The common rhetoric is that product managers should act as the glue between engineering, design, and sales. This mindset was a trap. When I first started as a product manager at Tesla, I was so set on being the glue -- being the conduit of all information and communication, shuffling mocks and comments between engineering and design -- that I found myself working many hours while not getting a lot done. While I felt important -- without me, the team would not be able to operate -- my aspiration to be the team’s glue actually made me the biggest bottleneck for my team and took away time that I could spend doing things that product managers are best positioned to do -- to look at the forest.
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