Hey CEO, If you could ask a Product Management leader…

In a recent conversation with Tom Grant, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research, we were discussing product management leadership. Tom posed a question that I’d like every product manager and product management leader to consider and answer (comments please).

If you were the CEO of  a company and you were hiring a product management leader, what’s the one question that you would ask?

I’ll follow-up with a post and the results. Also, stay tuned for my interview with Tom on The Heretech.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • Matthew Hooper  On February 26, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    How will you build retention and reference into the life-cycle of the product?

  • Product Management Tribe  On February 26, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Great question for a CxO interviewing a product management leader. Thanks.

  • Stewart Rogers  On March 26, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    The reason I like this question is because it forces me to think about my own leadership qualities. That being said, I would fall into my own question about Leadership: What is the difference between authority and influence? Assuming we could wrap that discussion in less than an hour, I would drill into their strategy knowledge.


    • Product Management Tribe  On March 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm

      Stewart – as always, I appreciate your comments and insight. I’ll give the “what’s the difference between authority and influence” question a shot.
      Webster defines Influence as: 1) the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others. 2) the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others.

      From my experience, product management often has influence due to market knowledge, understanding of problems and the evidence that substantiates something. If properly prepared, the can convey this influence to stakeholders.

      Having the authority to effect change is definitely different.

  • theprodmgr  On March 26, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I think I would have to agree with Stewart. It all comes down to strategy and where as the CEO do I want to take the company next – is it to a new or adjacent market? Is it to penetrate the existing market more deeply to increase revenue?

    I think the questoin would really have to focus on how will you get us there…

    Now, having said that – if the CEO is bringing in Product Management where they didn’t have it before – the question could focus on how the person will inject a product management discipline into the organization…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: