Superpower Pack™ was created to leverage lessons I learned in leadership roles at Apple, Amazon and in starting my own companies to help professionals, leaders, and founders increase effectiveness and get more out of themselves and their teams — in short, to further Trefoil Advisory’s mission to build Stronger Companies.
Whether in a larger or more established company, in a small early-stage startup, or even in the ideation stage, good product management skills are essential to creating products people will love and to building competitive advantage. But, what does that really mean? With so many things to do and get better at — across all the things, we need to do in a company — where should you focus your energy first to get the most benefit?
The book Product Leadership by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walkingshaw is a short read — about 200 pages — and is jam-packed with ideas and advice for how to think about product management and apply best practices in a variety of scenarios. Chapter 3 “Being a Great Product Leader” lays out a few characteristics to strive for, and the chapters that follow provide some additional depth, including specific advice for product leadership at different types of companies.
I’m going to distill those ideas down to their essence and select the most important Superpowers from Superpower Pack for Product Leadership. This forms a great place to start and provides a foundation where you could adjust based on the specifics of your market, your company, current challenges and more.
Here are our top three Superpowers for Product Leadership:
1. Service: Making sure customers, teams, and partners receive great value they can feel.
2. Vision: Making sure we are pursuing something big, inspiring and worthy.
3. Judgment: Making sure we have the right goals and are taking the best paths.
Each of these has additional detail in Superpower Pack you can use to assess how well a team or a person is aligned with them. Service leads the pack as we need to keep top of mind how we are serving the needs of our customers when we define the problems we are solving, and the solutions we are building. Vision is second, as we need to have an excellent ability to refine and articulate those ideas to inspire ourselves, our teams and even our customers. And finally, Judgment rounds out the top three. There will always be challenges in execution and it’s important to have the right balance of strategy and pragmatism to find our way through, launch well without waiting too long, and rapidly improve.
Once you have a good handle on the top three Superpowers, you can take a deeper look and select the second tier of desired Superpowers. They are:
4. Execution: Making sure we get things done right, on time and on budget.
5. Pathfinding: Making sure we find workable solutions.
6. Suasion: Making sure everyone understands, buys in and stays aligned.
Again, each of these has additional depth in Superpower Pack. We have Execution at the top of this set because the first set is all about who we are building the product for, why we are building it and a bit about how we are going to get there. But then, we have to actually get moving and get through it. Pathfinding is next because inevitably there will be obstacles to avoid, problems to overcome, opportunities to pursue, and even distractions to ignore. Lastly, Suasion is included because as Product Leaders we need to be able to drive alignment and buy-in and keep things moving through difficulties and distractions — to delivery.
There are seven other Superpowers in Superpower Pack, and you might find a different mix or a different order aligns with your own needs and situation. That is exactly why I created Superpower Pack — so you could use it, again and again, in different situations, and always come away with a new insight, a new pathway, more rocket fuel for your career, team, company or project.
What if you could customize a set of Superpowers most needed for product management — or any other role — in your organization, do evaluations and coach improvements in a more engaging, meaningful and intentional way? Superpower Pack makes that possible. Get yours today and start developing the best Superpowers for yourself and your team now. Better, faster results await!
Looking to build a stronger company? Contact Trefoil Advisory to start breaking down barriers and work towards achieving your goals.