Rich Mironov got his start in product with a a single, very demanding customer: Apple. Realising it would be safer to diversify, he’s gone on to spend the last 30-plus years working with more than 90 organisations across the world in interim leadership roles and consulting. He’s seen it all, and he shares his experience on his blog, in regular talks, and – when we’re lucky – on this podcast.
We talked to Rich about leadership, how to make sure that your next job is with the right company, and how to win friends and influence people.
Quotes of the Episode
How do we get things done in organisations where we have all of the responsibility and none of the authority (as we do), without – forgive my French – pissing everybody off or getting fired?
Occasionally, I run into a CEO who had a really bad childhood. And what that means is, on even-numbered days, they’re all sunshine and smiles – and on odd-numbered days, they pick somebody to fire.
I’m happy when my team picks whatever framework they like – whatever flavour of scrum or kanban or agile something else, or any process they want to use, I don’t care how they write user stories – if they write user stories. As the Head of Product, my job is create an environment where they can succeed.
It should be obvious to everyone in the world but it isn’t. If we build something beautifully and perfectly with great quality that no one wants to pay for, it’s 100% waste. No matter how good the engineering team was.”
Listen if you’d like to learn more about
- Lateral leadership
- How the role of product management has changed
- Why product managers tend not to become CEOs
Links mentioned in this episode
- Follow Rich on Twitter, check out his book, The Art of Product Management: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Innovator (US / UK / DE), and grab some of the great resources he’s posted…
- The Marketing Requirements Doc (MRD) for Teleportation (!)
- Organizational Thank Yous – your secret power for lateral leadership
- And plenty of other tools & templates that Rich has shared over the years
Other things we mentioned:
- Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People (US / UK / DE)
- Frederick P. Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month (US / UK / DE)
- Josh Seiden, Outcomes Over Output (US / UK / DE)
- Alex Osterwalder’s Canvases
The Product Experience is hosted by Lily Smith and Randy Silver.
Lily enjoys working as a consultant product manager with early stage and growing startups and as a mentor to other product managers. Lily has spent 13 years in the tech industry working mainly with startups in the SaaS and mobile space. She has worked on a diverse range of products – leading the product teams through discovery, prototyping, testing and delivery. Lily also founded ProductTank in Bristol, the Product Managers’ meetup with regular events and talks on Product now with 800+ members and growing. Now the Product Director at Symec, Lily also runs ProductCamp in Bristol & Bath.
A recovering music journalist and editor, Randy has been working as an interactive producer and product manager across the US and UK for nearly 20 years. After launching Amazon’s music stores in the US and UK, Randy has worked with museums and arts groups, online education, media & entertainment, retail and financial services. He’s held Head of Product roles at HSBC and Sainsbury’s, where he also directed their 100+-person product community. Now a trainer, Discovery and Leadership consultant, he’s spoken at Mind the Product Engage (Hamburg and Manchester), at a number of ProductTanks (London, Zurich, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford, and Brighton… so far!) and at conferences across the US and Europe.
Our theme music is from Hamburg-based Pau, featuring ProductTank Hamburg’s own Arne Kittler on bass. Listen to more on their Facebook page
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