The role of the product leader is a challenging one, filled with reward, conflict, wins, losses, confusion, unknowns, new learning opportunities, and self-fulfilment. It’s one of the few roles that encompasses many functional areas of a business and is a focal point for communication.
Suffice to say, product roles aren’t boring. But the success of a product leader is only as a result of collaboration and responsiveness to market changes.
The soft skill demands on a product leader can be high. Empathy is a requirement, as well as diplomacy, shrewdness, stoicism, directness, and patience.
Part of the challenges product leaders face is with understanding the market, the customers, the product, the process, and the mindsets of the people in the company.
There are disagreements with explaining the product leader role within the industry and within most organizations. Some say it’s the “CEO of the Product.” Others argue that it’s a non-decision making role. The reality is that the product leader role is more closely linked to a founder role. The challenges are similar, but the main difference is that there are more internal customers to please. You have less authority, and the need for over-explaining the reasoning behind decisions is common.
You will be a point of contact for answering the ‘Why are we doing this?’ question.