I had to plunge in and make a lot of snap decisions in these areas. Looking back, I can see one poor strategy decision, but on the whole my judgment has been right on target. And if being pushy and commanding is the only way to get the job done—to get two new products out in one year—then it’s worth it to me. Even if I have to steamroll over someone’s feelings, or ignore the way a colleague would like to handle a project.
Sander: Well, I get ticked off pretty easily. For example, I can’t stand explaining something more than a couple of times.
But what really bothers me is lack of commitment—for example, if a long-time employee isn’t willing to put in extra hours to meet an important deadline. But you know what? After I really become angry, there are people at Landon whose output will jump for at least a couple of weeks afterwards.
My temper is actually an effective management tool. 9:00 A. M. Leong nodded apologetically to Garrison as she left and said, “The interviewer from your alumni magazine is here. ” The magazine was interviewing Sander for an article on “high-potential” product managers as part of a career development issue.
He did not want to further embarrass Garrison, a 20-year veteran of the company, by interrupting; still, he needed to talk to Sander. op yo Neighbor: I remember you mentioning some sparks with your assistant when you first started at Landon. rP os t A Day in the Life of Alex Sander: Driving in the Fast Lane at Landon Care Products | 2177 and so on. But you’re never in charge of your own creation. That’s the main reason I accepted a job at Landon. Landon is a pretty small shop, and I’ve been involved in every detail of my product launches.
I’ve really enjoyed the strategy piece—gathering data about market share, figuring out the most profitable positioning for my brands. As a product manager, you have to talk to R&D, then work with market research to see whether you have a feasible idea that will attract consumers. Then you work with advertising. You partner with all the departments to synchronize the program’s details. A product manager must ensure a targeted, quality product, whose distinctive features will be clear to the target consumer. Then you have to make the product right and get it to market.
At that moment, Sander’s BlackBerry buzzed and, with a quick apology, Alex picked up the call. “I need to get a piece of data from this market researcher before my team meeting this afternoon,” Sander explained. While waiting for Sander to finish, the interviewer glanced around Alex’s office. It was large for so new a product manager, and the interviewer noted the award plaques on the credenza behind Sander’s desk. Sander finished the brief phone call, and the two continued talking. For the last question, the interviewer asked, “Alex, in your opinion, which type of person is best suited to being a product manager?