4 Ideas To Deal With Your Bureaucratic Boss

Aatir Abdul Rauf


Aatir Abdul Rauf


Aug 7, 2022

4 Ideas To Deal With Your Bureaucratic Boss

Question: "Our CEO dictates the roadmap. He prioritizes at will. I seem to never have a say. What should a Product Manager do in such a situation?"

A: If leadership is unilaterally governing the roadmap, then that points towards poor product culture.

Here are some ideas to deal with this:

1. Before feeling discouraged, try to understand your CEO's perspective. After all, he/she might know something you don't.

There's no harm in asking why a certain thing is being prioritized. You might be missing a caveat.

2. Notice how the CEO talks to a customer vs. you.

They probably are calmer & more understanding to their viewpoint.

So, instead of projecting ideas as "your opinion", do your customer research & present arguments as what real customers are saying (w/out twisting the truth). Document their quotes.

It is harder to dismiss the opinion of someone who pays the bills.

3. Visualize product data in a way that it makes the trend supporting your idea obviously evident.

4. Prototype your idea in Figma & then pitch it. There's a massive difference in telling vs. showing.

If all else fails, you might want to look for another opportunity where teams are more empowered.

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