Ben’s article »Little things« is a little, yet powerful reminder about good leadership. The story is well told and contains many pieces of practical advice. They all apply to product management in companies as well, not only general management. This is what I heard:
- Before you take action understand WHY things are different from what you want them to be. Like in product management, you have to understand the core problem.
- Your first job as an executive is to hire the right people (i.e. have people principally capable of doing the job they are assigned to) and set a clear direction (i.e. explain the WHAT and WHY to people). This also includes meaningful and challenging aspirations. This is the area of making larger bets and bold moves. Once decided, the second job then is to build the organization and processes, not to tell people directly how to do things. The executive’s job is about clock building, not time telling.
- Listen to users and employees, be grounded in the reality out there. This will increase the likelihood of making good decisions and build rapport with your teams. Such a behaviour is also a cornerstone of good product management.
- Help and push people doing a better concrete next step rather than focusing on blaming, threatening, and excuses. Thinking about the next little step aligns well with the iterative and curious nature of good product management.
And here is the link again: Little things from Ben Horowitz