Throughout the life cycle of a product there will be ups and downs. Times when the hype is high, and times when the path forward is uncertain. These waves put pressure on the Product Manager to constantly lead, no matter the situation. What if you’re not sure that the company is moving in the right direction? Or you’re not confident in the performance of an upcoming release?
If you feel this, you’re likely not alone, but as the leader of the product, you must project optimism in order to keep your team with you.
Whether you like it or not, people are looking at you. They pick up on your expressions, your reactions, and your attitude. When you are bearish on a decision, that attitude has a way of permeating through the product team and other stakeholders. People will divest in the effort and become skeptical about the path. Projecting optimism will do just the opposite. Showing that you’re confident in a positive outcome will give the rest of your team something positive to look forward to. It will keep those around you calm in the face of uncertainty, and will give them a reason to follow you. It will even give your team confidence that a solution can be found in difficult situations.
Successful PdMs will need to lead teams and products through thick and thin. Being optimistic about your future and confident in your decisions will keep you and your team feeling positive and focused on moving forward. Next time you notice confidence weaning on your team, try projecting optimism about the situation, because if you don’t—who will?