Management doesn’t always come naturally to many people. Understanding the complexities that go into leading a product development team is challenging, but it’s a good thing we have popular Muppet role models to look up to…or rather to learn what NOT to do. These five Muppets often cross the line in their management roles, making every mistake in the book, but hey, they’re cute right?
Product managers are leaders, administrators, service providers and so much more. Our role is all inclusive, as the job description requires. From leading a cohesive and cooperative team, to producing and launching a successful product, managers do it all.
Each Muppet represents an area within management that is crucial to master as a product manager, although they have a little trouble themselves.
1. Presentation: Grover
“There’s a fly in my soup” is one of Grover’s most famous customer complaints. Though product management isn’t about interacting directly with the customer, we can learn the importance of presentation through Grover’ service mishaps. He doesn’t seem to care about the quality of his presentation, and as product managers that is something we should always be focused on. The methods in which we present our products to our team and eventually to our customers say a lot about the company, and the seriousness of your work.
2. Administration: Kermit
In Kermit’s career as a newscaster, he constantly loses control of his staff, causing chaos within his workplace. The ability to organize your staff is key to successfully managing a product team. A product manager must treat their team with respect and give them the freedom to do their jobs. However, the respect must be mutual, and the team members should always remember who’s in charge.
3. Leadership: Ms. Piggy
Good leaders can be many things; charismatic, inspirational, intelligent, however arrogance does not fall into that category. It is expected that a successful leader is proud of their work, knows in which areas they excel, and is aware that they have the ability to influence others. Arrogance does not produce a cohesive and functional team, as Ms. Piggy proves with her lack of regard for her staff, and an arrogant attitude.
4. Procedure: Rizzo
When you are the head of a project it is easy for the power to go to your head. Rizzo’s leadership style reflects someone who has too much power, and utilizes it to avoid following rules and protocol. Procedures are put in place in order to maximize efficiency and organization within the company. Allowing a rat in the kitchen- or bending the rules to get ahead may allow for a short term fix, but it will cause more problems in the long run if all your boxes aren’t checked.
5. Direction: Elmo
It is essential that a product manager knows how to do their job efficiently and correctly. Improvising is useful at some points in your career, but a product manager who comes prepared is much more respected. Without consistency and confidence, their team won’t produce a successful product. Developing a product takes direction and creativity, and if the product leader’s head isn’t in the game, the product won’t take off.