3 Weeks (4.5 hours)US$320

4.9 rating

Moving Up the Product Management Career Ladder

Intended for current Product Managers, we'll describe what Directors of Product Management do; look at internal and external opportunities for promotion; and unpack some critical Director-level skills that are different from core Product Manager skills.

Taught in a small cohort with insightful exercises, everyone will have a chance to ask tough questions, tap into decades of PM hiring experience, and learn from peers.

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Last Day to Apply: July 1st

Course dates: July 10th, 17th, and 24th (Wednesdays)
8am-930am Pacific Time
11am-1230pm Eastern Time
4pm-530pm GMT

Three 90-minute sessions


You'll share insights and learn leadership techniques.

With a small group of your product, we'll dig into what Directors do, and how executives think. We'll share real-world experiences. We'll discover that most product managers are wrestling with the same set of challenges.

Mapping out your career

What do you want to be doing in 4 years?
You'll have a bit of pre-class prep, then we will have a group exercise about mapping out future role...
Led by Tom Callahan, who has led hundreds of searches at every level.

What do Directors of Product do?

There's no universal job description for either PMS or Directors, but we will walk through what each does -- and how being a Director is different. When moving "up" the PM ladder, what will we do more of? Less of? What do we want?

Internal and external promotions

Moving up in your current company is very easier than joining another company for a promotion.
What are the clearest paths to Director-level roles where you are today? By switching organizations? How can you cut through the noise?

Learn how to speak the language of money

The language of executives is money. Unlike with your technical teams, the C-suite can't hear anything that doesn't include a currency symbol. We'll review the economics of products vs. services and practice "count the digits" revenue-speak. We'll peek into the heads of sales and marketing execs.

Merchandizing product wins

Few outside R&D understand what product managers do, so we need to relentlessly identify and share successes in language our internal audiences understand. We can use demos, thank yous, customer wins, and updates as ways to make heroes of our PM-designer-engineering teams.

Role-play a Director-level challenge

How do we signal to our management team that we're interested in moving up?

What do different kinds of feedback sound like? Practice reading between the lines, hearing between the words.


Rich Mironov with Guest Co-Host Tom Callahan

Rich MironovCEO &
Smokejumper CPO

Rich is a 40-year veteran of Silicon Valley product management including 6 startups (2 IPOs), 15 interim VP/CPO roles, and more than 200 software consulting clients.

He coaches product leaders and parachutes into software companies as the interim VP Product Management/CPO. He founded Product Camp, has been blogging about software product management since 2002, and wrote "The Art of Product Management" (2008).

Over the decades, Rich has led product teams of every size, in every industry. He has reviewed thousands of résumés, interviewed many hundreds of product managers, and been a quiet mentor/coach to scores of PMs, Directors, VPs, and CPOs.

Tom CallahanManaging Partner,
Recruiting from Scratch

Tom has been helping companies find the right leadership talent for almost 30 years.

He led executive recruiting for Oracle's flagship software products (database, middleware, applications), then was Director of Executive Recruiting at both Sonos and DoorDash.

Tom is now the managing partner at Recruiting from Scratch, where he heads up leadership hiring for c-founders, VPs of Engineering, VPs of Product Management, and CTOs/CPOs.


Current Product Managers

The audience for this course is current Product Managers / Product Owners thinking about a move into people management and executive roles.
Product Managers are usually matched to a development team, but have no formal (HR-style) direct reports.
Focus is on understanding Director roles, ways to raise our hands/signal interest, and how to think through an internal or external campaign.
This will be a safe place to talk about real issues, practical approaches, and the common challenges we face.
The Chatham House Rule applies: we're all free to use what we learn, but not to share who participated or identify who said what.


What people have said about Rich's other courses...

Thanks for consistently enlightening us with unparalleled product wisdom and actionable insights!

This class had the clear exec language and exact sound bites I needed to help convince leadership of the potential financial impact of key efforts, and limited expected value of others.

An excellent course for seasoned product leaders: discussing key topics and issues that we deal with every day.

There was tremendous value in the peer discussions and group exercises - this cohort-based course delivered!

Packed with insights. This course has helped me frame where I need to grow as a product leader, plus how to help people under me grow.

Insightful, pragmatic: we navigated real challenges of product leadership. No BS or silver bullet - just sharing decades of experience

Content is spot on, Rich is a great coach/teacher/facilitator, and the flow during class was great.


Course Syllabus

Week 1

Mapping out your career: what do you want to be doing/where do you want to be 4 years from now?

Product Manager role vs. Product Director role: how are these different, and what skills will you need?
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Week 2

Internal promotions: moving "up" within your current company, either with the Product group or into other leadership roles

External promotions: switching companies into similar or managerial positions
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Week 3

"Money stories" and the language of executives: how do we talk about revenue instead of tech and "sell" good product strategies to the C-suite?

Why relentlessly sharing product wins is essential to PM credibility and career pathing
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Wednesdays - July 10th, 17th and 24th

We'll have three 90-minute sessions on Wednesdays:
8am-930am Pacific Time
11am-1230pm Eastern Time
4pm-530pm GMT

All sessions are over Zoom and will be recorded to share ONLY with participants. You do not need a Zoom subscription to participate in the course.


Active hands-on learning

We'll meet live via Zoom. A small cohort of your peers means lots of real-time discussion, laughs, honest sharing, and maybe a little PTSD.

And Rich brings decades of product leadership experience, so provides hard-won insights on every topic.

Apply Today
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