Product Management is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after careers by fresh/experienced MBA graduates as well as by people from STEM discipline who have a knack for commerce. Ideally, in today’s digital world, one’s ability to bridge the gap between technology and business coupled with a much detail-oriented approach to execution and an end-focus to delivering compelling user-experiences could land someone a role in Product Management. But is this an acquired skill gained through education and/or experience or is it more of a personality trait developed and refined through one’s capability to demonstrate high EQ/self-awareness? Well, essentially a mix of both. Can’t agree more? Read along!
As they say, millennials want to be defined by their passions! From top to bottom in a funnel, outlined below are precisely those four P’s of Passion in their simplest form that can make a great millennial Product Manager.
Passion for Technology:
It is important to understand and realize that one’s superficial love for an iOS or Android device does not count much towards his passion for technology. Technology is always exciting but passion towards anything in life only develops over time and is realized through continuous self-assessment of his doings and likings. Carrying the will to scale up and being able to broaden the vision coupled with measurable steps to execute in order to satisfy his hunger for knowledge is critical to success. Education would always help, but pragmatically, practice and the will to acquire any necessary skill on-the-run can score.
Passion for Businesses:
It is common to hear that Entrepreneurs make good Product Managers (and so do perfectionists) solely because of their go-getter spirit and entrepreneurial mind-set with exposure and willingness to know businesses holistically. Besides internal Product and Organization IQ, a Product Manager is generally expected to carry and maintain godly knowledge of the market trend, client’s needs and competition. Experience, interest and inquisitiveness play a huge role in building this much needed curiosity for Market Intelligence that remains an essential factor in order to become a successful Product Manager.
Passion for People:
Even though Product Management isn’t necessarily a People Management role but a Product Manager while being a business owner is exactly at the centre of multiple cross-functional teams where each one of those teams want share of the PM’s time. An ideal PM would have great communication and influencing skills to get the job done without sufficient authority in the hierarchy. A PM should be able to visualize his product from perspectives of his targeted user-personas and analyse what really works best for each one of them. A great PM is able to act as a filler of those gaps among perceptions and is capable of finding an intersection point on the map while taking diverse psychological and demographic barriers into consideration that ultimately translates into UXD of his Product.
Passion for Self:
Don’t get me wrong; no space for narcissists here, but leadership and the ability to demonstrate high EQ are definitely few of the qualities that a successful PM is likely to possess. Unless he is able to inspire or influence people to build the next best product driven by his knowledge, creativity, vision and attitude, none of the three P’s of Passion above are likely to yield the desired outcomes. A PM should be willing to continuously assess himself, his skills and actions, remain open for feedbacks, set personal benchmarks and improvise. The key to this overwhelming activity remains being constantly aware of oneself and own consciousness. Developing resiliency and a will to toil to perfection could definitely leave a perk in all terms.
Here’s one of my liked PM interview video by Jason Shah (the interview candidate then at Google and CEO at Do.com now at the time of this writing). Recommended watch for PM aspirants and enthusiasts in the field.
Are you a millennial and have appeared for a PM interview and could/could not make it or are considering Product Management as a career choice. Do share your experiences or thoughts down below!