Don't be the Bottleneck

It's often said that the product manager is the CEO of the product.  Unfortunately, most people don't really know what a CEO is supposed to do.

Chief Executive Officer connotes a person in charge, telling people what to do and making lots of decisions. The person at the top of the pyramid.  The person doing all the things. The person with the final decision.

A chief executive that acted in accordance with what most people think would be a terrible CEO. Unfortunately, there is no dearth of terrible CEO's. Good CEO's don't do; they set direction and facilitate decisions. Being a good executive is about getting the highest performance out of a team; not about being the most important person on the team.

Bad executives micro-manage, and Harvard Business Review has addressed micro-management here and here. Aside from the negative psychological impact of micro-management, pragmatically, micro-management creates bottlenecks, and bottlenecks obstruct the path to success.

Good CEO's leverage the talent of the people reporting to them to maximize the productivity of the team.

Good product managers should behave like good CEO's. They should set forth features that engage their stakeholders, and engaged stakeholders can be leveraged for their expertise to make the best decisions for the product.

By moving from a decision maker to a decision facilitator, guiding the team towards a common vision, your team will move faster, and you will deliver more as a product manager. You won't be the bottleneck.