Manav Mishra, VP of Product Management at Teridion, shares the two most important skills that product managers need to have and how he balances strategic thinking with execution.
Manav has twenty years of product management experience at companies including Google, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel. He’s shipped more than twenty products, including Google Analytics, Outlook 2003, and Windows 7. From these experiences, Manav has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to be successful in product management.
He says that the two most important factors for achieving success in the role are the ability to:
- Understand customers
Manav shares how product managers can build these abilities, and how he helps the product managers that he manages to do so.
Given the amount of experience he’s gained throughout his career, I asked Manav to share his perspectives on the most challenging aspects of the role, including process, strategy, leadership, and decision making.
Manav says that process is a necessary evil. But his approach is unique. Manav says “It’s not the process that dictates the product, it’s the product that dictates the process.”
Product managers have the make the hard decisions about what opportunities to pursue, and what to shut down. However, Manav says that the job of a product manager is not to make great decisions – it’s to enable the team to make great decisions. He recommends asking hard questions that drive deep thinking and discussion.
You’ll learn a lot from this episode about training and leadership.
Here are the highlights:
- The two core skills that product managers need to be successful (6:33)
- How to balance strategic thinking and execution (8:39)
- How to instill process that works (13:56)
- Manav’s approach to making difficult decisions (17:03)
- How Manav leads a team of product managers (20:01)