Good HR Leader/Bad HR Leader….

Ben Horowitz - one of the former primaries at Netscape and now a founding partner at the aptly-named Andreessen Horowitz - once wrote a brief paper called, "Good Product Manager, Bad Product Manager".  It's become a bible for product managers in the software business and it's worth your time.  Find the whole thing by clicking here.

Why is a paper on product management worth your time as an HR pro?  Because you could easily substitute "HR Leader" for "Product Manager" and most of it still applies.  Some examples:

Good product managers take written positions on important issues (competitive silver bullets, tough architectural choices, tough product decisions, markets to attack or yield).

Bad product managers voice their opinion verbally and lament that the "powers that be" won't let it happen. Once bad product managers fail, they point out that they predicted they would fail.

Good product managers focus the team on revenue and customers.

Bad product managers focus team on how many features Microsoft is building.

Good product managers define good products that can be executed with a strong effort.

Bad product managers define good products that can't be executed or let engineering build whatever they want (i.e. solve the hardest problem).

Good product managers act like and are viewed as the CEO of the product.

Bad product managers see themselves as resources. Just replace "product manager" with "HR Leader".

Go get the whole thing and enjoy. Share with the marketing and technology people you respect most.  It will confirm to them that you are one of them.

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