Top 5 Skills of A Product Leader

Leadership is considered a form of art that is practiced by many but excelled by only a few. Leaders are the people who hold all the power and are responsible for producing successful output through the use of this power.

There are many leaders in a company or an organization. One of them is a product leader.

Who is a product leader?

Product leaders are the people who use their leadership skills to manage and organize product management functions. Product leadership helps in bringing the success of a product to a company. The latest trends state that the job title of a product leader varies from company to company and is used as an overlay term for the people who are in leadership roles. Leading a product is about sharing the vision and strategy with the team. The term ‘leader’ is also included in the product manager portfolio.

Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.

-Stephen Covey

Product Leader

Product Leader

You can say that a product leader is responsible for managing a team of product managers.

Pillars of Product Leadership

There are four pillars of product leadership.

  1. Soft Skills : are considered to be the core pillar of product leadership. Soft skills are also considered to be one of the prime skills that every product leader must possess. This pillar includes a leader honing their abilities in areas such as communication, negotiation, people management, etc.
  2. Business Acumen: The meaning of business acumen in product leadership is when a product leader has a basic understanding and thorough knowledge of the product and the business principles. This enhances the decision-making skills of a leader.
  3. Domain Knowledge: Another pillar in product leadership is domain knowledge which signifies having in-depth knowledge about the domain you are working on. A leader should have a clear understanding of customers’ demands and analysis of the feedback of the customers.
  4. Technical & UX Skills: Having core technical skills is very important when it comes to product management and is important in a product manager portfolio. Being a leader with technical knowledge helps in better management of the team. This is because understanding the technical trends help in enhancing communication in a project.

5 Top Skills of a Product Leader 

A product leader should be versatile when it comes to his/her job. There is an ample number of skills that a product leader has. Out of the many, here are the top skills that are necessary for every product leader to possess.

Product Skills
Product skills include the skills that are required in the business arena and also in product development. It includes company strategy, managing requirements of the product, business expertise, general product knowledge, etc. Having product skills help in creating both short-term and long-term goals and improves the decision-making skills of the product leaders.

Product Skills

Product Skills

Product skills also involve product roadmaps which are important in product development.

Prioritization Skills
Giving priority to what needs to be done foremost is a strategy that everyone implements, including product leaders. A product leader should have a strong ability to prioritize tasks to keep the backlogs updated.

Prioritization Skills

Prioritization skills

Prioritizing becomes easy when you know how to deal with the issues in the market and how to bring success to your product.

Conflict Management
In every company or organization, conflicts arise almost daily. Latest trends and studies show that approximately 24% of product managers spend their time resolving conflicts in a company. While working on a project, conflict can be described as an issue between two or more team members that can hinder the developments in product development.

Conflict Management

Conflict management

This is where the role of a product leader is highlighted. A product leader should have the ability of managing conflicts. A leader should be able to identify the conflict, its root cause, and ways by which it can be mitigated.

Time Management Skills
Time management is an essential skill that is a prerequisite in any job. A product manager portfolio also includes the skill of managing time. Product leaders split their time between different products and different projects. They also have multiple tasks to perform that they need to prioritize to finish on time.

Time management

Time Management

A product leader should practice time management when working on a project. The tasks get completed efficiently and the launch of a product in the market is on-time when you utilize your time wisely.

Soft & Hard Skills
Hard skills include having a clear understanding of web development, coming up with ideas for the technical requirements, and conducting market research among many others. Soft skills are the ones that involve analytical skills, problem-solving ability, and communication skills among others. The overall skills help a leader in developing effective leadership in a project.

hard and soft skills

Hard and Soft Skills

Additionally, the most valuable and top skills according to the people in an organization are:

  • Time management/efficiency/prioritization
  • Saying “no” (to customers, meetings, requests) but avoiding zero-sum rejection
  • Storytelling/persuasion + critical thinking/inquiry + data/information analysis
  • Having an executive presence
  • Recognize social capital. When you ask someone to do something, even as simple as listening, you frequently expect them to provide you with resources (attention, energy, etc). This implies that you must eventually strike a balance by returning the value. Knowing where that balance lies and how to control it might mean the difference between inspiring your team throughout a test and ensuring a successful outcome. Latest trends show that good-performing teams are maintained through high morale and trust.

Product managers and product leaders perform completely different tasks, similar to many management-to-leadership professions. According to the latest trends and product manager portfolio, the primary distinction between a product manager and a product leader is that, whereas product managers are responsible for driving product strategy, product leaders are responsible for driving employee performance. These skills help product leaders to become better at what they are doing.

The article discusses product leaders and their skills. Product leaders are the people who use their leadership skills to manage and organize product management functions. The four significant pillars of product leadership include soft skills, business acumen, domain knowledge, and technical & UX skills. Other than that, the top skills that every product leader should acquire are product skills, prioritization skills, conflict management, time management, and soft as well as hard skills.

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