What are the biggest mistakes first-time product leaders make, and how can they be avoided? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
One of the things people often misunderstand is the role of the Head of Product. Good Heads of Product don't come up with all the great, cool product experiences themselves. Great Product Leaders focus on why and who and allow their product teams to define the what, how, and when.
This means that the product teams -- the cross-functional people with the deepest knowledge about customers and product metrics -- define what we should be building to deliver on our goals, how to build right, and when an appropriate release date will be.
The role of the product leader is to point those teams in the right direction by helping align everyone on the purpose and vision of where we want the product to go -- the why. The leader also helps the team define the why by communicating the values, priorities, process, and metrics to guide decision making on which product idea to prioritize. The other important job of the leader is to define the who -- by attracting, recruiting, and placing the right people in the right roles so that the product we build for our customers will be successful in the short and long term.
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