Lenny Rachitsky’s 7 Habits of a Highly Successful Product Manager

Lenny Rachitsky highlights 7 habits of a highly successful product manager. Learn how to unblock your team, prioritize projects, and stay one step ahead. When you exhibit these daily habits, you're giving you and your team the best chance at launching a successful product.

In his course PM Fundamentals, Lenny Rachitsky shares his 7 habits for becoming a highly successful product manager.

Hunt for blockers

As a successful product manager, you need to unceasingly hunt for blockers. Your job is to unblock the team and help them be more successful. The key to success as a product manager is to make sure the team is always moving forward and not held up by unnecessary roadblocks.
According to a recent survey by Forbes, the top cause of project failure is a lack of communication and collaboration between team members. A good product manager must be able to identify these communication breakdowns and work to resolve them quickly. This could mean having more team meetings, setting up regular check-ins, or finding new tools to help everyone stay on the same page.
For example, if you are working on a go-to-market campaign and the product marketer is unable to get the necessary visuals from the designer, it's your job as a product manager to step in and make sure the lines of communication are open. By actively hunting for blockers, you can help keep the project on track and ensure that the team is always moving forward.

Ruthlessly prioritize

The second habit of a successful product manager is ruthless prioritization of both your time and your team's time. As a product manager, you need to be able to prioritize the most important tasks and delegate the rest to the team. This means focusing on the tasks that will have the biggest impact on the project and leaving the rest for later.
According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, the average person spends just over half of their workday on tasks that don't align with their goals or objectives. This is why it's important for product managers to prioritize their time effectively and avoid wasting time on tasks that won't have a significant impact.
If you are working on a project and the deadline is fast approaching, it's important to prioritize the tasks that will have the biggest impact on the project. This could mean focusing on tasks related to design, development, or data analysis. By prioritizing your time effectively, you can help ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.

Amplify your team's success and contributions

According to a study by the University of California, Berkeley, employees who feel their contributions are valued are more likely to be engaged and motivated at work. Amplifying the success and contributions of your team is a key habit of a successful product manager. People want to work for leaders who recognize and celebrate their accomplishments. This means taking the time to celebrate the successes of your team and highlight their contributions to the project.
For example, if you have a team member who has just finished a particularly challenging task, take the time to celebrate their success. This could mean sending a personal email, posting on Slack, or even just stopping by their (in-person or virtual) desk to say congratulations. By amplifying the success and contributions of your team, you can help create a positive and motivated work environment.

Anticipate what's coming around the corner

The ability to anticipate what's coming around the corner is another essential habit of successful product managers. A product manager must be able to stay ahead of the curve, anticipate potential problems, and prepare for future challenges. This habit helps to ensure that the product manager is always one step ahead, allowing them to manage projects effectively and respond quickly to changes.
For example, a product manager may spend time reviewing market trends, developing a product roadmap, tracking competitor activity, and monitoring feedback from customers. They may also schedule regular check-ins with their manager, founder, and other key stakeholders to stay informed and anticipate future needs. By anticipating what's coming around the corner, the product manager can prepare their team and ensure that they are always ready to tackle new challenges.

Frequently remind team members of the vision and mission

Frequently reminding team members of the vision and mission is another important habit of successful product managers. A product manager must be able to connect the work of their team to the larger goals of the company. This habit helps to build motivation, improve focus, and increase engagement. A product manager who frequently reminds their team of the vision and mission will help to keep the team focused on what is most important, allowing them to make the most progress in the shortest amount of time.
A product manager may begin each team meeting by reminding team members of the company's vision and mission. They may also take time to explain how each project supports the company's goals and how individual tasks contribute to the larger picture. By frequently reminding team members of the vision and mission, the product manager can help to build a stronger sense of purpose and increase motivation.

Have a point of view

As a product manager, it's important to have a point of view. New product managers often think that their role is just to coordinate other people's ideas and bring the best ideas to the surface. However, it's actually important for product managers to have their own perspective and to be able to articulate it effectively. This doesn't mean that you need to be rigid in your thinking. Rather, you should have a flexible perspective that can change based on new information and data.
Having a point of view helps product managers to think more deeply about decisions and to be able to articulate their ideas in a clear and concise manner. When product managers bring their own perspective to a discussion, they force themselves to think through the issue more deeply and to consider the implications of different options.
For example, if you're managing a team working on a new product launch, you may have a point of view on the target market and the key features that the product should include. This perspective will help you to guide the team's discussions and ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal.

Never drop the ball

The final habit of a highly successful product manager is to never drop the ball. As product managers, we are often juggling many tasks and responsibilities, and it's easy for things to fall through the cracks. However, it's important to maintain a high level of focus and attention to detail to ensure that everything is done correctly and on time.
When you're managing a product launch, you need to make sure that all the deadlines are met, that the team is working effectively, and that any issues are resolved promptly. You also need to make sure that the team is communicating well and that everyone is aligned on the goals and objectives.
By never dropping the ball, product managers demonstrate their commitment to the team and to the project, and they build trust and credibility with their colleagues. When product managers consistently deliver on their promises, they establish themselves as reliable leaders who are capable of getting things done.
Incorporating these habits into your daily work will help you become a highly effective and successful product manager who is capable of leading teams to success.
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