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Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
How to be the best coach to product people | Petra Wille (Strong Product People)

How to be the best coach to product people | Petra Wille (Strong Product People)


Petra Wille is an independent product leadership coach who’s been helping product teams expand their skill sets since 2013. She’s also the author of Strong Product People, which she published in 2021. Alongside her freelance work, Petra curates and co-organizes Mind The Product Engage Hamburg. She started her career as a software developer and in 2008 went to work at Xing, a German social media site, where she learned from two incredible product leaders: Marty Cagan and Jason Goldberg. In today’s podcast, we talk about Petra’s book, and how to help your team grow as a product leader. Petra also shares how to improve your storytelling skills, get better at public speaking, and why community is so important for product managers.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-be-the-best-coach-to-product-people-petra-wille-strong-product-people/#transcript

Where to find Petra Wille:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/loomista

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petra-wille-b8b1329/?originalSubdomain=de

• Website: https://www.petra-wille.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Mixpanel: https://mixpanel.com/startups

• AssemblyAI: https://www.assemblyai.com/


• PMwheel framework: https://www.strongproductpeople.com/pmwheel

• Marty Cagan’s assessment: https://www.svpg.com/coaching-tools-the-assessment/

• PM Daisy: https://pmdaisy.com/

• The Eisenhower matrix for prioritization: https://www.productplan.com/glossary/eisenhower-matrix/

Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value: https://www.amazon.com/Continuous-Discovery-Habits-Discover-Products/dp/1736633309

• Mochary Method Curriculum: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18FiJbYn53fTtPmphfdCKT2TMWH-8Y2L-MLqDk-MFV4s/edit

• Matt Mochary on Lenny’s podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/how-to-fire-people-with-grace-work-through-fear-and-nurture-innovation-matt-mochary/

• Hans Rosling’s Ted talks: https://www.ted.com/speakers/hans_rosling

• Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter: https://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if_i_should_have_a_daughter?

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That is and What You Can Do About It: https://www.amazon.com/Nobody-Wants-Read-Your-Sh-ebook/dp/B01GZ1TJBI

Selling the Dream: https://www.amazon.com/Selling-Dream-Guy-Kawasaki/dp/0887306004

• Nancy Duarte’s website: https://www.duarte.com/

• The 72 Rules of Storytelling: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/72-rules-commercial-storytelling-jeremy-waite/

The Art of Thinking Clearly:https://www.amazon.com/Art-Thinking-Clearly-Rolf-Dobelli/dp/0062219693

Outcomes Over Output: https://www.amazon.com/Outcomes-Over-Output-customer-behavior/dp/1091173265

• Martin Erickson’s Decision Stack: https://martineriksson.com/the-decision-stack

Present Yourself Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/womentalkdesign/present-yourself-a-public-speaking-book

The Product Experience podcast: https://www.mindtheproduct.com/the-product-experience/

• Product podcast in German: https://www.produktmenschen.de/

• Watch New Amsterdam on Peacock: https://www.peacocktv.com/stream-tv/new-amsterdam

• Harvest bookkeeping and time tracking: https://www.getharvest.com/

• Qanto: https://qonto.com/en

In this episode, we cover:

(03:35) Petra’s background

(05:51) The things leaders of product teams don’t always understand

(09:33) Why Petra wrote the book Strong Product People to help managers of product teams 

(11:21) The five ingredient coaching method

(17:00) Why Petra usually recommends starting coaching with a development plan

(19:31) Why weekly time should be carved out for ‘people development’

(21:16) How to define a competent PM in your organization and tools to help you

(24:06) Petra’s PM Wheel and how she developed it

(27:36) Other info product leads will find useful in Petra’s book

(30:46) Tips for coaching your team

(35:17) How to improve your storytelling

(40:56) How to get better at public speaking

(44:45) Why it’s important to develop good storytelling and public speaking skills 

(53:36) The importance of a community of practice for product people

(56:14) Why people tend to stick around when they are supported and growing in a community

(57:53) What to look for in a community

(1:06:48) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

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Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.