Product Managers sit in a very unique position in most companies — they have their hands in almost every cookie jar in the whole organization. From Sales to Marketing to Services to Development to Finance, at some point the Product Manager will directly impact each and every single function within the organization (assuming it’s being done right). While many people take this as an indication of the classic belief that a “jack of all trades” must be a “master of none,” the “trade” of a Product Manager is leading through influence, and in building and trading in social capital.
By virtue of these contacts, however, there’s another opportunity that Product Managers often have which is not generally available to those in tightly siloed, functional positions. Because Product Managers become masters of communication and translation, they also learn a little bit about a lot of things. And, in doing so, they become not only a hub around which the product itself turns, but also a valuable resource for teams to learn more about the product, the process, and other teams’ interests. All it takes is a little personal interest and willing participant, and suddenly you’re a mentor!