10 Important Lessons for Product Leaders by Monese, iPrice, Receipt Bank and Mention Me

By December 1, 2018 ScaleUp

As a product manager or product owner, when your products start scaling, there are a lot of problems to manage as well as people to oversee. At times, as head of products, you are always making critical decisions that affect the team and eventually the business. Tough situations often breed ingenuity, but it is more common than you think for product leaders to fail when they’re thrown at difficult situations. So, how do you manage your team? How do you deal with the pressure of running a successful product? How do you tackle any challenges thrown unexpectedly at you?

ScaleUp Heroes bring you industry leaders with a common goal which is to help scaleups learn ways to improve processes and strategies that will align with your business principles. Here are 10 important lessons shared by global product leaders from Monese, iPrice, Receipt Bank and Mention Me in an episode of ScaleUp Heroes on the topic of scaling products:

1. Lead by leading leaders to be better leaders

There is a good discussion about mentorship through coaching and mentorship through doing. Ask yourself: “Can you help your team by actually doing the work?” Or do you mentor them by asking better questions like: “Hey is this really the best use of your time?” or “Is this the best way you could have done the project?”.

2. Create space to make your own mistakes

Aiming for perfection in all aspects is what we normally aim to strive for the team, but mistakes will happen whether intentional or accidental and having a space where you can have room for trial and error decisions can help you learn and grow.

3. Understanding the team’s skillset

Knowing your team’s strength and weaknesses help you find ways to improve what they’re lacking in and make exceptional skills even better.

4. Faith turns into trust over time so be patient and have faith

This is particularly true in the case of new employees whether you will trust them to handle projects and give them autonomy over it. You can try mixing new people with experienced people in the team. If there is a low-risk project, you can have new team members to work on it. It will be a good place for them to cut their teeth and prove themselves.

5. Early empowerment enables ownership

As your team scales, you will have new members coming in and joining the force. Having them work and collaborate with the tenured employees give them a sense of teamwork and they will be riding well along with the team’s mission and vision.

6. There is a difference between product leaders and product owners

There’s a difference between managing a team and managing a product. Know your role and remember that your title doesn’t define what you actually can do.

7. If the leaders are right, the teams will follow

These leaders are leading because they’re taking the team along with their passion and vision. They’re communicating with the team force instead of dictating what the team should do.

8. Don’t overemphasize the ideas, values or visions, focus on the end game

Over-emphasizing ideas lead to the creation of product dictators who only see what is revealed within. If a company is always rewarding the idea rather than the outcome, your team will only give you their ideas and will not strive to work on an actual outcome.

9. Prioritize user value

Think of what works best with your team and your customers.

10. Find your Northstar metric

A metric is not valuable unless you know what it does and how it relates to your business.

ScaleUp Heroes is the podcast of ScaleUp Academy that helps you scaling by learning with references from the best scaleups worldwide. If you are craving for more, join the next episodes. They always go live on Mondays. If you want to know more about ScaleUp Academy initiatives, calendar and purpose, join our community by subscribing the ScaleUp Academy newsletter.