It is important for Product Managers/Heads/CEOs to understand the differences between these types of leaders:
It is important for Product Managers/Heads/CEOs to understand the differences between these types for two reasons:
– to understand what role you are playing yourself; – to understand who should complement you and your team.
Best performer. Effectively integrates solutions, tunes processes, and aligns them with participants. Spends a lot of time with colleagues and company leaders.
Superpower: execution and communication. Vulnerability: concepts, images, long-term vision.
Has a strong impact on the product, quickly identifying strategies, solutions, and tools, training and mentoring product managers and other team members. Enjoys spending time with the team and users.
Superpower: a profound understanding of the product. Vulnerability: difficult to work in corporations.
A thinker and an inventor capable of coming up with that killer-feature, wow-moment and, ultimately, finding that Holy Grail market-fit. Enjoys spending time with users and... other seers. Often founds his own startup.
Superpower: seeing what others don't (the future). Vulnerability: problems with communication and scaling the product (execution) that disappear once the gift of his seership is confirmed and the team is supplemented by Operators and Crafters.
Most product leaders and product managers over time embody more than one type, combining and adapting them depending on the situation (but almost all take their primary image as a basis):
Here is how to level up:
Being an Operator, develop the missing Craftsman skills (depth and detail).
Being a Craftsman, acquire Operator skills (speed and performance).
Being a Prophet, develop Operator skills (communications and performance) and Craftsman skills (depth and detail).
When hiring a product leader or product manager, be mindful of:
a) what type of leader your company needs right now; b) what type of leader the candidate is.
Common mistakes when hiring product leaders/PMs:
1. Hiring an Operator when you actually need a Prophet (finding a market fit, new market, or pivot).
2. Hiring a Prophet when you need an Operator (during fast growth and releases).
3. Hiring an Operator/Prophet instead of a Craftsman when you need to calm down and stabilize processes.