What Type of Product Manager You Should Avoid Becoming?

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Sometimes, to truly understand a topic, you need to explore both its positive and negative aspects. In the same way, if you aspire to be a good product manager, it’s important to know how not to be a bad one. Hello, I’m Sachin Sharma, with over ten years of experience in product management. I’ve mentored over 1,000 aspiring product managers, and today, I’ll help guide you by sharing some typical examples of the types of product managers you should avoid becoming if you want to excel in your role. So, have your notebook and pen ready to jot down these powerful ideas. Your goal should be to steer clear of these qualities as a product manager.

Here are the top seven personas you should strive to avoid:

1. The Tech Lover:
Many product managers become overly fixated on technology. They spend excessive time deciding on the tech stack and want to be involved in all technical decisions. However, they forget that a product manager’s primary focus should be on why and what—why are you building something, and what impact will it have on users? Your role is not to determine how or who will build it.

2. The Mini CEO:
Product managers are often referred to as mini CEOs, but this doesn’t mean dictating orders to your team. Instead, it means thinking comprehensively about your product, just like a CEO would. Consider what to build, when, for whom, the end goal, customer acquisition, and revenue generation. You are a leader, not a dictator.

3. The Strategist:
Some product managers spend excessive time crafting strategies and operating from a high-level perspective. However, it’s essential to roll up your sleeves and get involved in the product’s day-to-day operations. Successful product managers stay connected to the product itself, rather than merely being strategists.

4. The Yes Man:
Avoid becoming a product manager who always agrees to every demand from internal or external stakeholders. Trying to please everyone can lead to a feature-heavy, unfocused product known as a “Feature Factory.” This approach seldom results in successful products. It’s essential to prioritize what truly adds value.

5. The Indecisive Individual:
Product managers make decisions daily. While some decisions may seem small, they are crucial. Don’t fall into the trap of indecisiveness. Take calculated risks and make quick decisions when necessary. Overanalyzing or avoiding decisions can hinder progress.

6. The Know-It-All:
Resist the urge to believe you know everything about your product. While quick decisions are essential, don’t compromise long-term decisions. Base your choices on data, patterns, customer feedback, and input from your team. A single wrong decision can have significant repercussions.

7. The Project Manager:
As a product manager, your role is to focus on why, not when or how. Avoid becoming entangled in project management details. Instead, concentrate on setting a vision and strategy for your product. Trust your team to handle the implementation.

Product management requires adaptability and various strategies. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to excelling in this role, it’s crucial to avoid these seven archetypes. I hope you found this information valuable.

If you’re already part of my community and learning there, I recommend upgrading to the Diamond membership to accelerate your product management skills and collaborate with other high achievers. If you’re not part of the community yet, join my upcoming free training at Catchupwithsachin.com/saw-live and take action. I look forward to serving you further in my community. 

Best of luck, take care, and stay tuned for more informative podcasts released every week. Thank you.

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