One of the most important lessons that you learn as a Retail Manager of any level is that you don’t have all of the answers and that the best ideas come from the people closest to the customer.

To put it simply, you learn to shut up and listen to your team.

I learned quickly as a Product Manager that this is also one of the most important lessons for PM’s as well.

As a Product Manager I own the vision and strategy of the product and am responsible for the prioritization of the backlog of stories that bring the product to life.

Early on in my role I would share the why (vision) with our development team along with the what (execution) and the small team of experts would build the features to match my acceptance criteria.

This is not the best way to build great products.

The problem with this process is that I had a team of five highly experienced experts and I wasn’t utilizing their expertise and input in the process of identifying what needed to be built.

Imagine telling a chef how to cook your meal. It might not turn out bad, but surely it could be better.

Eventually as I settled in my role I began to focus more on the vision and problems that I wanted to solve, started asking more questions, and sharing ownership with the team.

This resulted in an increase in both velocity and quality.

We started shipping faster and better because I learned to shut up and listen.