Product leaders are the front liners of the product team. They use product feedback, build and create value for the product and manage the team among others. When a company starts scaling and producing more products, the need to grow product leaders increases. So the question is: how to grow product leaders in scaling companies?
Growing product leaders is not an easy job, as agreed by Max Eskell, Head of Product at Monese, and Mohammad Salam, Head of Product at ByzGen. Over the years, they have gone through major steps in trying to grow their teams. Here are some of the lessons they learned as a product leader.
1- Defining value proposition to solve problems
Every product leader knows how important it is to deliver the promised value to its customers. One thing to look after is if the value proposition makes sense to the customers and if it solves their problems.
2- What is the problem being solved
When product leaders are trying to build something new, they discuss what the problem is with their team and ensure everyone is in agreement. If they miss that step and go straight to finding the solution, then they risk identifying key areas that will need to be solved later on.
3- Decision making conflicts
There are times a CEO will not agree with your decisions. To grow a product leader you must prepare him to explain why he wants a different thing. To get managers to see your point why they need to trust you, you will have to navigate diplomatic waters. Saying something like “this is how it’s going to affect the product and we have to take into consideration what the customers would say”. This kind of arguments will help them to listen and reconsider their decisions.
4- Make sure the product leads are making good decisions
In order to grow product leaders, you must test their leadership and how they are able to influence them into leading the product team. They need to understand the importance of accountability especially if something goes wrong with the product or the team.
5- Empowering the product leads
You need to ensure that you have the right person in that position and at the same time the right person for the next person to lead.
6- A problem-based motivation system can work
Scaling your products means you are scaling the ability to solve the right problem at the right time, with the right person, for the right people and having the ability to adjust, adapt, and change.
Growing product leaders are equally as important as growing the product team. A scaling company’s bread and butter are its products. As the market changes, companies must adapt to be able to survive the economy and the competition. If you have the right people to lead your product team, then half of the problem is taken cared of already.
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