Jan 5 • 1HR 10M

Leveraging mentors to uplevel your career | Jules Walter (YouTube, Slack)

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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.
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Jules Walter is a product leader at YouTube and co-founder of both the Black Product Managers Network and Codepath.org. Previously, he led monetization and mobile growth teams at Slack. He’s also a very well-known leader in the broader product community. In today’s episode, we discuss the skills that matter most to PMs, and how to build those skills. We also spend quite a bit of time talking about the importance of finding mentors to help you learn new skills, how to nail your next job interview, barriers to entry for underrepresented people, and some of the most common paths into product management.

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

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/leveraging-mentors-to-uplevel-your-career-jules-walter-youtube-slack/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for supporting this podcast:

• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security: https://vanta.com/lenny

• Notion—One workspace. Every team: https://www.notion.com/lennyspod

• Linear—The new standard for modern software development: https://linear.app/lenny

Where to find Jules Walter:

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

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

Where to find Lenny:

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

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

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

Referenced:

• Black Product Managers Network: https://www.blackproductmanagers.com

• Maryanna Quigless on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/quigless/

• Brittany Bankston on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brittany-bankston-77693a85/

• Benin Saffo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/benin-saffo/

• Lawrence Ripsher on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrenceripsher/

• 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/

• Adriel Frederick on Lenny’s Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/humanizing-product-development-adriel-frederick-reddit/id1627920305?i=1000583287891

• Bangaly Kaba on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iambangaly/

The Minto Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking, and Problem Solving: https://www.amazon.com/Minto-Pyramid-Principle-Writing-Thinking/dp/0960191046

• Pathwise Leadership: https://pathwiseleadership.com/

• Erin Teague on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinteague/

• Bradley Horowitz on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bradleyhorowitz/

• Nikhyl Singhal on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikhyl/

• Tim Ferriss on what makes a great mentor: https://www.businessinsider.com/tim-ferriss-what-makes-great-mentor-2017-11

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended on It: https://www.amazon.com/Never-Split-Difference-audiobook/dp/B01COR1GM2

Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends and Colleagueshttps://www.amazon.com/Connect-Building-Exceptional-Relationships-Colleagues/dp/0241986869

• Chris Voss’s MasterClass on negotiating in the workplace: https://www.masterclass.com/sessions/classes/win-workplace-negotiations

• Lex Fridman’s podcast: https://lexfridman.com/podcast/

Never Have I Ever on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80179190

Top Gun: Maverick on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KBTJBiL3oQ

Interview Prep Communities:

• Lewis C Lin's Interview Community: https://join.slack.com/t/pminterview/shared_invite/zt-1mqc5lzdt-SZuIvbzZIl8ob7UJeydVGg

• Exponent: https://www.tryexponent.com/

• StellarPeers: https://stellarpeers.com/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Jules’s background

(06:07) Two paths to becoming a product manager

(07:20) How Jules became the first growth PM at Slack

(09:03) Black Product Managers Network and Codepath.org

(12:05) The most important skills to refine as a PM: IQ skills and EQ skills

(14:48) How to improve your interview skills 

(18:50) Why interviewing is more difficult for underrepresented people

(20:39) EQ skills: what are they and how to improve them

(22:44) The EQ skills Jules has had to develop over the course of his career

(24:27) The importance of having a mentor or coach for self-reflection

(26:09) How cultivating self-awareness helped Jules improve his communication

(30:13) Strategies for learning new skills

(35:32) Improving strategy, execution, and product sense

(37:00) How identifying best practices can help you improve skills

(40:22) Communicating clearly and asking for feedback

(42:38) Methods Jules uses to improve skills

(45:31) How to approach asking for feedback

(47:46) Why it’s harder to get honest feedback on EQ skills

(50:56) The importance of understanding your strengths and weaknesses and leaning into the former

(55:18) Jules’s most impactful mentors

(56:14) The qualities to look for in a good mentor and how to approach them

(1:02:15) How to foster the best relationship with your mentor

(1:06:51) Lightning round

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