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Learn how product managers move from the middle of the pack to the front of the crowd.
Product managers need to be high achievers and many are. They are the driving force that discover unmet needs customers have, creating value through their product work. The work is both demanding and fulfilling.
To be a high achiever, you can learn from those who already are. High achievers have some things in common. Knowing how they think and what they do can help you.
My guest, Arthur Carmazzi, wrote the book on high achievers, titled The Six Dimensions of a Top Achiever. Arthur is the founder of Directive Communication Psychology and is ranked among the top-10 leadership thought leaders by Global Gurus. In our discussion he shares six dimensions of top achievers:
Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers
[1:47] What does it take to become a top achiever?
It depends on the individual; there’s no one recipe for everyone. However, there are guidelines that we can use to develop a path to greatness. There are six dimensions I’ve outline in that process after interviewing 50 top achievers.
[3:09] First dimension: Being failure-proof
This sounds counter-productive because failure is how people learn. Understanding the failure is the fundamental stepping stone to more success for high achievers. They don’t let failure bring them down or hold them back from continuing to innovate. We’ve developed the colored brain model for how people get clarity. Sometimes, people don’t get that clarity until after taking action. These types of people will fail more often, but it will happen so fast that they will recover quickly and keep moving forward.
[5:25] Second dimension: Discipline
This includes time management. Managing time is not the same as scheduling; it’s about figuring out how to not waste time. If a top achiever is on a plane, they’re doing something. For me, being fit is important to me, as is being with my kids. So, I do a fitness routine with my kids every morning to achieve both goals. Automations and other people can help with some of the things that are not as important to you. Discipline is about making sure you are constantly applying your skills to reduce the amount of time you waste and focus on things that will get you specific results.
[11:03] Third dimension: Motivation
One of the projects I’m working on right now is building a leadership school in Malaysia. It’s designed to create individuals who are passionate about achieving greatness. This includes integrating subjects, much the way that different parts of a job are integrated in the real world. Rather than doing homework in specific subjects, we connect everything with a story connected to a specific objective. At the end of four years at this school, every student will have published four books. This is much more motivating for a 15 year old to say to people they’re an author and have books published on Amazon. These goals are achievable by breaking them into one-week milestones. You always have that sense of achievement when you finish something.
[17:35] Fourth dimension: Persuasion
This one is about being able to influence people. Understanding people’s needs and motivations can help you fill those needs in a brand, a product, or even a conversation. Understanding their colored brain process will help you create a product that will meet their needs. You can create specific pockets of persuasion that you can draw from as needed for each situation.
[20:03] Fifth dimension: Visibility
This means personal branding. I’ve met brilliant people who have accomplished nothing because they were working in the background and were invisible. Top achievers develop their personal brand. Find what makes you unique and stay authentic to them. A personal brand is your values, style, and vision combined into one.
[22:34] Sixth dimension: Finances
You don’t have to be an accountant, but you have to understand money. High achievers see money as a tool that can be used to achieve specific things. If you have a problem that can be solved with money, it’s not a problem, it’s an expense. All you have to do is find out how much money you need and work backward to figure out how to get it.
- Arthur’s book, 6 Dimensions of Top Achievers
- Arthur’s work at the high school for future leaders, Kingsley Leadership Academy
“Passion stems from the absolute belief that your actions may present the opportunity to become something more than you already are.” – Arthur Carmazzi
Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it on your favorite social network.