Influence is the superpower of good product people. Few people report to your average PM, but they have outsized impact on their organization. They provide direction on what to build to Engineering; they provide direction on target markets and messaging to Marketing; they recommend alliances and acquisitions to Business Development, etc.

When it’s working well, a PM’s influence brings multiple departments together with a roadmap that drives the company toward the vision set out by top management.

When it is not working, the PM is tossed about on a sea of strong opinions, has difficulty in setting priorities, and becomes the whipping boy or girl for everyone’s frustrations with poor business results.

Where are you in the pecking order? How do you switch from dysfunctional to superhero? Discuss. 

My Travels
Over the next few weeks I’ll be traveling, working with organizations on several continents on their product culture. Ping me if you’d like to discuss a workshop for your company — or just chat about product culture over a local beer.

Week of Jan 20: Amsterdam
Week of Jan 27: Washington DC
Weeks of Feb 3 and 10: Auckland, NZ