Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams

“Why do some product leaders succeed, while others don’t?”

Product Leadership was written by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson & Nate Walkingshaw.

Their challenge: uncover what makes a good product leader, & how the best of the best operate in their day to day basis after all of what they experienced.

They interviewed nearly 100 top-tier product people, & drew every one of their habits & experiences to compile a comprehensive, yet actionable way to lead product teams effectively.

The book is an exhaustive resource for understanding what drives good product leaders to act the way they do.

Let’s dive into our newest #ContentReview of Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams.

Book structure

The book is structured in a great way, allowing readers to flow effectively from What makes a good leader to the best practices & techniques to apply as a leader that has impact.

What’s interesting to point out here is that the book relies heavily on the author’s experience, in relation with the insights they gathered when visiting & analysing product teams from all around the world.

Therefore, any leader will find tailored information & practices to better their skills -could it be from a startup or a (much) larger work environment.

Best Product Leadership Practices

Being a Great Product Leader

“In the current product environment, we need better leaders, not just better managers”

The book begins by re-introducing what product management & leadership is, taking account of the state of product management as of writing.

After that, the reader will find a complete, chronological list of tasks a product leader should do throughout the whole product life cycle.

This list revolves around:

  1. Setting a great product vision

A leader is accountable for what outcomes the product should meet to deliver value to customers & stakeholders. Therefore, a leader should make sure the vision is the best one, is validated by everyone, & end-users will pay for it.

  1. Moving from Vision to Strategy

Assured that roadmap-related decisions are often disconnected from the strategic goals of the organization, the book advises that a great leader should align to it’s stakeholders to define mutual strategic goals.

  1. Moving from Strategy to Roadmap

After putting in place a great strategy, it’s now time to define every single task that will permit your team to create an MVP. The book redefines the importance of a roadmap by showing it permits focus, alignment, priority, visibility, coordination & vision.

The last chapter of the book is a complete playbook of all the pitfalls you could encounter during your product leadership career, & how to avoid them.

Conclusion

In the end, what the three authors found when visiting & analysing how these great teams were working was that they were continuously trying to improve their practices.

Surprisingly enough, these teams are often more focused on the process rather than the outcomes.

Now, one question stays: Are you sure you want to be a product leader?

This is a book we highly recommend for any product manager looking to take their career to another level. All the tools & techniques you can find in this book will help achieve more as a product leader.

You can get your hardcover of Product Leadership by clicking this sentence!

And if you want some more information on how these authors came up with the book, Richard Banfield held a talk for Mind The Product regarding the subject: