Wednesday, November 18, 2009

considering: what's first UPDATED

I'm waiting.

"What are you waiting for? Godot? Mr. Goodbar?"

I'm waiting for my new job to begin. And by the way, you look for Mr. Goodbar, you don't wait for him.

"Woo hoo! Terrific! What are you going to be doing?"

"Product management."


Can't say. Yet.


Can't say that either. But I can say that I'm looking forward to starting, and I'm considering what to do first.

"What you do first is easy. You sign a lot of papers, you get your picture taken, you shake a lot of hands."

That stuff doesn't count. I'm talking about what's first.

"You've already written about that. You take a document inventory."

Well, yes. . . but. . .

"Come on, don't tell us that you're not going to take your own advice?"

The real world is complicated. Blog postings about product management make everything seem so cut-and-dry and black-and-white. Life is much more dynamic than that.

"OK, so what's first?"

I think job number one is to keep my mouth shut and listen.


Really. When I was just starting out as a product manager I remember spending time selling the concept of product management to the new people I was working with, which was more of a telling thing than a listening thing.

"And you don't have to do that?"

I don't need to convince anyone that I know my craft. What I have to do is just do it. And that's going to take a lot of listening. And an absolute mountain of reading.

"But you like to read."

That's true.

UPDATE: Reader Matt, regretting the lack of a decent search facility on ack/nak, asked in a comment for me to cite the article in which I discuss taking a document inventory. That article can be found here.


Jim Foxworthy said...

Call on and listen to existing customers. Then call on and listen to non-customers.

That way, when you DO start talking, you just might avoid the two death words: "I think..."

Cuz even though you're new and all, nobody cares what you think.

Travis Jensen said...

The leaders I've respected most in my career have always come in and listened. The ones I've respected least have come in with guns blazing on what they knew they needed to do.

I don't respect them for that, though. I respect them because they are generally proven to be more effective as leaders because they understand the organizations they are leading.

Alyn Ford said...

Listen up to the point of procrastination... then act gracefully. Reality is nothing but a collective hunch anyway.

That last line isn't mine.... but I like it a lot

Unknown said...

What's this "document inventory" you speak of? Sounds intriguing, but you don't have a search feature on the blog :(

bob said...

Thank you Jim, Travis, Alyn and Matt - and a special shout-out to Alyn for your very zen-like response.