ONE THING on Court Scribe or Hand of the King/Queen?

I had to let a product manager go once because he just did not have the influencing skills necessary to do his job. He was intelligent, thoughtful, articulate, hard-working and motivated, but he never quite understood that he was supposed to provide direction, rather than receive it.

Repeatedly, I found this PM asking engineers what new features they would like to do and documenting whatever they told him. I told him that his job was to understand the needs of a market and work with Engineering to devise a product that could (profitably) meet that need. His interactions with Marketing and Sales were similar.

I had to let him go because he was not an influencer; he was really little more than a scribe. How do you influence? Tell me a story.

Boston ProductCamp is this Saturday. I'll be giving a talk on OKRs for Product Teams. Coming? Say hello