🗞️ Issue #7: On Being Comfortable With Not Knowing
And how it can actually be a good thing
Hola friends! 👋
I’m having a week wherein I’m constantly feeling “Is this the right thing to do?”. And it’s only Tuesday (as of writing).
I guess if I put it in terms of a Product - let’s just say I don’t have a confidence in the current solutions I am putting on the table to solve my team’s problems.
And this lack of confidence on solutions include even a lack of confidence on the perspectives I’m taking.
And to be honest, it is daunting. Especially when this time around, the definition of success is not as straight forward as when I’m launching a new product or feature. Not everything can be measured so easily after all. And even when you can, sometimes the results are extremely contradictory.
I guess it comes with the territory. Developing organizations and people is not developing new features.
But that’s not to say that I can’t apply the same Product mindset.
As in, it’s not about being good or being right - it’s about providing value. And in order to provide value, I need to learn what can.
So I guess, what I’m trying to say is - it’s ok if I don’t know if something is the right thing to do, for now. As long as what I’m actually trying to do is to find out what that “right thing” is.
And the only way to get there, is to continuously validate. The same way we do with the features we build. We test. We get feedback. We iterate.
So even though sometimes, I have days wherein I’m having low confidence about the things I’m doing, it’s important to be reminded that it’s ok.
Because this is where we, Product leaders, are supposed to thrive. In the journey to find out what can provide the best value to the people we work with, the organizations we are part of - just like we do with the users we are helping when we build products.
To be completely honest, it does affect me mentally and emotionally sometimes. It’s uncomfortable to not know or to have low confidence on something. And I think, it’s important to call that out because it’s normal. And human.
Besides, didn’t some random quote in the internet once say:
So dear reader, in case you’re also feeling low this week or lately about “not knowing” - not knowing if you’re doing the right thing, or if you’re doing a good job, or some other negative thing. I hope this letter serves as a reminder that this feeling does not mean that you’re doing terribly.
What it means though is that you’re right to want to know more. To gain more confidence about what it is you’re trying to do. So you can learn. And of course, so you can also allow for growth. :)
Got questions, feedback, violent reactions? Or other tips for people managers freaking out over their new roles? Leave them in the comments below👇
I work with Product Managers who want to learn how to successfully build products that provide value, create a collaborative team culture, and have trustful relationships with their stakeholders.
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