The one attribute common among great product managers
I am often asked what is that one attribute which is common among great product managers.
As somebody who has worked with several PMs (as developer, as a co-PM, as a founder, as an instructor @ product management course), here are a few notes based on my interactions and learning from others.
What’s that one attribute which defines a great product manager?
No. It isn’t about one’s ability to articulate vision or define GTM strategy or even negotiation skills — they are all transactional in nature and are context dependent. But the one attribute common among great product managers is:
They write. A. Lot.
If you ever wanted to get into Product Management career (I am writing this as I am preparing content for the next batch of Product Management course) or want to grow big in PM career, start writing.
Start writing blogs.
Start tweeting (won’t recommend Facebooking).
Start writing your analysis of business/product/new launches.
Why is writing so important?
When you write, following things happen.
You start paying attention to the world around you. Great product managers are all about ATD (attention to detail) — writing reinforces that.
You start building a discipline to write.
You learn how to be ‘aware‘ all the time. Writing brings perspective and drives ‘slow’ thinking.
Writing helps you articulate (no matter how good/bad your command on language is).
Writing develops a story teller in you (a story teller with depth and not the one writing for pageviews).
Writing is commitment : When you write a PRD, you are also committing to it (verbal/whiteboard PRDs are never taken seriously).
Writing makes you commit to your point of view.
By writing, I don’t mean long-form or even flowery pieces — just write things that matter (to you). Start. Start somewhere. Irrespective of how bad your command on language is.
Below quotes on writing will definitely get you started!
The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. [Gustave flaubert]
Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself. [Robin Sharma]
Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things — thoughts, ideas, opinions. [Paulo Coleho]
Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. [E. L. Doctorow]
[Reproduced from my earlier piece at ProductGeeks.com]