The Product Manager isn’t just a middle-man.
If you’re a PM, and your answer to every question is: “I don’t know, I need to go and ask ___”, then I’m afraid you’re doing something wrong.
You might not be able to give engineering estimates, but you should know your team and your technology well enough to give an educated guess; even if you have to follow up by saying “I’ll double-check that with engineering and get back to you.”
You might not have a slide prepared on every possible strategy question, but you should be able to form an opinion immediately if somebody throws you a strategy curve-ball.
You might not have the answer – but you should at least have an opinion.
Good Product Managers don’t wait to be told what to do by stakeholders. They anticipate stakeholder needs and suggest new ideas.
Good Product Managers don’t push decision-making up to senior management. They take responsibility, and if anything push decision-making down. Either way, they stand accountable for the decision and own up to it.
Good Product Managers never say “I don’t agree with this decision, but…”. Even if they think it.
No company needs more middle-men.
Companies need passion, vision and conviction. Grit.