What happens if we let it all burn?
As product people, we like things organized. Everything in its own little box. We have checklists and more checklists and things are constantly getting added. We get sales emails to answer, marketing drafts to review, requirements to write, executive reports to create, and analyst briefings to be held. We think that our ability to succeed is tied to the completion of these items. The faster/better you do these, the quicker you’ll move ahead. You know what that is? That’s a myth, a fairy tale. These things that you are doing, that you consider ‘your job’ are what is keeping you down. You want to get ahead, LET THEM ALL BURN. Be the anti Nike. Just DON’T do it. Don’t stay tied to your email, working to improve your response time to the sales team. Don’t attend daily stand ups. Don’t do every demo for large clients because no one does it better than you. Just stop. You see a fire burning—and you will, it’s one of the things we’re so great at--let it burn. But wait, Rebecca, my company would never let me do this. I’d lose my job, be out on the street. I could see why you think that. But you’re wrong. What you’re doing right now, what you’re tasked with is what they THINK they want you to do. It’s your job to show them what they really need you to be doing; where you can really bring value and make an impact on the organization: being the market expert. Here’s the thing. A bunch of us have spent years putting out fires. We’ve got lots of energy and momentum around working this same way. And some of us work at giant companies, where change is glacial. But this isn’t a change that needs to take a lot of time, or resources. You do 6 market visits and the data you will bring in will change the entire perception of your buyers and users. Do three win/loss calls and you’ll uncover more opportunities for improvements than a survey could come up with in 6 months. You’ve just got to do it. Let the fires burn and do what really needs to be done. And then when this leads you to great things, and it will, it did for me, it’s done it for hundreds and thousands of students we’ve taught who are now C-level decision makers. You remember this, and you make sure you are rewarding your people not for fighting fires, for making the most precise graphs or in depth requirements, but for the right things: diligently, passionately and relentlessly acting as the voice of the market in every meeting, every discussion. Need some help saying "no", check out our guide or attend one of our courses.
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