In my experience working as a product manager I have learned that gaining and keeping the trust of the teams you work with is vital not only to the success of the product but also to your personal success. Product managers (and leaders in general) gain the trust of their teams by rolling up their sleeves and going to work.
This past week I had a great experience working with my team to define the requirements for a new product. This experience was new for me because my new team uses agile software development and I’m new to agile as a product manager. (I recommend Eric Kuhnen’s post on using agile to develop Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.) We took a significant amount of time to discuss requirements for the new product. We discussed the problems the software will solve and how to make it easy and intuitive for our customers to use. Through the process I gained increased trust in my new team members.
The process of working together naturally builds trust and confidence with the other individuals. Whether it’s working with a team on product definition, strategizing with key executives on company direction, or laboring with family and friends on a humanitarian project, working and spending time together builds trust. And in any leadership role, trust is vital. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!