Goal: To become a successful Product Manager; lead teams using transformational leadership model; and network effectively with professionals of my field. I am new to the field of Product Management and while my previous experiences leverage this decision, it still remains a challenging proposition to succeed in this field. In this regard, I am writing this leadership plan which will be my guiding force throughout my professional life. The document will be updated as and when underlying goals are met and the bar of defining success extended. The three most important competencies which I will strive to improve are: 1. Skills:
* A competent product manager must have a diverse skillset and I plan on adding skills to my existing portfolio. Some crucial skills which I plan on learning during the course of my MBA program are: * Sales and Marketing management – For successful selling, marketing and merchandising of a new product * Strategic management – For a more robust product inception, development and deployment * Conflict management – For effective and lasting resolution of internal and external conflicts * Financial management – For informed capital budgeting and financial forecasting decisions * Project management – For better and efficient modular management of entire project lifecycle. * In addition to the skills mentioned above, in this new role, I will strive to assimilate newer skills which will smoothen my professional evolutionary continuum. * Takeaway from the course:
* Learnt the nuances of Authentic Leadership
* I used to be over-rewarding and excessively emotion-driven in my previous stint as a team-leader. As learnt in the course, this can be detrimental in my decision making, blur my situational awareness and undermine my credibility as a leader. * Learnt how to be an Informal Leader
* While I always practiced this model of leadership, the course helped me formalize the nuances of being an informal leader. * The course elucidated the finer points of having an interpersonal influence which I intend on implementing in my MLT team on next team assignment. * Being a product manager in situations where customer needs are changing and product has to be altered and/or customized requires the manager to be more informal in getting tasks done. Directs tend to be more willing to undo and re-work the task when they are emotionally aligned with the lead. 2. Knowledge:
* Knowledge in the domain of:
* Commercially astute - I should be able to gauge the next moneymaking opportunity. * To keep up with the evolving market, I intend on spending a significant time online daily, sieving through various journals and magazines (as advised by my peer mentor Rajesh Krishnan, second year MBA). * Technical:
* Learn new programming languages and data modeling tools so that I can efficiently talk and reason with developers and also understand the limitations and strengths of team. It will also help in task estimations and project forecasting. * As part of our Team Charter exercise, I created and launched a website having online version of our team charter (http://confluentia.webs.com/). This helped me get an understanding about hosting and launching a website. * Customer insights:
* Able to empathize with customers and extract and sift information which can make the product better. * According to Mr. Bill Slivka, my career advisor, this is the skill which comes “naturally” to me and the one which I should hone even further to be a successful product manager. * Take part in club activities and networking fairs to get a deeper knowledge on the industry.
3. Leadership skills:
* Being a product manager slots me into a middle layer management position with an average team size of direct reports as 15. Hence, it...