Do you know the feeling of being inspired to do great things, of wanting to take over the world?
Prabhu, a Product League mentee, felt precisely that way. And that was why he decided to share this journey with a mentor through joining Product League.
Two Product Managers on a Shared Journey
This is the League success story of Prabhu, a mentee from Visakhapatnam, India, and his mentor Max, from Tel Aviv, Israel.
“I am driven by impact. And I don’t want to go to the grave with any music in me left unplayed.” shares Parbhu. “Every day, I’m in the pursuit of creating a significant impact that touches the lives of millions of people around the world. I am obsessed with productivity and behavioral science, and am very much into sports. And as with sports, I knew that if I could play this game with a partner, the journey would be much more fulfilling.”
“Mentors have my highest respect and I am grateful to have them in my life. I have experienced a number of changes in perspective and learned how I handle things from my mentors, who have shaped me for the better. And when I learned that Product League offers Product Management mentorship opportunities, I knew I wanted in.”
Building a Strong Relationship
“To me, it was about the opportunity to mix work with personal life,” shares Max, his mentor.
“I love working with different types of people, solving super complex problems, and I enjoy a constantly changing landscape to grow with. This is what drove me to become a Product Management professional in the first place. And Product League allows me to do that in its purest form: helping a fellow PM. I was looking forward to mentoring someone from an entirely different ecosystem and learning what’s different and what is the same.”
“This is also why my biggest advice to all Leaguers out there is to become friends. Care about each other on a personal level. The professional level will surely follow,” says Max.
And that’s why no course in the world could have taught me what this experience has, however good that course may be.
says Parbhu. “A clap happens with both hands. Mentors are selfless and giving, and I could see that at Product League, where mentors are volunteering out of their own desire to help. That is when the magic happens :)”
And the magic was indeed happening. Parbhu and Max met weekly with a clear mission in mind.
“I joined the program as the first Product Manager at a high-growth startup, and I wanted to ensure that I got better at handling things seamlessly at scale. I wanted to express myself better through Product, and this was the perfect platform,” says Parbhu.
“During the first month, we got to know each other and talked about career planning, lean Product processes, user research, the product I was managing, and the experiments that came with it. In the second month, we were quickly able to dive deep into value creation and even explore the soft skills aspect of our job. And from there, we never stopped.”
A Great Fit
When asked when he first knew he was in “the right place” for mentoring, Parbu’s answer was “immediately.” “It was on the first day I met you, Max, and we opened up on our personal fronts,” he shares, smiling.
“It was on the third session after you, Prabhu, applied my advice and felt it had value to you.
That was the most incredible feeling, knowing that I’d had that kind of positive impact on your career and life,” says Max. “As this was my first (but not last) batch with Product League, I was worried about how time-consuming it might be. It not only wasn’t, but these moments of fulfillment also give your product-soul so much energy and drive that you actually get something in return.”
“I needed to learn how to lead at scale, understand what and what not to do, adopt effective time management practices, and work on prioritization,” says Prahbu about the topics he and his mentor discussed. “And these are the things I learned how to do from and with Max:
- Hande the product as the first PM at a company
- Increase productivity and improve time management
- Discover tools for better prioritization
- Improve team collaboration
- Build a better understanding of various stakeholders
- Create a sense of clarity
“The experience was so enriching; I can see a clear ‘before and after.’ I am a better Product Manager after my experience with the League. For example, I wasn’t running product experiments nearly as frequently prior to our mentoring program. It helped me adopt a ‘failing forward’ attitude with regard to my career, as well as my product work, and even my personal life,” shares Parbhu.
“Each week, I looked forward, excited, to meeting with my mentor, spending time with him, and having takeaway homework to experiment with, analyze results, and discuss how we can make them better each week. It was rapid iteration in practice!”
“And I,” shares Max,
I received what I needed most, in crazy times like these: the feeling of being helpful and needed.
Looking to the Future
Two product professionals, one a mentor and the other a mentee. One is in Israel daydreaming about the next Burning Man gathering, while the other is busy playing badminton in India.
Both are on a shared journey toward becoming the best PMs they can be, together.
“I can’t wait for the next batch,” says Max. “Hopefully, it’ll come with more of the same: growing and helping others grow.”