ISO Product Coaching
Did I get your attention? I wonder if anyone felt desperate enough decades ago to fill out an ad in the paper to search for a coach in their industry. Nowadays I see on Slack, Twitter, LinkedIn, and discussion boards dozens of requests for coaching. Why is it so hard to find someone?
A simple Google search isn’t always the solution. There are coaches of varied styles, prices, and backgrounds. It cannot be one size fits all. Some seem to promise you a promotion, salary increase, or even a new job if you pay a small fee that equates to thousands and thousands of dollars.
My Product Management book obsession continues… 📚
The second book I read, is Empowered by Marty Cagan & Chris Jones.
I get questioned all the time why I even read this, I’m not a Product Leader with direct reports, however I personally found it helpful to see how Marty & Chris provide lessons and tools on recruiting and coaching.
My biggest takeaway quote is surrounding culture and value from Bill Campbell.
“𝘓𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘢 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦…
𝘊𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘦.”
Now mind you, Marty Cagan has said himself he has considered himself lucky to receive coaching throughout his career, even before he was in Product, but why does one need to have luck to be “coachable?”
I admit I am jealous when I see others that have been mentored or coached throughout their career by direct management. This seems to be a rarity. Managers are so overloaded that the weekly meetings turn into status calls in lieu of career development sessions.
This is why so many have turned outside for assistance and have had to spend countless amounts of dollars in order to find someone to give them the push they need in their career. It boggles my mind that when management is done correctly, this type of assistance is provided for free while on-the-job.
Unfortunately, for most, this coaching is not present and we tend to second guess whether or not we are even “good” at our jobs.
There has to be a better way, here is my food for thought. Companies should proclaim that they are committed to career coaching and mentoring in lieu of an office with shiny objects. You may just find yourself with aspired employees that are more confident, courageous, and determined to succeed in their new roles where they don’t want to leave.