone gets a noncompete clause forced upon him
38:45 and yet it the end as a result his every job he's taken has been added a new industry
38:52 and so he's in the next course of twenty years had become A you know a knowledgeable person in five different industries so it can be learned in Nashville or seven rounds get ah greg our eye but know i just thought that was a really interesting way out of a noncompete cause it's like I'm going to do the same thing I did in automotive I'm just gonna go over and do it in in personal computing instead are
39:23 so anyway I I that was a big ramble I I think The the the issue is that we look for deep domain expertise when we're looking not so much for product manager but a subject matter expert and a good product a great product manager is constantly learning about the nuances of whatever the industry or domain they serve Yeah I Wanna I Wanna add onto that elevates because you spark some ideas in my head yes adding on is what we do too big plus is our new logo
39:54 The Way Google hires product managers is actually just like the opposite of What You're saying they hire putting managers who can be good product managers who have the skills be proud manager with without regard for actual industry expertise In fact you're expected Google to change teams multiple times in your career Google from you know I've know people who have gone from ADs to gmail or to you tube or two internal tools or you know self driving cars are health like this there's so many different Industries domains you can be a part of and still stay at Google and people are happy to hire you with zero expertise in that domain is on here department are
40:35 cool and that's and that's actually very mature that company gets an extremely mature thing to do and then you know Steve going back to what you were saying in the beginning of like filling out a job description is that you know the height the highest thing that that deck shows up his domain expertise and then product management is kind of like lower in the priority list and I've seen that so many times and in when I talk to recruiters and like Listen I understand the industry's I meant god it totally get it I need some people that are really good at these areas and oH by the way you know if they had you know some of the domain knowledge from another company that would be great but I don't need someone to come in and yes me I'm not looking for that did didn't we just all talk around and agree that
41:30 our skills of product management on what the big differentiator this I almost feel like was a yea being able do what we do Gosh that's hard but look at the differentiation a breeze so we may be biased
41:45 all right let's go to the next question what are the most common reasons why someone new to product management does not succeed in product management
41:57 greg
42:00 they are project managers There is a big rig an adult but says the project manager or not yeah no not totally agree with that totally agree and I had to an in you know what happens is that you know you go through all these courses and you do the agile staff and Pablo all those things you become a product owner and a rapidly you're turning into a project manager and you're thinking like completely tactical all the time and what I you know so I differentiate between a product on our project by product manager quite differently than I need you to grow to be you know beyond just a project one by you know Sprint sprint release by release all those things to actually think strategic in if you can't move that direction then then you're just not you're not gonna be you know a product manager holistically you just not that's okay I mean you can be the best product owner in the world and never have your own vertical stack associate with getting promoted through the different levels of product ownership because it's a very different skill set in assets in it's very heart of a product managers there's it it a product owners are commercially delivery fix it I agree with that I usually use the same analogy with the dirt between a chef in a cook both are needed both of operate very differently in a chef can't cook for our thousand people in a cup initially come up with very unique very tasty dishes I got it so it's fantastic I agree I completely agree with that and and you know then you stuff a business analyst into that into that mix too in that and all those together make An old something beautiful going forward tackle at the planet that one a private project management is you get sucked into that vacuum there's a void there and if if you're good at it people just suck you into that and it's hard to get out of that All in All I Wouldn't I wouldn't downplay project management as a key role I would not at all project management when it comes to you know very complicated he dog in endeavors is really a key role Yeah Yeah It is not product manager it's almost like product management be clear on that Yeah
44:16 Jon
44:18 most common reason someone does not succeed Yeah obvious Gonna do not answer question for half a second and agree about project management meeting different than product management this the roles I've been most successful and I have had a pier project manager to help because that is not a core skill set of mine I'll do it when I have to but like it's it is very different
44:39 to the people who don't succeed in product management I think have the very tactic it's i guess it's the project management problem they have a word Something similar to have a very tactical view a very narrow view they are focused on shipping the next feature
44:57 you know getting net activity as opposed Outcome I think is probably the best way to summarize it checking boxes is not Delivering outcomes any impact exactly like that's reading get tied up and I'll add onto that is a bungalow if I'm going to hire somebody JR that's that's brand new to product management I'll throw him into a product owner role first
45:20 In Damn teach down in Autumn shift from tactical industry teach overtime and bring them forward into like strategic thinking and what we're thinking strategically and what goals are and have them grow without way as opposed to the opposite like somebody brand new all of a sudden think strategic and so it's a it's that's a tough that's a tough one get an engineer is easier to assess that when they're doing their product management pieces the product owner is because having some conversations with them you'll see they're already talking strategic they have these great ideas in in in listening to the customers because they they do have it they usually Ah and so that is a great way to assess RAG is like they should already be in order to blend the mood of product management ask product owners you can start sensing that they're ready because they already have McCaskill in in the end i I cannot put like I when I talk to my My You know junior people and I tell them certain things site I kind of put things into like a sine wave where you know the the y axis the higher at y Axis is like strategic thinking in the lower one Is Practical and you know how to word word you actually sit and how do you actually move across that sine wave your know ASS product managers you start moving more and more in our strategic and now tactically Product owners are like tactical how do we get things done in thinking that way in then you know as you mature you actually will be able to balance all of those and where did where you actually sit so in in the book Execution larry boss city with RAM children wrote about how he took the G way in implementing that allied signal Flash honeywell and one of the things I that is most executives have a orientation either a strategic orientation or an operations orientation The biggest reason why somebody fails when they move up into a new leadership role is because they don't have a counterbalance right so if you come from a strategic orientation that tends to be your leader you don't have a lieutenant who's a strong operations person you're going to struggle and vice versa given operations later does not have a strategic person This is the first time in my hadn't really thought about how that really impacts and project manage our product management and the importance of having the balance of the operational tactical with the strategic
47:45 it at I Enlightened does I was getting the absolute actually critical i see that actually critical an end as it gets as the enterprise gets more and more complicated those things are are key to being successful and again both backing her original what about the balance team in filling out a portfolio diverse but scales that Steve I'd love to get your take before it moved to our final question I believe the reason people fail in product management because they don't have a boss or a mentor to guide them
48:19 so they get pulled into every non sense thing that comes along and they don't have a boss saying wait what what the hell are you doing you're not supposed to be do an hour if peas why not the sales guy asked me to well the sales Guy asper lots of things in our he he asked you to buy beer or two that's not your job right so without a mentor or a boss guiding that person that person is Gonna end up doing project management Doing sales engineering and not being able to say now
48:52 so that's that's my answer see the soccer was Gonna be because they didn't have you as a teacher and coach well I was Gonna let you say that rather than me saying it
49:02 but I was usually tempted
49:06 with all of US are students of right so let's go to this read this rapid fire question Ah we're going to start Let's see now don't have the strip I always start my lap or Gonna start we're going counter Clockwise oh Greg you're Gonna be first what do you think is the most important attribute to look for when hiring someone new to product management one attribute We talked about a whole bunch of them what's the most important one great learning learning learning
49:36 John
49:40 Rapid fire is not a rapid if I can't find the meat bun Empathy learning empathy Jason
49:47 want to be a product manger passion desire for the desire for the position
49:54 hi Steve systems systems thinking
49:59 sales people tend to say let's do it let's do it let's just get it done and systems people say let's get it done right so it had to do it over and over and over again
50:09 and I'm just Gonna go ditto them all all of the above learning Empathy Passion systems thinking and trends and patterns we just described a great product manager there ethic Yeah but you missed communications second being able to communicate
50:26 what we said one thing I I guess I should address it you should communication ice ditto with striker I'm going to say communications and that we have just built out the perfect prospect
50:38 and then he'll just edit out that little portion right there so that it will sound like he was smarter than it really was no I'm i keep all my my mess UPs in
50:49 real right it's really
50:51 it
50:53 Greg John Steve Jason I thank you so much for being here on this call as I always say these calls are the highlights of my Week I I love the conversations I always learn I get new ideas and grow
51:08 also in the community where it's we're not going to be around the next couple weeks but we'll see you Guys in January I get this thing rolling again so I know Steve Stephen was to say times and stuff but
51:23 When you say times it becomes not timeless what we can always cut those things out as you say indeed so Greg Johnson Jason Thank you so much for the Wonderful Conversation again in the community In the interest of happy holidays have new years you it's
51:41 bye by now